Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Gotcha Day Isn't a Dream Come True

Gotcha Day, the moment every adopting mom longs for when the child you have been dreaming of, praying for, and aching to hold gets placed in your arms. Forever. That moment, you assure yourself, will make the months of paperwork and the thousands of dollars worth the sacrifice.

Realistically you know the actual moment may not go the way you dream, but a mom can hope, right?

On our gotcha day, I was handed a scared 2 1/2 year old who wanted anything but a new mommy, especially one with blond hair, blue eyes and who spoke no Chinese. She cried hard, desperate for her foster momma, and eventually cried herself to sleep in my arms.

The days that followed were more of the same. While my husband made progress with Suhn, she continued to reject me. She would laugh with her daddy but if I attempted to join in, the wall would go up and the light would leave her eyes.

Logically I could understand her resistance. Through my reading and conversations with other adoptive moms I knew I was not alone, but rejection hurts, even when it is not personal. I wish I could say I only responded with patience and love, but instead my own wall started to go up.

The weeks and months that followed were hard. When we returned home our daughter warmed up to me, but the wall I had started to build did not evaporate overnight. I learned firsthand that attachment and bonding are processes that take time.

During our first dark week in China, a friend and fellow adoptive mom left a comment on my blog that has stuck with me, “In the darkest moments I once in a while remember that I would still do this all over because it is right.” I cannot tell you how many times I reminded myself of this truth during our first months with Suhn. When I didn’t feel love for my daughter and wondered if our relationship would ever be normal, remembering that adopting her was right helped me through. My feelings could not be trusted, but God could. He had called us to Suhn. Regardless of how I felt, I was 100% committed. She was my daughter.

Little by little, the walls came down and the love I pretended at some days became real. I cannot put into words how blessed I am to parent Suhn. You hear about the “miracle of adoption,” and it’s true. Adoption is miraculous and allows humans to experience a piece of God’s love like nothing else.

But it is also hard, and messy and gut-wrenching. If you experience the hard-side of adoption, know you are not alone. Show yourself grace, look for moms who have been there, and lean into the arms of God.

He understands. After all, He is an adoptive parent too.

This article taken from http://www.momlifetoday.com/2010/11/when-gotcha-day-isn%e2%80%99t-a-dream-come-true/

Family Life: Mom Life Today - Check our this site for more great articles related to National Adoption Awareness Month

Friday, November 12, 2010

November Focused Fellowship

Focused Fellowship is a wonderful time of sharing the ways God has stretched us via Adoption/Fostering. We will have a short devotion, spend some time in prayer and have lots of time to talk. This gathering is not limited to Bethany families so please encourage others to attend! No matter what stage of considering/doing fostering or adoption our prayer is that the time we spend together will encourage you.

When: Monday, November 15, 2010

Time: 7:00pm - until we are asked to leave or your husband needs you home. (just kidding - sort of)

Place: Monica's home @ 1111 W. Burnside Drive, Peoria

If you are attending and would like to bring a snack to share just let Monica know. There is no RSVP needed.

Any questions you can contact Monica or Amy, or simply leave a comment on this page and we will get back to you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

8 Ways Every Christian Can Care for the Orphan and Waiting Child

PRAY for them
• Sign up for Bethany’s Orphan Care Prayer Ministry at: www.bethanycentral.org/ministries (orphan care)
• May is National Foster Care month. Bethany hosts an annual prayer vigil.

PROVIDE for their needs
• Sew a quilt or security blanket for area foster children- due December 1.
Contact Charlotte Beck at 444-7071.

SUPPORT those who support them
• Mow, baby sit, or take meals to foster parents. Pray with them and tell them you appreciate what they do.
• Encourage a family adopting an older child by hosting a shower for them.
• Sign up for Bethany’s Meal Team to assist foster and adoptive families when child(ren) come home. Contact Michelle Hahn at 444-5161.

PROTECT them from harm
• Become a foster parent or emergency foster parent. Contact Amy Park
at 266-1635 or Monica Lonergan at 303-7965 for more information.

VISIT them where they are
• Go on a mission trip to an orphanage. Look for details when Bethany
lists 2011 mission trips.

GIVE sacrificially to them
• Contribute to an adoptive family to help offset their costs. Families with
Adoption Funds at Bethany Baptist are: Marvin & Sara Streitmatter,
Steve & Jennell Dietz, Gregg & Kris McClelland. At Bethany Community: Philip & Charisa Ausfahl, Mark & Michelle Hahn, Brian & Jennifer Entner. Contributions are tax deductible- and can be sent to Bethany Baptist.
• Contribute to Bethany’s adoption ministry general fund, used to give
grants to Bethany families that have been through a screening process. Contributions are tax deductible- and can be sent to Bethany Baptist.
Contact Lisa Schwarz at 383-4270 for more information.

ENCOURAGE them to press on
• Become a mentor or tutor to a teenager in a foster group-home.

ADOPT them into your family
• Give a child a home through international, domestic, or foster care adoption.
• Adopt a young adult who has aged out of the foster care system.
• Every Spring and Fall, Bethany offers an Orphan Care Bible Study to help you discover what God says about adoption and caring for orphans.
Contact Jerry Sanderson at 692-1755 for more information.

• Bethany’s Focused Fellowship provides encouragement for those walking through the journey of fostering and/or adoption. Ladies meet the third Monday of each month at 7pm. Contact Monica Lonergan at 303-7965.