Friday, November 30, 2012

Leslie's Story

Thank you to all the families who shared a National Adoption Month reflection with us this November! It's been truly powerful to read the unique and personal perspectives of families who have adopted through the foster care system. 

Today's story is from a mother who shares how becoming a foster and adoptive parent is an adventure of lifelong learning,

Leslie's Story

"My family has a mission field in our home.  We have two biological children and two adoptive children currently at the ages of 7, 6, 5, and 4.  Our adoption journey with Iowa began a little over a year ago, and we've been blessed to have a foster placement and adoption finalization all in that time.  It is not without its challenges.  While we had few legal battles, we have our share of meeting emotional needs of all of our children.  People talk about how flexible children are, and while they can endure, there is still hurt.  

We try to discuss those emotions of leaving families, moving, sharing time and attention with new siblings, and kind words, to name a few, before they become behaviors.  Even in those days where everything seems to be balanced (you know, contentment, smiles, and playing together among the laundry piles and dirty dishes), we realize how fragile the memories are under the surface.

Our adoption journey has challenged us to do things we'd never dreamed of.  I now homeschool one of our sons in order to work on the attachment and behavior training that he didn't get when he was younger.   The conversations I have with my young children are some I'd never planned until my children were much older, but their history requires me to do this for them.  I have learned to discipline with empathy and words.  Not that I had ever wanted to use corporal punishment, but this gave me the reason to learn new discipline strategies.  And finally, it is a huge challenge to be a parent who has to directly teach a child to trust you.  

We've only been doing this for a year, and there are days when I wonder how I'll ever make it through.  I look up to the families who have done this for years, and especially those who continue to help child after child.  I assume the joys will bring us through all the tough lessons that it is our responsibility to teach. I delight in watching my children have new experiences as we travel with them. It is wonderful to see them learn about Jesus and his unconditional love that they yearn for. I am glad that my children will learn to empathize and serve others through what goes on in our home.  I can't imagine what other life lessons are in store for us after this first year."

- Leslie


Post a Comment