Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Imara update {the good and the bad}

A quick update on Imara: She is doing really well in some areas and not-so-well in other areas. How is that for vague?

Most of you saw that we had the privilege of spending an evening with Imara (mentioned here) and her host family (because we are not her host family). She giggled, ran, played and ate a lot of fish, despite having some residual scarring, brain injury and hearing loss in one ear.

But, beneath the surface of all the joys she is experiencing now and in addition to her physical hurts, she still has a lot of emotional hurts. She lost her mother, was brutally abused and mistreated, dropped off at an orphanage, treated for injuries by many different doctors in several different places and brought to America, where she is now adjusting to new life with new people. Even for an adult, that's a lot of adjustment.

But for a three-year-old, the drastic changes (even if they are good) are hard to handle at times. If you are an adoptive parent, you probably know that children (particularly those who have come through hard places and are older) sometimes deal with the crazy changes by regressing, acting out, and behaving differently in some circumstances than other children. Although Imara isn't adopted at the moment, her cute little head still has plenty to process.

Her host family says she is displaying classic signs of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which one might expect with the extreme circumstances she has been through. But there is a strong possibility that she is also having seizures. They are not classic seizures, where one's body shakes and muscles spasm. They involve a blank stare and significantly decreased brain and motor functioning. (This may be a clue as to why her extended family accused her of being a witch; they probably have very little understanding of seizures and medical reasons for her actions.)

I say all of this to ask that you continue praying for Imara and her host family. Imara is in a much better place now, but even with the joy of redeemed life comes the pain of past experience. Imara is experiencing some of that pain, and her host family goes through every step of that pain with her as she tries to heal. The possibility of seizures is a concern, but not one that can't be overcome, just like the hundreds of other situations Imara and her family have already overcome in the last few months.

(For more details regarding Imara's current situation, go here. For Imara's full story/updates, go here.)