After the Airport
on September 6th, 2011
displaying most recent 100 comments
- September 16th, 2011 at 10:44 AM
Oh Jen, I admit this post leaves me rather undone. As I sit between the first of two trips to Ethiopia to pick up our two adoptive children, my heart races when I read your words. I pause and take a deep breath. I so appreciate your candor and your faith. It is terrifying... but God is still present! In the midst of my fears and my anxiety, I must cling to him. I was encouraged by a verse from Lysa TerKeurst's blog the other day: Isaiah 58:10-11, "IF you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strenghen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Praise be to the Lord. Thinking of you and your new "garden"!! Megan
- September 16th, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Thanks for sharing this experience. We adopted three siblings from foster-care. We call this the "zero to chaos" method of having children. What we do is definitely therapeutic parenting, and after a friend referred me to this post, I will definitely be sharing it with others. Blessings from a fellow exhausted momma.
- September 16th, 2011 at 3:44 PM
What a blessing that you are so willing to say what so many of us need to say or at least hear. You hit the nail right on the head! Thank you for your words and encouragement!!! SOOO Many need it!!
- September 16th, 2011 at 4:22 PM
Well written. Thank you for the honesty.
- September 16th, 2011 at 5:41 PM
Been there dear one with a daughter adopted from China. It has been 12 years and I had a actually forgotten believe it or not some of the roughest stuff until reading this post but I am here to encourage you. Today she is a very well adjusted, well behaved, smart CHRISTIAN 18 year old that I am very proud of. We spent many hours on our knees and God was faithful to carry us through! Hold on my child JOY comes in the morning! And thank you for your honesty it would have helped when we were newly home to see that others were going through tough stuff too. Praying for you all.
- September 16th, 2011 at 10:48 PM
Thank you so much. We are 6 and 9 years after the airport and the days are still tough, still as you describe at times. Our girls came to us with hurting hearts. But they are healing. Praise God. Thank you so much for what you wrote here. You filled my heart up and I was feeling very empty tonight.
- September 17th, 2011 at 4:05 PM
Oh, I needed this today and judging from the three hundred other comments so did alot of others..Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
- September 18th, 2011 at 2:29 AM
I am planning on having a terrible day today, as it's exactly one year after losing my youngest child. I needed someone to tell me right now that He doesn't leave me or forsake me.
- September 18th, 2011 at 12:42 PM
As a pastor's wife, school teacher and mom in the process of adopting, I commend your honesty! You are doing an awesome job. We will be going to get our four year old in Jan/Feb from China. I hope many people read your post, especially those out there that will be there for families "after the airport" I am ready and can't wait for the challenge. We have to be willing to live the call.
- September 18th, 2011 at 3:53 PM
We have 4 children, all adopted from foster care, the 3 youngest at one time. How I can relate to the days you are living now. The tantrums have been intense at times. But 18 months later after the 2nd adoption, we almost feel like a whole family. There are hourly reminders of where our children have come from and what they have lived, but they are quieter reactions and less frantic in their fears. I pray God's healing love will pour all through Remy and Ben and that they will begin to know and then to believe in forever.
- September 18th, 2011 at 9:17 PM
Amazing. truly amazing! So so true. You have said it so well. Lord rescue us from ourselfs and give us new life!!
- September 20th, 2011 at 1:44 AM
Got this link from my sister, who is adopting four from Ethiopia - oh, man, oh man, oh, man. Anyway, AWESOME post, you have an obvious gift for writing, thank you for sharing it and YOU with all of us - so very encouraging in a weepy sort of way.
- September 20th, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Wow. Wow. Wow. So well said. We have two biological kiddos and two from Guatemala. We waited a year for our daughter's adoption. She was a little over 2 when we brought her home. And we didn't even make it through the airport experience before our honeymoon was over. I could not understand why this child I had prayed for that year was so very difficult and why I felt so very defeated. (Yet we did it again a year later) Since then we have had lots of ups and downs. And probably now are to the point of more joy than sorrow. But it is hard. I never want to discourage adoption. But I feel like I need to be upfront, if anything to let unsuspecting adoptive parents-to-be know that they have an ear when the honeymoon is over. Adoption has some special challenges...no doubt. And some very special blessings. Anyway, all that to say thank you for sharing!
- September 21st, 2011 at 10:11 AM
Hi Jen! Thanks for sharing your heart so rawly and honesty, it is a true blessing and we join in praying for your family. We just brought home 3 older children from ET and wanted to let you know that I found our daughter will eat most anything I make with this base... saute chopped onion in oil until soft, mix in 3-4 TBS berbere(ET spice can be ordered online), add 2 TBS tomato puree and salt. From there I've added whatever the family was eating that night...chopped chicken, ground beef, fish, potatoes and cabbage, rice mixed with ground beef. She gobbles it up with hamburger buns. I hope that might help you and others as it seems to give them some comfort.
- September 21st, 2011 at 10:52 AM
I guess I would say to anyone who hasn't had their "airport day" yet, it's probably better for the child(ren) if tons of guests aren't there waiting at the airport. Probably much less stressful for the the kids to keep things very quiet and low key in the beginning.
- September 22nd, 2011 at 1:25 PM
This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your life so that others can know there are others out there going through the same thing. Thank you for sharing your problems so that brothers and sisters will know how to pray for you. Thank you for opening your home and heart to these two precious children. I pray God's blessings and healing on your entire family.
- September 23rd, 2011 at 12:14 AM
Great post on the reality of life after the airport. Our first two months home, Mar-May, 2010, were very rough, the unintelligible screaming, turned what had been I suppose an idealistic adoption into a nightmare, as our son came "not as advertised", misdiagnosed. Since we had no idea either, nor could our child's physician tell us, there were plenty grasping of straws.
The effect on our daughter home for two years was rough as well and at some point she downloaded on us new things from her past.
