I have not written in weeks. I have several posts sitting in drafts waiting to be finished but there they sit. Friends on my private FB group are asking for updates. Right now I’m working on me. Building up my strength for the next go-round with the enemy. Shoring up my marriage, my home and my own mind. Getting closer to Yahweh and using His strength. My husband said he looked at me last week and saw a broken woman. So I am in the process of healing.
Do not dismay though, you who are in the trenches and working to change International Adoption. I will return. Soon.
In the meantime here is a guest post from a friend of mine. My heart hurts to read her story because I played a part in how it all came about. How many times have I wished to never been involved in another family feeling the pain of these things.
Please let me introduce fellow adoptive mama, Shannon Dulock. Here is her story.
A Heart Deceived!! By: Shannon Dulock
I was at my breaking point a few weeks ago over everything that has been going on with our adopted son, and I sent my friend Kathe a message and said I want to shout to the world don’t ADOPT FROM UKRAINE, ALL THEY DO IS LIE TO YOU!!! She said to me you should do that and asked me if I would like to write a guest post on her blog and I immediately said YES!!! So I’m speaking out and telling our story!!
Our journey began in July 2013, when a friend of mine shared a photo on Facebook that her friend Kathe Ray had posted of a 13 year old boy from Ukraine that she was hosting from Ukraine and was trying to find him a forever family. I saw the photo and said what a cute boy he was. After seeing the Facebook post I kept thinking about the boy in the photo, and over the next few days, my friend shared the photo several more times and I had this overwhelming feeling that I have to meet him. So we set up a meeting and immediately felt a connection with him. So Z came to our home and spent two weeks with our family so we could get to know him and things went great, and we made the decision to pursue the adoption of Z from Ukraine.
Eight months later on March 25th, 2014 I arrived home with our new son!! We had so many hopes and dreams for Z and our family, and never thought of things not working out!! Well we were WRONG! All our hopes and dreams were crushed when, after 9 months home, we were living with a child who was out to destroy our family! He lied to us from the very beginning on wanting a family, and used my heart against me, and had me believing he wanted a family. He was a great actor and played the good child for 9 months, but little did we know it was all an act. He had a plan all along, and when he found out that plan couldn’t happen, that’s when life became unbearable for our family.
His plan started over in Ukraine when he decided that he didn’t want to be adopted anymore, but was told he couldn’t change his mind and had to be adopted. Whoever told him he couldn’t change his mind also then told him that when you turn 18 you can bring your Bio Mom over to live in America with you. When we heard this story we couldn’t believe it, and told him they lied to you and she can’t come to America to live. He then told us he wanted to return to Ukraine. He informed us that the translator we got to talk with him told him about dissolving the adoption and he wanted us to dissolve the adoption. We said no we love you and we will not dissolve the adoption and he said he will destroy our family.
Since then, his story has changed many times on who forced him to come, and how often he saw his bio Mom, but the one thing we do believe is he never wanted a family. So for over a year now he has done everything you can imagine: lied, stolen, had others call CPS on us 15 times ( all unfounded accusations), been arrested 7 times ( 3 of those were domestic violence against me and my husband) and has 28 police reports on file. He was put on probation for three months last summer but that didn’t phase him one bit because two months later, after coming off probation, he was charged with arson and put back on probation. So this time we asked the courts to place him out of our home. Our family’s safety is at risk if he stays in our home.
We tried everything from multiple therapists, to putting him into an inpatient facility for mental health, 3 different respite programs, and different medications and he has refused it all!! Z told us I can’t change and I don’t want to change. We knew that no matter what we did if he isn’t willing to try and don’t want to change then all we are doing is destroying our family by keeping him in our home. Our family was living a daily nightmare and we couldn’t keep living this way. It wasn’t fair to our other children or us. We decided that the best thing for our family was that dissolving the adoption was our only option. We contacted the Ukraine Embassy in Chicago and found out what the process was and we filed the papers and they were sent to Ukraine in late October. We were told Court would be held in 2-3 months. We are now playing the waiting game with the Ukraine courts to hear the case.
The hardest part of this whole adoption is we truly wanted to give this child a family for life and we thought that’s what he wanted too. Even after all the horrible things he has put us through, my heart still feels for him and honestly I don’t know why I do? He has taken most of his anger out on me, calling me names, blaming me for all his bad behavior, and I know the Mother is the one that always gets the brunt of it all, but it still takes a toll on me. I have been physically and mentally sick, and the stress of all this has caused me to have panic attacks when I leave the house.
Then there is the judgment from all those who think they know everything about parenting an adopted child, and the sad part is, some who have judged us the harshest are adoptive parents. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I take everything personally. That’s who I am and I won’t apologize for that, so when me and my family are judged, it literally makes me sick. How can someone who doesn’t live in our home judge us? This is where I say to all who have judged, walk a day in our shoes and I guarantee you would never judge our decisions again.
My heart was broken for a long time but now it’s just filled with anger and I don’t like who I have become. As for Joe, my husband, he has never been a person who worries or stresses about anything, but this last year has taken a toll on him, not only physically, but mentally as well. He told me his stress comes more from being afraid of leaving me and our other children alone with Z and worrying about what he’s going to do next and this was our daily life for over a year.
It’s been 5 weeks now since Z was placed out of our home, and for the first time in over a year we feel peace. Our children can now leave their rooms unlocked and not be afraid that he will steal something from them, no more CPS workers knocking at the door, no more police coming to the house, and our home feels safe again.
By telling our story, I hope to help other families who are struggling with the same issues we are, and know they are not alone. I have talked with so many adoptive families that are afraid to speak out on how bad things really are because they are embarrassed and afraid of the judgement from others. I can’t blame families for not wanting to tell how bad things are, because our society as a whole only wants to hear positive stories and wants to keep the horror stories hidden. I believe God brought me to the place I’m in right now to help be an advocate for those families who can’t speak out. I’m trying to get laws changed on hosting programs and the adoption process from Ukraine. There needs to be more education on the many issues these children may have. I will admit we didn’t do any research on Ukraine adoptions and we regret that. I want change so that no other family will go through what our family has gone through.
Thank you Shannon for sharing your heart. Love, Kathe