Comfort and Tater Tots

We may weep today, but Kalkidan is filled with joy.
We may weep today, yet Kalkidan is filled with joy.

Today marks five months since the morning we set off for Montana, a morning that ended in sorrow. A heavy weight of sadness has been growing in my heart since yesterday.

Last night I found myself thinking that five months ago, as we prepared and packed for our trip, we had no idea how our life was about to change and the suffering that was in our future. I wanted to warn myself – tell us that we should cancel the trip.

I found myself wanting to comfort the five-months-ago Russ and me. I wanted to tell us that it was going to be terrible, that we were going to hurt in body and soul, but that we would survive. But I didn’t know how to gently explain that Kalkidan wouldn’t.

Today feels harder than I expected – harder than three months, or four months. I can’t explain it. Amazingly, after a few weeks of packed days, my morning is clear and once the children are off to school, I’ll have some quiet. I may take a walk, or read a book.

A sweet friend dropped off dinner, so tonight we’ll gather around our table with a feast of love placed before us. Being from the Midwest, she prepared the ultimate in comfort food, tater tot hot dish; it will be an all new experience for the kids, and they are already looking forward to it. The cookies packed with M&M’s are hidden on top of the refrigerator until after dinner.

I wish you could join us – we might cry a little, tell stories about how special Kalkidan is to us, and definitely eat one more cookie than we should. And we would probably wonder why we don’t eat tater tots more often.

Hug your kids today, friends, hug them close.

Love to each one of you,

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.

24 Comments

  1. Bev
    May 27, 2015

    It makes sense that it is harder right now…at least that is how I have experienced grief. The finality is something our spirits seem to be only able to grasp slowly. I have had some extra hard days at the 5-6 months time period in grieving my losses. I love your imagery of wanting to warn and comfort the people you were five months ago. I will think about that image of comfort for a long time. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 27, 2015

      Somehow it surprises me; maybe it's because so much of life is flying by and returning to "normal."

      Reply
  2. Austins
    May 27, 2015

    Hang in there Mrs Lisa and take solace in the fact that she's with Jesus now

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 27, 2015

      I do, Austins. Thank you for your kind words.

      Reply
  3. lucylou99
    May 27, 2015

    Praying and trusting the God of love, grace, peace and comfort to be with you through the hard… it's all I know to do.
    Love you,
    Cindy Mc

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 27, 2015

      Thank you, Cindy. I truly appreciate your prayers.

      Reply
  4. Laurel
    May 27, 2015

    We have no roots in the midwest, but our family loves Tator Tot Casserole. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 27, 2015

      I'm pretty certain we're going to love it.

      Reply
  5. Ann Hodgman
    May 27, 2015

    Brain-wise, it might actually be useful to imagine yourself warning the people you were. Not telling them not to make the drive, but telling them they needed to prepare for terrible loss. What would you say to the "pre-accident" family?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 27, 2015

      That's a really interesting thought, Ann. I reminds me of something we did with Kalkidan in therapy while at the trauma center in Nebraska. The therapist used nesting dolls to represent Kalkidan at different ages and then helped her work through some trauma.

      Reply
  6. Toni Lee
    May 27, 2015

    We lost my daughters father 3 years ago suddenly when he was hit by car while crossing the street on his way home from work. It hurt so much … He was my soul mate and my daughters father. The pain seemed so unbearable at the time and the week following the accident it seemed as if my life was on auto pilot… I remember everything that needed to be taken care of but to this day I can't remember how I did it. The day following his death was Mother's Day … I remember receiving a text from my pastor that Sunday morning that simply said "right foot … Left foot and repeat. Your family is waiting to embrace you" and that is exactly what they did. We pulled into the church parking lot and we were met with love and hugs. We still cry, sometimes we laugh when we share stories. He was a loving, hard working, generous, funny guy!
    When I read about your beautiful daughter, I pray for you and think about your family. I know a similar pain … For me personally 6 months was the hardest … For me it was when the grief and the pain really settled in deep in my heart and mind … I felt lost. I wanted so badly to wake up and it all be a horrible dream. I had to watch my little girl mourning her daddy. But by the absolute grace of God and so many friends and family that gathered around to hold us up. We made it through the first year … It was so hard buy God is good and he kept us safe and in the palm of his hand.
    I will continue to pray for you my sister in Christ. Tonight in honor of you and your sweet angel, I will personally say a prayer that you will find peace and comfort.
    Sending you love from California from a friend you have never met.
    God Bless
    Toni

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 29, 2015

      Toni, thank you from the depths of my heart. Truly, your words are life-giving to me. Thank you for sharing your story of loss – and making it through.

