Monthly Archives: May 2013

Siblings

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My daughter, Yan, was the only child for quite some time.  However, not quite two years ago, I felt the call to adopt again but felt lead to go through our local foster to adopt program.  A couple of weeks after I became a licensed foster parent, I got a phone call.  The person on the other end asked me if I would be interested in a baby.  Though I’ve always wanted to adopt an infant, I hadn’t imagined that it would even be a possibility.  This little girl was scheduled to be released from the NICU the following week and she had no place to go.  They told me that she was medically fragile and was on oxygen.  She had drug and alcohol exposure, her lungs had stopped developing at 20 weeks and when she was born, she was given a 20% chance to live.

I was so excited that weekend, I scrambled around (nesting-yes, it even happens if you’re not physically pregnant) trying to get everything ready.  The moment I laid eyes on her, I knew.  They said it might only be a short-term placement, but I knew deep down that she was my daughter.  It took over a year and a half of fighting, and finally, about six weeks ago, I adopted her legally.  Her name is Mady and she is one bundle of personality.  She is a fighter, strong-willed, feisty and funny.  And she already ADORES her sissy.  She follows her around and stops to hug her throughout the day.

But the other day something happened that completely startled me.  I was telling Yan to do something, and she was really struggling to understand me.  There was a puzzle piece that was hidden under a bookshelf.  I was attempting to describe where it was, but she didn’t understand.  However, Mady, who just turned two last week, did understand.  She walked over, picked it up and gave it to me.  Honestly, I felt a tinge of pain.  Mady, at two, is beginning to catch onto some things that Yan, at twelve, still has trouble getting.  It hurts.

In that moment, I think a wave of fear washed over me.  I don’t want to change Yan.  I mean, I want her to learn and succeed to the best of her abilities, but I don’t want to change her.  I just felt worried about their relationship.  What happens when Mady realizes this?  Will she pick on her, or take advantage?  What can I do to help this stay or become a healthy relationship?  How do you foster a great relationship between siblings who are so different?

The only thing I am doing right now is reminding them that they are there to love each other.  They need to help and love each other.  I also find myself whispering to Mady, “You’re sissy may need your help…you can help her”.  I hope these are the right things….  Walking in faith that somehow they will grow up to love and help each other.

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Diving in!

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My family doesn’t look like many families.  Thus far, I’ve never found Prince Charming. Thankfully, God planted the idea of adoption in my heart and allowed me to create our little family.

In 2004, I adopted my first daughter, Yan from Hong Kong.  She is “chromosomally enhanced” (has Down Syndrome), congenital heart disease, sensory processing disorder and some anxious attachment issues.  But none of that defines her.  She is a feisty, fun and inquisitive, has the biggest heart ever, and keeps me on my toes constantly.

In 2011 I decided to take the plunge into our local foster-to-adopt program.  A couple of weeks after I was certified I received a phone call asking me if I was interested in a baby.  She was born with only a 20% chance to live as a micro premie with drug exposure.  When I met her in the hospital two days later, it was love at first sight.  I new she was mine.  However, it was a long road and there was so much drama; but finally in April of 2013, she became my daughter.  She is thriving and is a little spitfire!

After Yan came home I realized that I couldn’t do it all.  She was struggling and, above all, needed me.  She needed time to bond and learn and grow secure.  I put my career as Speech-Language Pathologist on hold and have done many different jobs from home, so that I could be with her, homeschool her and now be with Mady.  People constantly ask me how we survive.  Honestly, it’s a “God thing”.  Since He’s the one who started all this, He has been faithful to provide.

I have learned a lot along this journey, but want to learn more.  I felt like it was time that I shared and invited others to do the same.  So I will use this little platform to share our path.  The highs, the lows, and everything in between.  I’ve also wanted a way to share speech, language and learning information.  I’ve found, in my quest for an education for Yan, that the homeschool world is still lacking in the area of special needs.  I want to help fill in some of those gaps, so I will share what we do and helpful things that you might try with your kiddos who have special needs.

Please feel free to write me, I want to converse and learn from you as well!  Be Blessed!  Jenn