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Part2

Today I bring part two of a  four part series from my guest, Sarah. When I published my post, Have We Made Attachment and Idol, she wrote a comment so insightful and beautiful that I asked her to develop it into a guest post. That post was so rich that I asked her to expand it, and before we knew it, we had a four part series. I am very honored that she is entrusting her story to me – it is tender, raw, and hopeful.

[Be sure to read Part 1 first ]

The awkward dance with my new family continued for the next 11-years.  I belonged to them, and them to me, as much as we were all emotionally and spiritually able.  Given that a few of my universal truths had just been shattered – that my mom would always be there, that the world was a good and safe place, that God would take care of me – I wasn’t exactly entering my new family with much equity in my emotional & spiritual savings account. 

Part1

Today begins a four part series of guest posts from Sarah. When I published my post, Have We Made Attachment and Idol, she wrote a comment so insightful and beautiful that I asked her to develop it into a guest post. That post was so rich that I asked her to expand it, and before we knew it, we had a four part series. I am very honored that she is entrusting her story to me – it is tender, raw, and hopeful.

The school bell rang and I skipped home alone under the warm September sun. Our apartment was dim and quiet when I arrived and I found my mom lying in bed, her grown niece, Caroline at her side. They looked as if they had been crying. They told me that we were moving to Caroline’s house that night.

My cheeks flushed a deep crimson. This was my fault.

 

speaking C2L 2014

I spent the weekend at the Called to Love retreat with 180 adoptive and foster moms and I have to say, those are some beautiful women. Every day these moms lay down their lives to love and serve children who have come to them for innumerable reasons. Many of the children are from truly “hard places,” little ones who’ve experienced trauma and neglect that has hurt them deeply. Mothering hurt children is a task that brings us to our knees, sometimes multiple times a day.

To worship with them, pray with them, learn, laugh, and eat together was precious. I was honored to teach twice, once in a breakout session and again in the general session Sunday morning. As I looked out at my fellow mamas, I wished we were sitting together in my kitchen drinking coffee and sharing our lives. There were so many stories of God showing up in amazing ways to meet the cries of hurting hearts. I won’t mention how many times I choked up as I spoke – whew! Jesus reaches into our hurting hearts and gives us his love and strength to press on.

the day we met Eby

the day we met Eby

Eight years ago this month we received our referrals for Eby and Little Man. Through a strange series of events, we also received a referral for another little boy, but we were only approved for two children. I, of course, fell in love with all three of them.

In Tariku’s referral pictures, he looked small and fragile, while Eby looked sad and scared. Little Man was a tiny baby with big eyes. I wanted to scoop them all up, love them, and make them part of our family.

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It’s been far too long since we’ve done a Tuesday Topic. Today I have a great question from Margaret,

I am curious how people support kids with depression and how they keep it from seeping into their own lives?

How do I encourage my depressed kid to try new things, get exercise, get out of bed? When do I leave well enough alone? How do I negotiate all this without feeling hopeless myself? (We are already getting professional treatment for our adopted teen daughter.)

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I’m giving away a copy of Ann Voskamp’s new Advent book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas!

Last week I wrote a post about preparing for Advent and mentioned that I plan to use this book with our children. The book arrived on Friday and is more beautiful than I imagined. It is colorful, large, and the story of Jesus coming to the world is told in a lovely way. The book comes with a free download for ornaments children (and adults) can color and hang on a Jesse tree.

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It’s 7:00 am and I already need to turn my day around. I’m a little frazzled with kids stuff – normal kid stuff, and that right there is something to be thankful for.

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a comfortable bed to sleep in, even if my kids wake me up multiple times in a night

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In the nearly 28 years that I’ve been a mom, I’ve seen my share of toys come and go. I’m not a fan of toys that break easily or only hold a child’s interest for two days. I want toys and games that will last for years.

I hope you enjoy our family favorites and find new toys and games your children will love.

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Advent begins on Sunday, November 30th, which you know will get here far more quickly than we can imagine. If you’ve been reading my blog for long, y0u know that I love Advent. Thankfully a reader sent me a message on my One Thankful Mom facebook page (thanks Cheryl!) asking about resources and she prompted me to google “2014 first Sunday of advent.”

This year I’m using Ann VosKamp’s new book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas.

sunshine and mimi

Sunshine and Mimi

“Mom, do you need a squeeze-y hug?”

Sunshine held her arms out to me and looked into my eyes.

“Well, maybe I do,” I replied, “What makes you ask?”