I have been reading a book co-authored by Karyn Purvis called Connected Child. I can only speak for the first four chapters so far, but I think they are insightful chapters!
The book is about how to parent adopted children from abusive backgrounds. I first heard about this book through the resources listing on the Show Hope website, Steven Curtis Chapman's adoption ministry. I think the book is worth checking out and maybe even refer extended family (grandparents and others) to it to help give them insight into what is going on with the newest members of the family.
A recent trip to the beach to hang out with extended family went well, but upon coming home, we realized how difficult it was for our twins. It was a week full of establishing new relationships and relationships are some of the scariest things for them to face because of their background. It helped us see how to anticipate their struggles a little better and prepare them for meeting more of the family.
Us at Hilton Head Island. Photos coming soon!
One of the challenges the twins face is academic. For multiple reasons, they are missing some essential and foundational skills for learning. The missing pieces are inconsistent and scattered, more like a disorder than a delay. My wife, Jennifer, describes it like a tower of Jenga blocks where multiple blocks are missing. Their "towers" can't be built any higher because some key blocks are missing. In fact, we used these blocks to explain visually to the kids why they struggle with school. We have enrolled them in what we believe will be a game changer, not only for them, but for us too!
We truly thought the adoption process was going to be a challenge, but it pales in comparison to the adjustment and challenge of new children living in the home. We knew going in, there would be behavior problems and challenges. We knew God was calling us to adopt. We read books and articles. We spoke with friends who adopted or were fostering. We prayed and thought about "worst-case scenarios" to prepare. But there is nothing like experience and some experiences cannot be prepared for...or can they?