Christmas Day at the Yoder’s

Another Christmas has come to a close. This was my 42 Christmas. This year was stoically different this year. The Yoder clan now only has two kids under eight. I no longer have any grandparents. My Mom and Dad are looking older. And now, my sisters and I are looking old.

This year it was a quick trip over to Davison, MI where my folks still live. In fact, they still live in the house I was born in — can you believe it? It was a little strange. Only half of my kids were there. Half of my younger sister’s kids were there. All of my older sister’s kids were there. But, everyone was think about those missing — Grandma and Grandpa Yoder. It was always a joy to see them.

My grandparents have always been my example. They were so forgiving, generous, loving, kind and so amusing. They loved to laugh and kid. They were a couple who demonstrated oneness. They were a wonderful couple. We all missed them this year — even though it wasn’t the first Christmas without them, but the most evident.

My daughter and of sister’s son got sick — we both left earlier than we wanted. There’s something to be said about being together as family — it just seems right and fun and relaxing. I wish we could do it more often.

It was a difficult day for my youngest daughter. She struggles with family events. We adopted her from Russia 5 years ago this week. She struggles with all kinds of emotions during these times. Because she was 3 1/2 she knows that five years ago her world was ‘rocked.’ We ripped her away from everything she knew (language, culture, friends) and brought her to a place unfamiliar. She doesn’t verbalize that to us, but her behavior is very difficult, but typical for children adopted at an older age. Pray for us and pray for her. She’s really struggling and so are we.

Well, all in all a good day — but a sobering day. A day I’m still very thankful. I wish I could understand how a God so Holy could send His best to die for someone so unworthy. I continue to be amazed at His Grace that He willingly gave to me. Initially, I didn’t ask for it. He moved to choose Him. That’s pretty amazing stuff.

2 thoughts on “Christmas Day at the Yoder’s

  1. Some freinds adopted a child from Ukraine and when I read your remarks about the little girl you adopted from Russia I wanted to tell you that many of the children adopted from that entire region behave like your daughter. These freinds now live near Boston and have found tremendous support from the medical folks in that region. When you come home from Russia perhaps you could research this for your daughters well being. Never forget, God allowed you all to care for her. He will equip you. I am thrilled with your work in Russia. We are planning to go in May and of course we are hopeful of gospel sharing.

  2. We have 2 adopted children (US) among our 5 but have been active in the adoption arena for decades. Sadly, experience has shown that a huge percentage of former-USSR area adoptees are fetal alcohol exposed. One of ours, now 19, is (though US origins as mentioned). Please research FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders). I think you may find your child sounds a lot like this. A right understanding will affect how s/he is treated. It is brain damage-based, not emotional-, academic- or willfully behavior-based. Blessings–your child is much better off where s/he is now than in an institution.

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