Today marks 3 months of having custody of Yohannes and Paulos. The first two weeks were spent by them with me, Alana, and Easton. We have officially been in the United States for 7 weeks today.
We went from a "white" family to a blended family, and we absolutely love the way our family looks. It's a picture of Heaven. Revelation 7:9 says, "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could
count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne
and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm
branches in their hands."
My head and heart overflow with things to share. The problem is, my poor body and emotions are so exhausted at the end of the day (and the beginning as well), that I imagine many things to say all day long and when it comes time to write them, well, I choose relaxing with my husband and two daughters on the couch for a few minutes watching "The Voice" with a glass of wine, or I simply fall into bed (the latter is the usual suspect).
I have been working on a "special needs" post for two weeks, and it's still not ready. I'll share one quote with you from Karyn Purvis' book, The Connected Child:
"Too often, parents and experts look at behavioral disorders as if they existed separate from sensory impairments; separate from attention difficulties, separate from early childhood deprivation, neurological damage, attachment disorders, post traumatic stress; and so on......
Deprivations and harm suffered early in life impact all the ways that a child develops- coordination, ability to learn, social skills, size, and even the neurochemical pathways in the brain. These consequences can linger years after a child has left a life of hardship. That's why formerly neglected and abused children are predisposed to such problem as attachment difficulties, conduct disorder, depression, anxiety, attention deficit, learning disabilities and more."
If we spelled out in detail most of the experiences of the past 3 months regarding our adoption, frankly, you just wouldn't believe us. Then there's the small number of people that would think, "Well, you brought this on yourselves." Yes. Yes, we did. But the bigger picture is much, much more than that.
3 months. 3 months of seeing more pain, aggression, and fear than we ever imagined we would encounter. Yes, we did our homework. Yes, we had read that these things could occur. But deep in our hearts we surely hoped, "not us". "Not our family."
But God did not spare us.
There's a reason for that. We are clinging all day long to that HOPE. His name is Jesus.
Jesus is our hope. Jesus is our peace. We pray every day that Jesus fills Yohannes and Paulos with His presence and will restore peace to them and our family.
Last weekend we were able to visit my sister and brother-in-law (Ryan and Ginger) in Jacksonville. They gave me a photo shoot for our family with a Jacksonville photographer for my birthday. She took pictures until one child in particular had just plain had enough. We received a sneak peak this week of the pictures.
If you would like to see them, the website is http://pinkcoffeephoto.com/blog/2012/10/12/the-kicklighter-family/
and here is one of the pics:
The photographer's name is Lindsay Almeida and she was wonderful to work with. I have gazed at those pictures every day this week, and right now I'm viewing them as a representation of what God is going to make our family into. A cohesive unit. A LOVING FAMILY.
"And we[b] boast in the hope(G) of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings,(H) because we know that suffering produces perseverance;(I) 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope(J) does not put us to shame, because God’s love(K) has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,(L) who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time,(M) when we were still powerless,(N) Christ died for the ungodly.(O) 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.(P)" - Romans 5:2b-8