Saturday, July 16, 2011

Meeting the Foster Parents!! the series continues...

We knew God had a plan, We knew He was in charge and We knew they were supposed to be our daughters.  We found comfort in those thoughts and continuously gave it all to HIM.

We didn't know how it would all play out. I had seen the transformation with both Anna and Sarah and the children adopted by other families. It is miraculous to see! It is a fall to your knees experience!

I wanted to get the girls back on our own turf and once again have the upper hand but we still had another week in China. I needed to be patient and enjoy our time in China. I believe that those 2 weeks are really part of the transition for the children and families. It just seems only fair to spend that time in their country where they have their language, their foods, their culture, the smells and the sights that they knew. Soon they would leave everything that was familiar.

This trip was especially challenging because of our daughters disability. Sarah was a challenge in China but this we much more difficult. Our daughters don't have the mental capacity to process all that was happening to them.  If we would have known then what we know now it would have been much easier on us. It is natural for parents to think their newly adoptive children should be appreciative but that could not be further from the truth. For them this was scary! Sometimes fun but mostly scary! Every time we got into a van I wonder if they thought they were being returned- given their history that would have been a very natural thought.

With Emma and Ellie we needed to be clear and firm. We needed to keep them close and make all decisions. We started out that way with Sam(4 yrs) and Ava(5 yrs) and quickly found out they were completely different children. They did not need the firmness that we had to have with particularly Emma. We immediately lightened up with Sam and Ava and it went very well!

You will have to see what you need to do when you are in China. It is important to see the temperament of your child and go from there!

Our time in China was very challenging for Hubby. He really is a nice guy and always sees the best in everyone. During this journey he had to be out of character-  it exhausted him and it didn't feel very good. At the same time he felt that he needed to do everything he could do to help this child. He was awesome in China and I was so thankful that he rose to the occasion.

Emma was getting more physical. She would hit us, scratch us, kick us, and pinch us  Mostly it was hubby that got the brunt of the abuse.

Our guides in China are there to help us, to interpret and to make sure we get from one place to the next (among other things) but our guides on this trip went above and beyond the call of duty! Julia didn't hesitate to tell the girls a thing or two- we let her, we needed her to do that and they needed to hear it from a Chinese speaking adult!

Meeting the foster parents was incredible. I never thought we could or would be able to do this. I often shy away from orphanage visits for one reason or another(too hard on the children, the child does not want to go and we are not sure that we can handle seeing it)  but we are so glad we followed through this time.

It was good for us to see where our daughters spent the last 3 years of their lives before meeting us. It was good to meet the foster family. We liked them- they were our age and they had a sense of humor. They had 2 birth children- a daughter and a son- that were grown, educated and living on their own.
The foster Dad stayed home from work to meet us- he worked on the railroad and was often gone for long periods of time. They served us fruit, water and packed up more meat treats for the girls, including chicken legs! ;-)

It was a little difficult when they started to tell us about the girls... right in front of them. That's what they do in China- no private talk- the girls heard it all. I wanted to cover their ears. Part of me wanted the girls to know that we knew everything... and part of me wanted to protect them from the conversation that was happening.

For me that was a moment to remember- Emma was mine and I wanted to protect her. Hubby felt the same way. It was a good feeling for both of us even though they were telling us stories about how bad our daughters were...

They went on and on about Emma. She was expelled from school 5 times. How very naughty she was, she doesn't listen, she doesn't mind, she is not respectful. And then they told us words that stuck in our minds- Emma said to them that "no one will ever control me".  Interesting we both thought... wanna bet!  BUT it did shed light on some of her behaviors.

We notice that Emma was not too sad about leaving her China parents... actually not at all. No tears, no last minutes hugs. She got on the bus and never looked back...
(yes- I immediately thought of attachment issues BUT one thing at a time here!)

Ellie got a hug goodbye and teary eyes from both of the foster parents. She looked intently at them but she continued to go to the bus, get on it and move forward with her life...

She then slept and slept and slept on the bus... I am sure it was from all the stress and heat.

Again we lost the chicken feet! ;-)
Okay, I'm sorry but not really!
It just did not facilitate bonding when we watched our new daughters eat them!

The girls have so many bad stories about the foster parents and some of the neighbors. There was so much abuse inside the home and out. Both girls do not want to return to Guilin...ever...

Bonding was beginning to happen between all of us. It was baby steps but at least it was in the right direction!
Whew! Thank you Jesus!!


Shonni said...

loving these...keep em coming...their story is so important for us all as we consider what these children have come through...things I have never gone through. As we understand, we can be more compassionate as Jesus was.

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

WOW!!! I have missed a lot...but have now caught up. And amazing story of God, his Spirit leading you, and lots and lots and lots of patience!!! Thank God HE led you to your children!!!

Lori said...

I love all the details of E & E's adoption story. It really is telling a story of redemption.

You are doing a great job writing it all out, Jean. Keep it up!

FourMileFarm said...

LOOOooooooOOOve your blog.
Never commented before.
Sorry about that.
Just know that I appreciate you opening up your heart like this, and your blog posts always touch me in some way.
Praise the Lord!

Lynne said...

I am an complete awe of your spirit, and the beautiful gift of love has bestowed upon you, Jean. I'm a recording........but I just love your family. xoxoxo

laurajonesjournal said...

Wow, Jean I love seeing the pictures again and hearing more details on this side . This is such a beautiful story, one of hope, grace,faithfulness and love. It really is a beautiful picture of the gospel don't you all think? Christ choosing us and loving us when we were so unlovable, being loving and so faithful to us just like you and Jim to these girls. I'm passing this on to my adoption support group. You two are amazing. And brave. Love and hugs from our house to yours xoxoxo

Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Jean. I know that it will be so helpful to many!

Hanna said...

Loving your story! Praise the Lord! Thanks to Him to lead you to adopt these girls. Really appreciate for sharing your story.

living4him5 said...


The pictures of Emma's face just break my heart! I am just praising GOD they are free!!!!

Love reading about your experience as I can relate in so many ways.

God bless,
Amy <><

Julie said...

I love your blog! Thank you for telling Emma and Ellie's story for all of those of us who will be adopting older children. We may even be in China in November with you!


Nicole A. said...

What an amazing experience! I am so glad for you that you met the foster parents ~ seems like it was a very brave thing to do, and probably so worth it in the end. What insight it must have given you into the lives of your girls ~ even if it is not all good stuff.

Thanks for sharing!

All the best,
Nicole A., now in LA