Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Musings....and an update on our other site....

I have not written in much detail lately about how life is here at the Ferrill home. We have updated our other site with specifics on Kimmie and Quan's progress. If you forgot the user-name and password, email us! That will be our last update on that site, but we will continue to update this blog as often as possible!
So here I write some things not included in our update on the other site. Here I write about my progress. My progress, you ask? Yes, Laine has learned so much right alongside Kimmie and Quan the past 4 months. You do know that adoption is not just about bringing orphans home to their forever families, don't you? Oh no, it's so much more than that. It's about revealing the true condition of those forever families' hearts, and it's about God CHANGING that forever families' hearts into HIS heart. Orphans ARE His heart.
Oh how the Lord has revealed so much to me about the condition of my heart. Mrs. "Independent, Got It Under Control, Everything Is Smooth Sailing" mommy has changed into Mrs. "Dependent on God Every Minute of the Day or else I'll Go Crazy" mommy. How close the Lord and I are now! No, I haven't done not one single Bible study since we've been home. No, I haven't even been to a Sunday School class or prayer meeting. It's just been me, Rob, the kids, and my best friend Jesus. Yes I have felt lonely and depressed at times; I have felt like I am never going to have my life back EVER. But in those low times, who has been there? GOD. He is who I needed!
The past 4 months I have totally given my family EVERYTHING I have. EVERYTHING, EVERYDAY. Adoption of two toddlers has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I have done the best I can to help Kimmie and Quan with their attachment and adjustment. For them, this has meant not leaving them with anyone but Rob. It has meant keeping a good routine at home for mealtimes, naptimes, and bedtimes. It has meant giving up a lot of my old activities at church. It has meant limiting our fellowships with our friends. It has meant so many changes that I had not anticipated. Before we got Kimmie and Quan I honestly did not have a CLUE what I was in for! It has been so hard. Hard, but SO rewarding. For you see, because we made those changes, we have two growing, thriving, happy toddlers. Healthily attached? Not 100% yet. Totally adjusted? Oh no, but better than last month! It's been 4 months since Gotcha Day, and they have come so far, and so have I!
I would read other people's blogs about their children fitting seamlessly into their families and think "why can't that be me? We have lots of seams, God! Why can't ours be easier?" Just because God called us to this, doesn't mean it's going to be easy, right? Besides, a quilt is so beautiful with all its seams, so our family can be beautiful too! What seams, you may ask? All you see is sweet smiling Ferrill children having lots of fun. Well...
Seam #1: Kimmie has had a very hard time in her attachment. At first she had all the signs of no attachment to any specific one person, and would go to anybody. Then slowly she attached to me, but would still go to anybody else, yet then start wailing for seemingly no reason. After talking with Leigh Anne from the adoption clinic, we realized Kimmie still doesn't know that we are permanent, and that we will not go away like her foster family did. We began to just do what makes Kimmie more secure, which means mommy do everything. She has just now showed improvement in letting her Daddy brush her teeth and do routine things for her.
Seam #2: Doctor appointments upon doctor appointments upon doctor appointments which interrupt that nice routine we try to have. Again, this is something that I have improved my attitude about. Though I still love those days when we can actually "home" school and not "doctor office" school, I am SO thankful for the great doctors here in Birmingham, and for insurance, amen?
Seam #3: Quan's attachment and strong will. This little boy has really come so far. But there have been bumps, or seams that is! We battle daily his desire to be emperor of the universe.
He's just so darn cute, but he's! I don't know how else to put it. He's three!
When we first came home we had to keep everything around the house really calm, because when he gets excited is when the emperor comes out and won't go back in! I have continued to stay in his and Kimmie's classes (with the exception of last Sunday--details on the other site!) for several reasons. One to foster their attachment and the security that I am their mommy. But the other reason is to monitor how they relate to their peers. I did quite a bit of refereeing between Quan and others at first. It is a wonderful opportunity to teach about taking turns and sharing.
So, there have been other seams too...some have been mostly MY seams with MY heart. You see, the love I have for Kimmie and Quan continues to grow each day. I did not have this immediate deep love for either of them instantly. Now, hear me correctly please. I have always LOVED them as my own. But this love did not start out very deep. Only now, as I reflect on the months past, do I see how my love has grown. I had to attach to them, just like they have to attach to me! And it is such a process. Maybe not for all mommies, maybe some of you other adoptive mommies felt that love from the start. But for me, the love has grown from a little caterpillar love, all warm and fuzzy when we were waiting to go get them in China. Then it went through a cocoon love, all bundled and smothered and wondering if it would ever see the light of day in this darkness of adjustment and attachment....and then, now, it is a butterfly love...soaring and beautiful and....deep. I know my love will continue to grow and deepen for these precious babies. Love changes and looks different sometimes, but it's still love!
So friends, God sure is teaching me that He is sufficient. When things don't quite turn out the way I want them to, I am learning over and over that I am the "Dependent on God Every Minute of the Day or else I'll go Crazy" mommy! I have had so many offers of help, and you adoptive mommies can relate I'm sure. In adoption, there are just some things that only YOU can do. And it's because we deal with attachment issues on top of two toddlers adjusting to a new family, country, language, etc. The past four months I have at times felt like I've had so much of a load on my shoulders that I would crumble into pieces. And at those times, God has picked my little crumbly self off the floor, dusted me off, told me to put my big girl panties on, loved on me and sent me back to the task He called me to--equipped and ready. Equipped and ready to enjoy the quilt He is making out of our family. What a beautiful quilt, FULL of seams! Thank you God for the seams!

