Thursday, April 18, 2013

I plead!!!

I am soooo frustrated! 

I'm sorry if I offend anyone but I can't keep this to myself anymore!

I have had my pity party and I'm personally over it.
I have had a hard week of feeling alone,
and that no one really cared that 
I am trying to keep everything together 
for everyone in my home. 
Trying to balance all the personalities, all the emotional needs,
physical needs, medical needs,
all the aches, and all the reactions my kids have to whatever 
is going on at that moment. 

I seriously can count on one hand the people who 
have actually looked me in the eye and asked me 
"how are you doing."

And that, to me, is sad. 
Very sad.

I believe people have prayed for us before Hagan and Griggs came home
and since they have come home -
and we truly appreciate that. 
Though sometimes a mom just wants someone to talk too...

One dear friend met me and our kids at the park a few weeks ago,
as we chatted, laughed, goofed off with the kids
 she shared with me that she doesn't feel like God is leading them to adopt.
I told her, that is okay, because her ministering to my family 
in the many ways she does is also ministering to the orphan.
She takes checking in with me seriously.
Meeting me at the park 
and spending hours just chatting with me,
listening to my funny stories, rough moments,
aches and pains... 
ohhhh such sweet medicine.

But it's not me who I'm upset for 
(at least not today :) - I had my pity party and I'm good now) 
I have received messages from or about four adoptive families within 24 hours...
four families in horrible pain.
Pain that is literally tearing their families apart.
I'm talking divorce,
The number one reason each family gives for their struggles 
is because they don't feel they have anyone to support them 
through these hard times. 

An adoptive parent often feels like they need 
to show that they have it all together. 
We do this so we don't have to hear these responses... again...

"You knew what you were getting into."

"That's why I wont adopt, those children will ruin your life."

"When will they get over it..."

"Didn't you read books before you brought them home?"

I know we adoptive families are confusing!
We say that we have to spend this precious time with our new family member 
and teach them that we are their family.
We say that we need to "cocoon" with this child.
No one else can hold him/her,
no one else can feed him/her,
we have to show them who their family is and build that trust.
But that does not mean that we want to be forgotten.
Meals delivered the first few weeks is great -
but usually this time period is what we call "The Honeymoon Phase" -
things usually go pretty well...
Where are friends when the "Honeymoon Phase" is over.
When the tough really sets in?

I am particularly talking to the Church right now.
If you call yourself a Christian, a follower of Christ Jesus -
then you are part of the body of Christ.
Are we not told in I Corinthians 12
15) Now if the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body",
it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16) And if that ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  17) If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18) But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19) If they were all one part, where would the body be?  20) As it is, there are any parts, but one body.

My plead today is just this -
Church, please reach out to an adoptive family. 
and by reach out I mean,
take the time to really listen to the family.
Do not judge how they feel,
just be there for them -
as your relationship strengthens you will know what they need
and how you can help them more specifically.

I am preaching to myself too!
I need to step it up to support these families around me.

And please know -
 it's not just families who have recently adopted who need support,
it's not just the adoptees who need support.
Families who have been together for years need support.
Adoptees don't get over it!


bugs parents said...

Wow, Jodi, so very true. I will be posting your link for many to see.

While we are not walking a difficult road, even the easiest adoption is still hard. I've spent time recently thinking about the little things that happen in our family because we have adopted. I wonder how many of my friends with only bio children ever stop during their day to correct their school-aged child's use of he/she or to show their preteen how to buckle a seat belt or walk through a store without touching everything.

It's the little things that happen so many times each day that can be draining. Add to that major adjustment/trust issues, and I can see how it could drive a family apart.

Great, heartfelt post on behalf of adoptive families that should be required reading by all. Love you, my friend!

Shelly said...

Jodi, I hope you know that I am there any time you need. I truly do not mind you (or anyone else for that matter) calling me up and saying "I really need this or that". You are a precious friend to me and I never want you to feel alone. Please understand I am bad at reading people (I'm working on it, but it doesn't come quickly for me). I feel so unsure most of the time that I don't know if I am offering the right help or just being pushy. I love you and your sweet family my dear friend! Use me in any way you need. <3

Jodi said...

Shelly, please know that you are my hero! You have been so helpful and supportive to our family!!! I can't wait to repay the kindness when Liam comes home! Love you!

thecurryseven said...

This is dead on. I, too, hear from families who are horribly hurting because of how difficult adoption can be. I feel blessed that I am surrounded people who support me, but I know there are many others who do not feel that support.

I also think that those of us in the adoption community need to do a better job of presenting the whole story. Yes, adoption is beautiful and miraculous, but it is also humbling and hard and frustrating and lonely. Just because it is these things, though is not a reason not to do it. God adopted us and we are hurt and angry and often hard to parent. Adoption gives us such a wonderful picture of how much God loves us that I don't think a church that doesn't have adoptive families in it can fully see that deep love.

We adoptive families need to try to be transparent... because it is hard. And unless we share about the hard stuff, most people just don't realize what we are going through. Sure there will always be people who say things that are not helpful, but that happens with just about everything. But there will be others (oh, I hope there will be others!) who rise up and minister to those families.

I hope everyone reads your post and takes it to heart. Adoption is hard, but it is only the hard stuff that truly allows us to see God's hand at work.

Faith Koch said...

