We have been home a week and a half and so far things are going well. I will not get into the details of Rosie's past because that is her testimony to tell. I will tell you how adopting a teen is different. First of all she is very independent and capable which makes it a bit easier to help her adapt. She really is a remarkable kid. She has been through so much in her 13 years but she is still so full of hope and thankfulness. She has a tender heart towards children and really seems to have connect with Zeke. She seems to enjoy having older children in the house to play with. I can't imagine how overwhelming this must be, new language, new friends, new family, new foods, new culture. She is able to keep in contact with friends in Bulgaria through facebook. This is good for her because with so much change she still has a lot of the familiar. I have told her a lot that time will make things easier. She has her sad moments and even some angry moments, but most of the time she is good natured and smiley. She loves to give me giant hugs. Last night she looked for Dad to give a hug good night. We are currently working on learning some English. This will be a slower process than I had anticipated. We are doing lots of gesturing and google translate has been a lifesaver! I think the hardest part is conveying how we do things normally and what our morals are. When it comes to clothes, music, videos she is used to things we do not allow. A friend said it perfectly when she said you spend years protecting your kids from the world, then you invite the world into your home. She is very understanding and listens and we are lenient for now on what she is doing. It is much more of a give and take process with a teen than it is with a much younger child.
What God has taught me through all of these adoptions is redemption is always uncomfortable. For the child getting used to being accepted into a whole new way of life. Its very uncomfortable at first. They don't want to offend, but as a child they do not always know how to act, think and feel. They can not shut off their past when they walk through the door. Their is a way they have done everything, a world they have experienced, sin that has hurt or entangled them. You see the desire as they adjust to do things well. You see them watch those who have been here longer and with a jealous desire sometimes they wish to be that far. You see those who have been here longer see how far they have come as a new child enters our home. It gives them a tremendous sense of belonging to see that over time they have morphed into a true part of the family. That all those moments they had felt like they had messed up, done it wrong, upset a parent or sibling, felt unlovable nothing had changed and through that they became a solid member of our family. It wasn't easy, nothing is especially when we talk about a situation that starts off with a child being given up for adoption.
It is like that with salvation. I first watch Christians as they went into God's house. I had this jealous desire to be part of it, though at the time I did not fully understand. After I first became a Christian I wanted to do so well and please God, I wanted to do it perfectly. But like our children, I couldn't just leave my personality, sin, past, habits at the door. I messed up over and over. Many times I wondered if God would give up on me, if the church would roll their eyes at me. Yet just as I promised my children time has a funny way of changing perspective. I started realizing I knew more than I though, I started seeing God redeem me despite my mistakes and failures. I watched God take me from a spiritual orphan to a child of His own. Every year that passes I have more and more to look back on and see how God has changed me over and over despite my best efforts to thwart it! It is always uncomfortable to change, but in the end I am closer to being who God made me to be. So if you are in an uncomfortable spot, don't fret, God will work despite us! We are adopted and redeemed.
For anyone who thinks I have it all together....
2 weeks ago