Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Post-placement thoughts

Well we had our first post-placement visit on Friday morning with our social worker. (She did our homestudy back in August, and once a child is placed, you have to have three follow-up visits with her.) I was pretty nervous, wondering if anything would seem wrong or if there'd be some red flag with the boys' behavior or something (yes I'm paranoid.)

The social worker only stayed about an hour, asking various questions about their development, transition, etc. and then also observing them. Anyway she sent me a copy of her write-up, which included this near the end:

Isaiah and Ezra are thriving in their parents' care and seem to be
forming strong attachments to family members.

So the boys apparently seem to be emotionally healthy and doing well considering all they've been through. Yay! The fact that they are thriving is truly a testament to three things.

I often think about the love they must have received from their birth mother. According to some documents we have, they were about a month and half old when she took them to the government office to put them up for adoption. The first weeks and months are so crucial for a baby, and I don't know for sure, but I am betting this woman loved on her baby boys the whole time she had them, due to the fact that they never showed any signs of neglect or malnourishment whatsoever.

The second is the institutionalized care they received in Ethiopia. They spent the first year of their lives in institutions and yet somehow have managed to remain pretty psychologoically healthy. That is not to say that there won't be challenges along the way. There is definitely still "attachment work" to be done. But these boys are rambunctious, sweet, funny little guys that are able to let us know their needs, yet are able to be comforted by us, and who already show signs that they are attaching. I'd say that is good evidence of good care over the last year. They were definitely adored at Layla House; we couldn't go anywhere there without a worker or child coming up, going "Yosey, Binny!" giving them kisses, etc.

The boys' doing well is finally a testament to (and this is the most important thing!) God's profound love for them. He has been loving them, providing for them, keeping them in His care for the last year plus. I have to admit that I get really sad thinking about all the things I've missed out on with my sons already. I feel so sad that I wasn't always there for them. But God was there the whole entire time! Before I even knew we'd be adopting at all, God was watching over little Yosef and Biniam, meanwhile preparing Kevin and Anna and I to be their family. He protected them from harm, from disease. God knew them and loved them and knew the great plans He had for them (Jeremiah 29:11.) I praise God that those plans included us!

Just last night Kevin and I were reflecting on the things that make us long for Heaven, and about how we don't always think about that all that much. I said that the boys' story (and knowing that their are millions upon millions of stories like that) makes me look forward to the day when there is no more pain or suffering, when we are present with God. It is tragic to me that a young woman who lost her husband and who is HIV positive herself must give up her two precious sons because she knows she can't provide for them. I find it tragic that due to these circumstances my sons had to leave their culture and country, and that they will never know the woman who gave them life. BUT, what an amazing promise that God will turn our mourning into dancing, and that He will work all for the good of those who trust Him.

So I praise God that our sons seem to be doing well in their new environment. I praise Him that even when our boys had no mommy or daddy, they had a loving Father who was caring for them and loving them and who would eventually bring them to us. I'm thankful that even though my sons have experienced more loss already in their little lives than I am sure I ever will, that God will work out His plans and do something truly beautiful with their lives. He knows their loss, their hurts, their pain. My hope for our sons is that they will come to fully rest in God's peace and sovereignty, and have great confidence that God knows the plans He has for them, to give them a hope and a future (Jermemiah 29:11).

Finally, I've always loved Psalm 139.
"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in
your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had
That chapter of the Bible has taken on such new meaning for me now. It makes me so excited to think that I get to be part of God's plans for Ezra Yosef and Isaiah Biniam!


shells said...

What encouraging words-I have had a long two days and just remembering that God is more in love with Ben and my other child than I am helps calm my heart. Thank you for speaking your heart!!!

Brianna Heldt said...

I had to remind myself of that a lot while we were waiting too, and I figure it's something that as adoptive mommies we'll always have to comfort ourselves with.

Keep hanging in there Shelley--God will continue to give you the strength you need for each step of the way!!!!


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