In the last episode, I admitted that I was not a good friend prior to our adoption. I did not understand the techniques I saw others using with their kids and thought I knew more and could do better. Pride comes before a fall so Jesus handed me my pride and allowed me to see that what I was thinking was so far from being helpful.
This week, I am sharing some things that Jennifer Alford discovered as a long term missionary in Honduras. One of which was not everything you see from the kids is realistic behavior. Information that helped her understand her adopting friends better. She watched many families go through the heartbreak of a hard adoption only to see it disrupted in the end.
In this episode we share tips on how to be a good friend and also the possibility of – are we doing adoption wrong?
Thanks for joining us!
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Ep. 20 - Full Transcription
Kam: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Makerspace Podcast. I am so excited to have everybody here today. It’s happy it’s Thursday and I have so excited to have Jennifer with me from Jenny Lane Designs which, ahem, and I did want to kind of promote you a little bit, um, that’s not the focus of this podcast, but because of what, um, you know, we’re kind of trying to host and support our moms at home.
She is a website designer, and so if anybody on here needs a new website, I highly recommend to go and check Jen out. And Jen, if you want to go ahead and give kind of, like, who you are and how you got into it, I think that would help. And then we’ll go ahead and get started with some of the questions that I want to ask you.[00:01:00]
Jenn: So how I got started in web design? Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
Kam: And kind of like where you are, you know, in the
Jenn: States. So. Oh, yeah. So currently I live in Iowa. I am a Florida native. Transplanted to Mississippi for most of my adult life, lived in Honduras for just a little bit with doing submission work and then moved to Iowa.
So that is where I am now. Um, I do a little bit of interpreting for the deaf and a lot of web design and all the things that are around web design. Um, I love working with small companies, mom focused companies. And just, uh, people that need, uh, good online
Kam: presence. And you do a very beautiful job doing that.
And I do have to say, like, that’s how we met, was through another group that, of web designers [00:02:00] and website builders, that kind of thing. I discovered that you were in Iowa, which is where we are. And so that’s kind of where, and then found out that we were both Christians and that you’d been on missions trips and that you had friends who’d adopted.
You, you’re you yourself have not, but you know, I think, you know, more people than I do. So, which. Um, and then springboard, you know, springboards me into the questions and why I had you come on, because you have, um, so much experience in this, um, that I really felt like you could speak to it from the outside looking in.
Still knowing the hearts of the parents who are going through the heart and kind of struggling and having seen, you’ve kind of seen like the beginning, middle and end of adoptions, [00:03:00] haven’t you?
Jenn: Yeah, totally have. I watched several of my friends. around the same time and watch, yeah, for sure. The beginning, um, just processing and praying through, what does that look like?
This is something, you know, we went through, several of us went through a series at church that was very fostering and adoptive focused. And, you know, instead of just sitting on that, a lot of us, We’re like, okay, so what do we do now? And so, uh, was that in the States or Honduras? That was in the States.
That was in Mississippi. Uh, and it wasn’t all of my friends that adopted that went through that, but several of them were at our church at that time. Do you remember like, what was the,
Kam: was it something that the church [00:04:00] brought in or was that.
Jenn: It was, I feel like there was a season of church life that really put a lot of emphasis on foster care, um, all the things around foster care and then adoption.
And so it’s kind of funny because the church that we were at when we went through that series, we ended up moving to a more. local church to us that was just right down the road. And they had several families and that church that had either, um, already fostered to adopt or adopted, um, from a different country.
And we’re starting a foster care support system. And so at that time, my husband and I were definitely praying through like, what does this look like for us? What part do we play? And so we, [00:05:00] Immediately got involved in that and met, um, new friends and then some old friends ended up, even though they were at another church, still coming into this new churches foster care.
Kam: were kind of steeped in adoption and foster like everywhere. Yeah. Do you think that was like, you made a reference to that being a season of the church. Do you think that kind of. Was in general, because I think that it almost was a fad going through the church, you know, that, yeah, there’s like this huge thing and I don’t even know what started it, whether it was, you know, famous people.
Adopting or yeah,
Jenn: I know I remember so I can’t even think of all of their names, but I just remember like reading a lot of books. Um, David [00:06:00] Platt, uh, uh, Francis Chan, like reading all those books and they weren’t necessarily adoptive. Focus, but it was just a lot about, um, you know, don’t waste your life, you know, live your life, your prize.
