Saturday, July 9, 2011

Before we came to get them... Part 1 in a series

It has been difficult to post this summer with big kids coming and going and little kids always nearby. It is a good thing but it has been hard to even... what is that called again... oh yea- THINK! Hence all posts have been very lite and fun, nothing heavy or controversial. I just don't have the time right now, we are always adjusting and having fun- again, a good thing!  

This month is a BIG month for Emma and Ellie! They have been home for one year and they both have birthdays! When they came home last year their birthdays were day two and three of jet lag. With their initial adjustment being challenging and communication being difficult we let the days pass by- Ellie was in the emergency room with a concussion and Emma was working on improving her behavior. It just wasn't a time for cake and gifts at our home. 

This is the referral picture we saw of our girls on the waiting child list.

The yahoo group for their orphanage (Guilin, Guangxi) Is very active with tons of photos! I was able to search through all the photos and find many with our girls in them. At first I felt so lucky but now I realize how our daughters roamed around with no place to be, no place to go... They would attach them selves to any adult that was nearby. Their foster mother wasn't in this pic but I did recognize their friends foster mother. So at least they kind of new these people they stood so very close to. Obviously they were not posing for the pic either, they were just there...

What I notice about all the pics is how close the girls stand next to each other. After being placed in the orphanage for 6 months Ellie was doing very well. They felt she had more potential so they placed her on foster care. Separated neither girl could function. They cried and cried and continued to ask for each other, so after a week they moved Emma to the same foster family. They were so happy to be back together. They are inseparable and their security comes from one another- it is very much like twins. They are okay as long as they are together!

The girls were happy to be in a family but the stories of abuse continue to surface.
WE liked them when we met them but I have been unable to bring myself to send a gift to them. I could say I have been too busy but also my heart is holding me back. What happened in that foster family and in with in the community was just plan wrong...

Emma is significantly cognitively disabled. She was so victimized.
Ellie tells us the stories of what other children did to her- it's enough to make you sick. She had no real friends that would stick up for her... even her sister watched as Emma endured abuse from everyone around her.
Emma has very few words. She parrots back what we say but only sometimes does she have a thought or words of her own.
We look forward to God revealing more of Emma to us as time goes on!

Ellie was also treated very poorly although she was the favored one. Ellie is cognitively delayed and has some cognitive disabilities but she has her own thoughts, a sense of humor, knows right from wrong has more impulse control. 
She struggles with her speech. Her sentences are garbled together and she cannot mark the beginning and end of many words. Sometimes she is kind of clear and we can understand her. She is working with a speech teacher now. We hope her speech improves so she can be more confident meeting other children and talking to them. 
She came to us with an attitude.  She felt she was more important than Emma and treated her sister like a second citizen. She was shocked when we treated them equally and insisted that she treat her sister respectfully. 
When we first met her she was rather lazy and mostly wanted to eat and sleep. However some people do need to sleep in times of great stress and I am sure two large white people from America calling themselves your new parents is about as stressful as it gets!

Emma was often not fed in her home. Her food was taken away because she was a "bad girl". They did not understand her mental capabilities and punished her for them. She would dig in garbage cans for food. 

Still they smiled, it was all they knew, they didn't know life could be better.


Angie said...

As hard as it may be to know these things, what a blessing for you to know from what they came. What a blessing for all of you that God brought you together. Happy one year home, sweet girls. You, indeed, were made in the likeness of our King, and you, girls, are truly His princesses!

Jo's Corner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sally-Girl! said...

Thankful for our Father who heals all wounds in His time! Thankful for faithful friends who answer the call to be a vessel in that healing!!!

Happy Gotcha Day girls!!!

Vicky said...

Wow! What a story, it breaks by heart to read of their mistreatment. How grateful they must be to be adopted together! What a huge comfort that must be for them. I love your heart and love for these girls as well as the love for your other children.

Sarah said...