I say all that to say thank you for telling the world that post adoption is not all bunnies and bonnets, trucks and space men. It is work, as demanding as many vocations, if not more.
However, I would also say, while my children needed me, I needed them as well. God has used them to mold my life in near and different ways into the being He wishes me to be.
- September 23rd, 2011 at 7:34 PM
AMEN sister!! Thank you for understanding and for speaking the truth in love! It is SOOOO important that we don't over-romanticize this process!
- September 24th, 2011 at 11:51 PM
You know EXACTLY where I am. Reading your post was God-timed tonight. Thank you~
- September 25th, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Amen! This is really wonderful. And having been through 2 adoptions I am totally using your "after the airport" as a description now.
- September 26th, 2011 at 12:30 AM
THank you, Sister in Christ. I am in tears after reading this post. I have one adopted son and we are praying earnestly right now about the possibility of adopting a little biracial girl due in Jan who lives in PA. (Throw up a prayer for us to hear God's call by Mon Oct 3 when we talk to the birthmother on the phone for the first time). We live in San Diego, CA and moved here from sweet Home Alabama (I am guessing you are a southerner from "tee tee" (no one says that out here like we do) to plant a church. So, your post really blessed me as I have felt so isolated and lonely and in depression many times since moving here 7 years ago. I also have a "bestie" (you are an awesome writer , by the way) who's adopted 3 precious miracles from Ethiopia, and they are for sure in the "after the airport stage" right now. You TOTALLY described their lives right now. I forwarded your post to them, and cried as I thought of the depths they are in right now. She just cried out to our community for prayer and help. Thank you for blessing me (and our adoptive parent friends the Phillips when they read your blog post that I just forwarded to them). May JEsus bless all 5 of you! I am grateful that GOd ordained that I read this tonight! Bradford Greene Phelan (Mama of 3 little miracles:) )
- September 26th, 2011 at 4:50 PM
This post absolutely mirrors our experience 100%. This was the part about adoption that NOBODY told us about beforehand. We adopted a then-7 year old from Beijing China and immediately after getting home started experiencing EVERYTHING you just described (including intentional peeing on our floors out of rage).
Nearly 3 years later, after much learning, much therapy (for both us and kid) things are light-years better but we're still dealing with it. "Relapses" can be triggered by the most subtle or barely noticeable or confusing things without even an unpredictable moment's notice. And although we're less exhausted, we're still exhausted. STILL.
The one thing we found the most helpful was neurofeedback, although outrageously expensive and not covered by our insurance. Although it hasn't been a "cure" it has calmed things significantly.
Wishing blessings for growing peace, calm, and joy to all of you sharing this path with us.
- September 26th, 2011 at 6:49 PM
Beautiful post - thankyou.
- September 26th, 2011 at 9:18 PM
We are almost one year after the airport...and truly understand the valley that comes after that mountain top. This blog was recommended by another adoptive mom...another mom who also stopped reading mushy adoption blogs because she felt like a failure when she compared them to her family. The same way I did. Thank you for love and honesty on this blog. Thank you for helping to validate a 'new normal' that isn't like any of my close friends' 'normal.'
- September 27th, 2011 at 8:32 PM
Incredible post. I love the way you expressed these oh-so-true truths!!!! We are almost exactly one year post airport, and I feel like we are out of the trenches with both our boys. It DOES get better! (so be encouraged!) And now that I've already forgotten how hard "labor" and "infancy" was with our adoption, we are ready to jump back in again. My fear is that we might not have it quite so easy this next time around...that the trenches will be longer and deeper. But knowing that Christ is our sustainer and equipper makes all the difference...makes me ready to dive in head first...regardless of how hard it may be.
- September 28th, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Wow! I just found this blog and I have been struggling with honesty vs storybook....we haven't yet brought our twins home but the fundraising has been sooo much harder than I ever anticipated and I don't want to have my "complete honesty" come back to haunt me....but since we *have* adopted before and I truly know what you are talking about, I do know that this is actually wonderful for adoptive parents to hear...both prior to adopting and those that are down in the trenches that feel alone. It is HARD! There is no way around that, and sometimes I wonder why I am doing this again but it is worth it and our Heavenly Father wants and needs us to do it because I can only imagine if I were in the children's shoes and how I would hope that someone out there would care enough to help me....and stay by me and love me *even* if my behavior wasn't great because I was so scared or traumatized! Thanks for posting this!!!
- September 28th, 2011 at 5:17 PM
I thank you for following God's call to share your life and love.... God can so handle your honesty and it encourages and reminds me that everyone struggles and that even though the adoption process is hard it is well worth every tear, heartache and trial that comes our way. My husband and I started looking into adoption in February 2010... since then we finished our homestudy, all the paperwork, background checks and more paperwork.... and had our 1st step completed in spring 2011....Now we wait.... I think this is so hard, but God's plans are so perfect, " B e still and know that I am God." we cling to this and the knowledge that if he brings us to a situation he will lead us through. My prayers are with you and your family and blessings for sharing your story.
- September 28th, 2011 at 8:55 PM
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for writing this!!!!!
So many things I could say - but I'm sure they've already been said to you... so I will just leave it at that:
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
and God bless you and your family!!
- September 30th, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Our three African adoptees have been home for 4 yrs now, but I will never forget how hard that first year was! Liberia is an English speaking country and yet we didn't understand a single word our middle adoptee said for the first several months. The 2 yo's diapers were so toxic and so explosive, I could barely wait to potty train him, so I did it way too early when he didn't understand a thing about being wet and dry. When our three had been home for a week and we had a big family get-together, we were verbally judged for not giving the 2 yo a second piece of cake when he started crying for one. No explaining that his digestive system couldn't handle it would ease their disappointment in us.
