Family Friday Part 4: Saying Goodbye

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I didn’t quite finish telling about our visit with Dimples; let me quickly wrap it up today.

Saturday morning we were back at the cottage a little bit after 9:00. Dimples recently moved to a new room, so she asked us to bring a few things from home to decorate it. She wanted more family photos, and I managed to print out a stack to bring  along. I am terrible at having photos printed, so I was pretty pleased that I actually got it done. I focused on photos of her with her siblings (like the one above) and some with Russ and me.

After hanging out in her room for a little while, we had a therapy session.  Wonderfully (and surprisingly), she sat right down between Russ and me, leaning slightly against him. In the past, she has negotiated where we would all sit, or argued about it, or tried to separate herself from us, but this time, it wasn’t like that at all.

We talked about the Family Sculpture exercise we did the day before with the group, and then she drew hers on the white board. I won’t share details, but one small thing I do want to mention is that in her drawing, we (her family members) are reaching toward her. That was very meaningful to me. We aren’t turned away or distant, we’re wanting her to be part of us.

After therapy we chatted with the staff and some other families for a little while, and then it was time to say goodbye and race home to celebrate Ladybug’s birthday.

I would love to say that the week and a half following that visit has been great, but it actually churned up lots of big feelings. Dimples is in the “messy” stage of treatment, and as Dimples’ therapist says, when kids are in this phase, everything is messy – their rooms, hair, emotions – it’s all falling apart. Thankfully it is happening in a supportive environment where the children can slowly heal and rebuild.

I think that’s it. The plan for our next visit is to take the younger children along – it’s a big deal with lots of feelings for all  of us.

Happy Thursday, 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. Emily
    October 3, 2013

    So VERY meaningful.

  2. Erika
    October 5, 2013

    Yay, Praise God. God will get her through the messy stage too. 😉 praying for your family. So great how God is working in this place she is at. Sounds like a great program for her. God is good.

  3. Dawn Flatness Wright
    October 7, 2013

    UGH……messy= hard, but I am praying!!!!

  4. Joelle
    October 7, 2013

    The "messy " stage. What an interesting thought to think about. It might help all of us to navigate life better if we can see when we ourselves (or those we love) are in the messy stage and be a bit kinder toward ourselves rather than getting fearful and reacting however we do to fear. that probably prevents the needed healing from actually occurring. A year ago I was in a particularly difficult place and sensed God encouraging me to cut myself some slack. Slowing my pace down by cutting out nonessentials and letting myself hurt without judging myself (as an introvert that meant not trying so hard to be a people person and just being quiet). It didn't change my circumstances but I did find myself moving towards healing.


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