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We walked into the cottage after the long drive to Montana, and one of the first things I heard was one staff member say to another, “I’m really going to miss that kid.” Those words characterized Dimples’ entire farewell.

Dimples “Goodbye Ceremony” was lovely. All of the children from her cottage were present, and many of the staff. She also invited the chaplain and a couple of kids from other cottages who were close friends. Her therapist lit a candle and spoke of Dimples, how she had grown, the hard work she did in therapy, difficult moments, successes, and overall affirmed Dimples for the progress she made. Then she lit the candle of the cottage case manager who shared her thoughts, who then lit the candle of her closest staff member who spoke more affirming words.

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Leaving Montana with Dimples – Mimi shared the driving.

So many of you are praying for Dimples and our family as she settles in at home. The days are flying by, but I need to pause to tell you that she is doing amazing. I have tears in my eyes just typing that. Let me share a few quick thoughts.

*She is so happy to be home. It was hard to say goodbye in Montana, and she misses her friends and the staff, but she was ready to make the transition.

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“I wish Dimples was here right now so I could have fun with her.”

I just overheard Little Man say this to Eby as they did their morning chores. It struck me that he would never have said that a year and a half ago. There was very little fun going on in our home back then.

In less than a month, Dimples will be on her way home for good; what a journey this has been for all of us.

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Dimples is here for her very last home visit. The time has gone by so quickly; it’s  hard to believe that we’ve reached this milestone. Samuel drove to the MT/ID border on Tuesday to pick her up. Sunshine went with him so the girls had some sister time on the way back. We had one day at home and then headed to Seattle yesterday for appointments at Seattle Children’s.

This visit feels different to me. Dimples seems calmer and less anxious – I feel calmer and less anxious too.

Wrapping around Dimples

Wrapping around Dimples

Last night we had a Wraparound meeting in preparation for Dimples’ return home. Her case manager suggested this to me as a means of organizing our support team in a more concrete way.

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that we are blessed with many people who love Dimples and want to see her successfully transition back into our home and our community. In the past, most of our support has come when I have specifically asked somebody for help. Some of it has been regularly scheduled, but often the burden has been heavy on me to make sure we had enough help to avoid a major crisis.

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Last weekend all of our children were home for the first time since Dimples went to residential treatment. She has been here for visits, but never at the same time as both Hannah and Isaiah. We took a family picture before the wedding – I’m hoping for one shot worthy of a Christmas card.

Dimples loves excitement and energy, so she did great when there was lots of activity going on before the wedding.

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Silly Selfies at the Wedding

Beza left on her Colorado adventure this morning. She is nervous and excited to visit friends who live in a small town in the mountains. Beza finds it very hard to be one kid in the midst of many and thrives when she can be an “only child.” She readily admits that she doesn’t like sharing me with her siblings and actually doesn’t like sharing any important adults in her life with other kids. As you can imagine, this makes for some very difficult days for her, the other kids, and me. 

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Happy Mother’s Day, friends. I hope there are sweet moments for each one of you today.

I am blessed to connect with many mothers through my blog, speaking, and life. Some of them are in the depth of struggle with their children, and Mother’s Day may be filled with tears, or even despair. Let’s pray for our sisters who are suffering today.

I wrote this post, Mother’s Day for the Brokenhearted, last year, and when I read it again, it seemed to be just as relevant. I hope it speaks to you today.

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I’ve given birth eight times.  Call me crazy, but I birthed my babies naturally, and half of them at home. Each labor brought me to a moment of not knowing if I could make it through. It was unbelievably hard and sometimes I was scared. But every single time I went into labor, I set my mind on the purpose of the contractions – my baby. I focused on the joy that would come when that little one was in my arms.

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I haven’t had much time to blog, but tonight I need to give thanks to God for Dimples’ good visit. She was with us for five days, which was her longest visit yet. For the first time, she came without a staff member. As we count down the weeks to her transition home, we need to figure out what is needed in order for her to be successful at home.

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On the afternoon of our visit, we gathered for a family group time. After a fun, “getting to know you and laugh a little” activity, we spread out for an activity with our own children. The therapist gave us instructions and we set to work.