What, what part can you play? And I think there was a season before that where people were just kind of coming to church and doing their churchy thing. Right. Um, and I think there was just kind of this rising up of, you know, we have to make a difference and we have to make a change. And if no one else is going to do it, we’re going to do it.
And so the people, the group of friends that I have, they are typically change makers. And so they’re like, this is something we’re going to do. And, and we were already kind of considering it. Um, I think there was something in one of David Platt’s Books like in the beginning that really just kind of hit home [00:07:00] to me.
And I was like, Oh, this is something we definitely need to consider. Um, so. Yeah, I, I don’t wanna call it a fad, but kind of feel, kind of feels like that, you know, like there was just like this whoosh. Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of families adopting,
Kam: not trying to take away from anything that God has called anybody to.
Yeah, absolutely. Um, but I do think, you know, adoption and doing missions trips needs to be heavily covered in prayer. And, you know, that needs to be. Something that we put, I think we as Those who are going out and doing it needs to put more into it, more study, more education, more, you know, preparing ourselves, you know, there’s a lot to missions work that you could speak to, you know, that people don’t realize, you know, um, the kind [00:08:00] of decompressing coming back, moving back if, if that’s a thing.
So I think. We kind of jump into doing both of these things, you know, not, again, not trying to take away from what God has called people to, but I do think some people kind of step out maybe too soon and are not prepared for what they walk into. And that kind of, you know, then leads to these failed adoptions and missionaries who are burnt out and, you know, that kind of thing.
So, um, so kind of fast forwarding a little bit. So you’ve got all these friends who are in the process, in the deep, in the, you know, journey. What are you kind of seeing most, I guess, like, Did, was it something that you saw in the other families that kept you guys from [00:09:00] adopting because I know you did do kind of some foster care down in Honduras, didn’t you?
Jenn: Yeah. So, um, to go back a little bit, like thankfully the friends that I had were like knee deep in prayer about this stuff. That’s awesome. They knew like the heaviness of what they were doing. Like it’s. Spiritual warfare to be a part of adoption and fostering. Um, and so I feel like they were very aware of that, but it’s kind of like.
You can know, have an idea of what it’s going to be like to be a parent, but until you’re actually a parent, you don’t know the battles you’ll face. And I feel like that is kind of what happened there. Um, and so, well, I’m sorry, what was the question you asked?
Kam: Just kind of, you know, What you were observing at that point.
And is that kind of what kept you guys from [00:10:00] adopting. Yeah.
Jenn: So, um, so I was kind of watching like there, there was an organization. I don’t know the name of it or anything that brought some kids over a group of kids over to. introduced them to families that may not go do an exploratory trip out of the country.
And so they brought the kids over and they spent a couple weeks here, I think. And, um, you know, so these families were already heavily praying and considering adoption. And then this organization came in. And, um, so I watched, you know, I was even kind of In the mix and that we didn’t sponsor any of the kids, but some of those came into those families and stayed and just, I don’t want to call it a trial, but just kind of, it is though.
It is, I guess, like, is this going to be a good fit for us? You know, everybody’s kind of on their best behavior on a visit. [00:11:00] So it’s really hard to know, you know, what are they think they want to be in a home? Um, they just, I feel like a lot of times don’t always know what that really means. Just like, we don’t know what it means to.
Have children until we have them, right? So, um, so we watch, I definitely watched a lot of our friends go through the process of adopting. And a lot of them were adopting a sibling groups. So, um, that’s where, you know, things get a little complicated. And there’s certain things that usually when you adopt, they’re telling you, you know, birth order is important.
And the way you do that is important. Important. And when you bring in sibling groups, that doesn’t always work out as neatly. You know, you would hope so. Um, so yeah, we watched our friends and families do fundraisers and we were part of that garage sales, [00:12:00] pancake breakfast, you know, anything that we could help with.
We were, I was still just kind of like, I feel a draw to this, but I. No, I also have to fight just what my emotions are telling me and really seek the Lord. Um, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to commit like full time to bring, because I knew once I brought someone in, I didn’t even know what a failed adoption was at that point.
All I knew is like, okay, if I bring people into my home, if I. Adopt like, that’s it. They’re there for life. And so, um, we were like watching all of this and thinking, I don’t know if that’s something we’re supposed to be called to. Are we supposed to be part of the, um, you know, out support team, that respite kind of thing?
