This is a bit of a long Update, but theres lots to share...
First of all we'd like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing response for the appeal to help with the trip for Micah & Tianna. We were overwhelmed and humbled by the love generosity of all our friends, and it was another confirmation of God's generous provision and healing plan for these 2 children.
So it was a pretty intense time for Sam and the kids. The first 2 weeks were spent staying with our friends, the Clifners, in Spokane. Pam Clifner is the organiser behind the camp we first attended last year. Her and her husband have fostered and adopted many children with the same issues as ours.
The 2 weeks started with brain scans for all 3 of them to see how they were doing. Both Micah & Tianna showed amazing advances from 12 months before. The time there consisted of daily Neuro Feedback therapy sessions. Which is basically brain reorganization therapy. (Sounds like mad scientists stuff) This is essential for these kids, because of the trauma in their early months, they live in "Stress" part of the brain. The therapy helps them to use their brain differently, so they can live with proper brain patterns. On top of this they had eye tests at a behavioral Optometrist, and counseling sessions. As part of the counseling they talked about their "birth story". Both of the kids know that they are adopted (The skin colour gives it away) but we have never talked about the birth family. So they both had sessions coming to terms with their early months of life. Micah's abuse and Tianna's abandonment. Obviously this was very hard, but we felt it is an important part of their healing. Both kids, especially Micah, responded really well to all the therapy. You could see a new determination in him to want to get better.
The final week in Spokane was the family camp, the same as we all attended last year. Sam was joined by some our YWAM staff who went up to learn more, so they could help us with the healing process. There was classes and activities aimed at family bonding, and new tools to help bring up children with these special needs. As part of the camp there was more therapy and brain scans to check on the healing process.
Now For The Miracle...
Last year at camp, Micah was labelled as one of the "REALLY CRAZY - Out of control" kids and the staff at the camp this year were warned that he was coming back. But how wrong they were. Micah ended up being used as an example kid and was pulled up on stage to demonstrate to the other kids how to do things. The was testimony and reward to the amazing amount of work we (Mainly Sam) has invested in to Micah's life during the past year. Changing our parenting style and our habits and contribution by some of our amazing YWAM staff. (Jocelyn, Zak & Katrina and Lani)
But It Gets Better...
So you thought that was good. Well at the end of Camp Micah had another brain scan. This time the therapist, Sam, and Micah were all in tears. Last year, Micah's Brain was in a mess. The doctor said he had a large part of brain damage, that could mend, but he had the brain and emotions of a 2 year old. Even the scan at the beginning of the 3 weeks was still showing the damage. But the scan at the end of camp, the brain damage was COMPLETELY GONE!!! The doctor says he now has the brain of a 5 year old, and there's no reason why he cant go on to experience complete healing, and a normal life.
If you want to see more of Micah's brain scan, you can see the full lens map for both scans here.
Micah has come back a different child. You can see in his eyes and his whole being that something has changed. But he still has a way to go as he grows and learns how to appropriately cope with emotions and learn how to handle life, instead of kicking and screaming at everything. We are continuing the strict parenting process and will be continuing occasional therapy in Washington. But we know we are on the right track and know that this year of intensity has been all worth the pain. As far as Tianna goes, she is still working on her heart and mind. There were some areas that she is still needing work in. So she is currently staying with the Clifner family in Washington to continue the therapy.
Do First Then Teach...
One of our YWAM foundational Values is "Do First Then Teach" So in true YWAM Style we have decided we have learnt so much in this last year, that we want to help other families with children with the same issues. So next February, we are going to run a family camp at the YWAM campus in Ensenada. Already The response has been amazing. We have all the therapists and Doctors from the Washington camp giving their time for free, and even "Attachment Disorder Guru" Nancy Thomas, is coming down to staff it with us. And the camp is almost already full of families needing help in thier childrens lives.
So thank you for investing in our families lives. With Prayer, with Finances, with physical help. You really are making a difference in our families life, and helping us to make a difference in lives all over Mexico.
All our Love
Tym & Sam