Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Pain

Eleven years ago we were making travel arrangements to go to Guatemala to meet Joselin. We were told that she was eight years old. We were approved to adopt two kids because we thought that an older child might have a sibling.  We didn't want to break up a sibling group.  We were assured that Joselin did not have any siblings.

We got to Guatemala and quickly realized that Joselin was not 8 years old.  We met with her mom and she told us her true birth date, she was 11 years old. 

What a challenge, 11 years old and no education and only speaks Spanish. 

Shortly after getting Joselin home we realized that she did have other siblings.  One was grown and stayed in Guatemala.  However, she had a younger brother who she was strongly attached to.  She was responsible for taking care of him, she felt like he was her child.  Of all her losses the loss of her brother was the most painful.  There was no way that we could have adopted the brother, his mom took him to a different orphanage.

We searched for him and were able to find him.  He lives with his family in the frigid north.  His mother does not want to have contact until he is 18 years old, we have been able to get pictures for Joselin.

The loss of her brother has been a pain that Joselin has never overcome.  Joselin lost all trust in adults, she felt betrayed by her mother and transferred that mistrust to us.  She spent the first 10 years here being so mad.  We tried different therapists but they were not helpful at all. 

At one point we received a foster baby with no attachment.  That baby didn't want to be held so we were in a campaign to hold that foster baby as much as possible.  At that time we didn't know that the baby would become our Larissa.

And their bond is a special one.

Even after Larissa got taller than Joselin.

For years I told Joselin that she would have to accept the past in order to move forward.  It wasn't until after she left our house that she realized that we were her family.  To a certain degree she accepted the past and moved forward.  She is happier and building relationships with her siblings.  She says that she has lots of regrets for how she acted for years and regrets the lost time she could have enjoyed her family.  She travels with us on as many family trips as she is able.

She is happier.  However, she still has moments..... of pain, of sadness, of anger.  She struggles with relationships because she is afraid of trusting a man.  Although she wants relationships she will at some point pull away when it gets too close.  She has learned to trust her family however learning to trust a man with her love is hard.  The thought of rejection is just too painful.

So we take life day by day.  We enjoy the happy moments and support her through her rough days. 

The pain of rejection, trauma and/or abuse never really go away.

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