Monday, August 26, 2013

NO CHOICE (Attachment Series~ Part 1)


Yawning, you crack your eyes open as you stretch after your nap on the couch.  

Your spouse gently shakes you.  "It's time" he says with a teary smile.

You shake your head in confusion, hoping to shake some coherent thought into your sleep addled brain.

Your spouse opens the door and you notice a small backpack propped against the bench.  You've always liked that bench.  Your eyes follow the antique scrolling carved into the front.

Outside the door is another adult and a couple of small children.  They have tears streaming down their cheeks...pure joy is etched undeniably there.

"This is your new spouse."  (It's whispered in your ear excitedly).

Yah, this is just crazy.  Though your marriage has been rimmed with difficulty, it's still YOUR MARRIAGE.  Yah, there's been neglect...he hits you occasionally, but that's the way marriage is.  That's all you've known.

This is a joke.  It has to be.

Your spouse puts your hand in this strangers and gives you a hug goodbye.  The strange children crowd you and your backpack is handed over. 

This CANNOT be happening.  They're serious.

The tears come and the grip on your hand becomes firmer.  You start screaming and yanking.  You did NOT ask for this.

Arms go around your waist and you are forced into a car unceremoniously.   Your "new spouse" holds you tight.

As you arrive at a hotel you have stopped responding.  You tried fighting your way free, kicking...hitting...biting...spitting.

They guide you to the elevator and up to a room.  The kids giggle and try to entertain you.  The adult opens a suitcase, showing you item after and smelling fresh...many are name brands.  They hand you the newest electronic gadget hoping to distract you. 

Whatever, you think angrily.  I don't want anything they have.    This is CRAZY.   I'm sure my real spouse will walk around the corner any minute.  This has GOT to be a joke.

Days have tried to convince your "new family" to take you back.  I mean, you threw coffee in their face!  You tipped over your food.  You "missed" the toilet.  You  can't believe you are resorting to this, but whatever works...

What will convince them???

You've been loaded onto a plane, threw up all over the children, tried to convince those around you that you did NOT belong with this family....and still they held you tightly.

At three and a half months with this family you face the fact that you cannot make them send you back and that, well, there are some good things.  They talk to you.  They hug you (your last spouse NEVER showed you affection). You are always warm when it's cold outside.  They don't hit you. 

Yet another feeling starts just as the beginning stages of love start....mistrust.  If your last spouse did this, what's to say this family won't send you packing as well?  They say they won't, but truthfully, why should you trust them?

You can't "love" them.  That will just mean heartache again.  Your attempt to drive them away, your anger, your hostility, your volatility just increases. 

You know, you think  to yourself, if THEY can choose a family for me, so can I. 

You become charming to all those you meet.  You decide you are going to choose your next family.  You hug, love, and quickly become a favorite to all those around you.  You need to be careful though.  You can't show them your anger, aggression, manipulation, pain, hurt, tears...because then they won't like you so much when the time comes to "choose" them.

It's not like this was the first time you were "handed over".  Your very first spouse handed you over originally.   This is family number three and there is absolutely no WAY you will trust them.  You had no choice in this...NONE.

Our children had no choice.  They suffered the initial loss of their biological family whether as an infant, toddler, child, or teenager...they suffered.  They are not without initial trauma NO MATTER WHAT THEIR AGE.  They have suffered loss. 

Our children may come to us with abuse in their previous situations....drug withdrawal, severe neglect, living in one room (one shed) their entire life.  They may have been herded like animals.  Many are literally starved, have scabs or parasites infesting their bodies. 

Even the blessings that come from a better place....a loving family, foster situation, or a "good" orphanage.... have STILL suffered loss.  The story above is just an example of what our children may face.

Only the story above is about you...imagine this is your reality.

It's easy to forget what these little (and big) ones from hard places must go through. 

Attaching is NOT automatic and often has to be fought for.  A family can do all the "right" things. 

They can love, respond to cries, play, be the sole provider of food and care...and even get help if needed...


It is a battle for a child who often cannot even fathom what attachment is. 

This is the first of a series of posts on the attachment process of our son specifically, but the journey of many children in general. 

This is just a brief glimpse from a NON professional VERY human parent.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and resources in the comment section.  We learn with each journey...hard fought...hard won...and some still in the midst of battle.

Some Favorite Resources (Our resources constantly grow and we are in the process of reading more.  Not everything will work with every child, no matter what a professional says, but adoptive parenting is outside any parenting box we have ever experienced.)
*The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis
*The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz (Sensory issue MAY play a MAJOR part in the attachment process.)
*Adopting the Hurt Child by Gregory C Keck and Regina Kupecky
*Parenting the Hurt Child by Gregory C Keck and Regina Kupecky
*Attaching in Adoption  by Deborah Gray
*Any DVD by TCU Institute of Child Development
*Parenting Your Child with Your Brain in Mind (Attachment Workshop DVD)~We believe this is a good starting off point for any attachment study.