Um, are we there just to encourage our friends and know, okay, we knew what our friends were like. [00:13:00] Before the adoption, we know what’s happening in the adoption and, you know, it’s kind of post adoption. Like, what does that look like for us to be a part of that? But in the middle of all that, while we were praying through it, uh, God showed us an opportunity to go and live in a different country, lived in Honduras for about a year and a half and, um.
We actually were mentor parents. So I was like, this feels a little safer. As weird as that sounds, it does not safer because yeah, we’re having to give up basically everything that’s comfortable to us, our belongings, you know, we were selling it. Basically all of everything. And, you know, our intention was not to go over there and come right back.
Like we had planned for four years to stay. Um, that didn’t work out. Um, and I, again, don’t know, like, was I not prepared? Were we not prepared [00:14:00] enough? You know, you think that’s the Christian, like, okay, this is my duty. This is my job. Like as a Christian I’m prepared, but there’s so much. More that goes into it than just Christian, you know, um, and I think it’ll work itself out.
Yes. And I think they were like in such need of people to come over just like people are in need of, um, adoptive parents. Like they’re just, they just rushed through it and it doesn’t feel like you’re rushing through it. It feels like it’s taking forever. So you’re like, it’s kind of like oxymoron is, you know, a little bit like in the process, like I remember like my friends, like going through all the paperwork and all these things that they had to do.
And it just felt like it was taking forever. But looking back, you’re like, maybe it should have taken twice as long, you know, like lots of other things that we had to consider. So same idea for us, like we were a strong Christian family, but we were not ready for the things that we [00:15:00] encountered.
Spiritually, like there was just darkness and I feel like that’s what happened a lot with, um, like the kids that were brought over, not the kids themselves, but just the spiritual warfare that was happening. That was brought, you know, and that’s just such a battle that. It’s hard to know how to prepare for that.
Um, well, and
Kam: with, you know, I mean, that’s the whole point of the gospel. That’s why Jesus did what he did is for adoption. So, you know, I was recently talking to somebody and she had never thought of that. I’m like, we shouldn’t be surprised that this is spiritual warfare. Um, I think what surprises a lot of us who are in it is how serious and how severe and how painful the battle gets, you know, and how much, um, how dangerous it can be, you know, I mean, and I’ve said this [00:16:00] before, it’ll take you to the very core of your faith, and it has broken people, and, you
Jenn: know, how it’s
Kam: Out of your friends, you know, that you’ve seen, because I, I know of at least one couple that they got a divorce in the middle of it.
You know, I mean, the enemy just comes in with both barrels and everything that he can do to break up the family. And so I am kind of curious, you know, outside of failed adoption, you know, then you have this other dynamic of falling away from the church or getting divorced, that kind of thing. Did you see much of that in your, you know, friend groups?
Jenn: I don’t know that any of my friend group, they went through divorce. I’m trying to think. Awesome. I did watch some fall away from the church because like the church isn’t [00:17:00] necessarily prepared to know how to support adoptees and foster families. And even on their best day, even the best churches that are like, what?
Can we do, you know, parents are just so tired and they’re like, I don’t know. I can’t even think about what I need to do, you know? And so I did watch. Some pull away from the church and people that were like super involved in church, their kids were super involved in church. And so that was part of it. And then one thing that I think, you know, we’re looking at like marriages and it’s not necessarily that they fell apart, but they just changed.
So yeah. Name exchange, your roles change. Um, I watched like one of my friends who just, Super laid back. Like she had to become this like very structured parent. And so her own kids were like trying to figure out what does life [00:18:00] look like now. Right. That was the thing that, because their kids were about the same age as our kids.
And so I watched their kids really struggle and like, you know, some behavior issues come up and then. Even with us, when we lived in Honduras, with all those foster kids that, I mean, they had just, they had been abandoned, abused, you know, neglected. Yeah. So they brought a lot of heaviness with them. And so our own kids.
Carried that and went through things that they probably would have never gone through. Had we not been in the middle of that? So it’s, it’s not like, Oh, I’m just giving up my life. I’m giving up family life that my kids once had. You know, they may not even know that that’s coming, you know, do you
Kam: think that there is a possibility that we could be doing this wrong [00:19:00] because, you know, we tend to at least right now in 2023, we seem to be catering more to the, the child with the heavy trauma with that kind of thing, and adjusting the entire house.
to work around this one or two kids. And in the meantime, now our biological kids or our other kids who were doing well now have trauma. I, I can’t help but think this is not what the father intended. When he said, look after the fatherless, you know, it never in there. Does it say disrupt your home and bring in, you know, go in a dot.
