Giving Voice to Our Other Children

I have a new article up on Empowered to Connect today, Giving Voice to Our Other Children.  It was  a difficult piece for me to write, but it is probably one of the most important things I have to say about the impact of adding children from “hard places” to our family.  Let’s remember to give “voice” to all of our children.

I hope you all are learning from my struggles, mistakes,and learning curve – because that’s pretty much what you get around here!

While you’re at it, if you haven’t had a chance to read Rusty’s post from yesterday, Thirsty, I know it would mean a lot to him if you would read it and share it.  If you use Facebook, there are little buttons at the bottom of the post that make it easy to share.

This is the last week of school before a two week break.  Honeybee and Dimples’ school Christmas concert is Thursday night and at least every other day Dimples asks me if I am coming to it.  This has been happening for weeks!  Yesterday, she asked me again, so I cupped her chin in my hand, asked her to look in my eyes, and I said, “Yes, Dimples, I am coming to your concert.”  She broke eye contact a couple of times, and I stopped speaking (mid-word) and waited for her to look back at me before I continued.  I hope she can hold on to this.  Today I am going to start telling her how much I’m looking forward to the concert and hopefully that will reassure her, too.

#531 – 540 giving thanks

working with my sister, Laura, on a project for our parents – nearly done

Russ warming up the car for me

out-grown clothes passed to friends, and 3 bags to Goodwill, too -such a relief

God’s provision of clothing for my children, passed to us by friends

new snow boots for kids

a good dinner around the table last night

donations toward the well in Kenya

Em, who calls me early in the morning and always gives good advice

two new pillar candles burning brightly  on my kitchen counter this morning

the stain out of Sunshine’s Christmas dress – it’s the little things

A few of the books I am giving this Christmas:

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Have a great day, friends. Encourage one another,

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.

14 Comments

  1. Marissa
    December 14, 2011

    I can only imagine how hard that was to write. Your honesty means the world to so many.

    Reply
  2. Kelli
    December 14, 2011

    Thanks for your honesty & vulnerability, Lisa. We, too, know that pain & it broke my heart when I read different things my "other" children wrote about what our life had become. To think that they would literally rather be anywhere else but home broke my heart. Walking this road of helping children from "hard places" means our children walk it too. I know there can be pain on that path, but I am grateful that it makes them stronger & more compassionate. I am also thankful beyond measure for those who "parented" my "other" kids in my absence. Thanks for sharing the steps you've taken to encourage all of your children. Your example means more than you could know.

    Reply
  3. Lydia
    December 14, 2011

    Thank you so much for that post. As an older sister, I totally relate to what your other kids have been through. My parents have been great helping me through the process, but it's still so hard. The loss of a peaceful home and watching my parents struggle were probably the two hardest things for me. It's comforting to know that someone else understands! Thank you!!

    Reply
  4. Tisha
    December 14, 2011

    I echo what Marissa said. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Courtney
    December 14, 2011

    thank you, lisa. your words hit home and hit hard and encourage and convict and direct all at the same time. thank you!

    Reply
  6. Teresa
    December 14, 2011

    Excellent article….thanks for being so transparent. I'm sure it will be helpful to many!!!!

    Reply
  7. Kylee
    December 14, 2011

    This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for writing this, I will be sharing it on my blog and with my family. It has been (and continues to be) a rough road for us as well and it is always an encouragement to know we're not in it alone. I appreciate you!

    Reply
  8. Paula
    December 15, 2011

    Lisa, I hope it gives you some satisfaction knowing that your openness about your struggles has helped so many others. I have learned so much from you, and my family has experienced great benefit because we learned from you.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 15, 2011

      Thank you, Paula. That was a hard article to share, but I know there are so many families struggling and I want to serve as God leads me.

      Reply
  9. Mama D's Dozen
    December 15, 2011

    So well said. Thanks for your transparency.

    Can I repost on my blog, with links?

    What was interesting about this post for me, was that it helped me to not feel guilty about the "extra" time and love that we have given to our bio. kids. We have sometimes gotten accused by our Big Kids (that don't live at home, and don't understand how challenging it is to live with our Little Miss) of "spoiling" our two younger boys. They have absolutely no idea how difficult life has been for these 2 young ones to grow up with Little Miss in their midst 24/7.

    We used to take the whole family everywhere we went. Now, we often split up … Papa will take the 4 at-home bio. kids some place (like a local football game, etc…) while Mama stays home with the African Beauties. The African Beauties aren't the least bit interested in watching a football game, and the other kids just. plain. and. simply. … need a break from the trauma/drama. This is not the perfect solution, as Mama misses out being with family and watching the football game (especially when she didn't travel with the family to watch the team take #1 in State). But, we don't have friends to leave our girls with, nor money to hire a sitter right now. So, Mama is just happy that her little guys can have a "free" day with Papa.

    We LOVE our girls dearly. We absolutely want the very BEST for them. But … we cannot sacrifice the lives of our other 10 children for their sake. We can't. We won't. We haven't. (Obviously, our kids have made great sacrifices … but at least we are aware of and acknowledging those sacrifices.)

    Thanks again for sharing. Your honesty touches lives.

    Laurel
    mama of 12
    ages: 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22, 22, 24, 26, 27

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 15, 2011

      Laurel, thank you for the comment. Yes, please feel free to repost with links to my blog and Empowered to Connect. I appreciate you asking. Merry Christmas!

      Reply
  10. Jen
    December 16, 2011

    Lisa,

    That was so wonderful to read. I'm sure it was hard to write. We have the strange dynamic of having only one bio who REALLY has had a hard time and at times, we have not done a great job at protecting him and giving him voice. The bummer is that if we single him out for some alone time with us, the others start feeling like it is because he is the only one NOT adopted. sigh. BUT, for the most part, as more of our children become more and more healthy, this dynamic is decreasing. Thanks for the reminder though, to make sure our more healthy and less immediately "needy" kiddos are getting the time and attention they truly do need!

    Reply
  11. Lisa H.
    December 16, 2011

    I read this on the Empowered to Connect posting and thought it was one of your most impactful pieces….It's not something that's acknowledged enough, and that is easy to overlook when living in the midst of trauma.

    Lisa…God is using your pain and your sacrifice of time to minister to others!

    Good Job, Friend!

    Reply
  12. Donna
    December 18, 2011

    Thanks for the article. What a confirmation for so many of us who have stuggled with similar issues.

    Reply

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