Jennifer Peterson

Whose RAD is it, anyway?

Over the last couple of months, I’ve spent some time with a few psychologists doing basic routine assessments for a few of my kids.

One meeting included me having a serious discussion on the developmental aspects of my Chinese adoptee with only one loopy dangley earring. The other ear: naked. Call me a crazy homeschooling mother of many.

The other psychologist? She was not impressed with our less than “typical” lifestyle with under the breath comments like, “That’s a passel of kids. You certainly have your hands full” and “So, your child doesn’t have any friends because you never socialize with other kids” after I relayed the multitude of activities we participate in on a weekly basis. Swallow hard, carry on.

When your kids come to you at 8 years, or 5 years, or 5 weeks old for that matter, a lot has happened in their lives. More than we will ever know, and it is advantageous to gather as much information in every possible way.

Being informed helps us.

understand the past,
deal with the present,
plan for the future.

As I was talking to the psychologist about my child, she had the nerve to suggest that during a particularly prickly stage with my child, the bonding and attachment was compromised. Not the child’s. Mine. Ouch. I took that nugget home to think about with my tail between my legs.

Yes, she actually said I have attachment issues.

Time for [Insert deep announcer's voice]…confessions of an adoptive mom:

I love my children. I really do.

Yet, sometimes, there is one that is very hard to like.

All that history that I wasn’t part of?

It gets in the way.

Of my understanding. It disrupts my compassion.

And the truth of it all?

God has given me a vehicle for growth.

A way to learn more about how Jesus loved the unlovable.

And, He did exactly that in the best possible way.

_______________________________________

Jennifer Peterson

Jennifer Peterson is wife to one faithful man and mom of 9. After the first three came along, they became foster parents and adopted 5 kids including 2 sets of siblings. Jennifer and her husband Bob are currently in China to adopt an 8-year-old boy with a heart condition who has been waiting a long time for his forever family. Join the journey here as they ponder how and where God will stretch them next.

Sometimes Adoption Makes Me Sad

No man’s land.

We’ve been there.

It took me by surprise the first time it happened.

I got the call that the birth mother had relinquished her parental rights.

I cried.

Then, I got the paperwork and cried some more.

Our child was a “ward of the state.”

Orphan.

With no one.

As hard as foster parenting is, somehow knowing that birth parents were still in the picture was better than no man’s land.

That day, I was overwhelmed with sadness for what this mother had done.

What she had given up.

For her child. For my child. For our child. Hers and Mine.

Everyone told me I would be “happy” because the child was now free for adoption.

On the outside, I was, of course.

Moving forward is good. Being a foster child is not good.

But there is no gain without some loss.

I remember introducing her (still quite young) and people telling her how lucky she was to be adopted into our family.

You wouldn’t have seen it, but I did.

The shadow of confusion that went across her face, a split second.

Yes, of course, she was happy. But, she was filled with sorrow, too.

Because gaining a new life means loosing the old one, even if it isn’t so good.

That’s how I am feeling about Joshua today.

I am sad that he has to give up EVERYTHING to be part of our family.

The onus is on him to change.

He has to learn our language. (We have Chinese word charts on the wall.)

He has to eat our food. (We like Chinese food but it’s not the same.)

He has to adapt. (We only have to make another place at the table.)

He will have a family. (Not an institution.)

He will have the best medical care available. (Not limited by status.)

He will know the Savior. (And have eternal life if he chooses to embrace the Hope.)

There is no gain without some loss.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving your life so that we might have ours.

_______________________________________

Jennifer Peterson

Jennifer Peterson is wife to one faithful man and mom of 9. After the first three came along, they became foster parents and adopted 5 kids including 2 sets of siblings. Jennifer and her husband Bob are currently in China to adopt an 8-year-old boy with a heart condition who has been waiting a long time for his forever family. Join the journey here as they ponder how and where God will stretch them next.

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