My only grace was staying in the Word all day. "Pray without ceasing" became very real. If I wasn't in God's Word WAY more than normal, I wasn't making it. I learned over and over that my only righteousness is through Christ. He is compassionate, I am not. He is patient, I am not. He is gracious and consistently loving, I am not. But I can be all those things when I depend fully on Him. Glory to God.
- October 3rd, 2011 at 9:29 AM
Very well said!
We are at the 19 month mark..... and yes, it is better. We only have melt downs once a day instead of 6 that last up to 5 hours at a time.
We have struggles every day, still..... but it is 200% better than it was even a few months ago and yet I still mourn the loss of peace and tranquility of old times, but I wouldn't trade these kids for anything.
- October 6th, 2011 at 1:02 PM
We are only one month "after the airport" and I had 2 friends email me a link to this post as an encouragement, which it was. So many people only want to hear the "rainbows and sunshine" adoption stories, so it has been a struggle to help others understand that our son is grieving. Thank you so much for being real and honest. I would like to link to this post and quote part of it (with proper credit of course), if that is okay.
- October 10th, 2011 at 10:48 PM
My "After the Airport" is post divorce...without children and dancing around 40 years old...5 years later. Most of the time, life is great. God has blessed me with a wonderful opportunity to minister to women who are hurting. I have a great job. Some days, though, all I can see is the empty house that I don't want to come home to another day. You are right that most people don't want to hear the real story...all they want to hear is that I'm fine. Thank you for blessing me with tales from a REAL life...knowing that we all have our moments of gloom makes it even more blessed when we have our moments of vast joy. God indeed will never forsake us...for that boring FAKE family!
- October 11th, 2011 at 9:03 PM
Hi. I met you on the plane. I was going to go get my daughter. We sat with you in the airport in Addis on the way back and had water. We were on your plane going home and you were there for court. This is completely God. I talked to a friend of a friend at a wedding last weekend in NC and she told me about your blog she knew about from a friend. She sent me the link on facebook today. I started reading it and then saw your pictures! I'm going nuts telling my husband that I know you. I would love to talk with you sometime. If you are on facebook, please friend me. I love your honesty and feel encouraged.
- October 15th, 2011 at 9:36 AM
- October 17th, 2011 at 6:00 PM
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! We adopted 3 out of foster care, and there are days I sit in the bathroom and cry--we finalized 4 years ago and they are 8,7,
- October 21st, 2011 at 5:25 AM
We are "after the airport" 4 1/2 years with our first (adopted at 12, now 17) and almost 2 years for our second (adopted at 14, turning 16 in about a month). I can't count the number of times people have asked "How's it going?" and I've smiled and said "They are so great," when I wanted to just curl up in a ball and bawl.
They are the two most courageous young women I know, but it's been tough trying to shepherd them as their wounds heal into scars that will fade but never be completely gone. Thank you so much for your honesty and the encouragement and community that you have created.
- October 21st, 2011 at 7:29 AM
Just found this from Rage Against The Minivan. Great post! We live in Haiti and just finally finished our daughters adoption last year in September. We brought her home when she was two weeks old in February 2008 and had been doing paperwork for 7 months before that.
Our daughter loves books and stories etc. One book that I got before we welcomed her into our home was "Over the Moon" by Karen Katz. At the time I liked the simple message and the bold pictures, and that it talked about international adoption. In the last 4 years our paperback copy has been replaced with a hardcover gift from a friend who had no idea we had the book already. I'm grateful because my daughter likes it a lot and the paperback was pretty much trashed. Just the other night we were able to talk about the last lines of the book, "Forever and always we will be your Mommy and Daddy. Forever and always you will be our little girl." Another good book a friend gave us was "I Love You So Much". Its just a kid understandable way to look at the love of a parent. I can ask my daughter, "How much do we love you?" and she responds with "Way, way more that you know!" :)
- October 21st, 2011 at 10:24 AM
you brought me to tears.
- October 21st, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Thank you so much for your candidness and honesty! We have not even experienced the "airport experience", but are at the very beginning of this journey. PLEASE keep being real and honest for those of us who need to learn as much as possible.
- October 21st, 2011 at 3:06 PM
What an excellent and honest post! Thanks for encouraging all of us to find people in our communities who need our encouragement. It is an much needed reminder!
- October 22nd, 2011 at 12:14 PM
I am scared because if/when I adopt (in many years, I'm still at University), I will be doing so without any backing of a belief in God. Sometimes I wish I hadn't lost my faith and I hope it doesn't mean that my future children will be worse of. But I can't pretend to believe in something I don't.
Anyway, please keep writing because I'm learning so much and the more you write, the greater my conviction somehow. Thank you.
- October 23rd, 2011 at 6:13 PM
this is beautiful, true and touching to my very soul. thank you for writing this and hugs to you as you travel the beautiful, hard, road you are on...
- October 24th, 2011 at 2:17 AM
Thank you for being so honest, I have one biological son and two adopted sons, a girl and a boy. From my experience the beginings are quite hard and being parents is an extremely hard work, but things slowly become better and better.
- October 24th, 2011 at 9:30 AM
Oh so right!!! We disappointed our friends and relatives and only let one person meet us at the airport. Which Made us unpopular but the transition easier. I'm most definitely in that place of being "down" wrangling with my Radish for 10 years now, finally seeing progress in less defensiveness, less temper tantrums, pee hitting the toilet, but the stealing is now on the rise. You ask yourself "Will it ever stop." And people look at you funny and judgmentally because they think you are unfair or too harsh. When all your doing is protecting your child's health or keeping your child from breaking out into disruptive behavior in the middle of a GOOD time.
One thing I have found is even if you are honest and tell people your miserable they TOTALLY don't get it! so we smile fake it and hide in our bathrooms crying our eyes out. The world needs to understand Adoption isn't always a win win for the parent.
