A Good Visit

dimples and mimi

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. The difficult times were the days following when everyone was exhausted. Transitions are still hard, especially bedtime, but there were no rages. She balked at attending VBS with her siblings, because she had other ideas of how to spend her time, but I explained that was the plan for all of the children. She ended up loving it.

She still strives for control over her siblings, Russ and me, and her environment. I found myself frequently saying things like, “The adults have things figured out,” and “Mom and Dad are in charge; you don’t need to worry about it.”

Overall, I’m encouraged, but I need to be realistic;  the reality is that life with Dimples is still hard. The huge change is that I think she is able to be safe, and that is what is essential for her to live at home.

Dimples has a week-long visit in July during which we’ll squeeze in a trip to Seattle for medical appointments. In late August we’ll travel to Montana to share her farewell celebration and then bring her home. We’ve planned it so she will begin school shortly after arriving since downtime is a challenge.

Two more days of VBS and then Russ and I are heading to Seattle with the kids. My sister, Laura, is going to keep them while Russ and I get away for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. We’re looking forward to it so much.

Thank you to all of you who care about Dimples and continue to follow her story. She is an amazing girl and I know the Lord has great things in store for her.

Have a wonderful day, friends.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Kylee
    June 19, 2014

    Lisa, I'm so glad you had a good weekend with Dimples and are seeing improvements in her well-being and ability to be safe in your home. My 12 year old brother moved into residential back in May, and we're still in the early, early stages. I've been home since graduating from college a couple of weeks ago and see such a big difference in the peace and security of my other siblings. It's been a hard time for us, but we have so much hope that this journey he is on (that we're ALL on) will bring healing.
    I think of you often and share snippets of your story with my mom to encourage her during this time. Congrats on a successful weekend and your son's marriage! Blessings!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 19, 2014

      Kylee, I hope your brother finds healing the way Dimples has. Sometimes I forget how far she has come – such dramatic changes. I know my older kids have seen so much change here without the constant turmoil – I want so badly to maintain the peace even once she returns home.

      Reply
  2. Deborah
    June 19, 2014

    You are an AMAZING mom and Dimples (as well as all of the others – regardless of origin) are lucky to have you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 19, 2014

      Thank you, Deborah, for your sweet and encouraging words. I'm not feeling so amazing right now, a little weary, I think. One thing I know, I am blessed to have them – even in all of our mess.

      Reply
  3. Sarah
    June 19, 2014

    Oh, Lisa, such an answer to prayer! Every night before I go to sleep I pray these words: "Please help Dimples settle safely, securely, successfully, and with love back into her family when the time comes." Looks like my prayers are working!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 19, 2014

      Sarah, oh my goodness, you just made me cry. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers for my girl. Keep them coming.

      Reply
  4. charity betts
    June 19, 2014

    what a mighty work He is doing, what a miracle for your family, so grateful you were able to all be together for this wedding season, and can feel and see progress. in the darkness, it is so hard to remember there will be light, there IS healing, and the important events we want everyone there for are sometimes the hardest to do well because so much is different and unpredictable and yes, exhausting even for the ones who don't have to work as hard at it. I am happy you will get time with your husband to recover! love and blessings.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 19, 2014

      I am so thankful that we were all together for the wedding. We made it a big priority to have everyone here and it worked out. Thanks for your sweet comment, Charity, I always love hearing from you.

      Reply
  5. Luann Yarrow Doman
    June 19, 2014

    I'm so happy the visit went well. I feel like when I pray and cheer for Dimples, I'm cheering and praying for my own future children. Speaking of which…exciting news…we've been matched with a sibling group of three older kids from Ethio! 🙂
    I hope you have a joy-filled and relaxing anniversary trip. You deserve it after your busy recent days. xo

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 19, 2014

      Wow, Luann, that is big news! Thanks for the sweet words and for cheering Dimples along.

      Reply
  6. Chris
    June 19, 2014

    I HOPE you have a wonderful get-away with your hubby.
    With our 4 with special needs and from hard places, we have NO time, or energy for each other, and it is really showing after several years of caretaking for the children.
    Now that we have some respite plans, maybe we can sneak in a day to ourselves too!!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2014

      Respite is a wonderful gift! I hope you can get some rest and reconnect.

      Reply
  7. adventisthomemaker
    June 19, 2014

    I'm encouraged by Dimples' story! I hope she finds more healing this summer and is even better prepared to come home this fall.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2014

      Thank you – the Lord can do so much in a short time – in all of us.

      Reply
  8. Laurel
    June 20, 2014

    Praising God for all the growth in Dimples and the fact that she'll be coming home in August! I found your description of her need to control her siblings, you, her environment very insightful. My son (adopted from Ethiopia) does this, too. I often find myself seeing it as manipulation and just getting frustrated by it, but I think it is actually a deep need for control. Thank you for shedding some light on that for me!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2014

      Laurel, I think the need for control comes from fear and the struggle to believe that adults can be trusted. It also just seems to be a habit in the way some kids function. It can be hard for us as parents!

      Reply
  9. TheReluctantWidow
    July 5, 2014

    I found your blog a while back and it's good to hear this update. I haven't had time to read through all of your blog, but do you have some sort of FAQ about how you made this choice for Dimples? I have four children adopted from overseas. The youngest two, not biologically related but from the same home, have RAD though it manifests in different ways. I kid you not, a month ago I contacted the adoption agency about re-adoption for my son, but about that time he was seen by a psychiatrist and given medicine for mood disorder ("Detachment and Dysregulation") and low-and-behold he has calmed to the point that his rages are no longer violent and I can help him regulate (somewhat) in less than the previous 45 min to an hour. This is important to me because I am a widow raising my kids on my own. No real family support to speak of, and very little community support.

    I had been trying to get him into a local residential RAD program but nothing was happening. Now, they might have a spot for him and I question whether I really need it. So confusing to know what is really best for him. I wish you lived in my town so we could meet for coffee and talk!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 7, 2014

      It is such a hard decision. We finally make it based on the fact that we simply couldn't keep everyone safe at home. There are some posts from January 2013 that might shed some light for you. I wish I could be more helpful. I can say that residential treatment has been significantly good for Dimples and has given us time to heal at home. Now we need to prepare for her return.

      Reply

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