In just a few days we'll hit the four month mark for Story being home and that will be one month for Amos. I sometimes can't believe it's only been four months since Story joined us and the fact that we have not yet hit one month for Amos blows my mind. It seems like so much longer to me.
Amos asks me every day why I love him. I'll tell him I love him and he looks at me and says why do you love me? I hate this question. I have never had to explain this Cayden, Deacon or even Story. They have never questioned my love. Amos does daily. Not only in his heart, but he vocalizes it too.
Yesterday the kids opened up their Valentine cards from both sets of Grandparents and as usual they loved getting mail and something that was just for them. A little later in the day Amos was asking me if this particular card was his and who it was from. I told him grandma and grandpa and he said “this mean they love me?”. My heart once again broke. He is constantly searching for someone that is going to love him consistently and never let him down. I honestly don't think he feels that way about us yet. He's been here 3.5 weeks and I believe he's still wondering when this fun trip is going to end.
My heart breaks that this is even an issue. It breaks when I look at pictures from when we first found out about him and to think that it took us this long to get him home. Not fair for the child.
Amos and Story play fairly well together. It seems as though we're still playing 2 and 2. If you were to come over to my house at a random time of the day you would find Cayden and Deacon playing together and Story playing and Amos sometimes playing with her but mostly walking around aimlessly not knowing what to do. The only times he truly engages with the boys is when I pull Cayden and Deacon aside and remind them to play with their brother. To no fault of their own, they have only had each other for four years, and Amos doesn't ever act like he wants to play with them. I can probably count on ONE hand how many times they have all truly played together and enjoyed each others company.
Yesterday we drove to visit our friends the Livesay's. We haven't seen them since the earthquake and man was it good to sit and hang out. Our whole families in one house in the US – crazy! During lunch Amos looked at me and asked me if I was leaving. I wondered yet again if he thought this was the end of his ride. Many times before we have been w/ this family in Haiti only to have Aaron and I leave him, and sometimes leave him with them for a while before he went back home. Oh his poor heart. I'm praying for God to bond our hearts together in a mighty way.
Last week after the hard day that I wrote about I immediately ordered a book from Amazon that day. I felt as though I needed it right then. The book arrived today and I'm anxious to sit down, soak it up, and share with Aaron. I ordered PARENTING THE HURT CHILD by Keck & Kupecky – anyone read it? Thoughts?
Jamie, What a beautiful family you have! I am so touched by your heartfelt thoughts about them. And will pray often for Amos to know your limitless love and for the kids to forge unbreakable bonds between them. You and Aaron are inspirations to many. Please know that we are praying for you.
VERY good book. It’s predecessor, “Adopting the Hurt Child,” is one of the older child adoption “classics.”
I haven’t read it. But I will.
Do you know Lisa D.s bloG? She has great ideas and helpful books.
Healing takes time. It hurts me too to see how scared my baby is from time to time.
great book! you’re doing good. your new normal will take a long time to adjust too. i always pray that the lord will right all of the wrongs that have been done to lucy grace. she was diagnosed with r.a.d. and we have seen good changes since working with dr. purvis (author of “the connected child”) she’s at t.c.u.- she on vimeo – watch some of her stuff from tapestry. i’ll try to send them to you. i always preach the sovereignty of God to myself and to my 2 older girls. constantly telling them that i know it can be stressful but it is the lord’s plan for our family and more specifically for them…b/c she is a handful when she’s upset, hyper, tantrum focused…etc. Lu told us that she loved us (spontaneously) for the first time at 4 yrs. old. the other day in the van she said, “God made me on purpose. He made me to be in this family.” she does something different to me than the others b/c it’s so hard for her to get this stuff “straight” – i’m praying for ya’ll!
The new edition of “Adopting the Hurt Child” has a section that deals with International Adoption, I just reread it and think there is some useful information there. I also read and went to a seminar by Debbie Riley, she has a book called, “Beneath the Mask” which primarily deals with teens but her work centers around loss. And how often we overlook loss. But for us to gain our adopted children they had to loose something. For Amos he lost birthparents, his family at the orphanage, a culture, foods, weather, smells, sounds, a language…all things that can exasperate his emotions and feelings. You may already know all this, and I am certainly not being preachy at all, just passing on information. Attachment might be an issue too and there are some really good books out there on attachment. Some recommend redoing some stages of development that you and the child may have missed out on…for example, spoon feeding a child, bottles, swaddling and rocking, eye contact ( you can force eye contact in fun ways like having a child face you and blow bubbles at you or painting your face)…again, NOT preaching or judging what you may or may not already know…just passing on information.
I thought a good quote I read from Riley’s book was “There is no expiration date on memories”. We don’t know what they remember…
Good luck! The hard part will be finding time to read these books!
This is one of the most recent ones I’ve read. I thought it had a lot of helpful specific and concrete things to do to help your child transition.
This is so good for me to hear… how often do I distrust God’s unfailing love for me? Or think that it depends on me? I’m sure he’s just like you… thinking that he just wants me to trust him and believe it. Praying for your kiddos!
Praise God that this child is sharing his heart with you. He is not having these thoughts/feelings/fears and keeping them bottled inside. Praise God that you are not taking that simple fact for granted. Oh, how much harder it would be to parent this child if he were having these thoughts and trying somehow to mask them. Praise God for His goodness in allowing you to see Amos’ heart.
Jaime, I have never met you, but my husband and I are partners at the Stone and have been following your story. We have shed tears of joy for your family and cried out to our Heavenly Father that He will guide you through this time. We are just beginning adoption classes, and are so excited to begin this adventure. I am amazed at your openness and honesty, and I desire to be this transparent. I think you and Aaron are doing an unbelievable job with your kiddos, and I can see God at work in and through you. I am continuing to pray for your family and so honored that He has allowed me to be a prayer warrior for you!
Y’all are a blessing!
Hello, I’m contacting you, the Abba Fund, and Ronel’s family because I know you are all prayer warriors. I am in Haiti trying to bring my legally adopted son home and have run into some major road blocks…could you e-mail me so I could tell you about them? daveandsarah96 at gmail dot com. Thank you!
i, too, like the parenting the international child book above. it gives IDEAS that you can do right away. not just theory. and it immediately starts out with “you’ll probably mess up, it’s OK.” it also addresses different things to do at different ages with the kids as they grow.
one thing is a 3 picture story. amos at the O, amos passing from someone at the O to your arms, and Amos in your family. this could begin the conversation.
you’re already doing a great job cuz you are noticing all of these things in him. you’re in tune with his hurt.