Verse of the Day

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Updates for Months 18 and 19

What? We're moving?

Yes, it was quite the surprise for all of us... Dear husband received a totally unsolicited job offer--- a job he just couldn't turn down. The decision itself was a pretty easy one to make; the new position offers my husband a unparalleled opportunity to use his God-given medical diagnostic ability in a much more dynamic and creative way. The only issue was moving--- and moving quickly, I might add.

So after careful thought and much prayer, we left our relatively quite life in a self-contained community and moved an hour east--- but it may as well have been across the country. The atmosphere of our new community is beautiful, but it is radically different and quite upscale. We made the decision, packed, and moved within four weeks! It was crazy busy, but really positive. We knew that the Lord was providing direction and opportunity; all the "doors" flew open and we walked through all of them with relative ease. We were blessed to find a large home with a pool (the pool took much of the "moving pain" away); we were blessed to have been at the end of our lease in our current home; we were blessed to find a new church the first Sunday we attended a service. When it's the Lord's will and timing for something to happen, He will surely bring it about!

The most difficult part of the move was the uneasiness some of the children experienced. Thankfully, our yearlings have been home almost 19 months now, so the fear was not too debilitating. The kids had some expected times of anxiety and hyperactivity, but really nothing unusual. I was really quite pleased with their ability to adapt so quickly to a new environment and surroundings. I suppose when you've been through as tough a thing as international adoption is, moving an hour away is not too unnerving.

I imagine the key to my kids' adjustment is simply that they have been home long enough and they feel safe and secure. They trust us to take care of them, and to listen to and acknowledge their anxieties. I still remember the agony Miss B. went through years ago, when we did move from one state to another. Poor discombobulated Miss B. had only been home for 3 months. THAT was a difficult adjustment: Miss B. literally cried every night for 3 weeks and acted out at every opportunity. Needless to say, she transitioned well this time and set a good example for the others.

Because of the move, we have put aside formal schooling. That came at a good time for me, as my brain needed a bit of a break from the often times frustrating experience that comes with teaching English as a second language. For two of the kids, we had hit the proverbial "wall" in some of our phonics/language lessons.

The biggest educational challenge at this point is figuring out how to help my daughter with what appears to be an auditory (and perhaps visual) processing glitch. One of my sons may also have a processing issue, too, but it does not appear to be as severe.

With an auditory processing glitch, a person may have difficulty repeating what he or she hears. That person may also have poor auditory and visual memory, not being able to recall numbers, photos, sequences, or other details. A good example of this is not being able to repeat more than about 4 items at a time--- making getting through the alphabet a very time consuming and frustrating process. After doing detailed research and reading in the area of brain integration therapy and numerous processing issues, I believe my daughter and son will be helped by a variety of different modalities I can do at home. Many of the exercises we have tried are taken from Dianne Craft's work. When I unpack all of my boxes, I can pass along the materials we have started using. I do hope this will be the "thing" that helps my children learn with greater ease and less frustration.

Regarding behavior in general, the yearlings are doing very well. The bubble gum dispenser and associated treasure box system still works, thank God! And all of the kids have learned to value money and what it can be used for when managed appropriately. The kids have gone from caving to the immediate gratification of a red gum ball, to saving up eighty-some nickels before deciding what particular toy to purchase. Wonderful experiment!

Lying, stealing, cheating is at an all-time low. The kids now admit to most wrong-doings and apologizing is getting easier. Property destruction is now "normal." They all take much better care of their rooms, the bathroom, and their toys.

Food issues linger with two children. I imagine those issues may be very long term. Severe hunger does leave an evil and hard to forget impression on a young soul.

Any negativity with the kids mainly stems from my still unrealistic expectations as to where the kids "ought" to be at a particular point. Fact is, they are socially younger than their ages; I need to remind myself of it all the time. I also need to remind myself that when they do act out, I can't take their behavior personally. I need to engrave that point on my forehead!

In hindsight, I think the 18 month marker is really a major turning point for post-adoption adjustment. By this time, you've pretty much sorted out behaviors, personalities, and other idiosyncrasies--- in yourself and your kids. Life is much more relaxed and enjoyable; interaction is more natural and easy. Time heals. It is so important to be patient with yourself and your children, and to keep learning. The Lord will show you what He needs you to do and who He needs you to be for your kids. It all takes time, and a surrender of doing things a certain way. It requires you to love in a way you've never been challenged to before--- to love passionately, decisively, and with a determined spirit to never give up and always give more.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the move!
    My eldest son is diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder and apraxia of speech. We participated in brain state training - the company is based out of Scottsdale. It was a huge success in treating my son's speech apraxia and really helped with his APD. I would love to talk with you about it if you're interested.
    Glad the family is doing well and CONGRATS on the NEW JOB! woot!