Two China Dolls and a Prince!

This blog chronicles the story of 2 of our adoptions, both older children when they came home. It begins in 2008 and will continue in the hopes we can be of encouragement and information to anyone thinking of older child adoption.

Monday, October 28, 2013


As is usual, all good things usually have an end, and so did Ning's "turnaround". The last two weeks have not been a good time, but we are definitely getting used to the peaks and valleys. Why? Without going into too much detail, after a recent visit away from home, Ning has decided rules at home do not apply to him, especially one particular rule. It is not a harsh rule, or unreasonable, or even a big one, yet the absence of this rule greatly affects his ability to interact with life in general. He simply doesn't think he should have to follow it because he doesn't WANT to, period. Never mind that the other children all have the same rules and are expected to behave which they all find relatively easy to do, EVEN (gasp) older brother. While we know that he had no family rules and no "normal" parental governance of his life for basically 8 years and this is a learning process, it is also a CHOICE. It is a CHOICE of his to refuse to say good morning, goodnight, please or thank you, or even Hello to us; while in public, he does all this just fine. He told his tutor he has no desire to say these things to us or talk to us at any length. Why? We have quit asking that because there are really no answers. And honestly, HOW many teens these days are WONDEFUL kids in public, but go home and treat their families like crap? His teachers like him and expound on how social he is...and talks to them, is polite, respectful of the rules, etc. This is great, because it means he will be able to function in society just fine as a grown-up. BUT, will he be able to form a close, meaningful, emotional attachment to any one single person in his life? Maybe or maybe not. He is a perfect example of what happens to a child that is taken care of physically, but not nurtured, shaped, led, loved, wind up with emotional bankruptcy. Would attachment therapy help? Probably....but one can't force a 15-year old into a car to see a "head" doctor if they don't want the help. For myself, I have stopped asking why in general. Having deep discussions don't work, since he himself doesn't even understand why he acts the way he does. So we are giving him space, lots of space. Saturday we did lots of activities to which he wasn't taken along because we wanted to enjoy ourselves freely without a sour face. Sunday we had church and time at grandparents to which he was expected to come. At church, he fell asleep quite obviously, so when we were done, we left our seats and conversed with friends (close by) until he finally came awake and realized he was the only one still sitting...and sleeping. Because of the way he treats us, it has caused us to question our very family unit, our values, the way we do things, the rules we have, and you know what? We came to the conclusion that we are nowhere near perfect, but we are a GOOD family. We have LOTS of love, LOTS of fun, and we LOVE God and what He's done with our lives (ok, a little more money would be nice, but can't have it all, I guess!). God put Ning into our lives for a purpose. Perhaps we were only meant to be a safe haven from which he can go on and make a better life. And we are certain and satisfied with ONE thing overall. Even if he returns to China at 18 and we never see him again, for at LEAST 4 years of his life, he WILL have known love, even if he doesn't understand it or want it.


dpo said...

We are right there with you. Our son is home 15 months and what a roller coaster ride it has been!

EHedden said...

Debbie, I just want to you know how much I respect you. You are obviously a wonderful Mother. Your patience with Ning is amazing. I firmly believe that he will come around. It just may take a long time. My Chengdu son Alex is doing amazing. He came home in April and is truly a joy. I think much of that is due to his excellent care because of HTS program. I also think it is because he came home at six and not 13. Keep up the great job. I will pray for Ning and your family.