So I just. I’m, I’m kind of, you know, just kind of mulling that over lately, but I would love [00:20:00] your take on it.
Jenn: Yeah, for sure. Um, so one thing while we lived in Honduras and were with our foster kids, we, we went once a month, they would get to see their, uh, biological parents. And so their parents would come.
Oh boy. Be this big like hoopla and our parents would bring all kinds of fun goodies And you know and the kids would be super excited and they would think oh, my mom is the best thing ever And it was like in those moments It just really hit me. And I’m like, why did it take me moving to a foreign country and seeing this in person for this to really make sense to me?
It was like, why are we not ministering to the mom abandoned by her husband? [00:21:00] Like. Teaching them how to be a family. Yes, giving them skills. And there are ministries that do that and do it beautifully. But why is that not like the main focus? Why are we so? And sometimes I feel like just because of how we are in a America, we think we’re the, the great fixers of things.
And I’m not saying that it doesn’t fix things. Cause it does like in some or helps. I don’t know that it helps. Like a lot of these kids would have ended up in prison or dead or, you know, never being exposed to Christianity or Christ or just any sort of thing like that. And so absolutely. Like, I don’t think it’s bad.
What. happening, but I do think there’s probably a little bit different way that we could, um, look at things. And I would have never even considered that because I’m just so American, you know, like I’m just. [00:22:00] I, it’s like, I just don’t think about those things until like we live there or we would have people come on these short term mission trips and they would love on these kids and it was beautiful because they really got to see what life was like outside of their comfort zone.
And it did change them, but it also wrecked our kids. Right. Seeing all this awesome stuff and thinking, I want to go there. I want to go there, you know, instead of us, like, and our goal was when we live there to raise up, you know, hundreds that love Jesus, that can change their country. And. And I’m wondering, like, can we do that?
I remember reading this book while we, like, we had just moved to Honduras in language school. It was called Rhinestone Jesus. I don’t remember who the author was, but it was so good. Um, and she talked about, like, she went to do an editorial piece. On the, like the slums and, and [00:23:00] she encountered all these women that had been, uh, sexually abused or raped or whatever.
And they’re carrying these children, but they, I mean, they’re not ready to be a parent. So in our world, we’re like, Oh, we’ll take them. But what they did is they created these ministries and trained up people there. To, and I know there are people doing this, there’s ministries that are already doing this.
Like they trained up people there to teach them what it looks like to be a mom, what it looks like to take care of your children, um, how to provide for your children, right in the environment that you’re in. But
Kam: those are not the ministries that you hear about at church. No.
Jenn: Or no, but you can’t see them.
Like we see the kids, we see them, but we don’t see that hard. Roll up your sleeve and get out there. Um, and we’re, we’re one of those, like, if we don’t see it, if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. Yeah, and
Kam: my kids are [00:24:00] definitely a perfect example of that. They had both parents, um, you know, living in the same city that they were in.
They would come and visit them at the orphanage. In fact, the orphanage was, um, Where the kids could go and stay and get food and clothes and, you know, they had adoptable and not adoptable kids in the same orphanage. And every weekend, these kids would go home and, you know, they would be at home and, so, I, I have often thought, it’s like, I think we’re doing this wrong.
I think those, because my kids, I think, would have been better staying in Bulgaria with their native. People, language, culture, all of it, but. I think there needs to be more education there and help, like you said, you know, maybe Americans can go and help, you know, you know, with the [00:25:00] divide that is over there or the Ukraine or, you know, I don’t know that we could do too much in China, but, but I know Haiti is another country that tries to educate their, you know, moms and so that they can keep their babies and, but I think even in the States, You’ve We need to be doing more to keep the kids out of foster care, and DHS is not doing it.
So, I mean, and that’s a whole other, you know, broken, broken conversation.
Jenn: I’m at like. We worked a little bit with like, we didn’t personally, but like our church did work a little bit with like the Baptist children’s village. And even my father in law at one time worked to be kind of that facilitator of, okay, our goal is to keep the family together.