- October 25th, 2011 at 7:59 PM
We are 2 years "after the airport" with our 4 year old and 4 months "after the airport" with our 20 month old.
THANK YOU for this post. I no longer feel alone.
- October 29th, 2011 at 10:10 AM
This pretty much describes all of what I 'fear' about having an adopted child who's older (when I finally do) but what I have never read as a concrete fact from anyone else. Thanks! It's definitely not a deterrent because these days will pass, but it's a breath of fresh air to know that the expectation of this kind of thing is not irrational!
- November 5th, 2011 at 8:22 AM
Jen...you are beautiful and have such a gift with words. I have read several of your posts now and discovered your blog through a friends page on facebook. I can not read your entries without tears in my eyes. So many of your feelings, maybe not for exactly the same reason, ring bells in me. It is so wonderful to meet a REAL mommy out there. We ARE allowed to lose our tempers, and have bad days, wish our children in school and CRAVE "me" time. We are allowed to be HUMAN!!!! I have PCOS....my oldest whom I was blessed enough to give birth to is now 9. We continued to try again for another birth child. After years of me wading through bitterness we decided to adopt out of the foster care system and are in the process of adopting to beautiful babies....10 and 5 months. They are the joy of our lives....most days. Dealing with a drug addicted baby straight from the hospital is NOT always a joy. It just simply is not. There have been tears...I think more from me then her. She would scream for hours and there was nothing we could do to comfort her. And then along these few months we find out we are pregnant after 10 years....I am due in March. So yes...i will have 3 children under the age of 15 months. Am I happy, of course. Am I blessed, of course. Am I OVERWHELMED at the thought....MOST DEFINATELY and I'm allowed to be. I am allowed to be frustrated and wonder how I am going to deal with all of this. I have to give myself permission to be REAL....thank you for confirming for me that it is ok and that even though i know this is what is meant to be and that everything happens for a reason, it is allowed to be a rough ride. It doesn't have to be perfect.
- November 5th, 2011 at 5:34 PM
Ohmy. I haven't even read all of your post, but I have to get to the bottom
- November 6th, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Thank you for your honesty! Thank you for sharing your journey. The body of Christ is AMAZING!!!
- November 9th, 2011 at 4:53 PM
Someone just shared this post with me. We will celebrate our 2nd year anniversary as a family tomorrow with our two adopted "older" children (from Ukraine). Thank you for this post.
- November 9th, 2011 at 8:43 PM
What a very honest post. I am tracking with you all the way. I remember once cautioning another mom about adopting to "save" a child. I suggested that adoption should come out of a desire to be a parent. She was totally offended, but it needed to be said.
I envy your support system. When we came home with our (then 3 year old) daughter six years ago, there was no welcoming party at the airport, no showers or gifts for our princess. No visits, no meals, no nothing. In the small country church we were in, it was like it hadn't even happened. In hindsight, I think they just thought we were totally crazy at best.
We have not had the prolonged struggles that you have had. She adjusted very well almost immediately, but there were a few hiccups. I think that now, six years later, we are facing more hurdles than we did early on. We homeschool, and she is a struggling learner. I suspect some attention issues and we have finally given in and elected to seek some help. That has been hard for me. I thought we could find a way without outside help or *gasp* medication. There are subtle issues around food and eating rearing their head. Most difficult to take is realizing that her attachment to us is tenuous. I think the technical term is incomplete.
I know for sure that I can trust God with all of it. I keep on running to him and asking "what now?" "How do we face this challenge?" Sometimes the answers are not easy, but he always answers.
- November 10th, 2011 at 12:25 PM
We are 9 years after the airport with two from Russia. Thank you for being the voice of truth for the outside world, as well as the voice of support for those of us in the throes of this in our everyday lives. Your authenticity and honesty is so appreciated!
- November 18th, 2011 at 2:04 PM
oh my! the first post i have ever read of yours! wonderful wonderful wonderful! i fundraise for special needs orphans and am so excited to find you. much love jane xxxx oh and i also have 3 beautiful children, my eldest with SMS so I know the moments you speak of so well! xxx
- November 21st, 2011 at 6:34 PM
I am not alone afterall............oh how comforting to know that there are others who are in the thick of this fight too. Even though I too, would do it all over again, there are days that I am sure I can't keep going, and if I find pee in one more corner I will go absolutely crazy. Thanks for sharing our reality, you are brave and I needed this so much right now.
- November 22nd, 2011 at 7:41 AM
Amen. Living "after foster care" and thankful that His mercies are new every morning. Thanks for saying it so well!
- November 22nd, 2011 at 7:56 AM
We are almost 5 years home from the airport with our little traumatized and abused China angel. We also have 4 bio kids. I get every single word you wrote and I get every unspoken, unwritten word you still are holding onto. Thank you for being real, it is the only way we can all really help eachother through it....we'll always feel like the "only one" if we're all too ashamed to admit the reality of it all. It's hard. It's really, really hard. But it's also good. Really, really good. Thanks...and prayers for you and yours.
- November 22nd, 2011 at 8:37 AM
We are 4 months after the "airport" in foster adopting our 16 year old. Thank you. You have blessed me in so many ways and put perfect words to the insanity inside me. I wish I could memorize your post to tell those who have said to us "well, you choose this". We did and we would do it again but I have never been so exhausted in all my life. "Please Be My Strength" by Gungor is played way too much. Again...thank you, thank you, thank you.
- November 22nd, 2011 at 9:23 PM
What a difficult beauty you share. Today I pray for you in your continued challenges and blessings.
