Our precious Paisley girl, that's who. We couldn't be prouder of this huge step she has taken in her life.
To know that she has Him in her heart just makes us so happy for her.
She is such a wise ol' soul sometimes, her many physical challenges and living with daily pain has placed limitations of what her physical body can do but her spirit soared today as she accepted Him as her Savior.
She just SHINED with the joy in her heart.
She is VERY LOVED!
I wanted to be sure and follow up on the post of "You shouldn't adopt a teen" with everyone because these kids are so incredibly important and special to us. Every single one of them.
The post was not written to discourage adoption AT ALL.
Please DO ADOPT. Just PLEASE, be prepared. I can't say it enough--- you gotta be ready for the behaviors. Just to know they are typical, normal, others are making it through can take you VERY FAR when you are suddenly living it with a new teen/ child adoptee.
Expect the behaviors and then if you don't get them, YEAH!!! Good for you--- whooo hooooo!
But honestly (you know I am) I don't know many who do not have ANY of the adjustment issues I mentioned. And the very few I do know of --- they are definitely a minority:(
BUT--- here's the good news..... all of the issues mentioned in previous post-- they get better with TIME.
They really, really do. It's the "getting there" that's super hard. It DOES get easier/ you learn to cope better.
If you met our kids today, home 7.5, 5, 4, 2.5 and 1.5 years--- you would think they are younger than their number ages, if I told you them. Otherwise, you would see polite, kind, fun to be around, neat kids. Seriously.
While we will be a "work in progress" probably forever, they have ALL made huge strides in learning the language, culture, how family works, what we expect of them, empathy for others.
There are still some who have more issues than others. But honestly, we have changed with adopting the 6 of them to understand we may not see what we hoped for with some of them and gone the way of lowering expectations/ acceptance of the limitations because sometimes that's how it goes.
Our commitment and love for them will remain steady and we will always want the best for every single one of them.
I was able to write the post with the experience of parenting the 6 of them, but also because I do not have to (and will not) point out or embarrass any one of my 6 adopted children because some of the points made we do see with some but not others. Some we see with all of them at first. Some adjustments are long term for some. I will not now or ever sit down and point out who-has-what-issue because I have NO desire to shame any of them.
Matter of fact, Chloe (and sometimes Kat) read my blog and they had no issues with the post. Chloe will bring up sometimes things she "used to do" and we laugh because some of it really is downright funny, but also because it's fun to see how far she has grown. They all have and will continue to do so.
In some ways, home as long as they have been now, they ARE like typical teen kids. Our kids. Not "our adopted kids from China." Not "former orphans." They are different and special only because they are individuals. Each one of them special because of who they are, not their "issues."
They are proud to belong to BOTH countries, their birth country and their "family" country. They are---
I could just go on and on:) So for those of you who are considering adopting an older child/teen or are living with an older adopted child and you have any/all of the issues from the previous post--- please know there is HOPE.
It doesn't ALWAYS get better, but you learn to cope. You find a new "normal" life. It really IS a blessing to have them. We can't imagine life without them at all. We are honored to parent them and very happy to help others adopting as well.
And to answer Sarah's question in the comments-- Therapeutic foster training is training you can take for fostering special needs children in the US.
Contact your local Child and Youth Services and ask them about agencies who do the therapeutic care for them. (Most CYS special needs kiddos are fostered through a contracted agency outside of CYS) and then go to the trainings the contracted agency offers for fostering SN kiddos. (usually these classes are FREE).
You are NOT required to ever take SN foster kiddos here, but you will have the training which is very, very helpful because it's geared for parenting traumatized children with a variety of different issues. This applies to ALL states for anyone else who is wondering.
Adoption is an amazing adventure, not always a blast, but an adventure for sure. And a blessing from God.