A few months ago I had the realization that a bigger sadness than waiting much longer than expected to be able to bring home our daughter from Ethiopia, would be to wait much longer than we expected to wait, yet still fail to do everything we could possibly do to prepare to parent our newly adopted child.
We'd nearly completed the training required by our agency, read a few extra books, gone to some adoption talks, a conference, started an adoption group at our church, but still I knew there was more we could do.
Much of our agency training have been videos from the teaching of Dr. Karyn Purvis and I've also read her book The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family. And I have to say her teachings are amazing! She talks honestly about issues that children from "hard places" may have, but she brings so much hope, constantly repeating the message that in all her years of work with children, she believes there is no child that is too far gone, and she provides many techniques for compassionately helping your child to heal from their past with a Biblical perspective.
Dr. Purvis is the director of the Institute of Child Development at TCU and their website has some great resources, including a way to buy DVDs of Karyn Purvis's teaching series. Also, Empowered to Connect is the study guide that goes along with The Connected Child book and the website empoweredtoconnect.org has many free videos and materials. We are planning to get a few small groups from our church adoption ministry to go through the Empowered to Connect study in the coming months, hoping that families will benefit from sharing their journeys and supporting each other.
We've also decided to travel to attend an optional 2 day training class that our agency is offering free of charge, and are excited to spend two days immersed in the techniques.
The likely reality is that each extra month of our adoption wait is an additional month of her life that our daughter will have spent in an orphanage on top of the trauma that led her to being an orphan in the first place. The least we can do is prepare ourselves with as much knowledge as possible to be able to best help her begin healing and bonding with us.
I am so thankful for the wonderful, Christian resources that are available now, that were not just a few years ago! It is an exciting time for the world of adoption and foster care when kids and families can get the help they so desperately need. And I just know God is thrilled because these kids from the "hard places" are His BELOVED, PRECIOUS children!
Mark 9:37, "Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me."
Find more Thankful Thursday here.