Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sharing Madelyn's story

My sweet Madelyn. She brings so much joy to our lives. She's is witty and sharp as a whip and her mathematical skills...forget about it, she's brilliant! As she is learning more and more English, she and I talk all the time about her past life in China. I am sharing this with all of you because I know there are some folks out there that are adopting older children and this information may be helpful in some way. It's not easy to share because it breaks my heart all over again for her but I know the Lord is with her, she is on fire for JESUS and I know He has mighty plans for our girl. Madelyn is usually the last one to finish eating at the dinner table which has given CJ and I some valuable one on one with her. She loves to talk and she loves to talk about "her" China and I chuckle as I type this because she feels Linzhi's China is very different from her China and Linzhi feels her China is very different than Madelyn's. *sisters* Anyway, one evening Madelyn asked me if I miss someone. I said yes, I miss my grandpa and grandma that passed away almost 10 years ago, then she asked CJ if he missed someone and he said he misses his dad that passed away too. I then asked Madelyn if she was missing someone (I know she is) and she answered her China mom and dad. I went out on a limb and asked what she misses the most. My eyes were welling and my throat was lumpy but I strongly feel she needs to get it all out to fully heal from her loss. She stated she misses dinner time with them. Oh my heart. I just picture her at the dinner table with them, laughing and being silly like she is with us. How do you mend her broken heart? I then sat real close to her, held her in my arms and told her how sorry I was that she was missing them so much and how I wished for her one day she could go back to Wuhan to see them and I added that I don't know why God chose for her to leave her China family to be apart of ours but we are so happy she is here. She looked at me very seriously and firmly and stated this. " Mom, I know why I am here. My China mom is going to be dead soon. Her doctor told her because she is sick in her stomach, no one could take care of me so God gave me to you and daddy" I type through tears because my 9 year old knows why God did the amazing thing He did for her precious life. He gave her a forever family that would pour the power of Jesus on her and show her that life in Christ will set her free and she gets it! WOW. CJ and I looked at each other is complete awe at our little treasure. So that evening as I was going to bed, I checked on all my kiddies. Madelyn of course was still awake, I gave her lots of hugs and told her how much I loved her and how daddy and I are so grateful she's our daughter. We said good night and I went to bed. As I laid there, I wept. I could not control it. It felt too big for me so I went into prayer for my daughter. Within minutes, I was back in her room gathering her pillow and walked her back with me. I cradled her in my arms and we prayed together. I told her I never want her to bottle things up inside (What's bottled up mom? =) and I want her to know she can tell me anything. She replied, anything? Yep, I answered anything. Ok mom, I have something to tell you (insert stomach dropping). She continued, when I was 4 years old my China mom and dad worked so my sister (foster parents daughter, age 20 at the time) would babysit me until they came home from work. "Well, she hit me lots". I couldn't speak. All I could muster up was "Hit you?" "Yeah, I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself cuz my hands not good so I would cry and cry because I had to go potty and then I pee pee my pants and she would hit my face". I asked how many times she did this and she replied about "12 or 15 times." I was without words, I held her and my tears dripped on her head. I told her as best as I could that she would never be hurt again and she answered "I know mom, you love me". Finally I was able to ask her if she ever told her parents what happened and she said she did and that her China mom hit her sister with the broom until she cried and from that point on she was never alone with her again. So from age 4 until 5 Madelyn suffered from physical abuse. Of course, we are angry and hurt for our little girl. She was loved by her parents but not loved by her sister and I feel she was probably maybe jealous of Madelyn and took her anger out on our girl. Madelyn told me her sister was not good in her head so we both agreed we needed to pray a lot for her and we do. You see, when you adopt an older child they were without you for years and years, they have a past life of being vulnerable and alone and if by the Grace of God they come out of the life of an orphan most likely they'll join a family that doesn't speak their language so it's months before the healing can begin. If you are just coming home or will be going to get your older child soon, my advice is to be very patient because there is so much more to them than what is written about them on the report from the file. There is pain and suffering that most likely took place and lots of loss to top it off. I feel in my heart Madelyn saw violence that's why she crumbles so easily at any arguments that occur with the girls but I also see Madelyn is becoming more and more comfortable in her own skin and now that she can talk to me and her daddy she is expressing herself and sharing her precious life with us. I will forever be haunted by what my daughter went through and as we discover her more we may find more painful truths to her life before us but hearing this and praying with her, crying with her, holding her as if she was a baby brought us closer in so many ways. I get her more now than ever and CJ is even more gentler with her now. Behind her wit and sense of humor is a little girl that has lived a lot of life in her short 9 years and carries a great loss in her heart but Madelyn knows why the Lord brought her here and she told me how much she loves Jesus. In my heart and soul, that's all I need to know. Jesus is in the process of healing her broken soul and I know He has big plans for our girl. It's just going to take lots and lots of time. Please pray for all the older kiddos out there that are in the process of getting to know their new family OR for those precious souls that wait to see if their time will ever come. God bless.


Lori Lee said...

Amy, my heart is completely broken from hearing that story. Could you imagine? I also am haunted by what happened to her...I think it hit so hard because, I've mention before how Madelyn's hands/arms look exactly like Sara's...who will be 4 next month. She says, "mom, when I'm 4 my hands will be big!" Oh, how my heart aches...she couldn't help wasn't her could anyone be so cruel? I'm so so sorry, and also so thankful that you are her mommy now. There is hope and healing. God bless you guys.

Teresa =) said...

Amy -

Thank you for being brave enough to share that with us. Carson also tells me stories of being his foster father...for having toilet accidents when he tried his best to get there on time. Breaks my heart!

Madelyn is an amazing young lady and I can't wait to see how God uses her for His glory!!

Teresa =)

Football and Fried Rice said...

Oh, the journey that baby girl has ALREADY been on!, the things that God has already revelaed to Madelyn? Wow! She has more knowledge of her purpose in life than many of us ADULTS do! What an incredible blessing she continues to be for your family. So thankful we serve a God that caught every tear of Madelyn's!

Janet and Kevin said...

amy - what a sweet and touching post this is. Since we are adopting an older daughter ( 7 soon to be 8 in October), I could really relate to Madelyn's stories. How precious she is and how good God is! So glad she is home where she needs to be now.

janet and gang