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Personal Prayer Requests
Immediate: Please pray we are able to get Ben's teeth fixed and heart echo QUICKLY and that the results are good. Please pray an opening happens and we get the "call" soon.  Ben has hit a wall with learning NOT to do a couple of behaviors.  We would appreciate prayers for a break through.  Last, a different child is struggling and could use prayers for sensitivity toward others.

Ben~At Home: That he continues to seek love, attaches, and finds a healthy stranger anxiety.  That he learns to stop aggression to himself and others.  That he learns the value of listening to mommy and daddy.  This is so important for safety.  Finally, that he learns to play with toys (imaginative play) and be a child that he has never had a chance to be.

Thomas and I: For my healing emotionally and for health...for patience and peace to be more consistent within my body and spirit.  For Thomas and I to retain and utilize some more therapeutic techniques in our parenting. For Thomas to feel rested/strength and for his professional life to be blessed.  For a private prayer request on my heart IF God wills.

The Family: Please pray for each child's emotional, physical, and spiritual health AND PROTECTION.  Please pray we find a new and hopeful "normal". Please continue to pray for a vehicle (or a way for a vehicle) to present itself  and finances.  We are blessed beyond many in this world...but (as with many) sometimes things happen where expenses are all at once.  We just don't see a way, but know God does.

Prayer for the Future
Our house needs to be fixed (foundation and roof) and has for awhile.  Other things have taken priority (our children coming  They need to be fixed.  We also hope/pray (IF God wills) someday to expand (possibly convert the garage) in order to have the room if God calls us again.   We don't want new or perfect, just room IF God wills. 

Prayers for Others
Please forgive us if your prayer request is not listed.  We may not be sure if you wish us to share it.  Please shoot us an email and let us know!

*Please pray for a precious friend of mine (the "A" family).  Their newest blessing just had a EKG and Echo and it didn't turn out good.  Please pray also for their upcoming nuero test of their little one. This is all I am able to share right now, but please petition God on their behalf.  He knows who they are. 

*Please pray for our friends who are facing health issues that I can't share about here.  They are serious and need prayer for healing, as well as protection against the constant attacks.

*Please pray for Selah, who had a very serious stroller accident.  Please join us in storming Heaven for a miracle of complete healing.  Please also pray for peace that passes understanding for her family.
*Please pray for Tommy, a tiny 15 year old from Eastern Europe.  He is very special needs and has only recently come home. 

*Please pray for Eden, a little blessing from Ethiopia, who has a life threatening disorder.

*Please pray for Henry, Teresa, Joey, and Rex's families as these precious ones went to be with Jesus within this last year. 

*Please pray for a friend's wife from college.  Her cancer has returned.  Please pray for "S" and the "N" family.

*Please pray for my friend "L".  She has dealt with some extremely hard and painful stuff with a family member (really ugly) and this family member has been diagnosed with cancer.  Please pray for her as she travels this hard road.
*Please continue to pray for Ruby, Jeremiah, Katie, Carrington, Selah, Daniel, and Wes.  These little ones came into their families with health difficulties (this is an understatement).  A few were caused by severe situations of neglect or malnourishment (or both). 

*Please pray for our friends the “K” family who is struggling with attachment and other situations.

*Please pray for my friend Jodi (and family) as they have grown by two precious boys recently.  Please pray for their health and for heath situations with all their blessings.

*Please pray for Eliz and her family as they transition with their many new blessings.  Also for her grown children and their healing as well.
*Please pray for Gena (and family) and their teen son. Please pray for him to come to know CHRIST.

*Please pray for the "S", "P", and "D" family.  Members of their families are fighting for their lives against drug addiction.

*Please pray for young Emma as she has recently moved to Uganda to minister to those beloved children of God and now has a precious son through the blessing of adoption.

*Please pray for Molly and her family as they seek a precious one from the "U".  Please pray for the process to be smooth.  Please pray for their son, their family, and the finances as they continue.


  1. Thank you for that parallel you made. So often we overestimate the resilience of children. I know I've been guilty of forgetting where they came from and what they've lost to get here.
    Can't wait to read the rest...

  2. Very,very good parallel. Made me think alot differently about what some of our kids have went thru. God is so good. It is amazing how they can heal after such a thing. I pray for your family often. Blessings!

  3. Ahhhh I just did RAD training for our adoption and this is just what I needed to see. Real people do this. God is in control. I need to read "The Connected Child".
    My thoughts in no particular order, lol.


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