Friday, August 30, 2013

The Battlefield of Attachment (Attachment Series~Post 2)

If you have not yet read the first post in this series, we recommend you start there.  It lays the foundation for this one.
NO CHOICE (Attachment Series~ Part 1)

All our children and their situations have been drastically different than each other.  Ben's story travels its own path.  It's not well lit or pretty.  There are no sparkling fairy lights. There is just a tiny baby boy.

This story is written with a lot of guesswork in piecing together facts and hints we have of his past.  This is not a factual biography, but cacophony of knowledge, reasoning, and stories we have to piece together what it MIGHT have been like.

His newborn hands were wrinkled and curled. The sweet scent of baby did not linger as it should have.  Hands shied away from touching him. 

His face seemed a little flatter, his ears small...a larger space remained next to his big toes.  This little smidgen of a man had Down Syndrome.  This tiny wee bit would be penalized for no choice of his own.

The smell in the crib where he laid lingered and was fetid.  No one wanted to touch the discarded.  Some, though they didn't want you to know, were afraid.  They were fearful of some unknown element being passed to them or their children.

So he was a crib day after day.  His cries like a nagging hum in his caretakers ears.  They would turn their backs, opening up a magazine. 
Healthy Attachment
Broken Attachment

Feeding time came with exactness each day... as a bottle (sometimes even a beer bottle with a nipple attached) was placed in his mouth and propped on the side of the crib.  The hole in the nipple was made larger so the mixture would pour down his throat instead of be sucked dry.  It was not uncommon that he  would find he could not swallow fast enough and his already urine soaked crib would be soaked with what little nourishment he could get.

Years passed like this, not days...years. 

Occasionally they'd put him in a pen with other children, all rocking as their needs were never met (having learned not to cry).  Scars would remain from some of these moments...teeth marks...scratches...

His nannies filtered through...changing... since this was a job providing for THEIR families.  They were familiar, but he learned quickly not to expect them around.  They would disappear without warning.

Nanny #1: 6:00am to 2:00pm
Nanny #2: 2:00pm to 11:00pm
Nanny #3: 11:00pm to 6:00am
Nanny # 4 & #5 worked weekends
Nanny #2 was approached by her neighbor about a job opening she had heard of.  The job paid more and though she worked at this orphanage for a year and a half, she quickly quit and a new nanny was needed.
Nanny #4 heard of an opening in another group with better hours.  She took it.  Another new nanny came on board.
It was a job.

Even the children around him changed.  When they reached a certain age they were transferred to another "group".  There were several, so few stayed together. 
He had not moved groups, because (even at five years old) he was unable to walk.  He stayed in his crib.  In his room lay a little boy contorted, thin, dying...his future brother whom one day he would meet in Heaven.
His teeth slowly rotted in his mouth.  The smell...the smell was rancid.  This little boys mouth was black and smelled like rotten garbage.  It always hurt but he was used to the pain.  His body was covered with rash, as the moistness never left and he laid there for hours...days at a time. 
Once in awhile a nanny would come that would smile...that would care.  There were just too many though, too many needs for her to do more than touch in passing.
After five, six, seven years...small...left in his crib to make him (and his size) easier to manage...he stood.  He had been practicing.  His weight was tiny, small...about the size of a 2 1/2 year old at seven.  His pushed and tried....until he stood.  He stood at seven years old.
One day everything changed.  His whole life shifted like a puzzle piece locking into place. 
Yet as the ground shifted underneath him, our Heavenly Father still touched him with His love.
The ground crumbled underneath him, as he was placed in a car with several other almost silent boys.  Only guttural groans were heard. 
Hours upon hours were driven.  Children vomited in the stuffy car, motion sick.
After many hours they pulled up to a huge (at least they looked that way) slightly dented... scuffed green gates.  The sounds frightened this little boy...yelling, screaming, thumping.  A nanny disappeared for an extended length of time as papers, turning over the boy's custody, were signed.
They were now inmates of an adult mental institution.
 This is just the first part of Ben's story.  It's easy to see the cycle of broken attachment. 

*A child hungers, but no food comes.  His/Her belly remains empty. 
*The food poured into the mattress, the smell lingering. Urine and feces soaked clothes need changing. No one comes to clean up the mess.
*A child wakes up scared.  The scent of a nightmare remains.  They scream, wale, no one comes.
*The nannies change unpredictably.  The child never knows what is next.  They learn not to care WHO cares for them, as long as what limited care they can expect happens.  Their need for consistency is not met.
*A child is sick.  Their fever either passes or they die.  Only occasionally does illness warrant attention or hospitalization.  Even then they are left, soaking wet and hungry, in a hospital bed.
*A child needs stimulation, no stimulation toys, no talking.  The child's needs are not met and they turn in, hurting themselves...pinching, biting, sucking on their tongue or finger until raw...any stimulation (even negative) is sought.

 Each child's story is again, different.  Yet, the attachment cycle remains the same.  From a newborn on, a cycle of attachment is created, needs are met or ignored and connections are made within the brain itself.  A child with healthy attachment is created or a battle for the very connection that SHOULD HAVE come at birth is born.

I was once told, "Oh, all kids attach."

There are many prayerful and battle weary moms that will tell you, "We sure hope so." 

Knowing what many of us know, that is why we join the Battlefield of Attachment.  We know not all kids do.


This is not meant to scare families off and make them reconsider adoption.  It is meant to arm families, because in adoption you are given a battlefield AGAINST the master of lies.  He HATES adoption.

Adoption is Biblically founded...GOD founded.  We are adopted sons and daughters of God.

We are broken too. Our FATHER loves us and wants us to turn to choose attachment instead of turning our backs.

When you join the adoption and attachment battlefield, you join the army on the right side.  We might not know the outcome, but we know whose side we are fighting on.


This is the second 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.

"For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves."  1 Peter 2:15-16 (Happens to be my verse of the day today.)

"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

Please pray for our friends the "A" family as they have an appointment today for their new blessing with a Neurologist.  Please pray that the information is discovered that needs to be and that GOD's plan is able to be put in place to help this little one.  Also, please pray for little Hagan (previous post) who just had emergency spinal surgery.  Please pray for quick and complete healing with no complications.  Please, finally, pray for our close friends who are having very serious health issues that the doctor has yet to resolve.  Please pray this new treatment works and the attacks from the master of lies stop against this family.

Ben has hit a wall with learning NOT to do a couple of behaviors.  We would appreciate prayers for a break through.  It has been rough as of late, worth it...but rough.  Last, a different child is struggling and could use prayers for sensitivity toward others.  Please pray also that 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~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 comment:

  1. Oh, Kat...I'm praying, I can sense your weariness..SO SO hard..I can't imagine. Know I'm lifting you up and praying for rest and peace in your heart, in Ben's heart and in your whole family! And you've probably seen me talk(in endless rambling;P) about Isagenix products, but Carolyn Twietmeyer and Tracie Loux both give the shakes to their kiddos with down syndrome to make up for poor nutrition, etc..let me know if you want to try's pricey, but this stuff is SO good for Carolyn too, but she sees some great results with her newest..(((HUGS))) friend, you're not alone!!!


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