In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Julia School Discussion Follow Up

I feel like I've come across rather negative lately, but that is not my intention with this post; it's just to shed a light on attachment or trauma issues that most people do not understand. The reality is that adoption is born out of some level of trauma, especially for any child that was adopted older than new-born. Amazingly, Julia was my youngest adoptee, yet by far we have definitely struggled with difficult behaviors more with her than anyone. I actually think the reality of three homes (her African home, the orphanage and us) the first year was much more traumatic than it was for my other three that were a bit older when they suffered the transitions. My struggle to help Julia led me to utilize the public school for the first time at the end of last year, not because I wanted space from her, but because I realized that the more structure she had, the better she did. 

She did fairly well this summer, until the last few weeks. I think her three weeks of summer school and our swim team routine helped her immensely. It has been the last few "free" weeks that have sent things back into a tough pattern. 

I have to make sure you realize that this isn't her all the time, sometimes she is as pleasant as can be, but the power struggles are generally incredibly irrational. Today we did about an hour straight of screaming and crying because I wouldn't pay her a dollar to swim. We had a treat stop today at the store in honor of Julia going to her Sunday school class without crying, which is only an issue when JD doesn't go with us. I only paid for Julia and Elijah's treats, since that is what allowance is for. Later, after a few hours of whining, because Julia wanted to go swimming and no one else did, I told James that if he would swim with her, I would pay for his today treat. At that point, Julia wanted to be reimbursed a dollar for her treat (that she didn't even pay for) and started demanding a dollar to go swimming. When I refused to pay her to do what she wanted, we had a rough hour of screaming and crying. She refused to let me hold her or read to her or even go swimming; just cried and cried for that dollar. 

I was actually inspired to write this post today by a comment that an online friend (that I hope doesn't mind being quoted) left me. 

I was very judgmental and anti-government school until we adopted too. Part of it was all the government involvement and lack of privacy that goes along with adopting part of it is learning to appreciate what schools have and can offer that I can't. It is good to live in a country with access to education. I'm thankful to read how you are hoping to do what best for your special needs kids as I am figure out how to do what's best for mine.

My motivation is to help others understand that I (and many like me) have been pushed to consider options that I would not have considered with my first batch of biological children and to be compassionate if you know people like me :) 


  1. Walking this walk right alongside of you. :)

    The youngest of our 3 adopted children is also the one with the most attachment related problems.

    We, too, have crying/screaming fits that last an hour or two . . . over completely illogical situations or conversations.

    And, after 21 years of homeschooling all 12 of my kids . . . we put our Little Miss into school last spring. It was definitely what she needed.

    Keep seeking the Lord for what is best for each and every one of your children. His plan is always best, even if it is something we NEVER thought we would do. :)

    mama of 12 (ages 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 19, 21, 23, 23, 25, 26, 28)

  2. I sure don't mind being quoted but I would have proof-read it first! Ha, ha! Oh, well. I'm glad you were inspired. :) By the way, you inspired me to go with dread locs for Ana's hair too. My goal is to have as many positive and cheerful interactions with her and the time and stress required to undo and redo her hair just was not beneficial to our relationship. Her hair is so short right now so I just did mini twists and will keep working them into dreads. I feel like it's such a major commitment but it will be good.