May 23, 2013

Adoption: Behind the Scenes

Most of you know that I have an adopted sister. She is 7yrs old, she was born in Ethiopia, Africa, and has now been home for about 3 years.

The first thing people see is a beautiful, spunky, & innocent little girl that is part of our family. If meeting someone for the first time, they ask her a lot of questions and just say how cute she is. The thing is...they don't know.

They don't know how hard our daily life can actually be.
They don't know how much trauma and hurt she's gone through.
They don't know how different everything was before.

Adoption is a miracle. It brings kids home from all over the world. And everyone who brings a child(ren) home always have different situations. Some are good, some are not so great, and others are rough.

Ours has been rough. Because behind that little girl with crazy curly hair, and a smile that could trick even the wisest person...Is a daughter of our King who is broken. Completely and utterly shattered into thousands of pieces.

The pieces of trust, love, connection, joy, security, and hope are missing. They were missing before we even laid our eyes on that very first picture of her.

And as I see the tantrums, tears, and hurt through her...I see more than just my broken sister. I see how she sees herself. I see how she thinks she should be treated. It's the hardest thing I've experienced.

Mostly I just want to cry at the hardship of it all and sometimes I want to laugh at the craziness God put into our lives.

The patience my parents have. The wisdom of therapists, friends, & prayer warriors. The protection and grace of our Savior.

It's all just a gigantic huge mess. Sometimes a bad mess. Sometimes a good mess.

When people don't understand our situation and chat and smile with my sister. I just want to scream. Because she barely does that with us. We should be the ones giving her the love, patience, and lessons of life and get a smile. But that's rare. And I just want to tell that person how they don't understand. How incredibly hard we try to make progress and teach her every. single. day.

1 yr. 2 yrs. 3 yrs.... Those walls around her heart have been falling a lot slower than we ever expected. Everything isn't hard of course. She's grown so much and learned quite a bit. But when survival kicks in from past memories or something triggers...we start sliding down instead of climbing up. And each step is going to be work & worth it.

This is exactly how we live without pretending. We show her the best we can and hope & pray that things will get better. I don't know who will truly understand this, but I hope it makes you think a little differently if anything at all.

I just needed to say this. And Jesus is faithful.


S.W. said...

Hey Michlyn,
I don't really know a whole lot about adoption, but I just wanted to say I think you must be a really good sister; you're such a strong girl.

This reminded me of a song, I think you'd like it:

Have an awesome day!

Brooke said...

Why did I not see this post until now? Wow, you're a great, strong sister. I will be praying for y'all.♥ Your sister may be broken, but she sure is beautiful.:)

Kennedy said...

I just now found this post... so beautifully written. It makes me angry that a seven year old is that hurt and broken. Your family will continually be in my prayers. Someday she will look back and see how lucky she is to be in your family.