tears, tantrums and tummy troubles

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oh my! That's an ominous title.

But friends, I want to be real with you. I want you to know that even with the easiest of adoptions, there will be difficulties.

Why is that?

Because we're adopting human beings here...little persons who sometimes (or often) sin.
And not only are they human beings, but they are human beings who have experienced trauma, in the past, and who have just experienced trauma by leaving the place that they know and entering into a whole new world.

Oh how I wish that I would have understood this more completely with our first adoptions! Tantrums brought me to near breakdown, and I took many of my childrens' outbursts far too personally. I was more concerned with how I might look, than with helping to heal their little hearts. I was always trying to catch them up (emotionally, physically and socially), rather than appreciating how amazing and brave they were for coming through such intense trauma with so many wonderful qualities!

Up until this past weekend, this little angel boy has displayed hardly any of the behaviors that are so common with adopted children.

But then Kaikai got sick (serious tummy trouble--he threw up on the dog!). And then, he didn't sleep well for two nights. And then, he was g.r.u.m.p.y. on Saturday. Everything and everyone was "very bad" (his words--yay for learning so much English already!) and he had a couple of full-fledged tantrums. He was tired of feeling yucky and tired of not being able to communicate his needs to us.

Whew! It was a loooooong day.

But friends, even though it was difficult (and I will admit, I hid away in my room for a half-an-hour when I was in serious need of a break), I look back and know that it was such a good day! We overcame some real difficulty and came out on the other end with Kaikai being a little more sure that we will love him no matter what. I truly consider it an honor that God has entrusted David and I to help our son to heal from his past wounds. What  a privilege to partner with God to pour love out on this little man!

Most days it is easy (and I am sooooo grateful for that!). But, at the end of a difficult day, there is the satisfaction of knowing that Kaikai's life is being redeemed, that he is learning how to love and trust us more and that we are being formed more into the image of Christ, as a result. 

Thank you, Jesus, for wonderful days! But thank you, also, for days that involve tears, tantrums and tummy troubles, because those days help our son to trust us more, and they help us to trust You more.

Oh my goodness!
I LOVE adoption!


Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion if you live in an area with other Chinese students or adults. Sometimes it helps to have a Chinese speaking person communicate with the newly adopted person and their family to get some things "ironed" out and ease some of the frustration of not being able to communicate. Another adoptee mom, who had teen-agers had Chinese student come from a local university to help the family and young adult smoothe
out the transition. Kaikai is beautiful, and you are an amazing,vancouver,wa.

Sarah said...

MM, thanks for your comment. I love receiving input from others, and I completely agree! We have two good friends, who are Chinese and speak Mandarin. Kaikai has met one of them and she plans on continuing his Mandarin education. We are so grateful! Right now, I do not think that he has any pressing deep needs that he can verbalize. He's just frustrated with not being able to communicate basic things to us sometimes. But, I know in the future (maybe the near future), the relationships that we have with these friends will be invaluable!

James, Dawn and Family said...

Luv your honesty!

Peter and Nancy said...

Your words here are wise and true! The rough days often help bond us together as much or even more than the easy days. And I remember even being grateful the first time our daughter got sick -- finally, she would learn that she had someone to care for her in the night and respond to her needs quickly.

The dog?! That's a new one for me! :o)

Sally-Girl! said...

Good words for me to recall a few months from now!!!

Rebecca said...


Angie said...

We met you guys in Guangzhou. We stayed at the same hotel and saw you most mornings at breakfast. I traveled with my mom, 10 year old daughter (Chinese) and had just adopted a four year old blind girl. I enjoyed your post today. I have been living that reality the past couple of days with one of our adopted sons! Thanks for the encouragement.

Aus said...

Great stuff - simply I'll say thanks - thanks for "getting it". Parenting a "hurt child" (and what adopted child is not?)isn't always easy - but it IS always rewarding - in particular when the child learns the one thing they've been lacking - when the learn to "trust"!

hugs - and prayers for continued strength and successed (and for the dog to get a bath!;) )

aus and co.

Cheri said...

Isn't it amazing the things we learn as parents over the years! I wish I had just an ounce of the knowledge I have now when I first started out as a mom all those years ago.

Adam Schrader said...

I thought I would chime in with regards to having a Chinese speaking person spend time with him. We brought our daughter (age 7) home right before Christmas. She too has done really well but of course we have had our moments. Our daughter has not enjoyed communicating with any Chinese adults and seems to shut down at this. We have even had the adult reassure her that she is just spending time with our family and not taking her away. So, for us that really hasn't worked the way we hoped. We did use google translator and that helped a lot! We have been home now for almost 2 and a half months and it is amazing how well we communicate now.

Adam Schrader said...

Sorry, I meant to say right before Thanksgiving we brought her home.

Sarah said...


So great to hear from you! I pray that things are going well with your new daughter. I'd love to stay in touch!

Bless you!

Sarah said...

Hi Adam,

Our daughter, Grace, was the same way. She didn't want any contact with anyone who spoke Chinese. When she had been with us for a few months, she said that this sweet older Chinese couple were going to take her back to China and that's why she wouldn't talk to them.

But Kaikai seems to like to speak Mandarin with my friend. Every child is different, aren't they?


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