Today we are going to meet Kathy. She shares her story about the challenges that came in her life through adoption. Maybe you will find your story within hers. May you also find hope and encouragement too.
Adoption has been a true dear to the heart passion for you and your husband. You have adopted four times domestically and internationally. What were the ages of your children when you adopted them?
Our first son was a domestic adoption and he was 3 days old, next daughter was International adoption and she was 23 months, then another international adoption and he was 16 months, our youngest daughter we adopted as a domestic adoption at 9years, 11 months old.
Certain adoptions pose different challenges such as age range, living in an orphanage or foster home and even second chance adoptions. What challenges were you faced with?
I think all of my children have had many challenges and still continue into adulthood. My daughter adopted from Ukraine was institutionalized from birth. She was diagnosed with emotional deprivation. She was unable to give or receive affection for her first year, and her emotions were always guarded, and she continues to struggle to this day. She has struggled with making deep, lasting, trusting relationships. My boys both had issues related to delays in learning. There is no way to know if there was a direct correlation to their adoptions but I imagine so. Our daughter who was adopted at 9years 11 months, as an interrupted adoption, we were the second family that had adopted her since she was brought to America from Russia when she was 5 years old. Her primary diagnosis was attachment disorder. She was put in a Russian orphanage at age 4, adopted and brought to America at age 5, was treated for attachment disorder, and the family felt as though they were no longer able to handle the challenges of keeping her in their home. They had a list of issues that they claimed were were so severe that they had made a decision to have her institutionalized in the state the family was living. We intervened and adopted her. We have had many challenges in parenting her. I could write a book with her challenges alone. I think another challenge for adoptive children that is greater than for biological children is the question of identity-Who am
Adoptive children typically don’t look like anyone else in the family – it becomes obvious to them at a young age that they don’t fit like biological children. My older son had a lot of interest in knowing things about his biological parents. Sometimes information about an adoptive child’s biological parents leaves them feeling disappointed as often the parents have lived a less than praiseworthy life, which was the case in 3 out of my 4 children. With my kids we tried to steer them to God. Their essential identity is found in what God says about them. Point them to Christ. Continue reading
When we think of “parents with a teen in crisis” we immediately come to the conclusion that mom and dad are involved. However, there are also thousands of single moms and dads who struggle as parents too. One such parent is my friend Lynn. I asked her to share with me some of the difficulties she has endured as a single parent with a teen in crisis. We pray that you will find encouragement through Lynn’s story and that you are not alone in your single parenting journey.
Were you a stay at home mom or working mom when you noticed your daughter’s issues? I am a working mom who works from home and also cared for my mother who had health issues. Both of my daughters now are ages 21 and 23.
Each parent with a child in crisis has a story. Can you give me a little background of how you became aware that your children were dealing with a serious issue? While my oldest has had anger and insecurity issues due to a divorce, it is my youngest that has been most concerning. In her senior year of high school her grades began to drop, she spoke of hating school and had friendships end. I later came to find out that she was sexually assaulted by a football player who trapped her in his car. She told no one. To cope, she began experimenting with drugs. She chose to attend a city college (which was a good move) but in her second year, I began to see her breakdown emotionally little by little. At the end of the year, she broke up with her boyfriend of 2 years, told me she was bi-sexual and began living a wild lifestyle. She went skydiving, had her septum pierced, began losing weight rapidly, out at very late hours of the night, and clearly came home wasted. My daughters and I are very close, are able to have transparent conversation and purpose time together. So, not only was I trying to deal with her behavior, she shut me out of her life; I was a roommate of insignificance. When school started again in the fall, she was having difficulty focusing, and tried working two jobs. In January, she confessed she felt there was something mentally wrong with her as she began pulling out her hair and cutting herself. She agreed to go into counseling which lead to a psychiatric diagnosis of bi-polar. She is on medication and continues seeing her counselor which is helping her work through some core issues. Continue reading
She was 16, pregnant, and involved in a relationship with someone in their twenties. When asked why she would be with a man who obviously didn’t care about her, all she could say was, “I could never leave him. I love him. Yes, he has hit me. But I’m okay with that.”
The young man was sweet and caring. He would do anything for the girl he loved. However, he also was willing to allow her to hit him, curse him, threaten him, emotionally manipulate, and humiliate him in private and in public. Yet, his love for her would remain. Continue reading
Everyone is in the Easter holiday spirit. It’s that time and season in which you bring out all of the spring décor and clothing. As you rip into the closet or boxes in the basement, there you find tucked away in the corner is your child’s Easter basket. Memories take you back to when you filled it to the brim with all sorts of goodies for your little children every year for the Easter holiday. It looks disheveled and old now with colored shredded grass poking through the weaved basket. As you gaze upon it, tears begin to flow. Those were the happy days. You didn’t have a child in crisis back then like you do now. Continue reading
How many times do you think you should have been fired from your job as a parent? Your teen is out of control, getting in trouble or having a meltdown. You step in to pull it back together but find yourself making things worse. Maybe you added to their problems. Maybe you gave the wrong guidance. Maybe you weren’t there when they needed you the most.
We can beat ourselves up over and over and be left with extreme guilt, shame, and a teen in crisis like ever before. You say to yourself the following words… Continue reading