I know, like we live in a fallen world and that’s not always possible. So I know that. You know, [00:26:00] I’m looking at like the perfect scenario, like let’s rehabilitate the family situation. And that’s what my father in law, um, that was his kind of job when he worked with the Baptist children’s village was to help families have the resources they needed to heal and be restored so that everyone’s together again, that doesn’t always work.
It doesn’t always work. But that should be like the first line, you know, and then like, if that doesn’t work, then okay, let’s, you know, that’s just kind of my thinking, but I’m like you, it’s like, I don’t know exactly what. The ideal way to do it is, but I do notice that, like, most of my, I would say a lot of the people that adopted really, really struggled in ways that I don’t think any of us anticipated and, you know, did not necessarily have the tools in their tool belt.
And even the [00:27:00] counselors that they would go to would not know what to do. Like they could, you know, do all their regular techniques and they weren’t working. And so the parents were just, and they’re still are, they’re just either left to figure it out and try to just make do until they’re out on their own and pray for the best.
And, you know, in reality, some of these kids are going to be way better off because they at least had two or three years or four or five years in a home. That love Jesus. And it’s like, you at least know what your option is. And so who knows later on down the line, I’d say because of that, I’m here today.
But that being
Kam: said, like, I was kind of shocked, like. At what you told me, how many friends do you have that have successfully, or like, how would I wanna phrase this, who have not had a failed or [00:28:00] disrupted a uh, adoption? Like how many out of all of these friends that you have, how many do you have that the kids are still involved with the family?
Well, I know I’ve just offhand. I know there’s like probably six, seven, eight families that I know of that have adopted. And I would say two to three, but I don’t, I’m not in like close contact with them. So I don’t know, like exactly what’s going on. I mean, it could be like, there’s like, you know, a lot just have struggled.
So. Much and I don’t want to be like, oh, I’m so thankful that like, that was not the road we chose because that sounds awful, but it’s so true because like, I think it would have [00:29:00] destroyed us. I mean, even our time in Honduras, and I know it’s not about. Me, you know, it’s about doing what we’re called to do, right?
And if that means that we’re on the road of suffering, then we’re on the road to suffering of God has called us to that. And that’s, we, you know, we have to surround ourselves with people that will help us get through that. Right. Um, but, you know, I just, I feel sad because I’ve seen how it affected so much.
And again, it’s like, I’m going back and forth, like the fleshy human side of me is like, I’ve seen the trauma and just the disruptiveness. I mean, kids in general, as amazing as they are, you know, it’s like, yeah, we have to give up some things, right. But it’s all different level when you have lots of trauma and you’re bringing in like older kids, because most of my friends brought in like older kids.
So they’ve already kind of established some things in their [00:30:00] life already that they’re bringing into the family. So that could play a part in it as well. But it’s like, if these kids. weren’t adopted when they were, they would have aged out of the system really quickly, and then they’re on the streets and they’re pretty much guaranteed.
Kam: So. Yeah. And I know, you know, a lot of people are going to, you know, argue both sides and, which I don’t think. We’ll ever get away from that. I was just kind of curious what you saw looking in on, you know, like pick one friend that maybe was in the deep of it and what you observed kind of was best to help her and what maybe some things you heard were said to her that was not helpful.
Jenn: Um, well, the hard part about this is. Our friends finished their [00:31:00] adoption. They were in the States and then we moved away. Um, but we did come back and they were still kind of in the mix. So I would say probably one of the biggest things that I think people don’t realize is that reactive detachment disorder, or I can’t remember, RAP.
That kids will act a different way when they’re on display, or at church, or in a group setting. Um, and. Then they will like when they’re in the home, uh, so saying, Oh, well, he’s great with me. It almost because I, I mean, I knew my friends so well and I had been, you know, in the mix with them and I could see, and they were still kind of on their best behavior when we were there.
But I, I knew my friends well enough to know, like, [00:32:00] they’re not going to be saying, Oh, they’re doing this. And them not do that. Um, but just not, maybe just not saying something like that, because to me, it would feel like, oh, well, I’m failing at my part of the job. And that’s not the case at all. It’s They’re super comfortable with you, so they’re going to show out and just kind of realizing, like, how your own kids do, like, sometimes that your own kids are on their best behavior, but it’s even more severe.
