This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Monday, November 23, 2009

23 November 2009

It's hard to believe that we've been away from home for 23 days.  And we've been a family for 20 days!  As our 30-day cohabitation/adjustment period starts to wind down, there seem to be many things to be done.  We have medical and vaccine appointments this week, there is still so much of Curitiba to experience, we're hoping to squeeze in a trip to Iguacu Falls, there's a once-a-week craft fair that we want to spend some good time at, and Thanksgiving and two birthdays to celebrate... all before the end of the month.  

We had a meeting with our social worker, Daisy, today.  She visited with the kids for a little while in our room (see picture of all the kids piled on the bed).  We also spent some good quality time in the pool--no fighting or bickering.  Everyone was happy.

We started a new family activity today with hopes of training our children in the way they should go.  So far, we've written three scripture memory verses on cards (in English and Portuguese, of course) and are encouraging our children to learn them by heart.  They are doing quite well, and even Brayan can recite Psalm 118:24 in Portuguese.  We're also working on the very pertinent 1 John 4:21 and Deuteronomy 6:5.  Next up is Ephesians 6:1-3.  Maynara loves the Bible.  In fact, we're discovering that the best way to pull her out of a funk or rage is to read scripture to her or tell her that "the Bible says."  Sure is challenging us to know our scriptures.  So far, everyone seems pretty motivated to memorize the verses we've written out.  OK, so there are star stickers and cookies involved, but the point is that they're learning God's Word, right?

9 comments:

Julia said...

Twenty days?! Wow, from the spectator perspective that went by SO FAST.

And how beautiful to see your children setting the Word in their hearts.

Brent said...

It is not possible it's been 20 days.. really? WOW..

What your readers really want to know is what is the tooth fairy paying out these days :) Tee hee..

Love from the Hixsons!

paolita said...

Hi Fulltons,
I am a seasoned limiar mom who's been where you are. My husband and I have adopted 2 children (can't imagine more than that) I appreciate that your experience is exciting and obviously part of God's plan for your family. I do however want to give you a heads up in regards to parenting children with trauma and loss as opposed to birth children who have not experienced neglect and abandonment. Trust me, I am not gonna judge you because I made the same kind of mistakes with our adopted children and so has every other adoptive parent out there.
I just want to tell you what no one told us or other parents I've met when they first got their kids. I would like to guide you towards resources and materials that have made a huge difference in our children's lives and ours. Remember the "test" you guys were "studying for" there are trick questions on it!!! Please let me allow you guys to look at my notes (7 years later).. Check out these books and these sites...
http://www.center4familydevelop.com/ , http://www.abcofohio.net/hurtchild.htm , http://www.danielhughes.org/
The books that you NEED to read are:
Creating a capacity for attachment; Parenting the hurt child; and Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children.

paolita said...

Continued...
I know you don't know me but I have been right where you both are and I know that with God's help you will find the strength to do the right thing when you "just know" what your children need but it goes against everything other people expect you to do. Follow your instincts to protect your children. Be prepared to be misunderstood or told you are over protecting or over reacting. Ignore them!! God gave YOU these kids because he knew YOU were strong enough.
Until you read those materials I have to give you a few urgent steps to take to lessen the impact of the traumatic experiences your children are going through right now although they can't express it or show it.
LESS IS BEST - avoid (outings, gifts, crowds,toys, parties, too much intimacy) Traumatized and abandoned children cannot accept all of this. It is too stimulating and fear inducing. They fear they will not be deserving of it or that it means they have to be perfect to earn more and the pressure is too much.
BOUNDARIES - (must only touch/be with parents, not well meaning others)(all new people they meet /get hugged by, etc.. are causing terror and doubts about who will "take" them next) They need to learn what family means.
PLAIN AND CALM - what is exciting and fun for regular children or unleaded kids !! :') is too much for kids with loss and trauma... Calm, simple time spent together is the most they can handle and that is still overwhelming.
SUPERVISION - The children need to be watched at all times. The children will do very terrible things when you are not looking. They are just angry and afraid. They need to push your love away to avoid getting hurt again. PLEASE keep them safe from themselves and eachother. It will save you a lot of grey hair. Don't be shocked when all of those beautiful clothes and toys and things in their new rooms get "accidentally" destroyed and/or peed-on. They are showing you in no uncertain terms that they are AFRAID... Don't take it personally but just take the stuff out before it happens. Less is best! Give it to them a little at a time.

paolita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paolita said...

Continued....
BE PROACTIVE - assess the situation and predict/plan to avoid chaos. If you think it will flop, don't do it. Always predict outcomes and have a plan A,B,C ready with enforceable consequences; That don't concequence you.
IT'S ALL ABOUT CONTROL - They want it, but you gotta get it! Every little thing they do is about gaining control of every situation and taking it from you. Just know that and remind them of it often even over the smallest issue.They are anxiety ridden and think that gaining control will keep them safe and reduce the anxiety. It's not healthy don't let them. Do let them know that you are strong enough to keep them safe and will protect them. Tell them this over and over. It may take them 10 years to believe you. Believe me it makes a huge difference.
IT'S ALL ABOUT TRUST - They don't trust you. It will take time and counteless tests...

paolita said...

Sorry the comment was sooooo long but in case you think I'm a fruit cake and never read my blog again, I wanted to try and tell you both as much as I could to try to give you the wisdom and advice I wish someone had given me and countless other adoptive parents out there.
May God bless you both and your children as he teaches you about his plan as you experience his love more deeply through the journey of building trust and attachment.
Adoptive mother of 2 boys ages (8 & 11) and 2 Bio girls (16 & 13)

The Princess said...

Just as God always does, God sent you what you needed when you needed it. God sent you Paolita. Awesome!!

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my new grandchildren and, even though you think I am going to be the naughty grandmother, I had already recognized that you need to be the authority and that less would be more. I didn't know why this was important, I just felt it im my gut. And Paolita addressed the reason.

Praise and thanksgiving for the "You don't know me..." people who have a burden on their heart to help others in their challenges.

I will have a lot of years to be the naughty Vovo!!

Amor,
Vovo

Pat & Heather said...

Another answer to prayer! I'm thrilled to hear that they have a Biblical foundation to grow on. Love and continued prayers, Heather