Monday, October 18, 2010

The Connected Child: Chapters 1 & 2

Dr. Karyn Purvis has written a wonderful book on bringing hope and healing to your adoptive family entitled The Connected Child. I bought this book awhile ago to gain a little insight with Cherub 2. However, now that we have foster daughters that obviously have some attachment problems, Mr. Amazing is reading the book and I'm going through it again. I am also taking part in an online book club started by Sarah Thacker. Each week parents of foster and adoptive kids are reading through and commenting on different chapters of the book.

Our road is slightly different than the ultimate goal of the book. We want to help our foster daughters heal. We want them to learn to attach in healthy ways. But ultimately, they are in foster care so forming a deep attachment specifically with us probably isn't the healthiest. We can't have conversations about "forever". Shoot, I can't make any promises past November 5 (our next court date). I would say the fact that the girls are our foster daughters is the biggest obstacle to attachment. Nobody knows what's going to happen next.

The book does open my eyes to ways in which we need to parent differently. One of the points made in Chapter 1 that really struck me is the notion that my children don't look any different from any other child. On the surface they look healthy. Honestly, I have to remind myself that sometimes when I'm asking something from one of my foster daughters, they truly might NOT BE ABLE to do what I'm asking. Not because they are defiant. Or headstrong. Or purposely disruptive. Something as simple as eye contact can be impossible for Precious at times. Rather than demand it, I need to meet her where she's at. Before I do anything, I have to first make sure that I am regulated. Then I have to totally get down to her level - even if that means lying on the floor so I can look at her as she hides under her bed. Like the book said, I have to:
"Respect and honor the child's needs,
even when you don't entirely understand what drives them."

Our pastor gave a wonderful message yesterday about being Faith Filled and being Faithful. It really struck close to home. I know that we are being faithful to God by becoming a foster family. We are doing good works in His name. The journey has been incredibly faith driven so I would say that we are a Faith Filled family. We are trusting Him in all of this. But our pastor made the comment that if we continue to be Faithful without being Faith Filled - we will run out of steam. We will be completely drained. We will have no energy.

When I feel myself being completely drained by MissArguePants as she argues with me yet again about something, I've got to stop myself. It's up to me to become Faith Filled again. I feel like I pray a lot - all day long some days. But I need to let go even more when these girls are pushing my buttons. I can't do this on my own.The only way I can show them true compassion is if I get that kind of love from the original source. If I keep trying to manufacture faithful works without turning to God constantly, I will run out of energy.

We are seeing small amounts of progress with our girls every day. I thank the true Healer for that!

1 comment:

jendoop said...

Great post, I love to hear your hopeful words after the last few weeks!

This is so good: " if we continue to be Faithful without being Faith Filled - we will run out of steam."