May 15, 2010

Ethiopia, Adoption and Ode to my Knight

Day 2 Ethiopia (April 2010)

Wiping her Papa off after a game of football (soccer) in Grace Guest House's yard.

Adopting a 13 year old daughter

Speaks 2 languages:  Oromigna and Amharic
and a bit of English

Lived at Emmanuel Orphanage in Woliso for the past 6 years.

Our Princess Sweetness in Ethiopia...trying on one of her new outfits we brought her.

Update on the home front:

Yesterday she asked again about school and why school buses came on our road, but why none of our family went.  I tried to explain the best I could that God has directed us to homeschool (over 15 years ago.)  I tried to explain.  I am not sure if she understood?  She was angry for hours, so maybe she did. 

I found myself crying out to God for help (yet again).  As this is His plan for our family, I am just a follower of Him.  He has called us (and our girl) to this life of homeschooling, so I am asking Him to give her peace about it. 

It got a little ugly right before dinner.  There was a box of pencils that was thrown at her sister.  Some yelling (by her) and some intervention by me to stop it. 

She was mad.  She went to school in Woliso and was the top student in the village school.  She is smart, very smart, but doesn't understand why some of the books I have bought her are not the 6th grade level she thinks she is in still. Even when she has difficulty doing the papers that she is asking for (she is learning hungry, which is good!), she still is angry.  I've tried to explain that we will quickly move through the lower levels and back up to the 6th grade, as we try to fill in necessary understanding in English.

My Knight is my stabilizer with arms right now.  I found myself fighting back tears several times through dinner.  I want her to like me, I want her to be excited about all that God has for her; including homeschool.  I don't want her to yell, "NO!" at me any more. 


In the midst of it.  God spoke to my heart...He said read Isaiah 41.  I was up to my elbows in creating dinner, so I had my 15 year old daughter read it to me as I cooked and wiped back tears. (She had gone into hiding with some of her school books, so she didn't see the tears or my struggle.)

In the center of it all, this is what the Holy Spirit said...(verse 13)

 For I am the LORD, your God,

who takes hold of your right hand

and says to you, Do not fear;

I will help you.

sigh...God is so good.  He is my help in times of trouble.


Saminda said...

Kimmie, I don't know what to say. :( I cannot imagine. So, I will pray for you. For strength, understanding, patience. And for Simenesh as well.

Hang in there sweet sister, I know you can do this!! xoxo

Kristine said...

Oh Kimmie, I fight back tears for you as I read this. But God will see you through this. And when we do as He asks there is great reward! I will pray for a quick transition for her. It must be very difficult for her too. Especially with her limited English. I will keep you in prayer.

The Niedermeyers said...

I think she craves other girls' fellowship and the competition of being the top student. The Ethiopian culture also plays into it. They love going to school. It is important to them. She doesn't see the benefits of homeschooling....yet... If she is very smart, she can work ahead a grade. She can learn what she loves, not just what the schools have to teach everyone. Place yourself in her shoes. Imagine having dreams of America, going to school, friends in school.

You are doing what God called you to do Kimmie! She will conform into that with time and your prayers!

Not sure about the Ethiopian culture and anger...was she allowed to show it? Work her through it.

Tamirat started Rosetta Stone English. It is easy and fun! Another CCI mother has had success with it so I am going to try. They truly can't learn until they have our language and understand what we are trying to teach them.

I will pray for you and Simenesh. Stand strong.

The Niedermeyers said...

I hope I didn't sound harsh. I feel for you. It is hard. A good hard. I just offer you what I have learned from all the others going before us. I tend to not be emotional and try to reason things out and learn.

The only picture I have in my head is Simenesh as a beautiful sweet girl!

Tamirat has cried quietly a few times. I have found out it is a common thing. They struggle trying to fit in to our culture. He will not tell us what it wrong and that is common too.

The Lord gave you the gift of that sweet girl, He will certainly provide all you need. Bless you for giving her a family to love her!!

Julie said...

Kimmie, I am sorry you are having these struggles. I will be praying for you and Simenesh.

We had the translator explain home schooling to Levi while we were in Ethiopia which I think helped him get used to the idea before we got home. Do you have any Ethiopians in your area that could translate for you so you could share God's plan for your family in a way she will understand now? I know it is so hard but it will get better.

Our first 8 weeks home were hard. Now at four months things are so much better. Levi loves being home schooled and getting to be with his new family all the time. We still have tears sometimes, but nothing like before.

((Big Hugs))

Eve said...

I will pray that the Lord especially bless this adjustment period. I don't know what it's like, there are no children in my home, but I can imagine, and feel that you are only following what God has placed in your and your husbands hearts to do. Simenesh will understand soon.

Shonni said...

Poor little girl and you mama...I am so sorry. I am praying for you all!

Amrita said...

Sim comes from an alien orientation, background and culture. It will take a lot of haqrd work, patience and prayer - the good , the bad and the ugly.

Cindy said...

kimmie, You are a good mom and a great teacher. She is watching you even in her anger, you are not the problem. I think you said it best,in an earlier post, "she really needs Jesus". He is her hope and source. Lord I pray you give Kimmie a warring spirit to batttle for the soul of Simenesh, you are not alone.

Valerie said...

Praying for you.

Renee said...

Praying Sweet Friend..

