We Are Not Alone

Yesterday I faced my fears and shared the darkest depravity of my feelings. I shared that dark place inside that is not pretty. The part inside that says, “No, Lord. This isn’t what I wanted. This isn’t how I want to spend my days.”

Your responses and private messages have encouraged me and reminded me that we are indeed supported by an enormous group of people who have walked this road before us. Indeed, we have never been less alone.

We are supported by so many families who have never walked this path, yet have chosen to stand beside us and pray for our family.

Your overwhelming support is a poignant reminder to me that our feelings are not reality. Only God and His truth matters. Even the circumstance are nothing to Him. They are moments in time that can change as swiftly as our feelings can.

Yesterday I shared the lows.

Today I want to share the light that is still burning brightly at the end of the tunnel.

I honestly believe that there is so much more inside Eliza then she has shown us so far. There are the letters she wrote us before we traveled to China. You can read those letters here, here and here.

I have really questioned whether Eliza wrote those letters, but I now believe she must have. She is locked in a world of something that limits her enormously, but I have yet to be able to identify it. She is an enigma. In many ways she presents as younger than our Olivia who is three. The Dr. in the adoption clinic who is saying that with microcephalus as severe as Eliza’s is, it would be far more unlikely for her not to be severely developmentally disabled than it would be for her to be, is also saying she is at a loss and they just do not see cases like hers.

I have written that this isn’t what I wanted, but I have not really shared that I know exactly why God chose me to be Eliza’s mother.

For the ten years of my short lived career in Psychology, I worked in two Developmental Centers as a therapist in the Behavior Modification field. I have written thousands of behavior modification programs for children and adults living in an institutional and group home setting. I have worked side by side with Psychiatrists as they evaluated and medicated patients. I have spent hours on the floor holding and loving these wonderful people who are among the world’s most abused, neglected and misunderstood.

I have watched people destroy their bodies with self injurious behavior as they craved human touch and longed to somehow satisfy the deep yearning inside themselves.

I loved a little girl with severe microcephalus. We called her Luv. Even in those very early days of my adulthood, I longed to bring her home to live with me. That was not to be.

Then, in my adult years, I learned even more about the brain and it’s amazing ability to rebuild itself as we helped our oldest son develop his brain as we worked to overcome Aspergers in his life.

I studied the works of Glenn Doman, and the miraculous neuroplasticity of the brain.

I have met many children whose lives have been changed because their families didn’t accept the prognosis’s of the traditional medical field, and believed God for more.

On top of all of that, I parented all of my children with an attachment based style of parenting which is exactly what adopted children need.

I know why God chose me.

I know how to help Eliza.

What I don’t know yet is how to physically and financially do all that I know I need to do to help her.

But God knows.

He will finish what He started.

A few people very close to me have made comments to imply that perhaps we should not have adopted.

Please know I do not believe that, not even for a moment. That thought has never even entered my mind.

I was created to walk this road.

All of my life has been preparing me to love and parent Eliza and Evangeline.

And I will leave you with this very precious moment with Evangeline.

Last night, Evangeline was asking me why I rocked Eliza every day.

I told her I rocked her because when Eliza was a baby, she needed her mommy to rock her, but she wasn’t there.

Sadness washed over Evangeline’s face, and she said, “I can’t see their faces.”

Aware of this precious moment that was unfolding before me, I said, “You can’t see your mommy and Daddy’s faces?”

Soberly, Evangeline responded, “No, I can’t see their faces.”

Then she continued, “Mommy, in China, when babies are not good, they put them down.” And she motioned to the floor. “Police take them to orphanage.”

Horrified to hear her refer to babies as bad, I asked, “What do you mean when babies are not good?”

“Like me. Like Eliza.”

There are just no words to adequately describe the horror and deprivation that these children have grown up with. Our minds can’t comprehend their loss and their pain. Loving them is sometimes a very lonely and difficult road, but it is a road we must walk.



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  1. Rhonda Schuler says:

    Oh…the tears are beginning to pour LOL. I get so emotional when I read your posts. You express yourself in such a moving manner. I just can not imagine those little girls lives before your family. You open up an insight into what these babies think and feel in orphanages all over the world and even sometimes children that are in their own homes..prayers are sent again to you and your family.

  2. Andrea Ellett says:

    I am crying after reading your post. Especially what Evangeline said about what happens to babies that are not good. Oh my. It breaks my heart wondering how many orphans believe that is why they were abandoned? I am on the Lifeline facebook website, that’s how I saw your post.

