I always thought if I had fooled around in high school or college I would have gotten pregnant with twins BUT I waited till marriage, and found out what a struggle it would be to actually conceive! 5 ½ months later, I took on preeclampsia which led to toxemia, and our daughter arrived 2 ½ months early, weighing in at a whopping 1lb 9 oz! Sarah Beth passed away 7 months later. A year later our doctor explained that we shouldn’t try again because of my health, but we gave the matter to the Lord to take care of. We wanted a baseball team, the doctor said ‘no more than a tennis match.’ The matter was settled when my body didn’t cooperate and a hysterectomy was performed.
The very day our Sarah Beth went to heaven, our son Matthew was born, though we didn’t know it until a year and a half later when we adopted him and his 2 ½ year old sister Abigail. Two years later we added to our family again with Brice, who was almost three. My husband was a Social Worker and played Santa Clause for the foster care parties. Guess who he held at two weeks old? Our boy Brice! Not long after, the local news station asked to do a feature on our family for National Adoption Month, and Brice’s foster family came over to bring gifts to all our kids. Wouldn’t you know it – they had more foster kids with him, with a teenage girl that we fell in love with! By May she was ours and our family was complete with boys that were 7 and 8 along with 9 and 14 year old girls.
All of our children came through Child Welfare, from abusive homes where the parents’ rights were terminated. I can remember reading in college ‘that moving the child to the right environment will cancel out the previous negative influences.’ Maybe temporarily but not permanently. Our son Matt was diagnosed with ADHD in Kindergarten by a reputable children’s hospital and we all rejoiced when the SIT DOWN MEDICINE allowed him to be Student of the Week and to sit for supper! While ADHD could explain some things it didn’t cover the lack of remorse, rage and anger, violence towards me and more…and he was only 8 years old! (We knew that his biological father had fractured Matt’s skull as an infant.) Several years later we had a word for it – ATTACHMENT DISORDER! What a relief to know that it wasn’t in my head. The day I broke my hand protecting myself from him, my husband’s response had been…’it’s hard to believe an adult cannot control a child.’ ‘A sorry you had a bad day’ was actually all I wanted to hear. Once the diagnosis was made, it was out of our hands and we needed to learn how to help him overcome these impulsive actions.
The one thing I was concerned with was that our other children would grow up thinking that yelling, door bashing, cursing, locking our bedroom doors, exhibiting indescribable behavior in public was NORMAL! The hospitals said he was on too many meds but months later when we took him home, they had him back on the same dosage. He is now 25 and has spent the last five years in prison with three left to go. My impulsive son is also handsome, creative, smart, and loving…as an adult, but as a child the family went through hell. In making this brief the majority of Attachment Disorder with ADHD has been limited. To those never experiencing this – you might think I’m crazy! To those who HAVE gone through this, you’re probably thinking….someone understands.
All of my children have struggled with issues of genetic nature, from Marfan Syndrome, to depression, sexual immorality and more. We have always taught our kids that they are responsible for their behavior, that we all can choose right OR wrong. Despite the world you entered into, we all have the Lord to rely on. My husband and I love our kids NO MATTER WHAT (our family tag line) and wouldn’t trade them for anything.
In the adoption aspect and from your experience, how has environment played out in removing your child from one situation to the permanent one in your home?
About Melody – Within 20 years of serving as a preachers wife, mom to 4 kids, and teaching Home Economics within the school system and 4-H, God moved my husband and I into the mission ministry. Eight years later we continue to work in Mexico and Nicaragua, leading in American teams or working one on one…sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the lost.