Monday, November 29, 2010

Adoption Interview: International Adoption with Terry, Part II

Terry graciously continued a little of her & Ruth's story for us. You can read the first part here.

We adopted Ruth at 25 months old, from Russia. She is now 10, and has been with us for 8 years. We are blessed!

I was adopted myself, as an infant. Mine was a domestic adoption. In some ways, I can relate to Ruth and some of the things she wonders about and struggles with. But there are also some differences. My birthmother made an adoption plan for me. She knew I'd be going to a loving home. Ruth's birthmother didn't make a plan, didn't know that Ruth would even be adopted. (Only 10% of the orphans in Russia get adopted. The rest live their lives in orphanages until age 16, when they are released. Most then turn to lives of crime, if they survive at all.) So I'm sure Ruth will have to process some things that I never had to deal with, related to her adoption.

She does have some issues still, after all this time. I wouldn't say they are adoption-related, though. They are more related to being born into poverty, poor prenatal care, and spending the first 2 years of her life without parents.

She has trouble learning. She's been certified as learning disabled, and she has an appointment later this month with a neuropsychologist, to find out if it's ADD, and if so, what kind. We will also be told the best ways to help her to learn. Ruth has issues with low enamel on her teeth. She has issues with sensory integration. She also cannot tolerate being alone, even if her dad and I are just in another part of the house. She has trouble feeling safe.

But it's my honor to help her work through all of this. I am her mother. It's what I do.

She also has an uncommon compassion, and has for as long as we've known her. It was very unusual to see a 2 year old with that kind of compassion! She doesn't like to see anyone or anything suffer, and wants to alleviate the suffering. I think it comes from her own suffering. Instead of making her bitter and hard, it has borne in her compassion for others, and a love of helping.

It's hard knowing that my child suffered hardships most American adults have never even known, and all before she was even 2 years old. It has left its scars. Sometimes I wish she hadn't gone through that. But then I remember that without her birthparents' genes and those early experiences, she wouldn't be the amazing person she is. She's incredibly resilient. And I know that she went through that to prepare her for God's special plans for her. I have to trust God with that, knowing that He has it all in control, and that He holds her in his hands. 

Thank you, Terry, for opening your family to us!

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