Oh, precious, precious glad they are in your home now!

laurajonesjournal said...

i have loved, loved, loved watching your last year.
you will remember that God used you in our journey to 2. You did the right thing! I'm so glad they are with you now. A big, fun family.
love from the joneses

Serving the King said...

Wow so powerful Jean! Gracious I am so glad that they have your familys arms to wrap around them now. Praise Him!

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

Breaks my very very wrong and sad........ :( So glad you love them unconditionally!!!!! So happy they have a HOME!!!

Hanna said...

I enjoy reading your blog and thank you for sharing your story. The girls are very lucky to have loving parents and happy family! May the Lord bless you all.

thecroslands said...

Truly, when the Lord knits a family together, everyone is blessed. And then if that isn't enough, your family then becomes such an encouragement to many others. The Lord is so good!

Holly said...

I love how God rescued them. How I wish all the Emmas and Ellies out there could find families who love them too.

Dawn said...

Thank you for sharing about the girls abuse in China. I know it is not easy. And I understand too the way you feel about those who did it...My daughter went thru a lot in China too. Just wrong is wrong... not cultural or whatever.. it hurts to know your kids have suffered so... Your home and family will be a healing balm to them... I am so glad you brought these girls to your family!

Lynne said...

My heart is so broken......I cannot stop crying. I knew it was bad for Emma and Ellie from some of the things you said, but to hear more details is completely heartwrenching. I am so thankful to God your beautiful girls are with you - as I am so thankful all of your children are with you. They are where God intended for them to be. It has been such a joy for me to see the changes in the precious faces of Emma and Ellie as they are growing in the tender loving care of your family. It shows in their smiles, and in their eyes. They know they are loved. They know you will be there for them - Always. Praise be to God. xoxoxo

Sophie said...

This is so sad, so heartbreaking, that your precious girls were treated this way.
I'm sure it's difficult hearing these stories, I'm praying for your mother's heart Jean.

Praise God He's saved them from the abuse and brought them into the arms of a loving family that can nurture them and bring healing.

You are such a good mom Jean.

Kelly said...

Hi..I was wanting to comment on your comment left on Sonia's blog, but got so moved by your post I almost forgot. What a powerful post about the love of a family. Your family is huge and beautiful!!

We also homeschool and have had similar it!! :)

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

thank you for stopping by! I was so thrilled to see your note.

It looks like you are off to China again soon??!!

this post takes my breath away. really.


Difference2This1 said...

I'm so sorry they were treated so poorly before they joined you. No child should be treated like that- whether it's here or on the other side of the ocean. Thanking Him they have many "someones" now who will fight like crazy to keep it from ever happening again.

Blessings, Jennifer

living4him5 said...

So heartbreaking to read. You can see the pain through the smiles in the pictures from China. My Madelyn Grace will be home from China one year this month too! As her English improved and trust was built, she shared stories of physical abuse she suffered from her foster sister. In the beginning, I was so heartbroken for the pain of seperation she was having from her foster family but as time goes on, I know the Lord plucked her from their hands for good reason. I look at her differntly now. I understand her better and I see how much the Lord adores her and she is just on fire for Jesus!!! God is good and I am so grateful Ellie and Emma have been given such a wonderful family!!

God bless...Still praying for your babies in China. Praying our litte ones are some how cooled in the dreadful China summer heat. :(

Amy <><

Cari said...

It makes me so sad to image the abuse that they both have suffer. So glad that God used you to rescue them, and now look at the wonderful love they are now truly receiving!

Holly said...

first of all, has it already been a whole YEAR that they've been home? Wow time flies and you've brought 2 more home SINCE then and have 2 more on the way! wow wow wow!! And thank you for sharing part of their story. May the Lord send many here to read and open hearts to the idea of adopting children who aren't babies or toddlers. It is so much easier to think that children in foster families are all treasured and loved. :(

Annie said...

Oh Jean, I am in tears and my heart breaks for your beautiful girls! It just hurts my herat that there are so many children in this world who are forced to live like this. I just don't understand how someone could treat a child this way. Praise God for putting these precious girls on your heart and Bless you for answering that call!!!