I don't know who I am writing for now. I may be the only person who will be reading this, but I need to have an ending, a closure if you will.
It has been almost a year, and in a year many things can change. Our lives are always in perpetual motion, we are either swimming with the tide or against it, we can only tread water for a limited period before we must begin the journey again. In the past year or so we have been in all the cycles.
At the end of this post there will be some of you who will judge, but that is OK because we have been through the storms, tossed and drowning thinking we could not get enough air to survive, finally dragging ourselves to the sand where we were revived and able to breathe again. You do not have to agree with our decisions of the past year, but because we are at peace now in tranquil waters I can finish what I started here.
I believe that most of you were very aware of our struggles with Lena after we returned home. I tried to be honest while still staying positive, sometimes a shaky line to balance on. We tried praying, talking, counseling and waiting it out to no avail. There are not the words to convey on this page the pain that our family has gone through. I ask you to be considerate in your judgements until you have walked in another's shoes. We never adopted our children with any other intention than to love them and give them hope. Our biological children have learned what it means to love and accept others that did not come to us in the same way they did. I find there are many people out there who have all the answers and who would never do things the way we have done them. They may have 15 children and they manage to make it work and would never consider our choice no matter what, but they are not us and we had to do what we thought best for our family. Unless you walked our path with us you will not understand so try to be gentle in your thoughts and words
It does no one any good to go into all the lurid details of a failing relationship that literally became so debilitating to several family members that some of the innocent players might never have been able to recover from it if serious interventions had not taken place.
Can I start by saying I never thought we would find ourselves in such an emotional mess or that we like so many people thought that we could manage any situation especially since we felt we had seriously prayed over each child we brought to our family. If it had been only Mark and I we could handle anything thrown at us, but when the dismantling of one of our other precious children began we could not stand by and allow it to continue. The final straw was when our college age kids came home from school and said," do you all see what is happening here one of our sweetest and sunniest siblings has become a basket case of fear and nerves." They begged us to look at other options.
Sometimes the unthinkable occurs and then two parents are forced to consider the well being of the entire family. They have to make the difficult decision to let one child find their peace in a different family to preserve the emotional stability of the whole.
It wasn't easy and it was more painful than the words on this page can ever reveal, but it was the right thing to do for all involved. God gave us a peace that could only come from him.
Lena herself said she needed a change, because as much as she cared for Mark and I was as intensely as she disliked other members and she stated that nothing we did or said would ever change that fact. The dynamics couldn't have been worse for all involved. It took courage for all of us to recognize how destructive the situation had become and even more courage on everyone's part, especially Lena's, to decide to do something to change it.
We had exhausted all our efforts and we were drained and making no progress. Since Lena was almost 17 we knew there was little time for growth. We knew our family dynamics would never give her the opportunity at her late age that she needed to succeed. We just could not stop the emotional hemorrhaging that was happening all around us. She couldn't accept our lifeline and we had to give someone else the chance to do what we could not.
With agreement from Lena she went to a fabulous respite family in a town where she had other friends from her orphanage that had been adopted. She came to know our Lord and was baptized. Eventually she was adopted by a family with no other children where she could thrive and be the entire focus. Let me correct a misconception here that several people had about Lena, she was not a special needs child we were told about Lena by a family who had been to her orphanage. Her story was posted on Reeces Rainbow because she was an older child who was getting ready to age out quickly and desperately needed a home. We had our dossier and felt God calling us to her. She had learning gaps and emotional holes but that is the case with most orphans. Lena was quite savvy about what she wanted and thought was best for her. We actually had someone write and tell us we were re-homing her because she was special needs and we wanted a perfect child and she didn't fit the bill. We were devastated by that slanderous lie and the rest of that story will be forthcoming. We are not perfect parents and if we wanted only perfect children we would be re-homing all of ours. Thank you Lord Jesus that that you love the imperfect in spite of their flaws and that includes me and everyone one who reads this post. This is why he sent a savior to take save us from ourselves.
Was this always God's plan or did he just take human failings and straighten it out like he does in so many things that we manage to mess up? He knew the end results even if he it wasn't his original plan. We believe that we were the bridge to bring Lena here, we were not her end destination. No one adopts a child thinking they will re-home them, but sometimes life doesn't always go as we plan. Lena was almost a grown woman and even though we wanted to erase the hurt of her past that is not always possible unless there is serious changes made. God can and does take away pain and memories that haunt us. He is the great healer. He can make the flowers bloom again and he has and they are beautiful!
I know you are wondering what happened with Karina and that is a post I shall have to save for another day for it is also a long story. Before that story is written I want you to know that these two girls stories intersect for a short time, but one had nothing to do with the other or our decisions. I will post Karina's story soon.