Um, the other thing that, um, I think really affected my friends were, were things being said, like, um. Like comparing their biological, like other people comparing their biological kids going through things to what the adoptive kids were going through, because it’s not the same. It’s just not the same. Uh, one, you have.
I mean, just because we’re [00:33:00] humans, you have a different kind of attachment to your biological kids than you do your adoptive kids. And so, what, how you’re trying to process through struggles with adoptive kids is so different than your biologicals. And then you’re trying to balance that out when they’re mixed in a home together.
And then you have kind of an outsider come in like, oh, yeah, I totally get it. My kid, da, da, da, da. And. It’s like, it’s not that, that you don’t wanna be empathetic towards your biological situation, it’s just that it’s not the same. Yeah.
Kam: I love when people tell me, oh, you know, a 16 year old will do that.
It’s like, like,
Jenn: no. Yes. So those I think are two things that really stick out to me to be careful about, and I, none of it was said with malicious intent. Right. It’s just that people try to connect by comparing like saying, Oh, you know, like they want [00:34:00] to Identify with you. And so, and you know, my friends have enough emotional intelligence to realize that is what was happening, but it’s still really hard because they’re going through some really hard things that not a lot of people have knowledge about or know how to handle.
And so. Just being sensitive, almost like, like we went through infertility for about four years before we had our first. And when people would say little comments, like, Oh, you just take mine for a minute. Like, you know, it’s just, they’re not meaning anything bad by it, but soul crushing because you’re like, I want my own, you know?
And so just being mindful, um, and asking them, like, This is how it’s happening at our house. I are just like prefacing it. Like, but I know it’s going to be completely different. Like just being super compassionate. [00:35:00] Like, is there like, I want to help. Um, and I’m not really sure how to help. Uh, I mean, those are probably better ways to handle it.
Like just being completely honest, like this is so foreign to me.
Kam: Yeah. And honestly, you know, it might not even be that you need to do anything, but listen. Yeah.
Jenn: And a lot of times that’s what I did. Like I wasn’t like in the trenches doing all the things. There’s probably things I could have done way better, uh, way better that my friends were really good at that.
I was not that. I just didn’t think about, but yeah, just, just being a friend and listening without judgment or trying to offer. Yeah. They’ve tried it all.
Kam: Yeah. The frustrating thing is when you’re in it and you’re trying this stuff, like not everybody that you’re, you know, trying to get help from is believing you either.
And. you know, I, I do think that you have [00:36:00] an extra perspective just because of working as the mentor parents, you know, you did see that side of those kids, you know, the, they put on the good show for the short term missions, but when they come back after that, like, well now it’s back to, you know, their normal behavior.
And so I do think that that brought an extra Perspective for you, which I, I’m sure helped with those friends, but did any of those friends lose friends as a result of stuff that they went through?
Jenn: Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure. Um, I think of a few. Yeah. And probably for different reasons on both sides. Then each other things, you know, um, but for sure, like relationships change big time.
Yeah. I don’t want to keep comparing it to like when you become a parent and then you have friends that [00:37:00] aren’t parents and everything’s just so different because it’s true, but that’s how, you know, that’s how it is, but it’s like that too. That’s why those foster support groups within the church, like I feel like that’s where those support groups.
Should be, and they’re educating people and, you know, auxiliary people are coming in and those are the best situations. Like, I’m not adopting, I don’t really know how to help, but I am here with my hands wide open and whatever you think would be helpful, I want to do. And we had a lot of people and it was so funny because we were at a really big church that kind of started from us, this movement, and we moved to a smaller church, and they were way more hands on and like even some people from the bigger church were coming to the smaller church for that foster care and adoptive family type thing.
So, I mean, just those little things like. [00:38:00] Can we go Christmas shopping and you guys know our kids and you’ve been with our kids. Can we just go for a few hours, just have a little bit of a mental not have to think about it. You know, just those little things like a little date night, because a lot of these kids can’t be left alone.
Like your biological, older kids could like some of you are adoptive kids. You can’t leave them alone. And so it’s a shift in your marriage and, and you still. need all that. You still need time with your spouse to recover. Yeah.
Kam: And the interesting thing is, you know, people think, well, they go to school.
Well, some families are homeschooling. God bless them. Holy smokes. But even when they go to school, like, you know, I had a situation just this morning. I He’s in a transition home. I got a call at 810 saying, what do we do with them? I’m like, you call the cops. You know, I still get calls. [00:39:00] So that’s just because they’re at school does not mean that’s a mental break.
