September 22, 2013

Children and Trauma

In a recent post, I wrote about Managua and Trauma.  I thought I would share about a related topic, a passion of mine and something that I have chosen to dedicate my professional and personal life to – children who have experienced trauma.

Children who have experienced trauma can be cute and sweet on the outside, but usually this behavior will not last for long.  Often they can only “save face” for a period of time before their fears and anxieties begin to emerge.  They begin to display difficult behaviors, can be a lot of work to parent and difficult to understand.

Many times people decide not to stick it out and stay with them, but this is what they so badly need.

As Kevin and I continue to think and pray about growing our family, we are continually pulled towards the desire to adopt (we are actually mid-way through the process). There are kids in this world who need families right now. Infant adoption seems more desirable because in general less trauma has been experienced, while still recognizing that these kids have experienced traumatic events in-utero and have lost their birth families.  But we also recognize that there are other children, older children who need homes just as badly.  The more years they have had, the more likely they have experienced events that have been traumatic.

But this is a difficult decision. It will effect the rest of our lives.

Life is pretty easy right now. We can come and go as we please (for the most part) and have a lot of control over our day to day lives. But thinking about what it would be like to raise a child who has had traumatic experiences changes these things.

Our family pictures may not always be so cute and sweet.  We may not be able to send out the darling Christmas cards or creatively craft and cook things to be pinned on pinterest.  We may have weird rules about who can touch or hold or help our kids.  We may be misunderstood by friends and family.  And there will most likely be many difficult days and very long nights.

But there are kids that need homes. This is our heart, which is a reflection of what we know to be God’s heart.

Think and pray for us if you would.  If you have any thoughts or experience in this realm, please don’t hesitate to send them our way.

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