  3. aunt dot says:

    Diane, this “blog” was a bit difficult to read. I know you and Mark love your children. Stay focused. You and Mark were chosen to receive these two beautiful children for many reasons, including your ability to write and encourage all of us to do something for the lost children. Eliza and Evangeline are right where they should be. Your love is overwhelming. Your Web site is at once beautiful and difficult to read. What you and Mark are doing makes me so proud. Two little girls have discovered that there is love and caring in this world for them, that you both care, that your family cares. The smiles on their faces are precious. You have done the right thing. You both have given these precious children a glimpse of what life can be and that is a life they now have. Never doubt the miracle that you have given them. You and your family love them, many have come to know your story. The smile on the girls’ faces show their happiness. They are adjusting to a new world with parents and family with playing, shopping, TV, cable, etc … the American way of life. They are blossoming and personally I am so proud of you both, and your kids who have adjusted to two new children with love. Well done.

  4. doreen says:

    my daughter has said the same thing . . . her foster mother told her the reason why “her (bio)-mom didn’t want her was because of her back” (she has scoliosis and other spinal cord malformations – now repaired!). she has a lot to overcome . . . day-by-day we are meeting those challenges. after learning about your professional background, it is obvious that Eliza is where she is suppose to be . . . she will be your life’s work. and that’s a good thing. you are not alone. best . . .

  5. Ashlee says:

    I had mixed emotions when I read this post. My heart hurts for you as a mother, but I was filled with joy for Eliza because she now has a warrior who will go to battle for her where she had no one before. My best friend, who I have known since birth, got her degree in occupational therapy. To know her personality, this is the last kind of field that I would have ever thought she would be interested in. Even she herself wondered at times what made her choose this path because it went so much against the grain of her clean and organized nature. We both had our boys within a year of each other and life got crazy for a while. I knew she was having some concerns about her son’s developmental milestones, some oral issues, and some physical actions that were beginning to manifest at times during an illness or big stressors in his life. She mentioned them to her pediatrician at several wellness visits and the doctor pretty much dismissed her concerns. She told her that all her training and experience was causing her to over-react and make something out of nothing. After a couple of these appointments, the mother instinct won out and she took her son for testing, which revealed that he did fall in the spectrum. By this time, he was starting to lose his vocabulary and had very little eye contact with them. This was her biggest fear to come to life. She called me the day she got the diagnosis and said, “Now I know why I became an occupational therapist. God knew that this little boy would need me and gave me all the resources that I might need in my arsenal to fight for him.” And fight she has. She has fought battles against the medical profession, against friends, and even family to save her little boy. Is it the life she envisioned when she dreamed of having a family one day? No. Does she resent the fact that her entire life for the past 4 years has been consumed by autism? Sometimes. Does it make her angry to see pictures of other kids dressed in their Halloween costumes eating candy when her child refused to go out the door and can’t have candy because it has gluten in it? Yep. Yet every morning she woke up and went into battle without fail. She is the strongest person I know. Her son, who had started to vanish right in front of his parents’ at 3 years old, turned 7 this year. He is in a regular kindergarten class, he loves hugs from his parents, and picks on his younger brother. He dresses up in super hero costumes and sings at the top of his lungs. He isn’t “healed” but autism has not and will not define him. I tell you this story because I have witnessed with my own eyes the power of a mother’s love and determination to give her child a better life. You have already done half of that by becoming Eliza’s family. All those years ago God knew he was preparing you for battle and gave you the education and wisdom that you will need to persevere. I have no doubt that it will be a long and heartbreaking task, but I hope the joys eventually outweigh the tears. Thank you for being so honest and real in your blog, it helps more people than you will ever realize.

  6. Claudia says:

    Always remember that you are the best thing that happened to Eliza and Evangeline since they were born… You give them a future and you honour their herritage and their past… Warm regards, Claudia

  7. Karen Mateeff says:

    So interesting how God plans out our lives and in that we should just be trusting and yet we all struggle. I have found HIM to be so amazing in my journey of the last six months. I’m just completely blown-away by it. Yes, you are now Eliza and Evangeline’s parents and HE PLANNED IT ALL. And he loves them so. He knew what they needed and he also knows what you need. He has big plans for all of us. We just need to keep trusting. He is in control. Not us.

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