{Photo painted by SJ Ankerich}

Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.   ~Louie Schwartzberg

Right now our children are out in the backyard tramping though the woods building forts and fending off dragons. This family spirit wasn’t nurtured in a day, month, or year. It has taken much work from everyone involved.

They each share a room with a sibling close in age. Sharing a space and learning to be friends has been key in building family. Once friendships formed, love was able to grow in our family.

Every year or so someone new has come home. It’s been healing for the children already home to witness the transition for the newest one, and offer opportunities to pour into someone besides themselves.

We most often grow in our own healing when we help someone through what we have experienced too. God has blessed this process in our family more than we could have ever imagined.

My Little Caterpillars

My Little Caterpillars

‘…When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch.
But the person who takes shape within
is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—
and becomes a living spirit.’
(John 3:6 The message)

From the very beginning of the adoption process, there is hard work to be done. The paper trail is daunting. Fees need payment and fundraisers need to be launched. Accepting a referral and knowing a face, makes waiting just plain hard. If you have adopted before, you know this side of adoption is the easy part.

We make it to the country of our child, and the hard work of helping our child cope with another abandonment begins. After traveling home, we are jet lagged, sick, tired, and wanting our old normal.

Maybe you’re wondering just how long the transition from caterpillars to butterflies (cocooning) takes. It varies for each individual child and giving the time needed, will allow healing, bonding, and attachment to develop intentionally.

It takes as long as it takes.

Evaluating the child in present situations, to the child while in country, can give insight to progress. Are they staying the same? Has there been growth in certain areas? Staying proactive in your thoughts is life changing in the day to day toil.

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I’ve been thinking lately how the Release of Butterflies looks in our family~

We will celebrate two milestones for EK this month: her 10th Gotcha Day and her 11th birthday. There are SO many things we have worked through over the years to the point of extinction, but there are others we continue to pour grace upon. We have cocooned her for 10 years in healing some very broken areas of her heart, but she has grown wings to fly in successes too.

You might say my butterflies are flying, but hearts are still wrapped in a little cocoon shielding them from too much at one time.

Our family spends most of our time at home, and we aren’t involved in many extra activities. Learning together and playing outside each day has healed in ways I would never have predicted. Home and family provide a safe and solid foundation for building trust.

Church has been a learning curve for us. We moved to our hometown eight years ago leaving our church of 20 years. We visited others over the past 8 years, and just in the last two months found a place where all six feel connected. It is traditional, quiet, and predictable, which is exactly what our children from trauma needed. A combination of the environment and maturity of our children both play an equal part in this restoration.

They are flourishing as they meet new people and adapting to new environments, which hasn’t been true in the past. They are making friends and learning scripture. It has been just the social outlet they needed without being overstimulated. We do recognize places we still need growth and gracefully working on them.

The gym is a big one for our kids. It is big, echoes loudly, and our children choose to sit on the sidelines and watch. That’s OKAY! Grace.

Everyone in their OWN time develops their wings for flight. Time will release the cocoon surrounding the fear in that space, and once it does, watch out world~ Butterflies will be swarming everywhere.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!   ~Corinthians 5:17

There is an eternal purpose in the work of adoption and parenting in general: to Release our butterflies into flight, to let them go into the world chasing God’s destiny for their lives, and become who God made them to be. NOTHING is more important.

School, church, sports, extra activities are not the priority for our children; just places they fly once their wings unfurl. They must know we are here for them, and then we will find JOY in their future as we help them deal sooner than later.

Gift time to your child, love them like crazy, and watch a Beautiful Butterfly take flight in confidence. 
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My Beautiful Butterflies

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~Author Unknown

 

We all have stories of redemption in adoption to share. If you so feel led, I would love for you to click the Share button and write your story. It needs to be told so MORE come home to their forever families.