"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

To Tell of His Grace

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

To Our Family and Friends~

My friend who just got back from China had posted this post on her blog just before they went to China (which she got from another adoptive family's blog) and I asked her if we could use it too ;) We have adapted it a bit but it so perfectly explains the support we will need from our friends and family in our first few months home with Kaylee ...

As we prepare to leave for China, I would like to prepare our friends and family about what to expect when we get home.  Obviously, bonding with an adopted child looks different because she’s already 31 months old and doesn’t know us at all. Kaylee Grace has faced challenges that God has spared other children from going through. As part of the adoption process, we had tons of required reading on the issue of attachment and bonding and we are thankful to have learned so much. We have also connected with so many wonderful adoptive families who have gone before us (whom we plan on turning to often for help and advice once we arrive home!). We know the road ahead is not promised to be easy --- but God has promised that we will see His GLORY!!! And we will cling to this truth!

Kaylee Grace has endured trauma in her life by being abandoned by the mother whose heartbeat and voice she knew for 9 months. Since that day, she has lived the first 31 months of her life without consistency from a variety of caretakers. While I am sure they have loved her, I know there are times she has cried out in hunger and no one has answered, where she has fussed over a dirty diaper and no one has changed her, where she has cried out for comfort when she was sick and no one came… her orphanage staff has been explained as loving and caring but uneducated when it comes to the needs of these sweet little ones - we were told that they thought they were helping the kids by leaving them in their cribs all day (23-24 hrs/day) and not holding them so that when they get adopted they won't grieve the loss of their caretaker. Therefore, Kaylee will need extra love and care in order for us to pour in the love and secure connections that she missed her first 2 1/2 years of life. We can now see how it is a very different picture than the early lives of biological children. When a bio. child cries as a newborn, his/her parents run to meet whatever need they have… so a pattern emerges… they cry and they would get their needs met…. over and over which results in his/her attachment to the parents. There are studies about actual connections that are made in your brain as a result of this cycle of having a need and then having it met…

For Kaylee Grace, this cycle was broken by her birth mother and was repeatedly broken when her cries went unanswered  What does this mean for us? In a sense, we are going to have to “retrain” Kaylee's brain…. And convince her that we will meet her needs and we will never leave her. We will need to meet each and every need she has - whatever it takes for her to feel secure, we will do! To some this may look like spoiling, but again, this is how secure attachments will be formed. When we first get to hold Kaylee, we have been told to expect a scared little girl whose trust we have to earn and whose love we will fight for. We are believing Jesus for the VICTORY that is found only in Him - that He will cover her with His peace and surround her with His love and that she will feel safe with us! We’ve been waiting, praying, preparing (along with all of you) for the arrival of our little girl for nearly 2 years….But she has no idea that we are coming and she will need time to adjust. We continue to ask the Lord to graciously prepare her heart for all that is ahead and that He will surround her with His Presence so that when she is placed in our arms, she feels safe and we feel familiar to her as she can sense His Presence in us!

We don’t know how long it will take for her to attach to us securely… but the reason I’m explaining this to you is because it will affect the way we interact with others for a period of time. We are asking for now that you please not hold her or pick her up. I will have her strapped to me most of the time when I am out in public, at church or taking the big kids to school. It is totally fine to talk to her when you see us out as long as she seems comfortable... We just need her to understand the difference between her mommy/daddy/big sister/big brothers, and a stranger….which is hard for a child who has no concept of a mother or father. We will be home a lot and trying to keep her world really small - research shows this is huge for a child who has endured such trauma...just until she begins to feel safer and we can tell she is secure enough to expand her world a bit ;) 

One of the greatest attachment tools is feeding. So for now, we will need to be the ones who give her bottles, meals and snacks. If we are visiting or playing at your house and she wants a snack, I ask that you give it to us so that we can give it to her. In a sense, this is replicating what she missed out on as a newborn but it may seem awkward to others because she is older now.

We know that we have lost time with Kaylee Grace…. And some days it grieves our hearts to have missed out on so much… but we're so thankful that we have HOPE in a God who RESTORES and will make her WHOLE in HIM! I love the picture in Joel 2:25 where God says “I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten." We have confidence that what seemed lost will be RESTORED in her life…. our God is  the ONE who RESTORES!!! We know that she will flourish into who she was created to be…. And we praise Jesus for the front row seat!

I also love the lines from a Steven Curtis Chapman song that say

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise

And we will dance among the ruins

We will see Him with our own eyes

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise

For we know, joy is coming in the morning...

In the morning, beauty will rise


  1. As I have followed your posts I have seen what a beautiful family you have and your love of God is amazing. Kaylee Grace is coming home to a family chosen by God that will love her and nurture her and show her what forever family love is all about. I will keep you and your family in my prayers as you begin the trip to China and meet your beautiful daughter face to face for the 1st time. I remember how excited, yet nervous, Stacie and Nathan were, but know they would not change a thing. Karly has blossomed into a very loving little girl and I know Lucy is well on her way. I pray that God keeps Kaylee Grace surrounded in his love until you get to hold her and she is yours. Wishing you safe travels and much blessing for a wonderful "Gotcha Day". Renee (Stacie's aunt)

  2. Every single word is Truth! Blessings sweet friend as you leave tomorrow. You all are in my prayers and will rush to check your blog each morning! XOXO

  3. Thank you so much Jenny for all your post. It has been so inspiring watching your families journey and how intentional you are in every step, and how intentional you are about turning to God first and foremost in every step. We are praying for your safe journey and especially for that first moment you hold your little girl and the emotions she and all of you will be feeling.