- November 23rd, 2011 at 12:36 AM
Thank you for your truthfulness! It's refreshing! We adopted 2 children (2 years and 1 year) ourselves (already had 3) and I felt so alone. My neighbors acted like they hated us because we adopted special needs kids. There is no exhaustion like these kids...my youngest now is 27 and still lives with us. It's so much easier now because he's an adult (sort of...still plays with Happy Meal toys in the bathtub) but we still deal with his being mentally disabled. I just wanted you to know that there are so many of us out there who have given are all for these kids and even though it's been hard and still is, our growth in the Lord Jesus is phenominal.
- November 27th, 2011 at 7:30 AM
Jen, this is a great post, and a great reminder that the community might not understand what you're going through unless you are brave enough to be honest about what you're facing. Also, I think you need one of these: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8916942/The-latest-in-Wii-technology-video-game-urinals.html
- November 29th, 2011 at 9:20 AM
I needed that today.......God bless you:)
- November 29th, 2011 at 11:10 AM
I am sure my comment will get lost in all this, but thank you. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for writing what I wish I could write. Thank you for giving the reminder that He is always there. The Lord never fails, and He has brought many brothers and sisters into His family that support each other as we each follow His leading in emptying one more orphan bed. Thank you.
- November 29th, 2011 at 1:17 PM
i have a couple of questions for you and would like to email you privately if possible. could you send me your email address? thanks, we are 10 months "After the Airport" but seem to be struggling more lately.
- November 29th, 2011 at 6:10 PM
Thank you for your honesty and perspective! I often feel exhausted and defeated... in addition to crazy because we'll probably adopt again. And of course feeling nostalgic for the simple life with two bio kids... and then guilty for thinking it. Amazing how many emotions can invade in one small hectic moment.
- November 29th, 2011 at 11:26 PM
This isn't exactly the same thing and I haven't read through all the comments but Jen, your statement about the Forever Family really struck a chord with me. Our situation is the daughter-in-law our son brought into our family who's been through somewhat the same (again not exactly I don't want to imply that at all) things as the children and wasn't much past a child really when we got here, so I feel we're dealing with much the same things. I hate to say it took a while for us to see his choice as ours - again, not quite the same, since we didn't choose her and he didn't ask us first (not that as a adult he's supposed to but I'm not sure any of us realized how much we'd all be affected, that is, if we chose to allow ourselves to be out of our love first for our son because of his love for his wife) - to accept her as a forever part of our family (as opposed to as much as we've said we'd didn't believe in divorce dealing with feelings of wishing the marriage would dissolve - there - I said - is that bad? that's honest - but that's where what you say you believe meets the road of do you really, doesn't it? - of coming to realize why we had on our hands what we did and were we willing to step up to the plate for what she needed - in this case, really, parents just as if we had adopted her, because in reality she really hadn't had any and needed and wanted them so badly but just as you mentioned Jen, also so afraid she would be abandoned again - and yet, here we were, almost willing to do that to her again - but God - oh, those words - but God showed us He brought her into our lives to show her Him and that's made all the difference - this is the path He's led us down - I'm not sure He could have done it - for us - any other way - but we've embraced it and it's been amazing to see what He's doing. Thanks so much.
- November 30th, 2011 at 12:43 PM
absolutely totally true, my daughter is as yours and even 5 years later she has a level of anxiety you can not describe to those who have not seen it and lived it, it gets better every day but when you start in a hole a million miles down, it takes a long long time to see the light at the end!! you said what many feel-excellent post!! It is so worth the very long struggle.
- December 1st, 2011 at 6:21 PM
We never went to the airport. Our story started with a foster home right down the street. It doesn't matter where your babies come from, they all go through the same thing. My son was 4 and had been burned, beaten and tied up and left on many occasions. He is now 12 and truly my very best friend. It's a long road from there to here, but one I wouldn't trade for anything. I have 4 biological daughters and two adopted sons and there is truly no difference in the maternal instinct. The first week with my first son was the calm before the storm the three weeks that followed I cried everyday to God to five me strength. What a blessing it is to know that God knows us better then we know ourselves. Thank you for sharing your story, I have never spoken with other adoptive parents and its reassuring to know that their are people out their who love children enough to weather the storm long enough to make up for humanities mistakes and show them true love and give them a family. I am truly in good company!!!
- December 4th, 2011 at 12:27 AM
Amy, at first I thought you were talking to me, your comment seemed to fit so; until I realized I hadn't said anything about that only related it to Jen's situation but that's exactly the way I feel about our situation; even today we went through something that nobody can understand that, like you said, has not seen and lived it themselves, but it is encouraging to think that it does get better every day cause some days it sure doesn't seem like it but your description is so apt - you are starting in a hole so far down it does take a long time - that's why she wishes we'd started climbing a long time ago and so do I and I remember we tried at least as best as we knew how at the time but couldn't seem to get anywhere then and now it seems we're further down so the climb is longer; just hope I can keep her believing it's worth the struggle; right now she doesn't and wants to just give up! I know this isn't mine and I'll go wherever but I needed to respond to this comment - so thanks so much
- December 5th, 2011 at 8:00 PM
I enjoy what you say! You are a good writer. You should write a book about your experiences. God bless you!
- December 7th, 2011 at 2:39 PM
Back in May, my Mom died leaving three boys, 11, 14, and 15 for us to raise, some 11 years after our own kids grew up and moved out to college and life. I found your blog yesterday and have read your posts through tears of laughter and relief that I'm not the only one....
God love you and bless you
- December 10th, 2011 at 7:35 AM
Amen, sister! I have lived those dark days you describe and come out the other side. May we all remember to be there for each other "after the airport". For us, it was with a 9 month old, and no one would believe that a 9 month old could grieve and have RAD and disassociate like she did. Everyone blamed me as her mother. It was a painful, painful time. But today, she is a lovely, happy, healthy and well adjusted child of 12. Praise God!
