from feral to functioning: a video diary

“How’s Kami doing?”

“What kinds of improvements are you seeing?”

A favorite friend of mine (everyone has those, right?!) asked me these questions over the phone tonight. Many of our friends haven’t seen Kami since we last moved, and many have never seen her in person at all. Mason and I realize that although we share many photos of her on Facebook and such, we haven’t shared many videos. I admit it was hard for me to take videos in the beginning because things were so bad. I don’t have any tantrum footage, nor did we use our cameras to document her disturbingly wild (or was it wildly disturbing?) behavior (some things just aren’t meant to be filmed!). You just need to believe us that it happened, and that it went on and on and on for months. This is why our kitchen counter is covered with my supplement bottles and integrative medicine bills!! Praise the LORD for integrative medicine. Anyway…

From the limited videos I do possess, here’s a short lineup that shows a miracle unfolding over the course of 2 years:

  1. Kami on our pickup trip in Bulgaria, July 2014. At 7 years old, she behaved like an infant and wore a diaper.
  2. Here she is at her calmest, doing one of the only things she knows how within weeks of her adoption.
  3. Next we spent 2 months in Alabama for Mason’s work, where alot of h-e-l-l broke loose. Here she is in her “happy place”  (at the time, this was an oxymoron).
  4. But listen! God is so good, and this happened during that tumultuous time in Alabama. Some of the most beloved and loving little kids in the world surrounded her. Because that happened (and therapy happened, and Mom & Dad on their knees happened, and the Word in our home and heart happened)…
  5. This happened 2 years later, showing an impressive command of motor skills and appropriate play, and
  6. This happened today.

I could go on…I could scrounge up more videos from my hard drive to drive home the point, but you get it. Total transformation has occurred, and it’s only been two years. I wonder what she’ll be doing in 5 or 10 years.

God alone knows what each person – child and parent –  is capable of. If you’re proceeding with an adoption, trust Him and commit your way to Him. I recently heard this idea on a radio program: “Don’t deny the diagnosis, but defy the verdict.” In our case, we actually have denied several diagnoses that we believed were false from the beginning. In any case, the verdict – institutionalization and/or abrupt expulsion onto the streets of Bulgaria, totally unprepared for life – begged defiance.

Some families who set out to adopt internationally have an extra $30,000 sitting around like we did. Other families hear God’s unmistakable call to care for the orphan, but they’re trying to reconcile that with their modest bank account and believe He will provide. I’ve been having a great time finding new adoption blogs to follow. It’s fun and encouraging to read about other families’ journeys and remember we’re in good company. Every story is different. The common denominator in many stories is that it’s hard and that we (the parents) often fail, but most importantly: that God redeems.

It’s because of Him that Kami has been set free. He’s the only One who can truly rescue. And it’s taken me awhile to say and believe this, but I’m glad she’s here!

Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection. Proverbs 30:5

Grateful for the truth of the Word,



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