Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

You make me so proud

Adoption is hard.
And beautiful.

Yes, beautiful and hard. It's a dance. A few steps in one direction, then a few in another. The choreography is unknown but we figure it out as we go.

I know that adoption is not the first to be known as both hard and beautiful. Parenting alone is both beautiful and difficult. And it's all uncharted territory.

Then you add in trauma and it's a whole new level of hard.

Trauma, even the "simple" trauma of separation causes changes in the brain. The good news is that the brain can be rewired and new connections can be made. The bad news is that so much is not known about resiliency and which children are more resilient than others. The good news is that we are learning more all the time. We are thankful for what is known; even 20 years ago adoptive parents did not have the benefit of brain scans and research into childhood trauma.

Last spring, when we first heard about our (then) 8 year old's teen-aged half sister, the first prayer request we sent out to our prayer team was for protection over the 8 year old's heart. While she had visits with her biological mother off-and-on during the first year of her life, and we have pictures in a scrapbook, up until that point she had had no further physical contact with her first family. She had many questions through the years and we would answer them in ways that she was developmentally able to understand. I always knew that she was a child who would need to seek out her first family some day. Some day came sooner than we thought and we weren't the ones who had to do the seeking.

And the beautiful part of that relationship was that God did protect our 9 year old's heart. She learned to know her sister and in the process she learned something very important about family. She learned that family is that group of people who are with you day in and day out. They are the people who love you through the ups and downs, the highs and lows. They support you and encourage you; they never leave you. They build you up more than they tear you down. She also learned the hard of loving people who may look like you but don't behave as you; who don't have the emotional or social skills that you do.

She hasn't asked about her biological family since meeting her sister. That may pop up again at some point in the future but for now, her questions have been answered. And in her heart, she knows who has been there for her. She doesn't wonder anymore about why she can't live with them; she's seen why. Her heart was not only protected, but preserved.

And letters like this make all the difficult days so very worth it.

To Mommy
Dear Mommy,
Thank you so much for loving me through the times I would not listen to you. You make me so proud to be chosen by the most loving parents and family. You help me through the toughest times. Thank you for loving me and thank you for encouraging me to be baptized. You are the best ever.
Love, Hope
To the best mommy in the world.

1 comment:

  1. You said, "I always knew that she was a child who would need to seek out her first family some day." A mother is so intuitive about her child, God given and miraculous.

    I'm with your baby--you are the best Mommy ever!