Let's face it. Parenthood is difficult. But as a parent of both biological and adopted children, I can honestly tell you that adoption comes with a little more spice.
Adoption is Beautiful.
Adoption is hard.
It is beautifully hard.
There isn't any other way to describe it.
Adopted children have a history of neglect and trauma. Even if they come from the absolute best foster family or facility, it still doesn't make up for the fact that they are missing what God intended for them in the first place: their birth mother and father.
If you have not adopted and are prayerfully considering to do so, or if you are in the process of adoption, please do not let this deter you from moving forward if it is God's will.
Be forewarned, friend. Adoption is not for the faint of heart. A great man once told me, "Anything worth doing is not going to be easy." Use this as a tool in the toolbox that comes with being a parent.
I have two biological children and three internationally adopted children. They are all five my children, regardless if they were homemade or take-out. All are precious; all are mine; all are loved tremendously and all are simply adorable (ask anyone who knows them, they'll tell you!)
Adopted children have hurt to overcome while they learn to be loved by a family. It is a difficult process but at the same time a beautiful one as we watch God heal as only He can.
"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation." Psalm 68:5
But allowing God to heal, and allowing Him to use you to help facilitate the healing process is hard at best.
One of my sons had such a traumatic start in life that he would fly into a rage (fueled by fear) at the drop of a hat. There would be many days that bath time would end with water dripping from the ceiling in the bathroom while a soaked mommy rocked her sweet baby in the middle of the floor and repeated the words, "You are precious, you are loved, I will never leave you" as he slowly calmed down and regained composure.
These precious children know hurt.
They know fear.
They know things that we could only imagine,
and we have to love them through it.
Because, let me tell you, there have been times I haven't felt it.
I am happy to say that we are now on the other side of the rainbow, enjoying the fruits of our love labor. Sure, there are times you can see the switch get flipped and the panic attack coming on, but not only are these few and far in-between, they are practically over before they begin.
There are no more sad bath times, only happy ones. The sorrow that could be felt in our children has been replaced with joy. Our mighty God has slowly replaced the negative memories with happy ones from a loving family.
I have shared this with many an adoptive family and they have seen improvement in their children; it is a joy to share with you.
Even though I am one of the founders of Selah Essential Oils, I do not believe that essential oils are the only thing needed to help our children. I believe essential oils are simply a tool in a tool box of many things needed for these precious children who are healing and learning to be loved by a family.
Whether you purchase your oils from Selah Essential Oils or not; the purpose of this post is not to sell a product.
This is my heart: To share what has happened to us with other adoptive families. To help these sweet children and their exhausted parents live the life of joy that God intends for them.
Let me be clear and say that I do not think these remarkable results are only because of essential oils. Credit is given to our Holy God who is the Creator of essential oils and our Mighty Healer of the broken-hearted first and foremost.
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever." Ephesians 3:20-21
Second, I am very familiar with Karyn Purvis, and I suggest strongly that you become very familiar with her, too.
Her book, The Connected Child and her conferences have been lifesaving. Her website is amazing, too. Soak it in, friend.
I also worked on an essential oil blend that has shown great success among adoptive families to help their children calm and focus.
When I first developed the Family blend, I put it on my child's feet and spine every night and every morning... and any time there was any out-of-control behavior. I slowly backed away and used the oil blend less and less.
For instance, after about a week of morning and night application, I backed down to nighttime only. Then another week later quit using it at night, too and only used it as needed. I was proactive, too... if I knew something would cause distress in my child, and it was unavoidable, I would go ahead and apply this blend beforehand.
Some reviews from our website for Family essential oil blend:
"Family has helped our children so much. We have two adopted children and we use Family on a daily basis. When our daughter with down syndrome becomes too stimulated, a little family on the back of her neck will help her calm down and slows down stimming behaviors. Our son wakes up with night terrors and we always grab the Family oil to help calm him. It works!" - Melissa
"My daughter now asks for Family when she gets stressed. She knows it helps her and it really does. It is quite amazing how quickly it calms her. We roll it behind her ears and on the back of her neck, she takes a few deep breaths and calms down. Love what it does for her and how she knows to ask even when I don't think of it." - Moya
"My kids call this chill oil. Anyone who is anxious, stressing out, freaking out, crying or tantruming knows to get the bottle and chill. It smells great and works so well. It's an essential" - Becky
Another essential oil blend that helps is Lili Beth essential oil blend:
This is one that I recommend to help uplift their mood. It smells wonderful and can be used as a perfume if you like. We already know our adopted children are grieving the loss of their former lives, so Gina's review of Lili Beth blend is the perfect illustration:
"First, I in no way want to take away from the comfort of the Holy Spirit during our time of grief. God was faithful to comfort us with His word and His promises. You see, we had an unexpected death in our family. My mother in law passed away from an interaction of medications. It was over Christmas, which made it a little more sad for us all. The Lili Beth oil came to us around this time. The only way I cam describe this oil, is to say it just wraps you in sweetness. I am not a "perfumey" kind of person, but the smells were so pleasing and I do believe it helped to give us rest. Again, go to God first for your comfort, but know God created the oils and He can use them to help us through difficult times." - Gina
Lavender essential oil is also great for when you first get your child. They do not always come from the best environment, so they could be dirty and covered in rashes and/or bug bites.
Lavender is great for the skin, helps calm, is a wonderful anti-histamine so the child can get used to the new environmental allergies, helps sleep, etc. You can diffuse it into the air or dilute it with carrier oil and apply topically. Maybe put a small drop on the pillow before bedtime to help with sleep.
Other essential oil suggestions:
(A tidbit of information: We are all created with two eyes, a nose and a mouth; yet we all look completely different. It is the same with our chemical make-up. If one oil or blend does not work for you, try another... just like you would regular medicine. This is why I have other suggestions listed here. For more information about oils and how they are best used, go HERE.)
Resting Essential Oil Blend - sleep, anxiety, calm, focus
Sigh Essential Oil Blend - Sleep, anxiety, calm, focus
Vetiver Essential Oil - Focus
Anchor Essential Oil Blend - emotional help
Also, enlist the help of your social worker. In those first few nights home I called my social worker after hours begging for advice, and she was more than happy to help.
Finally, choose a good adoption agency. I know this can be overwhelming because there are many avenues to adoption. Foreign? Domestic? Foster care? In my case, the Lord led us to foreign adoption, and we used CCAI for all three of our adoptions. They are fantastic, and I highly recommend them.
Know that I am praying for you. Whether you are just starting your adoption journey or are a seasoned veteran, I am praying for you.
"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."