"A Very Long Time Now"

Tonight as I was cooking dinner, K. announced to me that she wanted to go to her orphanage. She speaks often of her friends and caretakers there, so it was not a surprise, but tonight the conversation was a little different. When I asked her who she wanted to visit there she answered, “My family”. My heart skipped for a moment and I stopped what I was doing to sit beside her on the sofa. Then she said, “I been here very long time now.” “You love your family from your orphanage, don’t you,” I said and she smiled and nodded. I reminded her that this week some drawings she had made were going to be delivered to three of her most special caretakers. She was happy about that.

Then we talked about the people who love her in Ethiopia and how much her family here loves her. Soon she proceeded to share her entire plan which included Mommy and Daddy going with her to Ethiopia and all of her siblings. She wanted to bring dinner along and then she got silly and decided maybe we could pack our entire house on the airplane.

I am thankful that she was so well attached to her caregivers and home in Ethiopia. She was loved and she knew it. They saved her life and I will always be grateful to them. She grieves and I know her heart aches sometimes, but I also know that she is finding her place here. I grieve for her knowing that she has suffered more loss than I ever will. She knows that Russ and I love her and she is our daughter through and through. She is both the child she was in Ethiopia and the child she is now in America. She had a mommy who loved her until she was three years old and a new mommy who began to love her from the moment I saw her picture. We are all woven together.


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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.


  1. the ewings
    October 24, 2007

    You do such a beautiful job laying out her extended family that spans the globe. How hard it must be to understand that all. You are an amazing mother and I just love reading about your family and your love and compassion for each and every one of your children! What a role model you are!Blessed to know you, Chris EwingCan't wait to met you some day!

  2. Leslie
    October 24, 2007

    Wow Lisa–that is beautiful.


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