- December 16th, 2011 at 7:49 AM
AH, Jen. I have tears, tears, tears and I have not even adopted. We all have so many "after the airport" moments as parents, and days we fake a smile and say we are "fine" when we are not. This post makes me grateful I sent the flowers yesterday to 2 struggling friends/sister and will push me to do the things our Saviour would do today for my teenage daughter and to be kinder to my other 3. Please keep writing. I will be a forever reader. Just breathtaking words. You have such a gift and you are such an inspiration. Hang in there with your new son and daughter. The light will come.
love and hugs from Connecticut
- January 2nd, 2012 at 3:19 PM
Beautiful! And so true!! I wish I had read that 20 years ago and realized that we our family was almost normal!
- January 30th, 2012 at 3:01 PM
I love your honesty, Jen.
- February 6th, 2012 at 1:53 PM
I just found this post and have read your blog once before. We are considering adoption from Uganda in the next year and I am so glad God brought me to this today. The Fake Family is what I have been telling my husband about for the last few weeks, so I am glad I am not the only one with one of those! We cannot ignore the opportunity and challenge God may be putting before us, but I like to walk into things with my eyes as open as possible. I know a lot of it is going to be a faith walk, but I so appreciate you putting things into words and expressing my feelings. Thank you.
- February 24th, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Jen, at the encouragement of Marla Taviano, I am reading your book 7. Bought it on Kindle yesterday. As I began reading, I realized that you had also written this blog post, which I read some time ago. I cannot tell you how important these words are. We are 7 years past the airport and still dealing with so many things with our sweet girl. The adoption community doesn't talk about this and because it is somewhat verboten, so very many people find themselves in need of help, unsure who to ask and very, very lonely. Thank you for telling the truth. Thank you for saying that struggling is a part of it, that you still believe in this calling but it is not easy. So many people, myself included, NEED to hear these words. I am grateful for you.
- March 9th, 2012 at 11:51 AM
xxxn(JUST saw this ) :)n
- March 11th, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Thank you so much for this! Two years ago we went through this, and we're on our way to adopt again, and I get scared, thinking, "can I do it all over again?" Thanks for encouraging me!
- March 14th, 2012 at 12:17 AM
So, true! I live in Mexico and my husband and I have 15 kids - unable to adopt because of the country's laws, but have legal guardianship and are Dad and Mom to all of them - plus our three biological kids! No "airport moments'- they have come home in all different ways, but the rest is all so wonderfully (horifically) true! And God is sooo good and He adopted me! Praise Jesus!
- March 20th, 2012 at 5:28 PM
Thank you for posting this! We are still in the pre-airport phase, but will soon be moving in to the 'life after the airport' phase with the little girl we are working on adopting from India. We are trying to read and learn everything we can now and be completely honest with ourselves about what life will/could be like. I truly appreciate your honesty openness, it is exactly what we want to read!
- April 10th, 2012 at 1:01 PM
I have been in the "life after the airport" for almost four years and I can totally relate. I will say that I do see progress daily, but bringing home an 11 yr. old - now 15 and taking drivers training has not been a light task. My husband and I have become the best of friends through it and lean on each other but always on God for understanding. I don't think anything can quite prepare parents for the task in which God has drawn them to throughout adoption. The best advice I can give to anyone is to "take it one day at a time". Because it can be overwhelming, exhausting, and I've even wanted to quit! But know that tomorrow will be another day to start again and pray, pray, pray without ceasing!! My only hope is that our son will come to the saving grace that Jesus is his ONLY savior! Yes he's endured neglect, abuse and abandonment, but we asure him everyday that he is loved and we will not send him back. Even after 4 years there is still that part of him that withholds from 100% trust. I suppose that's understandable. Our family
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- April 21st, 2012 at 3:16 AM
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- April 25th, 2012 at 10:31 AM
I've never seen your blog before but your honesty is such a breath of fresh air. Your description of your children's emotional fragility just breaks my heart. And the assurance that Jesus NEVER leaves us. We have 7 adopted children.
- May 15th, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I just came across your blog. Thank you for your honesty. It gave me comfort today. We just adopted twin 2 yr olds and it was so comforting to read about your 'after the airport'. I can so relate to the feelings you expressed. I was reassured that I was not insane. We have wonderful children but the days can be hard. Thank you also for the verses, I needed the reminders that God will never forsake us and is always there.
- May 30th, 2012 at 9:03 AM
Thank you! I really needed to read this today...it's amazing to know we're not the only ones and I don't need to feel guilty!
- June 1st, 2012 at 3:40 PM
I cried reading this. Adoption will be part of my story and children are undeniably central to my story, but two things really hit me hard. When you said you praised your daughter for eating a food that would help her grow, and she pushed it away... I was reminded of my dear borrowed girl A (9, but developmentally stunted due to her past), who, on her first day back with me after nearly 8 months with her biological parents, pleaded with me to french braid her hair the way I did her friend's. I did - two french braided pigtails... hard work... long work... because, you see, I am not good with hair, but I know this child loves to feel like a princess. After I was done, I said, oh, you look so pretty, and snapped some pictures. She wanted to see. She went upstairs and looked in the mirror. She came down. No braids. When I said "Sweetie, where are your braids, they were so pretty!?" She replies, face turned down, voice pouty... "I don't want to be pretty." Break my heart, sweet girl. Fortunately, since A has been in our lives for 7 years, she has built up some resiliance, and for the most part moved past the worst of the issues caused by her RAD (although there are some that I don't even remember that I'm making allowances for anymore, I'm so used to doing it).
