Dimples and a Christmas Visit


It’s been ages since I’ve written an update on Dimples. So many of you think or her and pray for her, so let me catch you up a little. Dimples is in the “working through” stage of treatment, and it’s messy.

There are three stages of treatment to her program: engagement, working through, and separation. Engagement took place in the early months when Dimples was adjusting to the program, understanding it, and then slowly beginning to work with the staff toward her goals. It was the “buying in” stage of treatment.

As she grew more comfortable and relationships with staff developed, she entered the “working through” stage of treatment. This is the hard, messy part of treatment when things look like they’re falling apart, then pulling together, falling apart once again, then pulling together – and it continues. Dimples’ therapist told us that when things get messy in treatment, the children tend to look messy, their rooms are messy, and it seems like things are unraveling, but this has to happen in order for healing to occur.

Isn’t that true for us too? The actual work of growing and healing is messy – there may be tears, hard conversations, an inability to focus on tasks because our minds and hearts are working so hard in other ways, and is some ways we fall apart. Then we move forward, continue to heal, and life comes together once again. This happens in my life on a small scale often enough that I know it won’t last too long. Honestly, I still remind myself, “Feelings come and go.”

We’ve had many conversations about Christmas and the fact that we won’t be together. We’re heading to Montana soon for Dimple’s school program and an all-campus Christmas party; we’ll celebrate in a different way this year. The younger kids are coming with us for a quick over-and-back trip. Dimples has asked multiple times if we will bring her Christmas gifts with us – and we will. She plans to open them Christmas morning rather than while we’re there, which is fine. I want her to enjoy the anticipation like she would at home.

This is her second Christmas away from home – it feels odd to type that. Last year was a swirling mess of raw emotion, this year is calm, and tinged with a little sadness.  I can’t even guess what next year will bring, which is probably for the best. Grace comes when we most need it, and I imagine I’ll need lots.

One week until Christmas – are you ready? What is the most pressing thing you need to accomplish?




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.


  1. Acceptance with Joy
    December 18, 2013

    Thank you for the update. Prayers for Dimples and that she will enjoy Christmas.

    To the tune of Yankee Doodle:

    Feelings come and feelings go
    'cause feelings are deceiving.
    Trust alone on the Word of God
    it's something worth believing
    "cause feelings come and feelings go
    feelings are deceiving
    Trust alone on the Word of God
    It's something worth believing.

  2. Sarah
    December 18, 2013

    Just prayed for you!

  3. crazycatruns
    December 18, 2013

    Thanks for the update. Every time I read one, my heart simultaneously breaks and fills with hope.

  4. Luann Yarrow Doman
    December 18, 2013

    Interesting stages of treatment. I always say that when I'm cleaning my home–really cleaning–it gets extra messy while in process, and then the clean comes. I guess that's true in life, too. Progress is rarely linear. Usually it's more like two steps forward, one back, four forward, two back, one forward, one back, etc. But as long as the backsteps are coupled with the steps forward, progress is happening.

    We continue to pray for Dimples' heart, spirit, and mind. That the lies of the Enemy would be replaced with the grace-filled truth of the One who loves her.

    As for our Christmas…I tried something kinda stupid this year. I attempted to make (sew) most of our gifts. The problem is that I haven't sewed since 8th grade, and I'm painfully slow and make a lot of mistakes that a more experienced seamstress would not encounter. However, it's fun and I'm learning and I'm engaging the creative side of my brain, which makes me an all-around happier, more productive person. And if I have to order some gift cards from Amazon at the last minute, so be it. 🙂

    Wishing you a lovely day~

  5. Erin
    December 18, 2013

    Thanks for the update on your dear girl. Reading this, I could only think of how BRAVE she is…and YOU are. Its so hard to deal as an adult with emotions and pain let alone a child. I pray that you will feel HOPE this Christmas for Dimples, for yourself and for your whole family.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    🙂 Erin

  6. Mary (Owlhaven)
    December 18, 2013

    Praying healing for her!!

  7. Tracy
    December 18, 2013

    Wow. this is our daughter's first year away from us. Last Christmas was our first Christmas together. This year she is in treatment. She too is going through the working through stage. She has been there 5 months. We are just seeing some "feelings" . It's messy. But I am willing to meet her right where she is …just like Jesus did for me. I will keep her and your entire family in my prayers. God Bless.

  8. Erika
    December 18, 2013

    Have a blessed wonderful time in Montana with Dimples and your other children celebrating etc.. Praying for Dimples and family. Praise God for helping her get through the first stage and we know we can trust GOD for much healing as Dimples works through this messy stage.

  9. SleepyKnitter
    December 18, 2013

    Thank you so much for the update. I often wonder how she is doing and what kind of “plan” is involved to pursue healing. May God continue to provide everything you need in the midst of so many challenges.

    I think we are ready for Christmas. My bigger pressure is preparing for work-related issues after Christmas — I’m a teacher and have various tasks related to preparing for a new semester. But our children seem ready for Christmas, and there have been no holiday-related meltdowns so far. Such a blessing.

    Merry Christmas to you and all your family members, wherever each one might be!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy