Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Tale of Two Daughters


There were two daughters.

One had long, blonde curls, a nurturing spirit, and a heart for Jesus.

The other had amazingly thick, black hair, a zest for life, and a free spirit.

The younger was once the eldest, displaced by the adoption of the now-older daughter.

Eliana (now 10) has spent the past few months maturing. Growing up fast. Becoming a beautiful young lady. Taking on more and more responsibility with a joyful heart. Making her parents so proud.

Johanna (now 14) is determined to never grow up and is fighting hard against maturity. Convincing her that being a grown-up is FUN is so, so difficult. In her mind, growing up equals leaving Mommy and she literally wants to stay with Mommy FOREVER.

Often people assume that parenting our virtual-triplet-toddlers is overwhelming. And it certainly can be.

But parenting a toddler in a teen-ager's body is much, much more overwhelming.

Overall, things have gone amazingly well with Johanna. She hasn't exposed our children to anything we haven't approved of (except a strong temper, lol), she loves being a part of our family, and she IS learning many, many things.

Getting her to desire maturity is proving to be more difficult than anything, though.

We have two lovely daughters.

One is growing up overnight, right in front of our eyes.

And one is dragging her feet. :)

Please join us in praying for HEAVENLY WISDOM as we travel down this uncharted path. I will admit, I'm having a hard time figuring out the best ways to teach our girl what she needs to know.

At the same time, I  KNOW the Lord is writing a story, a "tale" if you will.

A tale of our two daughters.

And we, the parents of these precious girls, are the tools in the hand of the Author of THEIR story.

May He give us the wisdom to know how to teach them, the strength to act on that wisdom, and the diligence to perservere when the going gets tough!


  1. Hi Selena ~ It is awkward to have a little girl in a young woman's body, but it is what it is. Her emotional age is nowhere near her age in years. Is that okay with you? Can you allow her to be a little girl and let her grow and mature at a slower rate than you would with Eliana? I think there has to be different expectations with an adopted child. I know you have many "actual" toddlers and young children and that makes it harder to treat her like the much younger girl she actually is.
    I was NOT in an orphanage for my early years, but I was always much younger emotionally than I was in years. I was terrified of living on my own and didn't until I was in my 20's. There were some awesome families that took me into their homes and helped me to heal and grow at a slower pace. How I wish I could adopt an older child and give back some of the things I was blessed to have. And, I wish I had easy answers for you. If you ever want to talk to me about Johanna, please email me and I'll give you my phone #. I would love to help however He would use me! Hugs ~ Jo jomoseley57 at gmail dot com

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Jo.

      I am certainly willing (and expecting, really) her to mature at a slower rate than Ellie. The struggle I'm having is that sometimes she's fighting "maturity" on purpose, defiantly, because she just doesn't WANT to "grow up". There are many immaturities that are to be expected, and I'm comfortable letting her go through the stages of growth as needed.

      I think the defiant attitude that accompanies the immaturity (and my attempts to "re-do" a situation) is probably what is frustrating me the most. She acts like a toddler, but when I employ toddler "discipline" techniques---she rebels like a teenager. :)

      She openly admitted to me today that she disobeys to get attention. So we worked out a "plan" for ways to get attention with more positive choices.

  2. I'd love to talk too, Selina. Parenting nine biological children who are at the moment, ages 2 years through nearly eighteen, has taught me a lot about how differently each child matures. Our oldest, in so many ways, is not as mature as our twelve year old boy. Our seven years old daughter, can get out of the house more efficiently than our fourteen year old daughter. Children are just so different, and they mature at such different rates.
    I just got a long letter from a mom who adopted a sixteen year old girl from China. She had a been in the states for two years already and she was in disruption. The mother of this now sixteen year old girl shared how she had never had a doll. They gave her one for Christmas. She changed its clothes a couple times and now it sits on the shelf, but she needed to experience those kinds of things before she could move on.
    She also shared how she sleeps in their bed on occasion when she is afraid. Allowing her to slowly experience being a little girl is the first step at allowing her to move beyond those girlhood stages. If you'd like I'd be happy to direct her to this post. Perhaps she could share some wisdom.
    Praying for you sweet Selina, and for all of you as you grow together as a family!

  3. Praying for you all regularly! Still waiting for another violin special from Ellie! Praying God will grant you the needed patience, wisdom, balance, and strength.

  4. I am thinking she is loving the idea of having a family and mommy so much she wants to enjoy every minute and soak up every bit of attention as possible :) Not in your shoes and not even a parent but if I was I think I would just let her enjoy her toddlerhood in a teenage body :) for a while. In 6 months or a year I would re-evaluate. Many too when hormones kick in in full swing that might help too.

    Just shows how starved for attention and starved for a family/mommy she was/is. Makes me want to adopt a teenager or older child! :)

  5. Hi Selina. We were praying for you last night during family devotions, and I was thinking that in the grand scheme of things, Johanna has really only just arrived in your family. She needs to revel in your love and security. She needs to act out and test the boundaries. Her mind can know you are her moma and dad and will never leave her, but she needs her heart to know it too, way deep down inside, and that takes time. It may take ten years before that desire to mature begins to blossom, but once all those basic "baby" needs are met, she will begin to move onto the next stage.
    I remember when we were doing our required training, the instructor shared that when you adopt an older child, they will most likely not be ready to leave the family home as early as a biological child would. They have only just gotten that family they waited for for so long.
    I know you probably know these things, but sometimes a reminder is good for a mother's heart!

  6. My daughter was adopted from China at age 13 and then abandoned again at age 15 by the first family. I use the term abandoned because they gave up on her. She too is not willing to grow up. She is torn between two worlds. The world that FINALLY has areal family and the world that lies before her.

    She has a high spirit for life and is very loving, but she can be quite defiant and dig her heels in as well. When she digs in I hold on and let it pass then we make another step forward. Each day is a growing process and I have found the key is to not let our steps go backwards, but this sometimes means not taking any steps while I hold on.

    We have started looking at colleges, she is a freshman, and have decided she will go to a college near home. Thats OK we can complete the core classes and then move on. It seems funny talking about college when just last night my 16 yr old, 120 lb, 5' daughter was sitting on my lap. But, I love her and wouldn't have it any other way.

    I think the best piece of advice I can give, is hang in there. Honestly she will grow up. Maybe not in the timeframe we as a society expect, but in the time frome that will allow her to be a who she is destined to be. God is amazing and he knows whats best for her just hang in there.



I welcome any and all comments as long as they are Christ-honoring. Please let me know what you think!