The other one was when you mentioned someone bereaved. I lost my best friend on July 15, 2011. She was 20 years old and passed away at home, between her mom and dad, after a near six-year battle with cancer, including an amputation, an artificial leg, having 3/4 of her lungs surgically removed, infection, a stroke, a million other things. I held her hand the day before she died. I stayed all day. I didn't leave until everyone had gone to bed, but for those keeping vigil. I came back again the next day... less than an hour after she'd gone to be with Jesus. I suppose everyone expected me to be upset, that I hadn't been there when she passed, but I told them I wouldn't have wanted her to endure another moment of pain for me. Then, the first week or so, there was a funeral to plan, the showing, videos to put together, meals to make, loved ones who came out of the woodwork to give us their sympathy. Cards from friends and coworkers. That soft "How are you" - the one that everyone knows the answer that you don't actually speak - to. Then it was life as normal. Back to work. Back to living... without my best friend. I couldn't stand it. I wanted to burst sometimes as people talked about the mundane details of their lives, to say, can't you see I'm barely holding it together here? Can't you see my heart is shattered? Can't you see that I'll never be the same again, that I'm NOT okay, even when I say I am? But I didn't. Instead I sat at home and cried at night and thumbed over the bracelet I made - one for me and one for her - when her diagnosis was terminal. The other one is on her urn. I sobbed "I miss you" into thin air. And I wished someone would just reach out to me and say, I know this still hurts and that's okay, how are you? And no one did.
Thank you for posting this. I know it's months and months later, but someone linked to it on an adoption site, and it spoke to me so deeply that I had to leave a comment. Thank you for making me feel not alone today.
- July 17th, 2012 at 5:11 PM
With tears streaming down my face, please accept my appreciation for your honest words. I originally read this before my airport moment, tucking it away, knowing I would need it someday. Today is definitely an "after the airport" moment- it's only the first, and the intensity about knocked me over. Thank you for being with me, for understanding, for putting words to the emotional hurricane that is my heart. Most importantly, thanking you for reminding me that Jesus is right here with me.
- July 19th, 2012 at 1:42 PM
I've read this post many times before, during our "waiting" period. But now that we are living the "after the airport" with our two newest children, I sit here in tears knowing that every word is more than true. Nothing can prepare a person/family for what happens once home no matter how we try but your honesty rings in my ears and reminds me that we're not the first to go through this and for sure not the last. Thank you for sharing your heart.
- July 29th, 2012 at 4:33 PM
I read your article, “After the Airport” and was stunned at how it answered the questions and anxiety I was experiencing in my own life. And no I have no adopted children and as a single Mom of 3 probably won’t. And I am not an adopted child. I am an adult woman who couldn’t believe that I could keep asking God if he was going to love me, if I could stay and belong to him forever. And as much as friends and a therapist reassured me that it was so, I could not believe them until…
I read that article and recognized that I was a child who was abused and abandoned and because of that I was still having meltdowns, testing, worrying and unbelieving that anyone, even God could love me. And I have thrown my own fits daring him to love me in the midst of them. And I have tried to do everything perfect so I could belong to someone. Your descriptions explained exactly how I have felt inside for 35 years, and honestly I had to hide it cause as an adult, it felt crazy. But as you described how much you love these kids of yours, and described their reactions, and explained that this is what happens to wounded kids, well I was comforted and I believed that maybe it is true. God wasn’t tired of me testing, and trying, and needing frequent reassurance that he won’t leave me and that he loves me; he understands the wounds in me and is not frustrated with my inability to grasp these concepts.
I printed the article out and carried it with me, reading your words and finding reassurance for my heart and healing for my wounds. You gave me an understanding that I desperately needed even though I was not your intended audience. Thank you.
- October 2nd, 2012 at 3:01 PM
I love you! Thank you for your honesty and compassion...what a gift!
- October 8th, 2012 at 8:59 PM
Thank you so much for being honest! This is the first time in almost 3 years since we walked out of the airport with our 2 "new" kids from Haiti that I have felt like I am not the most horrible mother of all ages for having "bad" moments. Plastering that smile on your face and saying "we're GREAT!" I have made the decision to use my sense of humor openly and start being honest...thank you for freeing me. It's good to know it's allowed!:) Our councelor gave me your blog...I'll tell her this wednesday how much I'm indebted already. God Bless
Mary Beth Lopez
- January 29th, 2013 at 2:42 PM
I have 5 children (one in heaven) 23 year old son, 21 year old daughter, and two 9 year old twin boys. I also babysit my granddaughter who is almost 2. I just lost my beloved Daddy to cancer after a horribly painful, but brief fight of 6 months. 6 months after a life of taking care of himself, not drinking or smoking, being healthy and strong and our family's center... It still takes my breath away how quickly our lives have changed. Your article was wonderful, awful, inspiring, heartbreaking and I loved it so much! I am comforted that I am not the only one in chaos (as bad as that sounds). Not that I want anyone to suffer, but I feel so often like I'm the only one, the only "Mom who loses it", who needs time away from my beloved children who I prayed to God for, just some "me" time. Strong prayers for you and God bless you on your journey!
- February 27th, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Love this. We are trying, so so soooooooo trying to adopt. 3 wonderful bios, we tried domestic newborn route and decided after 1.5 years we really didn't want a newborn (at 41 I just don't want to go back to diapers). So we have been trying to adopt from the very,very broken foster care system. We are getting no where here either as the system wants us to foster only. **sigh** I will have my own blog post on that one. We have always felt called to the states....but it just seem like going international has less red tape. After 2.5 years....I am so over the wait. Bless you and your family on your journey. I felt Jesus all through your post.....and people need to read that. Blessings, Jennifer
- March 9th, 2013 at 6:28 PM
Thank you! We planned to adopt from foster care, and instead ended up with a complicated 18 month fostering journey. Most of the time, once they came home, I just wanted them to leave again & stop interrupting my life. I think we were just in the 'after the airport' stage, but never moved on to the forever phase. Thank you!