I ask myself these questions sometimes:
Would I ever adopt again? Yes, if God called us to that again. Though Rob refused to get a bigger car in fear that we would continue to fill it with children! Adoption is such a privilege, such a blessing! Hard? YES! I honestly have felt like a first time parent with Kimmie and Quan. I find myself not knowing what to do sometimes, when I've already parented four children through their toddler years! Hello? But adoption has been a whole new experience for me.
Would I ever adopt two at one time again? Oh, that's a tough one right now! Yes, I would if God called me to. But boy is it ever tough with two adopted at one time. I think sometimes how much easier it would be to just adopt one child. DONT HEAR ME WRONG! We are supposed to have Kimmie and Quan in our family, they were supposed to be adopted at once, they were meant to be brother and sister and if you have any doubts read my post about that back in March. This is how it's supposed to be for us. Kimmie and Quan, Quan and Kimmie...together forever! I just think sometimes how if you're just dealing with ONE child's attachment, ONE child's adjustment, ONE child's needs...well of course that would be easier. But if God called us to adopt two again (which I really think He's got to be up there saying "don't worry Laine, that ain't happenin'!") of course we would trust Him as we are doing now!
If I don't adopt again, what do I do about this ache in my heart for the orphans?
Well, I'm hoping and praying the Lord will allow Rob and I to be a part of something BIG for orphans--to be able to help in some way--financially, or ministry-wise in our church, or mission trips. This has not just been about adding a boy and girl to our family to make us the Brady Bunch. It has CHANGED our hearts about GODS heart: orphans.


Anonymous said...

OK, I am sitting here at work, supposed to be reading Policies and Procedures (BORING)and I decide I a going to go out and see if by some small chance there may be something new on the blog. WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! Oh, Laine, talk about opening up your heart. What a testimony you just gave. I am sitting here, eyes dripping with tears thinking what an amazing journey you have been on and knowing you has been such a Blessing to me. You may not know it, but your family has shown so many of us what true GODLY love is all about. Yes, you are right, mostly what we see are the smiling faces of the Ferrill eight, but know that we can see past those smiling faces into your hearts and see all the love that you have to give. I am so honored to be your "friend". Ethel

Dollar General said...

I'm so glad you are a real person! I love you! I love hearing from you and what the Lord is doing in your life. I miss seeing you so much. Glad to hear you got the "big girl panties" on - they are so hard to wear sometimes! I'm not sure I've grown into mine yet! Try the Jazzercise panties for better "luck"! HA! Love you!! Page

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful, honest post Laine. I pray you will continue to be strengthened and blessed!


Tina said...

Laine, What an awesome post. I love how you described your growing love for K&Q, what a beautiful analogy. I really commend you on staying home with them as much as possible. We did that with Sophie it was very hard for me to tell friends not to come over b/c Sophie needed "us" alone, or not to go out when I just wanted to get away...but now I can definately reap the rewards of those decisions almost a year later! You are doing an awesome job!!

Anonymous said...

I was so glad to read this post. I have followed your journey since before Gotcha Day and love reading the updates. But I have to say, it's good to know you're "real!" Sometimes I read them and think you are made some from special, really holy stuff that I'm not made of!! I so admire you, and even more now. Please don't ever underestimate the tremendous impact your story is having on people you don't even know!
Dana (Roberts) Hay
(Jill's college roommate, Rob knows me...)

Sonya said...

What a blessing you and your family are to us! This post is soooo from your heart and just what I needed to hear! Thank you very much for sharing!!! Just AMEN AMEN AMEN! Sister in Christ,
I just wanta say I love ya!


Shalita said...

AMEN!!!!! And pass the tissue! After reading, there is no doubt that God sat you down in front of the keyboard and guided your fingers into the beautiful testimony you just shared! His sweet love, grace and mercy are pouring out of the computer! To God be the Glory, GREAT things He hath done!!!!

Journey to Lilly! said...

Laine, thanks for sharing your heart with us. You WILL reap benefits from all the work you are putting into Kimmie & Quan's lives. Adoption is also, the hardest thing I have EVER done. It rocks your whole family & exhaust your body!! But I believe God has a great blessing for us...especially you...for all the "fruit of your hands" & for caring for his "heart". We love you & are praying for your family "quilt".
Your friend,

Keisha said...

Thanks so much for your honesty and sincere heart. It truly does take God EVERYDAY to get us through! He has shown me that adoption was not just about Faith finding a home,...but it's about me and Matt COMPLETLY relying on Him daily. Your right, going to China to get our babies was just the beginging. I had no idea, either...about the attatchment issues...& our other two.. and how they would react. But, God is bringing us through step at a time. I love Faith more today than I ever did 5mths. ago. Our love grows and grows! So, I understand what you mean!Thanks for sharing with us and have a great weekend!

