As We Gather

We’re catapulting toward the end of the school year with all of its special activities, while also preparing for my dad’s memorial service and Noah’s graduation from medical school.

I’m filled with emotions that don’t all seem to fit together. I’m so sad about losing my dad, and I’m dreading the wave of grief I know will hit at his memorial service. I’m also looking forward to seeing family and friends when we celebrate him next week.

My kids are flying in, beginning with Isaiah today, followed by Hannah and David tomorrow, and Annarose on Sunday. Thankfully, Samuel lives in Portland which is only a few hours away. Noah and Katie are moving to Seattle this weekend and will already be there; Mimi also lives in Seattle. The younger kids will drive over with us.

I’m so proud of Noah and Katie, and all they’ve accomplished these last four years. It’s hard to believe medical school is done! He’s doing an OB/GYN residency at the University of Washington followed by a maternal-fetal medicine fellowship. It’s interesting because he was my first high-risk pregnancy and I had a wonderful perinatologist; she must have made an impact on him.

I love having a big family – truly love it. The challenge in a week like this is coordinating where everyone is staying, who is going to the airport, what my younger crew is wearing, where Zoe will stay for the first weekend, my trip to Seattle, when Russ leaves for Seattle, and then the emotional minefield of grief. Did I mention we still don’t know where we’re leaving our dog? My heart races just thinking about the logistical madness.

The end result is I’m not sleeping. The last few nights I’ve opened my eyes to see 3-something on the clock and couldn’t fall back asleep, which is why I’m here chatting with you in the wee hours.

I’m also realizing just how few days of school will remain when we settle back in after our two back-to-back trips. As I came downstairs this morning, the thought of swimming lessons struck me, which made me think about camp, and travel, and just how I’ll occupy my boys this summer.

Claire has loads of travel on her horizons and a summer job lifeguarding at the local pool. Zoe has work and a bit of travel planned too. Beza graduates in June and is moving to San Diego for Job Corp.

As for me, I know I’ve said it so many times, but I really do plan to declutter! It may be an ongoing process for the next decade.

I’m also loving working on my podcast and new website, The Adoption Connection. Wow, it’s fun to have a new, exciting project. My co-host, Melissa, and I set out to create a podcast and have since expanded our project to create a resource-rich website for adoptive and foster moms. I’m excited to share it with you as it develops. You can stay updated on our progress by liking our Facebook page.

Last summer I traveled a lot. This summer I’ll be holding down the fort while Russ and some of the kids travel. I’m okay with that, especially because we’re continuing toward our goal to create opportunities for connection with our kids.

I sent my friends-letter, 5 Thankful Thoughts, yesterday. It’s short, sweet, a little more personal, and it’s one of my favorite things to write. I’d love to send it to you, too.



Have a great weekend, my friend. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, like I am, take some deep breaths, and grab hold of a few small things that give you joy. I, for one, will be sipping lots of coffee and listening to favorite podcasts as I drive to Seattle. Then I’ll be hugging my big kids and family!

What’s coming up for you? Share it with me in a comment!

With courage and hope for the journey.

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

6 Comments

  1. Paula
    May 18, 2018

    We are looking forward to a *slightly* more relaxed weekend after a crazy busy one last week. I got to enjoy my whole family, plus my mom, as we gathered for Confirmation for three of the kids…plus a baseball tournament, dance recital, church retreat, and a birthday. I love having a large family, too.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 18, 2018

      That sounds like an amazing, and possibly exhausting, weekend!

      Reply
  2. I love picturing all of you together! (Especially Hannah and David. ;-)). We are sad to miss you all but hopefully we can connect sometime this summer. We love you and will be praying for your family as you gather for the memorial service!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 18, 2018

      Yes, we need to find a time to get together. Thank for your prayers.

      Reply
  3. Maureen
    May 18, 2018

    Lisa, I am thrilled to celebrate Noah’s graduation with you all. Bitter sweet June for me as well. On June 2 we lay our son Noah in his final resting place. It has taken us 2 years to be able to do it. All our family coming home too. June 15 I retire from WSU after 20 years, 14 with WWAMI, with bitter sweet thoughts. Life’s journey is exciting and for some of us very painful. My heart still aches with a huge hole in it but I hear my Noah saying – go for it mom…..Live, Laugh, Love Out Loud. At the age of 72 I think I can …….

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 18, 2018

      Maureen, thank you for being part of Hannah and Noah’s (and our family’s) journey through medical school. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Noah. I’m glad your family can gather and remember him together. And retirement! There are wonderful things ahead. I hope I see you at the graduation.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy