About Us

Hattiesburg, MS, United States
We are a really average family that just can't get over that we have been adopted by an extraordinary God! We are excited and expectant as the journey to enlarge our family unfolds before us.

Friday, February 27, 2009


WARNING---This isn't going to be a feel good post! Just an honest one...

Today was a pretty confusing day with Nick. It started out pretty much as a carbon copy of yesterday. Eating a banana, drinking some juice, listening to some music, and some dancing. Nothing much that was too remarkable.

Then it started to get a little weird. He was hugging all over Erick. At first it seemed affectionate, but then it just got plain aggressive. He was hugging him tightly and grabbing Erick's face in his hands. Denise or I would pull him away and tell him to stop, and he would head right back. Anyone that knows Erick well knows how timid he is with other kids being aggressive. He was pretty freaked out. A couple of times, Nick even poked at his eyes. It was really pretty troubling.

We finally got him to stop, and it was time for us to go. On the way back to the group, everything seemed fine. Right up to the point he turned around and hit Erick in the head with a toy car. Totally unprovoked and out of nowhere. As soon as he did it, he looked like he was going to cry. I made sure that he understood that what he did was very bad. Not a great way to bring our visit to a close. We did our best to let him know that we loved him in our limited Russian and that we would see him tomorrow.

I have to admit that lunch was pretty miserable. Just trying to process. This was pretty much the same behavior that Denise saw a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty unnerving. Up until now, we could just chalk that up to a bad day. Now that the same thing has happened twice, it's made us a little scared. Since we can't communicate with him very well, we don't really understand what is going on from him. We don't know what he is saying. We can't be sure we are getting through to him, and he has to be as scared as we are. And, in the back of our minds...worry. Worry that there is more to this, and that we are unprepared to deal with it.

Sorry, there is that raw edge to the blog again. Transparency at its finest. I don't want to over-react. Brothers are going to fight. Kids are going to do things and get into trouble. But, this was just weird.

Pray for us. Specifically, you can pray that we can get some clues to understand this behavior and how to deal with it.

Anyone who is reading the blog that has some insight or experience...bring it on. We're listening.

We are exhausted and so ready to get home, and maybe that is making things worse.

I know we are called to do this, and God has been all over our getting here. Today has been a day where that is most of what I am hanging onto. Probably the first of many...

Thanks for checking in on us and being there,



Greg Breazeale said...

Hey man, giving advice from my nice comfortable chair in my office thousands of miles away seems pretty shallow! Not that I have any, I feel like hitting people in the head with a car (or a Bible) all the time! I will pray for you knowing that God has a plan and that He is still raising you as well as N. Hang in there, be steadfast, live on some verses, take refuge with Denise. Heather and I are seeking God for you all!


adopting2fromUkraine said...


I just looked at your blog today, so I am unfamiliar with all the details.

I don't know how old your new Ukrainian son is, but however old he is, he is very behind developmentally. No matter how old they are, they will act like two year olds or even younger. Our daughter was 12 when our adoption was final. She has acted like a baby, sucking her thumb, sucking straws in a very odd way like she was using it as a bottle. When they feel secure, a child will naturally digress, which is really a good thing in the end. How long this takes is another question.

Your son will have to learn proper behavior. It will be exhausting, but you will have to watch him very closely for a while. Try to anticipate every action before it happens. The touching of the face thing sounds like a sensory issue to me. These children hug hard. They do everything will all they have in them. They don't know personal boundaries. Our daughter would run into me. She still does. She also loves to be 'smushed' or held down. I've been told that autistic children don't have spatial awareness. They don't know where their body ends and another person's begins unless they are pressed against you. Of course, your child and mine are not autistic, but I'm just trying to explain the sensory issues. In normal development with parents, a child gets what they need as they need it. An institutionalized child is missing these developmental links. They can make up for some of them later. There is a book called 'The Out of Sync Child' that is about sensory issues. It has a companion book called 'The Out of Sync Child has Fun' I would recommend checking those books out of the library if they have them.

Things will get better. But, you will have to be diligent and watchful so that he doesn't harm your other child. I don't think that caregivers intervene much when children hurt each other. It's like the children are in a perpetual daycare. Children dealing with other children on their own level. Little adult supervision.

You're not the only ones who have dealt with these issues:)

Best wishes,

Michelle said...

It could be fear of the unknown, trying to find his place in the family, testing to see your responce...if you will leave him not love him. It could be more or less. I am not sure what attachment books you have read or classes you took, but there are some very good ones out there and some crazy ones as well. My son was much younger but had some attachment issues. We have been home from Russia for 3 years and have worked through most of them, but did seek outside help. I will be happy to share anything that I have learned, but it is still very early in the game so for now I will just go with it is some emotional testing going on. Praying for you

jsullivan said...

Hello, we adopted a little boy last year from Ukraine. We went through a period of a couple months, including that first week when we took him out of the orphanage, where he was aggressive. He would hit and bite. Please feel free to email me at jsullivan@bizjournals.com if you'd like to hear more. anyway, long story short, he's adapted great to his new life. Apparently, a lot of the aggression was fear and frustration with the language. that week in kiev before coming home was really hard. Taking them out of their environment and not being on your own is tough.

Terry and Tara said...

Hi Guys!
If it makes you feel any better, every step of the adoption for me was terrifying. I fell in love with our little girl, but all the joy of receiving the court decree and officially taking her out of the orphanage was overshadowed by the "what ifs?" I won't lie. Our time with her in Ukraine was not fun. It got to the point that I was even afraid to come home with her because then I knew it would be real.
In hindsight, I wish I would have just pushed those fears aside and tried to enjoy our first days together more. It DOES get better. Even though we are giving these children a better life, you have to think of how terrifying this has to be for them....so many "what ifs?"
I'd say the behaviour he's showing is quite normal in this situation. You have to remember, and I continually remind myself, these are not biological children who have been raised by us. It takes time for them to learn how our families work.
The only advice I can really give you at this time is to enjoy your time and your son while in Ukraine. Deal with outbursts as best you can (it's difficult there, I know)
You are in my prayers and obviously a lot of other people's too! God loves you and wants the best for you and your little boy!
Take care,