Family4Liv said...

Adoption and seamless are not a familiarity to me either. Nor any other adopting parent I do believe. You expressed it beautifully, most dont have the words to really express the confusion of the transition period. It is one of those things that you know God will see you through and each day will get better. The best ever advice I received pre adoption was you must have survivability. So Glad that you are seeing that rainbows, God always promises after a storm. You are so right adoption is the most wonderfull, beautiful priveledge, you see the heart of our dear lord and are forever changed by it. God bless you Ferril family as you sew the seams of your family quilt.

Lisa said...

I just read your post. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. Our attachment was slow, long and hard, but oh so worth it. Ana Claire was slow to trust us and only let me do things for her for a long time. She slowly blossomed into the beautiful flower she is today. I know somedays are truly hard and exhausting. I know about God having to truly just pick you up right up off the floor. You sound like you are doing everything that you can do. With God's help you will reap a beautiful quilt.
Thank you so much for your honesty. I think it is so important to educate people who are thinking about adoption. It isn't always easy, it is hard work, but these babies sure are worth it.

The Young's said...

What a great post!! You are so right. It isn't easy....and like you, I have found myself being the one that the Lord is dealing with. My be more like His heart. I too have had my love and attachment grow. It is more than it was...but it still has so much more room to grow. I know that every day, month and year that passes...that love will grow deeper. I've been amazed at how Sadie has adapted...we feel so blessed. It's me, that has had SO much adjustments to make. I cannot imagine doing what you're doing with six children...and having two to help walk through this transition. You and your family are amazing, and we consider it an honor and blessing to have walked through part of this experience with you guys. I'm so glad to know that the feelings that I have are normal. Thank you for sharing your heart. I hope that we can all get together soon! Have a wonderful week!

Sherri said...

Wow, Laine
Thank you for your honesty. That's what I appreciate about this entry. We have had a difficult adjustment, as you know, and I must admit that I have looked at what others write and think the same things you thought. I just think most people have a hard time opening their true day to day lives up for others to see. You never really knows what goes on behind their doors.....

I had to laugh about Rob refusing to get a bigger car for filling it up with more kids! When I was little, my favorite game was LIFE. and my goal in LIFE was to fill up my car with kids! We actually have surpassed our car's space....we now have to take 2 cars when the whole family goes somewhere together.

You have blessed me today, Laine. Thank you for your honesty. I love it.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post!! Thanks for sharing your journey with everyone! God is using you in BIGGER ways than even you can imagine!

Barbie said...

Thank you for being so real in your post! I have felt all of these things so many times!! Would you mind if I put this post on my blog, credited to you of course! I think it is so important for others to hear.

Stefanie said...

Wow, Laine. Absolutely beautiful. Really straight from the heart, I love that. And I can totally relate ;) So funny that I wrote about that same thing today, I really hadn't read your post yet!
Thanks so much for sharing how God is working on you, and how far He has brought you in this journey... when we are weak, then He is strong!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here crying in my dorm room when I should be studying for finals. This is not how this is supposed to be! I'm not the one that cries, remember? It's a good cry though. It's one of those "Wow God, this has to be one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life" cries. My perspective on your story is different than most and let me tell you, it has been a life-changing perspective at that! To be able to watch your family grow (not just in numbers!) has been incredible. As I read this post about your seams, I was reminded of a verse that my mom always tells me. Psalms 139:5 "You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me" Oh how He is hemming you in. I know He will continue to do so! Thank you for sharing, Laine.


The Blaszczynski Family said...

I have to say that I am so happy to read all of these things that you have said. Not that I am happy it has been hard for you, but that you have been able to come so far with these precious gifts from China. You know as I put on my blog how afraid I am of getting Zoey. I know how different this will be from when we had Madison and I wonder if I will be strong enough. And that is my problem "will I be strong enough" I don't have to be because God will be for me. For some reason I have a hard time stepping aside and letting him take the reigns. I have told you before you are such an inspiration to me and I look forward to learning from you when we get home from China!
Love and God Bless you,

Mike and Barb said...

Laine, I have been reading and re-reading this post so many times, and finally I'm commenting ;-)). Thank you so much for pouring out your heart, and for being so honest. I know I went into this adoption quite proud, envisioning harmony and sugar-plums. But the Lord has his way with us, doesn't he?? We all have different paths, some children transition easier than others, most have one, SOME have two *hint*, but HE is always faithful and reaches down into our families and supplies what we need. In the end it's all going to bring GLORY to him, and that's what he wanted to begin with.
I'm so incredibly happy to have such a wonderful group of (mostly) southerner Blogging friends that we can share this incredible time of our lives with!
Love, Barb from up north..... ;-))

Anonymous said...

WOW!! Laine thank you so much for this blog! What a testimony Laine! God has truly blessed you and held you in HIS hand as He guided you to Kimmie and Quan. Now He guides you and Rob daily in caring for them. We pray for you all daily and we love the BRADY BUNCH SOOO MUCH!
Love, Chi-Chi (with beautiful skin), Beth, Cam and B