I have learned that with our children it often boils down to a lack of control. It is so scary for these dear ones whose lives who have been SO out of their control to feel like they are not in control. I am sure in ET Siminesh felt very in control in school. She could study hard and affect the outcome. It brought her comfort and was her strong place in a life that she had little control over. Of course, putting her into school here would not give her control either but she doesn't realize that schools here are very different than schools in ET.

Praying for you as you navigate these waters. Jesus will give you perfect wisdom and strength. If you ever need to e-mail or talk please let me know. I may not have any answers but I can listen.

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

Our daughter, adopted at age 5, chafed and was unhappy about not going to school. She viewed the school and the many children as an environment that was more like what she was used to--the orphanage--and longed for the "safety" I think that it represented to her--time away from the "mean" Mama who was now requiring her to do things she didn't want to do. Guess what? She's over it now--waaaayyy over it, and very happy to be homeschooled. I pray that Simenesh will get there too--I think she will. With your sweet spirit, and the inspiration that the Holy Spirit is giving you, it's going to work out eventually. You are being called to "suffer the sake of Christ" right now so that your daughter may grow deeper in her understanding and knowledge of Him and His marvelous ways.

Stephanie said...

Praying for you! xoxo

Anna said...

I know it's very hard. But there is peace in realizing that (even if it weren't God's will for your family), school would be completely impossible for her right now! You know this, she doesn't. Hang in there.

MommaMindy said...

Thank you for being so honest about some of the challenges of adoption. It helps me know how to pray for you and others.

You know, Kimmie, I went through some rough times with my non-adopted teens. At times I felt just like you do now. I wanted them to love me and accept how the Lord led me to parent and school. The Holy Spirit has a work to do in her heart, as he did in my kids' hearts. I have nearly FORGOTTEN how rough some of those years are, they are walking with the Lord, adoring me, and considering homeschooling their kids. :)

You know why it is called long-suffering? Because sometimes we suffer for a long time.

It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus, it will be worth it all, when we see Christ. One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase, so gladly run the race, till we see Christ!

Roselawn said...

God will bless you through your struggle. Hang on tight to Him.

Martie said...

When you told us the age of your daughter you were adopting - I knew there would be some unique issues. Unique in the fact that she is older and can express herself more clearly. I think the little ones that are adopted (like our Anna - 3 mo) experience the same feelings - but because of their age they can not express themselves the same way. When we got our Anna - she would cry and cry on somedays. Nothing seemed to console and there were times I cried with her. She also would not smile very often. Then slowly - she adjusted and the crying came less frequently and the smiles more and more. (But she still would not smile when we were out of the house and around strangers.

I hope this makes sense... I think they all go through the same adjustments - the older ones just express it in a clear language that we know that they are having some issues with it all - the babies we explain it away.

I will pray for you and for her. God will not lead us where His grace can not keep us. That has been the thing that has kept us going with our Zak - God lead us to adopt him and no matter how hard it gets - God will provide the way. He ALWAYS does. So thankful He is strengthening you through His word. His Word is TRUTH.

Love and Prayer My Friend,

Expat Mom said...

This has to be so hard. I remember being ten and it was a horrible time . . . I think I yelled "NO!" at my mom a lot, too! She said it was far worse than the teen years and so I can only imagine that Simenesh is going through a much harder time. She's hitting that difficult age and has SO MUCH to adjust to. I agree with the other comment that it could be a control thing. What if you were able to give her a little control over another area of her life here?

Do you know anyone in the area who she could meet up with and play with, maybe someone from her church. I'm thinking it has to be very intense for both of you to be together all the time and maybe she needs a break (you too!) even if only for an hour or so.

Hang in there, I know it is very hard, but she is a wonderful girl and you are a wonderful mother, you both just need to get used to each other.

Jennifer said...

Hi Kimmie,

I am a fellow CCI'er and we've been home almost exactly 2 months with a 7yr old and 2yr old. I can totally relate to what you're going thru right now. Our daughter threw major fits for about 6 weeks and would end up in tears almost every day. I started to question whether I knew what I was doing as a Mom. But in the past two weeks, things have greatly improved and our daughther has "settled" in a bit. She had a revelation in CiCi's pizza of all places, when she was really acting out and I asked her if she saw any other children acting the way she was acting. It was almost like a light bulb went on at that moment. She has been a totally different girl since then.

Anyway, hang in there and do what you feel God is leading you to do. Siminesh will come to love your family and her new life and treasure it deeply in a short time. I'm praying for all of you!!

Jennifer Finley

Andrea said...

Oh, I miss you soooo much! I am praying for you all, and counting on the Lord to help, for he is our source of righteousness and strength.

I've been working on Liora's lifebook, and going over our adoption journey and all the pictures of our trip is breaking my heart. So many emotions are stirring and leaving me with many return to Ethiopia, to bring more children to our family, to be in YOUR company again...It's overwhelming. All I can do is turn it over to the Lord and wait.

You are a dear sister and I love you. Thank you for sharing your life so openly.

Stacy said...

(((love you, Kimmie!)))

I love that passage and that God spoke it to you. Keep on reading it, keep on trusting!

Renata said...

You're doing such a wonderful job Kimmie. Will continue to pray for you & now for specifically that Simenesh will learn very quickly to LOVE homeschooling!

Cathy said...

I think that it is all so wonderful...your conviction to what God has called you to, your breaking and moldable heart, turning to scripture for comfort and direction, and the rock you have in your husband. You are a great example of a believer that leans on the heart of God in your life. I trust God will continue to mold your new daughter and you to His image, in time.


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