My last post and comments left have left me pondering. As in wondering what is it that bugged me the most about it? Petty complaints? Really burnt toast?
No it was the whole suffering children comments. And I have to say, it's a burden on my heart. For sure. Because I DO NOT believe God wants children to suffer. But they do. And I'm reminded of the saying that if I asked God why children are starving, cold, dying, that HE may ask me right back "Yeah, why are they?"
Children DO suffer. I suffered as a child. Do I think God "had it in for me?" Not at all. I didn't enjoy my childhood, but I also learned some really great lessons from what I endured. Things that help me understand my children now. I can help them because I know where they come from in their behaviors.
That's not to say Paisley suffered with first family or that God let her suffer to get her to us. That we were meant to be her family all along. No, firstly God spared her. He showed first family WITHOUT A DOUBT they were meant to adopt her. We would not have been in a position, we did not even MEET her in time to do an adoption of her before she turned 14 and aged out.
So did He want her to be adopted-- YES. He did. MANY people who deeply love her prayed like mad for her to get adopted. This is NOT to say she was thrilled to be adopted. Nope. She was not. She, like our other teens at first, had NO real understanding of what would be their future, or if they did they denied it would happen to them as teens are apt to do.
Did God want her to be re-homed? No, I do not believe this was His plan all along. I think He gave the call for her to be adopted, first family answered. I know for a fact they did all they could to make it work. Many factors went into it NOT working and even when that happened they turned to God and prayed for the best road for this girl. Just as sometimes it works out with a "Bubba" sometimes it does NOT.
The thing is, we are not changing any 14, 15 year old child's personality. IF they have an intense dislike of younger children and the family is made up of all younger children, then what? Some teens handle the issues of lack of communication okay, they handle the intense frustration- and trust me it is INTENSE. Others do NOT and need Chinese speaking siblings or parents.
Can you imagine being dropped in the middle of China and trying to get someone to understand you were hungry with no language, no money, nothing? And not just hungry but you wanted a certain flavor of noodles. How hard are you going to try to convey that? Till you give up, cry, take whatever noodles you can get? If you can get any at all?
These kiddos come here and most often can't convey the smallest thing. To ANYONE in the family. I've been spared a number of "complaints" only because Paisley tells the other kids in Chinese and they don't bother to tell me all of them, mostly just "she complains a lot." It doesn't surprise me and they have told her "tell mom" and she won't so I don't doubt they are NOT big issues. Because she does come to me for the big issues. But yeah, she's got complaints.
Which is very typical. All of the kids complained once they realized they had people who CARED to listen. It's a growing of sorts. Because in China, mostly the caregivers didn't really want to hear it. They don't have time for petty complaints. But here we do care and when they learn that they tend to go overboard the other way--- complaints galore.
I sometimes have to put them in perspective. When Chance told me he only wanted H*lister shirts, not shirts from Walmart, I told him at the orphanage I bet he was happy with ANY shirt, didn't matter where it came from. And he said "Yeah, but I have a family now." That's not to say he wasn't being a spoiled bug, but he's right in a way--- it MATTERS now. He matters. Where he didn't before. He knows NOW he matter to US.
That's what we are parenting these kids for. To let them know they MATTER. They are special people we love, we care about, we want to see happy. We answered God's call not to be "looked up to" or be "special" we did it to give them LOVE. And we do love them deeply.
Do we think that they suffered? Yes. Children are dying today. Children are starving, being raped, tortured, sold, killed. My children have seen most of this, even experienced some of it.
Yet, not one of them is anything but loving. Giving. Tell them of someone who is starving and they want us to DO something. Because they know we all have the ability to DO SOMETHING. Every last little one of us. They DO NOT try to keep stuff for themselves and say (As many of us would do) "we better not feed extra people, we MIGHT need that food for us." My kids have been on the streets BEGGING to eat, starving and yet they don't even entertain that thought when learning of someone who is hungry.
Their first words are "We have to DO SOMETHING TO HELP THEM." How about that?
This isn't about "Why does God allow children to suffer" it's about WHAT ARE WE DOING FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE SUFFERING. He has given us the instruction, He will give the means, He gives the passion in our hearts, mine is ADOPTING, children from China, foster children, children with special needs, older children, etc. I don't want patted on the back for adopting. I want to use what I experience, learn, live with others to encourage adoption of older teens from China (or anywhere)
Paisley is a treasure. Even though she was not thrilled to be adopted, she NEEDED to be. I said in past posts that older children who do not want to be adopted should be listened to. And then God sent us her. And I realize how hard a position not only the child but also the workers at the orphanages that do care and want the best for these children are in. They knew it would be a bad situation for a girl with her medical issues which even then were not being treated in the best way. For her to be stuck there. Never adopted. People who knew her prayed she would be adopted knowing this would be the best option for her even when she didn't like the idea.
It was truly about what was best for her. And God paved that way. In impossible looking situations. Time was a huge one, an adoption from China completed in 3 weeks?? Yep, that would be hers. It ended up with her here, with us. Do I think God allowed her to suffer to get here, NO. I do not at all. She struggled, she may have suffered, but she was also getting all the medical care she desperately needed, dental care, personal care, and efforts of first family to try to make her a part of their family.
And when they saw how desperately unhappy she was they prayed and asked for answers for her, they did not mistreat her, they didn't want her to be miserable, which she was doing because she had decided to be. She was not willing to forgive them for perceived wrongdoings, none of which they were aware of/ could help/change.
We got a new start with her. No blame for taking her from China, 'cause we didn't do it. The wonderful blessing of Chinese speaking siblings that help her and guide her to blend into our family. A different family make up, different parenting style. The blessing of having done this before, to know when stuff is typical, not to worry, and when to put our foot down and insist a behavior stop and how to handle that. Even now we are not perfect. (hence the whole picture issue and me insisting those pics be in her life book) But it works for her.
Would we rather have had her stay in China and never be adopted? Never know her? NO WAY. We are thrilled she is a part of our family, we love her. She's a wonderful person that we see an amazing amount of talent, potential, and a girl who is learning she is worthy of love. Our love, God's love. She is very special. We are honored to be her parents.
We hope her story helps others to see that rehoming does happen. And it will continue to happen, it should not be something we persecute families for, sometimes it just happens for many different reasons. Just as children suffering happens, for many different reasons. But it's how we respond, isn't that the KEY?
And wherever Paisley life, her story, her past, her future takes us, well, we'll see and we'll ask God to help us guide her, give her all she needs and hopefully we will see her become the amazing person we already know she is:))