So, and, you know, I, I appreciate the people who are willing to do respite, um, for anybody. Regardless, whether it’s adoption or biological or, you know, whatever. I mean, babysitting is babysitting. It all helps. If the parents need a break, it all helps. But yeah, definitely friends who are willing to do respite and to step in, you know, because there is a chance that they may see those true colors.
In the child’s home, so, you know, for somebody to step in, so I definitely appreciate your heart and, you know, you being there for those families and I would love to get them on the [00:40:00] podcast and interview them and kind of get their take, you know, some of them aren’t going to want to. Um, just because of everything, you know, but, uh, I definitely appreciate it.
So kind of in wrapping everything up, do you kind of have any thoughts for people who aren’t in it, but maybe friends of people who are? Um,
Jenn: one thing, uh, and I think we talked about this a little bit. And it may not be exactly what you’re asking, but don’t be shocked if you are planning to adopt and the people who have adopted don’t really respond when you want to ask them or pepper them with questions about what it was like to adopt, um, because they’re.
They’re healing a lot of times from their own trauma that they went through. And it’s not that they don’t want [00:41:00] to help you, like their heart is there and they want to help you, but it just opens up a lot of wounds. And so don’t be shocked if. Like, cause you’re, you’re in the honeymoon stage and you’re super excited about all the possibilities and you know, what God is doing.
And that’s amazing. Like, it’s a great place to be on this side of it. And, you know, and they might still be in the middle of it and just can’t really open up about. What all they’ve gone through, what they’re going through. Um, I would definitely spend more time. Not that they didn’t spend sufficient time.
I feel like God has a plan for all of this, whether we’ve. I think we haven’t figured out or not he’s he’s got a plan for it, but I would definitely spend more time because even us going on the mission field I was now looking back, but we would have spent more time preparing for [00:42:00] what we were going to encounter.
setting up, uh, counselors that actually know how to handle, uh, traumatic adoptive, you know, setting up, you know, a space to be able to go and figure out how to be a husband and wife. In the middle of this, I feel like you’re, you’re
Kam: like reading my notes from my last podcast.
Jenn: Yeah. Like prep work as you can do knowing that it’s not going to be enough. Yeah,
Kam: it’s true. And it might not
Jenn: be exact. Yeah. Yeah. But at least you have a little bit of a head start. And I’m saying all this knowing that. I didn’t adopt, but just watching the progression of it from the outside, I’m very much an outsider to adoptive families.
Like, I would never pretend to say, Oh, I [00:43:00] know exactly what happened. Like, I don’t, you know, because every family is so different and how they handle things is so different, but. Um, yeah, so I would love to come on to, um, but again, in that same, uh, vein, you know, it’s still raw for them and they’re still processing through all of it.
Kam: I, you know, don’t take credit from you, like being a missionary, a long term missionary that is tough, like, especially when you were planning on being there. Indefinitely, because now you’re kind of stuck in between countries, like, where do I call home? Is Honduras my home? Is the States my home? Like, yes, you’re always a citizen, but that doesn’t mean that’s home.
So I know a lot of them wrestle with that. So like I said, I know you have a deeper perspective of the things that we have walked through just because of being a [00:44:00] missionary. So. Thank you. Um, and I definitely think, you know, the more prep time you have, the more prayer time you have for either calling, um, you know, it’s not going to hurt.
So you might as well get in and talk to somebody who is willing to talk, who’s not healing and, you know, and just educate yourself. So I appreciate you coming on so much, Jen. I cannot even tell you, I want to have you on again. I hope that is a thing.
Kam: But I, yeah, I, I just appreciate you. I appreciate your heart, especially for families.
I know just in my own struggles, um, you know, just telling you how my morning was this morning, you’re like, Oh, I’m so sorry. So I just appreciate your heart so much. So, and. Again, if anybody needs a website, go talk to [00:45:00] her. So
Jenn: absolutely. I even did our missionary website when we were just to keep people in the loop.
Is it still live? It’s not. I’m so sad. I’ll have to go back to the way back machine and see if I could find it. But yeah.
Kam: love to see that, but I do appreciate you. I hope you know that. So one of these days, I’m going to come down and we’re going to officially.
Jenn: Yes, we’re actually going to see each other in person. Yeah.