Turning Sadness Into Joy
April 20, 2012

Adoptive mom Karen shares her family's story of how they bonded with their daughter:

Our first few months home with our daughter were awesome, but then we noticed some sensory issues- today we call it "orphanage hangover." Our travel group shared stories of joy, bonding and family that we couldn't relate to. Our world changed after our daughter came home. We couldn't eat at a restaurant, go to the mall, or go on vacation. Our routine was set 24/7, never changing. Otherwise, she'd fall completely apart.

Our TG friends were supportive. One did point out (words I clung to for two years) that of all the families in our group she could have gone to, how blessed she is to have a doctor for a dad and a developmental disabilities trained social worker for a mom. Because of our education, we saw the signs early and could seek treatment. Two years of OT, play therapy and speech therapy gave her the tools to cope and us the tools to help.

Photo

Today, she is a happy, well-adjusted seven year old. We are equipped to help her handle big changes. In two days, we leave on a vacation to Paris, France -- something I never dreamed we'd be able to do with her four years ago. She is excited about the adventure and still sleeping at night! 

I know that adoption preparation has changed a lot since we brought Ellie home, but I want to offer support and encouragement to other families however I can. God has brought other families with sensory overload into our lives these past few years. I marvel how he takes our sadness and turns it to joy as we encourage friends to push through and offer a glimpse of the light at the end of their tunnel. He's amazing!!! We are blessed.

Karen has gracioiusly offered to make herself available to other families who are struggling with similar issues. If you'd like to talk to her more, please email blog@awaa.org and we will put you in contact.

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