Sunday, June 1, 2014

Words of Wisdom… From a 14 yr old

I am so glad I was adopted!
I can't imagine my life with out my family.

Where would I be?
What would I be doing?
I wouldn't have any future, Mom…
I wouldn't be with you and your my Mom!

We were driving in the car to Sarah's gymnastic class during this conversation.
Out of the blue she just started talking about all that was on her mind.

Sarah has been home for 5 and a half years now.
Her progress has been amazing.
We wondering when she first got home-
What kind of progress she would make over time?

She came home at 8 yrs 9 months and back then that was considered older child adoption. 
There were not many children older than her even up for adoption.
The trend has changed now and we often see 11, 12 and 13 yr olds waiting for their family.
In China, once a child is 14 yrs old they can no longer be adopted and they remain an orphan and will never again have the opportunity to be adopted.

We knew right away that Sarah had a lot of personality and that she was stubborn.
She told us through our guide that she would not be learning English and that we would have to learn Mandarin. After being home for 2 weeks she decided she could not stand the fact that no one knew what she was saying so she learned English "in the blink of an eye". By 2 months she was speaking English. By 6 months people thought she had always spoke English. Now her accent is completely gone and she understands grammar better than I do (thank you Abeka)!
She makes mistakes now and then and uses words that sound alike incorrectly but she can giggle at it and then says "oh ya, that's right, that's what I meant!"!

For the first 3 years she was still acclimating. We had to point out that cartoons are not real and people on TV shows were actors and actresses playing a part.
Laura Ingalls is not alive and if we go visit her home in MN- she will not be there.
The show is depicting what her life was like.

Some of her question didn't make sense and were hard for us to answer and give her an adequate explanation.

She caught onto reading quite quickly but comprehension was another thing. She sounded so nice but she couldn't tell us anything about what she read.

We had to teach her that lying is not okay and when the lying happened outside of our family that the result could be horrific.

We had moments of wondering if she would ever
"get it"?

And we also wondered
what her future would look like?
socially(orphanage behaviors and no social experiences)
academically(didn't understand a thing- minimal school experience)
emotionally(she threw some big tantrums in the beginning)

Hubby and I look at each other and stand amazed!

She has come soooooo far!

Hubby and Sarah were in the car the other day.
She told her Daddy that
a girl in her gymnastics class is dating boys and 
she only 13 years old.
The girl then asked Sarah if she dated and Sarah said, 
"Oh no, I'm too young."
Then the girl asked "Well, when will you date boys."
Sarah said, "My parents think when I am 17."
Her friend said, "17 is too old."
Sarah said. "I think 13 is too young."
I love how she is not afraid to speak her mind!
(And she may sound a bit like her Momma!)

We are so proud of her and so thankful to God that He picked her to be our daughter.

She is delightful!
She is witty!
She "gets it"!
what she doesn't get she just asks us!
She can laugh with us!
She is proud of how she is doing in school!
She loves Jesus!"
She can memorize anything!
She understands what she is reading!
She loves math!
She works hard in everything she does!

Is life perfect… of course not!
She just pouted today because we didn't have what she wanted for lunch.

I just want to share with other families that have adopted older children-
It does get better with time!
They will "get it" with time!

There is hope for your relationship with your newly adopted child. 
And even though the challenges seem over whelming right now- 
give it time! 
You will gradually see improvement!
God's blessings on your journey!


Meg said...

Ahh, your encouragements always come at the perfect time!

likeschocolate said...

Thanks sharing your story!

Lori at JOY Unspeakable said...

I love this post! Sarah is so darling!

And that back-bend amazing, goodness!

Joy Altman said...

She is beautiful, and what a wonderful story! So happy for her and for you!

Denee Rohrer said...

Thanks Jean! We are surviving here these days...home 16 months with our 15 year old daughter.

Wendy said...

You are so right Jean!!! My daughter was 5 when we adopted her. Younger but still an older child who had definite experience in life. She has come so far. Six years later and she still has times when she does not use the correct verbiage...but she can laugh at herself. She wants to learn and she loves her life. It is such a neat feeling to see these children blossom. So happy for Sara. Such a beautiful child.

Kirstin said...

Thank you, Jean. Our daughter will be 8 years+ when we, Lord willing, bring her home in October. This is very encouraging. So happy for Sara! What a wonderful testimony. Blessings!

kristibowman said...

Thank you! You have such an encouraging way of focusing on the positive and giving hope to others!

Sherri said...

Sarah is just beautiful and my 3 yr old loved the photo of her with her feet on the wall and wanted to try it. She wouldn't take her eyes off your blog and that photo. So in honor of Sarah, I posted Emma's pic on her blog. She would love for Sarah to check it out. Just too cute.

Tina Michelle said...

So sweet. She has come so far. She must feel so proud of herself!

Jennie said...

A loving family helped Sarah blossom into a sensible and beautiful lady. The pictorial chronology is a beautiful summary of her past and current life. Limber up -I bet she can twist into a pretzel!

Stephanie M said...

Such a neat post, Jean! Thank you for sharing and encouraging so many.

Sarah said...

I so want to meet her some day! I've always adored her.

K said...

Thank you for sharing your daughter's example of success. I'm in the midst of wondering what the future holds for one of my daughters who was much older when I adopted her. She has come far, but has soooo much farther to go still.

Laura said...

Thank you for posting this today. We just got home with our almost 7 year old and life is very hard for all of us right now. The orphanage behaviors are hard to handle. I know it will get better. It is so comforting to know that Sarah has turned out to be such a lovely young woman!

Emily said...

I have friends who have adopted 4 special needs kiddos from China (including a 13-year-old girl), and are currently there picking up their fifth child. They weren't planning on adopting a fifth, but when they were there last year for their previous adoption, they met this young man in their daughter's orphanage. A few months back they learned that he would age out the first week of June, and they decided they would try to adopt him. God moved huge mountains for them, and they are bringing their son home. They stepped out on faith and traveled before they had their TA to make sure they were in China in time to take possession of him before he turned 14. They made it with just a couple of days to spare. Praise God for how far Sarah has come! I'm going to share this post with my friends...I'm sure they can use the encouragement.