Friday, October 26, 2012

Breaking Chains

I haven’t written much about our day-to-day struggles as mother and daughter. I haven’t written them down for personal reference and I haven’t written them down for anyone else to read publically. I have written about the bigger victories and our good days (what we all want to hear about, right?) but I have neglected the hard things. Part of me regrets that I haven’t shared and then the other part of me wants to forget some of the horrible days and nights we have had since Phoebe Kate has become apart of my forever family.

At the same time I have this lingering thought that people should hear the truth regarding what goes on in the day to day lives of the adopted child once they join their forever family. While we do have some GREAT days, we also have days that send me into total oblivion. Some days make me question if I made a horrible mistake… and some days I know this so right.

Tonight brought back a flood of emotions and memories for me. – Bedtime routine.

This used to be a dreaded and awful task. I’m not sure when it stopped being so bad, but tonight I smiled at how peaceful and normal we have become :)

I can remember nights of fights through sitting on the potty, getting spit at while brushing teeth, bath time full of screams and hitting… and it didn’t stop there. She would tease me with putting on jammies… making me think the battle was over for the night. Lying down was where it really got ugly. Phoebe Kate just did not want to lie down. She fought me to the bitter end just to get her head to lie on a pillow or in my lap. She did not want to fall asleep. Sometimes tantrums would last 2-3 hours before she would give in to total exhaustion. When she finally did pass out from exhaustion she was tormented while she slept. Many others and myself spent countless hours praying over Phoebe Kate as she fought demons and darkness in her sleep. One of the phrases I can remember hearing repeated and saying myself over and over again was “Lord we need you to break the chains in this sweet child’s life. We believe that you will in Jesus’ name.” It was a horrifying experience for everyone involved. I just could not fathom as a child having to walk what she was walking through… so much change, transition. She went from having to be ridiculously independent at 2 years old, forming bonds and always breaking them and fighting for her own survival to a totally different way of life. 

Phoebe Kate in March 2012 (photo credit Max Zoghbi)
I believe the enemy preys on children who do not have parents fighting for them. And the enemy had a hold of my little girl. He had her believing at 2 years old that she was alone in this world and that she could never trust anyone. --- 8 months of daily love, prayer, discipline, singing God’s promises over her life, and just having a Momma has transformed my daughter. I see Jesus breaking chains in her life everyday… I see a growing, thriving, and amazing little girl who I believe whole-heartedly will be a mighty warrior for God’s kingdom. I love who she was, who she is and who she is becoming.

Tonight bedtime was not scary for Phoebe Kate. We bathed, brushed our teeth, put our jammies on, read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and she lay on my chest as we said our nighttime prayers. It wasn’t long before her eyes were closed and she is still resting peacefully beside me.

Now I know that tomorrow she will probably get up and give me a run for my money :) Because that’s how children are… but we have come so far! There are still hard nights but for the most part Phoebe Kate knows she is loved and feels safe and secure. She is no longer tormented in her sleep.

Phoebe Kate’s favorite song is Break Every Chain by Jesus Culture. “There is power in the name of Jesus”, she proclaims with her lips. “to break every chain”, she sings with her whole heart.

Tonight I am going to rest because I know the Lord is at work in our little family. I am thanking Him with my whole heart as I remember how far we have come. It would be naïve and stupid to assume it was of our own efforts, but we know that it is only by His grace and His strength.

Phoebe Kate in October of 2012


  1. what a beautiful testimony of broken chains! :) I have loved listening to her sing that her pure, soulful, and sweet voice! love both of you! praising the Lord for His power in breaking those chains!

  2. You are fighting a good fight, Mommy! So thankful for God's faithfulness in your life -- and Phoebe Kate's! Love you both!

  3. My parents adopted two teenage boys (unrelated to each other, aged 16 and 17) from Ukraine almost 4 years ago. They still have DAILY struggles with what being in a family is like, trust, and forgetting their awful, painful, traumatic past. I praise God that Phoebe Kate has you so early in her life so she won't have to go through what my brothers and now my parents are going through, still 4 years later. You are amazing and I love reading about your family! God bless you both :-)