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Dimples and Eby had appointments with our therapist on Monday. One thing I love about Deborah is that she is so practical. She shows us how to use our bodies (remember the hands for making choices?), use phrases (“Got it?”), and create practical helps for our children. I listen so intently during our sessions that I often have a headache when we are done. Then I scribble notes to myself in the hope that I will remember a good portion of what she has taught us.

One of our Therapy Tasks is to take a picture of us with Eby, print a few copies, and laminate them. One will be hung next to his bed, another will be pinned inside his tent where he sleeps, and another will have a cord put through it for him to wear around his neck during the day. Anytime he is worried that we are going to “go away”, he’ll have a visual cue to remind him that Mommy and Daddy love him and we will always be his parents.

Although he hasn’t verbalize the details of the story, he remembers losing his mother. One day, in a very sad and insightful conversation, he told me that he is afraid I am going to die. When this theme comes up, I reassure him with as much confidence as I can, that I am healthy and strong and that I plan to be with him until he is a grown up man himself.

When he goes to bed, I tell him that I will be here in the morning. If I know that I am going to be out running when he gets up, I tell him that I will not be in my bed, but I will be home by 7:00. Or, I tell him I will be in the garage running on my treadmill. I try to be specific. I also always say goodbye to him if I run out, even for a quick errand, and tell him when I think I will be back. He needs to feel secure and know that I will not disappear.

We hope that having a picture to wear, as well as pictures by his bed, will increase his feelings of security and belonging. Most days I wear a cross because I want to be reminded that I belong to Jesus. I also wear my wedding band because I belong to Russ and he belongs to me. Now Eby will have something to wear to remind him that we love him, he belongs to us and we belong to him. We’re wearing love.


  1. chicknboy (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    I think this idea is SO helpful. I did something similar for our daughter -only I ironed our picture onto a shirt for her to wear. She also likes to have our picture next to her bed. :)

  2. Paula (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    I love all of the practical suggestions you share. We use the hands for choices all the time now. One of the twins will even come up to me and give me choices while putting out her hands.
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  3. Jess (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    Very Sweet.

  4. Kimber (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    Our family is in the process of adopting a little boy. I come to your blog daily to read and learn. I am so thankful for your honesty, insight and passion for adoption and all your experiences in helping heal the wounds in your children. You are a wonderful mom and a beautiful example to me as I prepare my heart for our adopted son.
    Happy Thanksgiving! May God continue to work, heal and bless your family!

  5. crispy (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    Thanks for sharing your tips of what you are learning so we can learn along with you.

  6. Laura (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    As a preschool teacher, we have encouraged parents to do something similar. For some children, we are the first experience away from their parents, and although it is only two hours, time is a bit irrelevant to a 3 yr old and it can seem like a really long time. For those unsure children, we reccommend a family picture in their backpack that they can take out and look out. We also tell that "Mrs. Sutton's rule is that the mommies and daddies always have to come back and get them"

  7. SocialWrkr24/7 (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    That is a beautiful, beautiful idea – I especially love how you've connected it to wearing your cross and wedding ring. Amazing.

  8. Dianne (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    What a wonderful idea. So easy to do, too.

  9. ACK (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    can i still contribe when i get paid?

  10. Ann (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    Thank you for another wonderful idea! I'm going to send a picture of us with Vu to his school for him to keep nearby as I think it will add extra security for him. Your posts have helped me so much in so many ways–Happy Thanksgiving! One thing I am thankful for is YOU!

  11. coffeemom (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    I love your blog…I guess you know that by now. You must see me here often enough. I just linked to you w/ the "krafty blogger" award thing. It's like a tag. Don't shoot me. It means I think your blog is just really important to me. Go to my blog to see and check the "rules."

  12. Caroline (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    We have done the same with our boy he had our picture in his backpack. I get so much help from you, becaouse our therapist doesn't think we need to help him in that way. She wants to have him by herself and we are not allowed to talk to him what they have done during the sesson. I do not feel that this is good but that is the help we have right now!

  13. shannoncl (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

    I somehow found this post from- seemingly a hundred years ago and- little lightbulbs are going off in my head. I know I've said this before- and quite honestly the words just aren't the magnitude of the feeling I'm trying to convey — but.. THANK YOU. Sharing your learning curve and your graceful struggles somehow help in very tangible and in very spiritual ways. THANK YOU. On my Eucharisteo list- Is "Lisa"

    • One Thankful Mom (Reply) on Wednesday 25, 2009

      Thank you, Shannon. I'm glad to know this post was helpful to you now, even though I wrote it long ago. God knows what we need!