The Truth Comes Out

When Palmer and Addie Rose got home yesterday, they knew something was up. I sent them outside to play while Ken and I talked. We hadn’t had a chance to debrief the news we received only 48 hours before that our kids weren’t who we were told they were.

Yesterday morning, Palmer had spit oatmeal at me, refused to wear his jacket, and threw a temper tantrum all the way up to the point where he was climbing the school stairs, and he suddenly realized that it wasn’t cool to have a temper tantrum in front of 100 other kids. So he lost his backpack of toys and his jacket yesterday for the way he acted.

I’m sure they were conspiring about how to run away, so I decided to break it up.

I called in Addie Rose, and asked her to sit down with me and look at her picture book. I took her picture book that we had sent to her in Africa, and showed her the picture of her in the orphanage. I asked her how old she and her brother were in the picture. I wasn’t too hopeful I would get an answer, since they don’t speak much English, but she actually said that she was 6 years old and he was 8 years old in that picture. I made sure we were understanding each other. Yes.

I also got a good look in her mouth, and counted her teeth. She has her six year molars. Four year olds can’t have six year molars, especially when they come with a history of malnourishment.

My four-year-old is actually six.

We started working on alphabet flashcards, and she only knew about four. Her preschool teacher said that she knew all of her letters, numbers, and colors when she was at school, but she has been acting like she doesn’t know any of those when she gets home. So, like a good mom, I gave her a time out for not doing her best. Then I promised her a bubble bath with toys if she could get her letters correct.

She got a shower last night instead.

My time out for her to think about how hard she was trying was strategic. I went out to her brother in the backyard, and had my husband ask him, in French, the same question: “How old are you in this picture?”

His head hung in shame.

We both told him that we will still love him if he is older, but we wanted to know what soccer team to put him on in the spring.

He told us (in French) that he was 8 and his sister was 6 in the picture.

Same answer, different child.


I hugged him for being honest with us, even though it was hard to tell the truth.

They have not told us who told them to lie, but it’s in there. It will come out. We also know that our agency knew their real ages, because it was common knowledge among the children in the orphanage. We were purposely deceived. And our kids have been burdened with perpetuating a lie, so that we wouldn’t send them back to Africa. That’s a heavy, heavy burden for children.

The good news is that we now know how old our kids are.

The bad news is that we are grieving. And we have to allow ourselves to do that. In 48 hours, we lost some good years. We lost 3 years with our son, and 2 years with our daughter. We went from an exceptionally bright child and an on-track child, to a child that is now capable but behind, and one that has very serious developmental delays that will need intense therapy. The fragile picture of our family, as dysfunctional and new as it was, has been shattered, and we now have to start over with new expectations, new rules, and a new plan.


15 thoughts on “The Truth Comes Out

  1. *Heavy sigh* You’re right, what an awful burden for them to carry. What a huge grief for you, again having your trust betrayed in the adoption process. What an opportunity for us to again gather around you and praise God for His faithfulness and confirm Christ’s victory over darkness. In Jesus’ name!

  2. It is so hard. Fix your eyes on Jesus and ask him daily for the answers to the whys and how to…because it is no mistake that they are your son and daughter and it is no mistake that the truth was told. He has a plan bigger than we can see in the present and so we must trust in Him. I love that the burden they had been carrying has lifted and that in Jesus name the healing to begin and grab a hold of being fearfully and wonderfully made, no matter what the past held, the future is theirs and yours to behold. I am thankful for your transparency and your love that goes above all else to the Father’s heart …to the place that brought you to adoption in the first place. Blessings, wish we lived closer so I could hug you. I wouldn’t hug your kids though…just you lol

  3. Wow, Robin… how heavy. Prayers certainly for you and Ken… Even tho you must process these ‘layers’ may your hearts rest in the fact that in God’s plan you guys are Palmer & Rose’s parents and as hard as it has been and will be ahead that God has equipped you guys [and will do so]- He’ll meet your and their needs. Your ‘times’ are in His Hands… PS. 31:14,15a

  4. I cannot begin to know how you feel. I do wonder though if this will help with some of the behavior issues. They must have been in such turmoil knowing they had been asked to lie and wondering if your love would withstand the lie. Now they know that no matter what, they are yours and you are theirs. Hugs and prayers!

  5. Lord, we’re comforted by the fact that You’re not surprised by any of these recent discoveries. I pray that You’ll move in such a way that brings You maximum honor and glory. Give Ken & Robin supernatural strength, comfort, wisdom, and courage as they continue to walk in daily obedience.

  6. It is heartbreaking to learn such difficult truths. How very hurtful. However, I know God will use this to His glory. What a testimony of your impact on your children already, that they would be free to answer truthfully. There had to have been some element of trust in order for them to bare the truth. God will move through this. Your children will experience unconditional love and acceptance, and you will see God continue to move mountains in the lives of your children.
    I will be praying for you all!

  7. Yah know the promised freedom there is in truth often initially bears with it a horribly uncomfortable and undesirable load of consequences of such honesty. Hope you feel the sufficiency of His grace for you.

  8. Robin as I read your story I was praising God that He has given you and Ken discernment to realize something was amiss. Praise the Lord thru this mess because you are giving freedom to these precious children God has entrusted to you and Ken. They must have been living in fear during this time and afraid they would be sent back. Let the healing begin for all of you. Rejoice that you are on a new road of freedom for your family. What God has begun He will finish.

  9. We are so conscious of your constant need for wisdom and strength through this process, Robin, and are praying daily that you will know the reality of Phil 4:13. As has been said, honesty must lift a heavy burden from the children’s hearts, and we trust this will be a significant breakthrough in their trust level and their realization of your genuine love for them. Love you all!!

  10. Pingback: Uncle. Ebenezer. « Where in the World Are Our Kids?

  11. Pingback: Six Months Home | Where in the World Are Our Kids?

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