      Reply
  7. Kim
    May 27, 2015

    For me, the shock of learning of Kalkidans loss was almost simultaneously followed by thoughts of your previous post, Your post detailing Kalkidan's excitement and your plans for a special time with your. husband. It still hurts my heart to think of the shock of your loss. Prayers for you and yours, and thanks for those that God has placed in a position of being able to help you practically as well. Hugs.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 29, 2015

      I think of that too, Kim. What a shock to have life change so dramatically in a moment.

      Reply
  8. Chris
    May 28, 2015

    Lisa
    each time you share a piece of your heart, it makes my stomach ache for your pain-the pain of loss and grief are so intense, and they change with each season, and as you work through all the firsts of that first year, it may intensify-especially as you near the 1 year mark-
    tears for your sadness, smiles for your tater tot casserole-we just had one this week and yes, I am a midwesterner!!! and prayers for your hearts to continue to rest in Him.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 29, 2015

      Thank you, Chris. So many firsts to get through – I'm so thankful for the support and love of everyone.

      Reply
  9. Tricia
    May 28, 2015

    Lisa, I am very behind on reading blogs, but please know that today I lift you and yours up to our God. Our life is full of joys and challenges. Thank you for sharing your heart. Tricia

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 29, 2015

      Thank you, Tricia. It's nice to hear from you.

      Reply
  10. Sherri
    June 2, 2015

    Lisa is there a snail mail address or email address you share? I would like to send you a couple of things. Even though I do not often comment, know that I am reading, praying for your heart and your family. The gaping hole that Kalkidan's heaven-flight left will never go away but God will continue to heal your heart. These love-ties He created…so strong…not easily broken…the wound left by the tearing away, so painful…….He MADE us this way and He understands and cares…yet He is the HEALER, the Redeemer. What a mighty God we serve <3

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 2, 2015

      Sherri, thank you for thinking of us, praying for us, and reaching out to us. I'll email you my mailing address.

      Reply
  11. Elizabeth
    June 12, 2015

    There are alot of spiritual markers on time that usually go unseen. Because of this, there will probably be many times you feel the grief more intensely, and sometimes the reasons won't be obvious. Thank you for continuing to communicate when you are able. I will completely respect when you choose not to, however, though it is terrible, it has been a blessing to walk this journey (in a small way) with you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 14, 2015

      Thanks for walking with me, Elizabeth.

      Reply
  12. theresia
    June 12, 2015

    Oh Lisa… it is always a blessing to me to write your posts. I grieve with you. I lost my parents on the AirAsia crash December 28th. These days I feel are the hardest days… I cried for hours almost every morning. I asked God why is the suffering. The pain paralyzes and makes me numb. Seeing how strong you are, gives me extra strength too. Thank you.
    I know how it feels with warning our Dec 27th Russ and you about the storm that about to hit. I remember when the officials made me go through the airport security footage to recognize my parents and what they wear, I almost screamed, wanting them to go back. To warn them not to go through the security gates.

    This year might be the toughest year for both of us because of the loss of people we love.
    I wanted to share with you what my friend shared from CS Lewis book "The Magician's Nephew"

    “But please, please – won't you – can't you give me something that will cure Mother?' Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself. 'My son, my son,' said Aslan. 'I know. Grief is great.”

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 14, 2015

      Theresia, I'm so very sorry for your loss; there is nothing that can prepare us for such unexpected tragedy and grief. Thank you for the C.S. Lewis excerpt, I love the Narnia books. You're right, this is going to be a very hard and sad year. Even as we approach six months, I find myself near tears very often – maybe even more often. Many blessings to you today, and a hug from Idaho.

      Reply

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