Mar 7, 2009

Orphanage vs. Foster Care



Claire was 20 months when we received her. She had lived in the orphanage all her life. She had many, many traits and behaviors of an institutionalized child. She has adapted to being the center of attention very well thank you very much. It seems to be a battle lately to determine "WHO IS THE BOSS OF ME" she is in no way a disobedient child, just willful. She will do things that shake our world, then when we ask her not to do them again, she politely answers "ok mom". She lived her whole life before us doing EXACTLY as she was told. It was really nice at first because she was almost robotically obedient. Then it has also been nice to see her exert her self will and not be punished for it. I wonder how our willful child would have been if she would have had one on one attention that foster care brings????




We know Kevin is in foster care. How will that make our transistion worse or better? I have been mulling this over in my mind. We happen to know he is the ONLY child in the home as well. He will be 28 months when we get him....how much will the move from the orphanage to the foster home NOW the trauma of coming from that home to America. I don't really worry, as I know this is the child that the Lord has picked for us. He belongs to us as much as our girls do. Our hearts are filled with love and WANT for him. I just want him to not feel so "moved around" so to speak. He will be our only boy....he will, no doubt, be the center of attention for some time. I don't want him to be bitter and sad about leaving the great care of his foster parents. I know he will probably grieve differently than Claire did, but still just as hard. I want to make him feel secure and FINALLY HOME as soon as we possibly can. I hope for this to be as easy as it could be. So many things to have to think about, prepare for, and wishing I would sit and listen to God more often.




We are planning on leaving for China the 24 or 25. Returning home Aprinl 10/11. We will be firming up next week. I will let all know then...

6 comments:

Elaine said...

Shelley I have been wondering the same thing. Ren goes home on the weekends and evenings with a family. I have been told that the little boys are treated like little emporers ;-). I have also been told that the harder they grieve the harder they attach. It will be an interesting trip to say the least. I am really glad we are traveling together! Elaine

Kay Bratt said...

It is so hard to tell how a child immersed in foster care will react to a new family. In my orphanage, many foster parents used the children as only a means to an additional income. Very few treated the children with love and maternal/paternal affection. However, all the children in foster care vs. institutionalized had less post-institutional behaviors evident. So, in my opinion, foster care is always the better option. Kevin is adorable---prayers are with you from the South.

Hannah said...

Although I will be happy that y'all are leaving and everything, it will be tough taking care of a child who is starting to "branch out." Oh, how I will need therapy after this! YAY! Hannah

laurel said...

Yeah!!!! I am so glad you are going. If it is worth anything, our daughter was in foster care and her transition was hard for about 3 weeks, meaning more emotional than they other babies that came from an orphanage, but then she bonded really fast and really well. My personal OPINION is they bond a bit better being in foster care because they have a chance to really bond. Just my opinion and I haven't had a child from an orphanage, I just know from observing others whose have.

Tracy Peed :: Creator/ Designer said...

Shelley-
So glad to hear that you finally have travel approval. I remember the staff at Wuxi Int'l School talking about Kevin and how sweet he is. Is someone from there fostering him full-time, or is he with a Chinese family? Jackson spent weekends with a teacher from the school, and in my opinion he was all the better for it. He is so affectionate and sweet. He grieved hard - I will not sugar coat that part. It was tough, but he did fantastic from the minute we were at home. Safe travels - I will be following your journey for sure!

Fellow XingFu Mama,

Tracy

Amy and Amelia AiChun said...

Shelley - Amelia was 25 months at adoption and was in foster care with the same family her whole life - - call or e-mail me and I would be glad to share my experience. Also, if you are willing, I would love to give your some $$ and have you pick up a couple of things for Amelia while you are there.

Hugs,
Amy B.





Every call has a beginning. A quiet moment when God whispers a promise to a mother’s heart . A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts the journey set before him. A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns… Casting its first light on a chosen threshold. A gentle knock..a closed door opens, a sacred invitation sent by the Father.. leads to the other side of the world. Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows praying for someone to care.. and then one morning, on an ordinary day an orphan’s life changes... God sends them a second chance...Through you..
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