We Need Prayer

Three blog drafts later, I am giving an update. But it might be shorter than those three and perhaps a bit sweeter too.

We need prayer.

I got a phone call today from their preschool. I was asked to come get one of the twins.

The same twin who missed preschool yesterday, and all last week, and once or twice a week since their first week.

They are defiant, rebellious, deceitful and disruptive….Over the last 22 months, I’ve watched some people favor this struggling twin, and I know that that is not helpful. Our children – both of them – should never feel like they are or aren’t on the end of favor from someone – against their own twin or a peer. They need to understand that winning people’s attention is not a result of sympathy, but an outcome of their right spirit. Yes – I want people to love my children, and to understand them. But not pity. I definitely don’t want them seeking out that same pity when they are older, because the world has little time for adults on the victim train. And it certainly is not biblical to go about life believing the world owes us something grand.

This child has struggled a lot these last 3 weeks, and it has gotten much worse this week. We have been careful to exercise grace to them, since God is quick to give it to us. Yet, today, we saw how perhaps we were possibly enabling them to continue even further down their path to wrong choices. Perhaps, sometimes the grace was being given out of pity. If you’re a parent, you know! Seeing your child saddened to be held accountable is awful. I hate it! We are learning. But apparently even we – their own parents – tip the scale and pity them too much to their detriment. Their flippancy about their own bad behavior is almost scary. Yesterday, they were asked if they obeyed their preschool teachers on Tuesday, to which they replied, “NOPE!” very casually. Almost giggling. Argh. I thought my schpeel about respect and rebellion towards authority was being listened to.

Apparently it took 3 adults 5 minutes of struggle to calm them down for a little time out. And one of the teacher’s got hives because it upset her so much.

They have been confronted a LOT of late with Biblical truths about rebellion. Andrew and I are striving to communicate Truth to them. They have been clearly given an explanation of authority. The whole reason we want them to do preschool is because they do not respect other adults. If they don’t learn this, we are in for serious issues in kindergarten.

Anyway, I’m not here to defend our decision to do preschool. We absolutely believe it will be extremely helpful for them to learn to respect other adults. Apparently we were RIGHT ON with that being an area they had to grow in because now we can see how far they still have to go.

We have spent a lot of time in prayer over that child (to make me concerned we aren’t praying for the other one as much as we should!), and we have been quoting several scripture verses to them. And talking about how pleased S*tan is when they rebel, or lose their temper or whatever. How much he hates them. How happy he is that they are in trouble.

Then we have explained how Jesus loved THEM SO MUCH that HE DIED on a cross for their sins. How He is grieved when they do wrong. And despite it all, He loves them very much.

This decision to start bringing it home in this way could very well be the reason they are under so much attack. NOT PRESCHOOL. NOT BEING AWAY FROM ME FOR 2 1/2 HOURS. NOT NEW FAMILY MEMBERS. NOT THEIR BACKGROUND. NOT THE TIME OF YEAR. NOT SOME PSYCHOLOGICAL JUNK GOING ON IN THEIR HEAD. Though those things have weight in describing who they are, IT REALLY SEEMS TO BE A SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE. WE ARE IN A WAR ZONE.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PRAY for US AND FOR THEM. We will NOT hold back from sharing the GOSPEL OF CHRIST to our children. We will NOT hold back from quoting THE BIBLE to them. JESUS CHRIST CAN CHANGE THEM! And, He can change all of us–and all the children–adopted or otherwise–who are struggling as they are.

Please pray for strength and encouragement for us. We are especially weary and often confused as to what is going on in their head. Please pray that CHRIST changes them. He is our only hope.

I don’t like sharing as much as I did. But if I’m not honest, people won’t know how to pray. And as you can tell, we need prayer.

I know I put a lot in caps. I know I was snarky at times. But I am quite rattled as to why they rose the stakes. Why on earth they acted out in such a violent way that was totally reminiscent of Spring, Summer and some Autumn of 2010. The teachers are tired. And as of this afternoon, scared. We are bewildered and frustrated.

Thankfully the preschool hasn’t given up and kicked them out yet. We are so grateful to have their support. It’s been priceless. To have yours too would be amazing.


Esther Brunk

Esther and her husband Andrew became first time parents to twin toddlers with 24 hours notice, and a year before planned. Though they still have far to go in the healing process, Isaac & Mikayle have come leaps and bounds from their arrival date almost 2 years ago. Andrew and Esther accepted Christ as their Savior when they were much younger, but only recently have begun to scratch the surface in understanding the miracle of their own spiritual adoption. Currently Andrew and Esther are also host parents to two sweet Korean sisters here for a school exchange program. They hope to adopt more children in the future. Esther is the caretaker of their children (who as of last week are no longer in preschool and are home with her full-time [insert sigh]), the cook, the baker, inventory control manager and home manager. Andrew works with Bethany Christian Services in Church and Community Relations assisting South Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware area churches in fulfilling the command to care for the orphans around the globe and close to home (you can connect with him at abrunk@bethany.org).

3 Responses to We Need Prayer

  • Amy Murphy says:

    Will be praying for you! After our son accepted Jesus as his Savior, we were hit with some intense spiritual warfare (or he was.) It seemed that all hell broke loose. So, I sort of know what you’re going through. Keep training your children to become adults that love God with all their being. Even though it may be hard and it seems there is no progress, you are doing a great job. All we can do is be faithful to Him. Love and prayers from south central PA…

  • Esther I was full of compassion reading your post. I have found that those times of being bewildered and shaken are very wearing. I pray for you and your husband that God will fill you with faith for what He is doing and will do for each of your children. I encourage you that their story is not over yet! You keep doing what you are doing and watch God do what only He can do in them. May you be strengthened in the Lord as you continue to love your children. I thought I’d include this link in hopes that it would encourage you in tough times. For we do need to be encouraged! http://hopeathomeblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/battle-is-lords.html

  • Kimberly Bock says:

    ODD should be treated with positive and not reinforced with negative intervention so that it doesn’t escalate. Adoptive kids will all show signs, our daughter has every RAD check mark from her 7 months in an Ethiopian orphanage… a GOOD orphanage. When a child acts out in RAD/ODD ways… find a family that has worked positively through these real issues for guidance. One of my favorites is Backwoods Mom she is on FB and has a blog. Oh… and yeah… pray like crazy!!!! Praying for you!!!!

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