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mary ostyn

Owlhaven is one of the very first blogs I read when we were beginning our adoption journey. Mary Ostyn, has been writing Owlhaven a few months longer than I’ve been writing One Thankful Mom. Over the years we’ve become friends and a few weekends ago we spent three days together on a retreat with a small group of other adoptive moms.

Last spring Mary asked if I would read her new book, Forever Mom: What to Expect When You’re Adopting, and if I liked it,  write an endorsement. I was so honored – and so busy, with Noah and Katie’s wedding coming up. It took me a couple of weeks, but once I sat down to read, I couldn’t stop. I know my friends are amazing, so I expected to like Mary’s book, but I had no idea just how fantastic it would be.

photo credit: samuel qualls

photo credit: samuel qualls

giving thanks #1511 – 1520

a Saturday that stretched before us – no travel, meetings, or appointments

warm weather while we worked in the yard 

Russ’ happiness at a day spent outdoors

kids cheerfully (for the most part) working with us

 

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Two days at UW, multiple appointments, testing, interviews, and finally a team meeting around the conference table. The final report – Eby’s sensory differences are significant, he has some speech challenges , and trauma is still a big factor influencing his life.

As I listened to the team talk about their findings, my hope drained away. I wanted to hear something I didn’t already know – something I could hang my concerns on, something that would seem solvable. I sat in the room thinking, “I filled out loads of paperwork, waited eight months for an appointment, and spent four days on this trip, only to find out the same old stuff.” I was holding back tears when we left.

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giving thanks #1491 – 1510

major progress on prepping for our garage remodel

folks from our care group who spent hours working with us yesterday

a nearly empty (for the first time in 15 years) garage

storage bins on clearance

gathering as a family last night to celebrate Little Man’s 8th birthday (which is tomorrow)

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Well, that was quite a surprise. I didn’t expect yesterday’s post, Have We Made Attachment an Idol, to gain so much  attention; in fact when I clicked the “publish” button, I was nervous about how it would be received. Apparently it struck a chord with many of you who have pondered this as well.

I want to be clear about something. Secure attachment is beautiful – it is a good thing to desire for our children. God wired children’s brains to attach to their parents, but as we know, sometimes that wiring is damaged due to neglect, abuse, and trauma of all kinds.

Love my girls!

I spent last weekend with a small group of adoptive moms who are all ministry leaders; the time was deeply meaningfulOur conversations were rich, faith-filled, and honest. What a relief it was to know that we are not alone in our challenges, purposes, and joys.

One topic we wrestled with is attachment. We have all studied attachment theory and methods for facilitating its development. With some of our children, secure attachment has been achieved, while with others, it has not – all within one family. Among our children who came home at older ages, it has been more difficult to achieve.

Dimples - May 2007

Dimples – May 2007

It’s been ages since I’ve posted a Tuesday Topic and I’ve missed hearing from all of you. The accumulated wisdom here is remarkable and I love seeing us help one another. Today’s question should have been posted a few weeks ago when I received it, but it is so relevant that I’m going to share it now and look forward to hearing your thoughts, experiences, and encouragement. It comes from Natalia who writes,

We have two foster girls (3 and 5) who have been with us for about 5 months. Both of them will be starting preschool/pre-kindergarten in the next couple of weeks and as they enter into the school year I am anticipating a lot of “getting to know you” activities in their classrooms

 

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I have this thing about writing with pencils. I used to write everything with black ink, but the more children I had, the more necessary it was to make adjustments, rearrange, reschedule, and sometime scratch things right off my calendar and to-do list. When I couldn’t stand the mess of changes continually happening in my life, I began to write with pencils; at least with a pencil, I could erase and write in the new plan.

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As always, I have so much to be thankful for. It’s an unusual Sunday because all of our older kids are out of town with their group of friends. Only seven kids home for dinner (we’re borrowing one for the day) and somehow it feels like I have the week off from cooking. I had better give dinner a little bit of thought or I’ll have an unhappy crew on my hands.

giving thanks #1481 – 1490

sisters braiding hair while waiting for the bus

supper club – friends gathering around one another’s tables for many years

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I pre-ordered this book, No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind and it arrived a few days ago. I haven’t pre-ordered many books, but I’m a big fan of the authors’ earlier book, The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind and highly recommend it. I even wrote a series of posts on it, one for each of six chapters, which I invite you to read.