Jodi, I am adopted, as you know, and now retired and at home ALL the time most days, so you can email me or FB message me ANY time at all and I will talk, listen, pray - whatever you want or need. We're cousins, far apart in miles, but still close at heart. ALL of us have our "down" days - it's the Evil One's way of trying to rob us of our Heavenly joy - just tell him to go take a leap (it isn't far for him anyway!) and look UP - my HOPE is in the LORD.....Now I feel so guilty - I gave your blog address & name to someone here in Spring Hill who knows a family trying to adopt out of China. Told her to read your blog and write to you - that you'd been there/done that and could help them through all the sticky wickets of adoptions out of China. Please know that so many of us are praying for you and your family & one day "it will be worth it all" when we see Jesus! So keep on keepin' on and thank you for sharing your story - it actually came at a time when I needed it!! Love, Faith in FL

Shay Ankerich said...

WOW! This is the life I am living too. I sometimes think it is my own fault for not getting out and going more but honestly with two new ones home since Jan 24, it is just to hard. I needed to just know there were others that were feeling how I feel. I don't generally reach out and ask for help and just about jump on top of my husband's head when he rolls in the drive each evening. :) LOVE your post and will be sharing it on my wall. Blessings and love! Sharon

Julie said...

I just blogged about different adoption losses and how Post Adoption Depression is one of the silent offenders. I am glad others are willing to talk about it and bring awareness. Thank you for this.

Charity said...

Wow Jodi - I haven't been over here in a while - Such amazingly eloquent TRUE words. THANK YOU for writing this - I'm gonna share this with some friends. God's using you. Blessings friend.

BTW - can't believe it's been 2 years since I met you (broken arm & all) in ET. Your family pic is absolutely beautiful.

Chris said...

How true! I'm gonna "share" you on my FB page too. I know we should "know" all this stuff, but yes, still hard.

Bringing home 2...harder yet

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Jodi. I am one of the adoptees who never got over it.

What I want to say that I know people don't want to hear is that we need to begin to look more to help children without adopting them.

I say this 47 years post my own adoption and 10 years post my daughter's adoption....I hung on for years to be perfect and fine...I am not and never will be and my daughter won't be fine either.

This is not as simple as it looks...if any of your friends and readers want to educate yourselves you might read www.adopteerestoration.

Do we need adoption sometimes? Yes. But so many times these kids need to stay where they are.

My daughter has a mother and father in China...she is not an orphan. I have a mother and father here in America who created me. You can't just put a baby or child into a new family and expect it to work out. For me it was being raised by kind strangers, but I always longed for my family.

Adoptive parents have wonderful intentions...and work so hard. I don't want to bash them...I am one.

Judy Deaton said...

Wish you were closer!! I know just exactly how you feel! It is a lonely road. I would LOVE to have coffe or tea or pepsi with you and talk and listen! sigh......

Sherri said...

You know Jodi, I don't always talk about just how I feel, but I feel your pain when it comes to support. I feel so left out and that's most of the time. I have had a lot of dreams about meeting families with children from Asian and 2 live right by me and we hardly get together. It breaks my heart, that Emma has these girls but yet never seem to find the time. I'm always up for time. And as far as my Church goes, they supported us with funding our travel when we needed help and so many couldn't wait for Emma to get home, they took on ownership of wanting to be her Grandparents and yet no one shows support. My children have between them 3 Grandmothers, Todd's Mom, my Mom and my ex-mother in law and one show love towards the 2 of them all the time and that's Todd's mother. Emma has been home now 13 months and my own Mother still haven't met Emma, missed her birthday and i'm hurt. I feel lost in this world. The world that was so great to us before she came home, now lost without. I guess I will stop there as tears are starting to flow.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder. I'm definitely one to think that the family wants me to step back so they can have their bonding established. But that's hard on the parents, to go without friends for so long in order to work on bonding! I'll step up to the plate more!
-Beka =)

Bree Banks said...

Thanks for sharing this Jodi. It sounds so much like what we went through with our post-transplant isolation. Though it was self-imposed (at the recommendation of our doctor) it was still so hard to not be allowed to go out, and to not be part of the lives of friends. I had such a hard time reaching out to others to even ask for help that I felt guilty for feeling angry.

As the Church, we do need honest reminders to look beyond our own families so we can show love to others, whether through time, help, encouraging words, service or whatever way the Lord prompts us. Thanks again for writing this.

Karen said...

This is so well said and something I have been talking about for months! The church (as is the global church in America) is all a bother about Adopting & fostering and all a flutter about "caring for the orphan" - but fails woefully to support families AFTER the airport.

I get three-four calls or messages a week from people crying out for love & support. We need to do better when it gets hard - and it will et hard. Some harder than others, but all is hard.

and they don't "get over it". They haven't "been home long enough". The trauma and loss and hell they went through never goes away. God can and does heal them - but it will always be there.

Mama Ds Dozen said...


So Powerful and True!

We adopted 3 older siblings from Ghana. We got not one ounce of support when we brought them home (not even a meal delivered by a friend). I guess since we had 10 bio. kids, everyone figured we could handle things just fine.

That was 5 years ago. Our family has been nearly destroyed/torn apart in the past 5 years.

We re-homed 1 child (because we could not keep our 5 younger children safe).

We lost our church family and all of our friends (because we "gave away" our child).

We nearly lost our marriage.

We lost wonderful relationships with our adult bio. children.

We had to place 1 child in residential treatment center (after she threatened to kill me).

I lost my job.

My husband lost his job.

And . . . not an ounce of support.

We have never been so ALONE in our lives.

Absolutely Heartbreaking!!!

mama of 12


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