- March 15th, 2013 at 8:57 AM
We are in the midst of it "before the airport" and terribly missing our 3 elementary age boys at home. We've been here 9 days and I have 5 weeks and 1 day to go, but who's counting? ME! The pain of missing our children was so overwhelming earlier this week that I thought I would pack up at night and leave. Of course I didn't, but I sure as heck wanted to. I've been praying to be able to go home, if only for a few days, then return. If not, I'm praying that the Holy Spirit will go into overdrive and transform my emotions to want to stay and care for this toddler and bring her home. This morning when I woke, I felt better and haven't cried yet today--but I've been close. I guess I got my answer and the Holy Spirit is working overtime! My husband has been the rock, but he will leave for home in 2 weeks, while I remain. That will be a tough day. Thank you for your honesty!
- April 3rd, 2013 at 7:53 AM
Just read this today after I posted the following comment on my FB: "it just bugs me a little because you see all the happy happy sometimes, and then you feel like you're doing something wrong because it's not all roses and Steven Curtis Chapman song" and a friend sent me the link to your post. I just wrote my own nitty-gritty-here-it-is-lik-it-or-not post here http://this320life.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-nitty-gritty.html am so refreshed to see I'm not alone. Thank you.
- April 5th, 2013 at 12:54 PM
I've been home with our Ukrainian daughter for 8 weeks now. I can relate to some of the things in your post (not the uncircumcised part time of the story of course)and appreciate your honesty. I have 3 bio children so I'm now at 4 kids and, at times, feel completely overwhelemed with demands post adoption life brings. For some reason, going to 4 is way harder than going to two or three. My two best friends have moved so I can feel pretty lonely when I'm in such a needy state. Its encouraging to be read these posts. The Lord is using your writing to he'll and encourage others. Thank you! Here is my adoption blog if you ever want to see my little girl. God Bless you!
- April 25th, 2013 at 2:45 PM
We have been home almost 3 yrs. now from Ukraine with our now 5yr. old daughter who just happens to rock that extra chromosome. This post resonates so deeply within me it's not even funny. Just a few weeks ago, I had one of those moments where the little one was in bed and the 3 originals were watching a hockey game with us and I had to take every thought captive not to wish things back to the way they were. We already have a bio daughter with Down syndrome so we thought, "Hey, we can do this x2...what the heck!" But, Nadia's institutional behaviors as well as her global delays have me feeling at times like the day I brought my first newborn home from the hospital! Ack! Anyway, I too have seen God's amazing steadfastness in my life when I've been ready to bolt from anything that smacks of 'hard' and it's great to read posts like this as reminders to the reality of the 'hard' but the truth that we have a Saviour who has been there done that and is willing to lead me (ok drag sometimes) down that path. Oh! And I'm so excited! I just finished reading "7" and I bought a bunch of tickets to your conference here in Raleigh so I can force (ahem, lead) others to see why I find you so inspiring! God is using you to stir many hearts...and one of them is here in Raleigh, NC! Woo hoo!
- May 31st, 2013 at 4:23 AM
Families Reunited Travel Fund One in a million appeal
This is a Appeal for Donations,Volunteers, and Media Publicity.
We realize times are hard and you allready help other good causes this one simply puts a smile
on many peoples faces please help in any way you can.
Families Reunited Travel Fund is a new non profit orginization and this exciting idea was set
up by 2 freinds Andy Peacher and Bob Honecker after bob found his birth parents after 47 years
bob has had travel issues meeting his new found family so we had this idea which will help a lot
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We realized no other service exsists There are internet based and other agencies that can trace
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Families Reunited Travel Fund Needs The Goodwill and the kind hearted donations to provide much
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Travel and Accomodation for Parents and Biological Children to unite What ever The Reason for
being apart or displaced through adoption fostercare we can help People through the generosity
of your donation to complete that family bond once again.
The Donations you can provide is by cash.
We need Fundraisers Walks,Swimming,Jumble Sales,Sponsor events to name a few.
We have People Worldwide wanting to meet their loved ones after Adoption or Fostercare.
Website Owners please Place our link on your site and share Our Link Url and we will share
The birth and success of this service depends on the good will of everyone please help us to
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We need foster care and adoption agencies to support this idea and the media to show the world
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Families Reunited Travel Fund 2013 Sponsored by Freedom Talk Radio
Andy & Bob
UK 01754 868039
- May 31st, 2013 at 3:55 PM
Blessed to read this blog today. My son's therapist (a true blessing) shared it with me after we were talking about your end-of-the-school-year blog. We are nearly 4 years "after the airport" and still daily asking "what are we doing". Worse yet, we have yet to find a community to support us, so on the day I locked myself in the bathroom covered in my blood and pee of my son, everyone was "too busy" to come help. In the week we had our son in an inpatient psych. unit, the only help I got was 2 families to help with childcare for our other son. There have been tears and anger and frustration as we watch a child struggle the minefield of PTSD without significant progress. The reality is that mental illness carries such a stigma that even the church is often hesitant to touch it. So, here, 4 years after adopting our 2 sons from Ethiopia, my husband and I have become an island unto ourselves because we too are now too broken for others to want to be in relationship with. It isn't a healthy place to be, but it is what it is. Hopefully we emerge from the other side and even more, we hope to raise 2 boys that can actually be part of a family without fighting it every waking second.
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Worst End of School Year Mom Ever
Examining Adoption Ethics: Part Three
Examining Adoption Ethics: Part Two
Examining Adoption Ethics: Part One
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Examining Adoption Ethics: Part Two
Examining Adoption Ethics: Part Three
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For the Cheaters, Shirkers, and Cherry-Pickers
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Dear Trayvon's Mom
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The Easter Conundrum (Confession): Part 2
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JEN'S MUST READS: Part 1
JEN'S MUST READS: Part 2
JEN'S MUST READS: Part 3
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The Cat that Swallowed the Canary
Sisters, Brothers, and Things
By Book and By Touch
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I'm Not Done Yet
After the Airport
How to Be The Village
The Christmas Conundrum
An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
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