Celebrating & Letting Go

Love the drama they add to our lives.

Last night we celebrated Christmas with Mimi and Andrew and today they fly to San Antonio to visit Andrew’s family. For the first time in my mothering years, one of my children won’t be home for Christmas and while it is sad, I’m trying hard to roll with it and know that this is only the beginning. My heart wants to keep my children close as they grow, but not in a smothering, guilt inducing way.  With eleven children who are rapidly growing up, the likelihood of having them all home for the holidays is small.

Of course, it helps that we love Andrew’s family and know the joy they will have with Andrew and Mimi there. Andrew has one sister, who adores him, and now she has Mimi to share her life. I could not be more thankful to have them as part of our family.

I’ve been so encouraged by your comments on my “Rocking Chair Challenge” post that Rusty is helping me put together a real challenge for all of us. Of course, my small ideas always become much more complicated than I ever imagine. I plan to have something up about the challenge soon and I hope you will all join me! I’m excited to see what will happen in our children and in our own hearts as we rock them.

How are your Christmas preparations coming along?  Sweet Pea and I wrapped gifts for hours yesterday and I think we’re nearly done.  Today we are doing lots of baking and cooking; it’s a good thing we enjoy being in the kitchen together.  I have plenty of tasks to assign to my kitchen staff (Ladybug, Honeybee, Dimples, and Sunshine) and they are generally eager helpers in the kitchen.

It’s nearly Christmas, friends!


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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. Laura
    December 23, 2010

    It is a new era to celebrate holidays without our children. I have only three, but we have now had two Thanksgivings and two Easters without Drew…it's just not possible to be together when he goes to school in VA and we live in WA. It is just a new phase in life and helps me understand how difficult it must have been from Mom and my Mother in law when we divided up the holidays to make them easier for our children. Plus, we have to celebrate holidays with out all of you!

  2. Donna
    December 23, 2010

    After having everyone together last year as engaged couples, we will be missing our daughter and her new husband and our other daughter's husband in Iraq. Sad, but life moves on and we are raising adults to go off and live their lives to the glory of God as we have. So thankful for my littles still at home!

  3. Andrea H.
    December 23, 2010

    I have a feeling even our little ones are flying out of the nest faster than we think. Time doesn't stand still. The one good thing with a large family is though that you have a huge chance of having quiet a few right there where you are as they become adults. I often think of the families that only have 2 adult children and have them scattered all over the State.
    Have a Merry Christmas my friend and hope to see you soon.

  4. Laurel
    December 24, 2010

    We just got home from our 2 week trip to TX, for our first family wedding.

    Christmas preparations: We have no tree … no lights … one small present for each of the younger children. We have not turkey or lamb this year; we'll just eat whatever we can find in the freezer after being out of town.

    Only 7 of our 12 children will be home for Christmas this year. Oh. So. Hard. But … we did get 10 of 12 for Thanksgiving, which we are so very thankful for.

    How are we preparing for Christmas? We are preparing our hearts. We are preparing to try to help our children understand that Christmas is NOT about the tree, the lights, the presents. While we would LOVE to have all of those things fill our home; we could barely afford to pay for the gas and hotels to make the trip to our son's wedding in TX.

    While we won't be exchanging gifts (just 1 new pair of pajamas for each little child), we will be celebrating the greatest Gift … the birth of Our Lord Jesus.

    We will spend time reading His Word. We will spend time in prayer. We will spend time thanking Him for all that He has given us. Even though our finances are "tight", we have so much more than most of the world.

    I think we will all learn a lot this Christmas, about what we truly have to be thankful for … without all of the American "wrappings" of Christmas.

    Hope your day is BLESSED!



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