Honeybee's Dream

My silly Honeybee

“Mom, do you want hear dream I had last night?”

This is the first time Honeybee had mentioned having a dream, so I was definitely interested.

“I go Ethiopia and go my orphanage. I see my friends and we play and play. I see people I know and say hello. Then night comes and I have no clothes (to sleep in), so my friends give me clothes to sleep and I sleep with them.”

I wondered if she was dreaming that she no longer lived here but had returned to her life in Ethiopia, so I asked, “Were Mommy and Daddy in your dream?”

“Yes! You give me phone and tell me call you when I ready to come home.”

This is both fascinating and wonderful! She is growing to feel that we are her family and this is her “real home” which is a change from how she felt a few months ago.

Five minutes later Dimples came to report that she also had a dream about Ethiopia last night. She told me that our “whole family” went to Ethiopia to see her family, which includes her uncle, aunt, two cousins, and her older sister. We went to their house and then we all went inside to eat injera. After we ate, her entire family came back to our house in America to live.

Dimples has some grieving yet to do. Recently she was crying and having a hard time, when out of the blue, or more accurately, out of the depths of her heart, she cried, “Where’s Fikirte?” I told her that Fikirte (Dimples’ teenage sister) was in Ethiopia and she began to sob. She has been separated from Fikirte since February of 2006, but still her heart longs for her sister. I told her that I knew she missed Fikirte, but that Fikirte couldn’t take care of her, to which she replied, “Samuel can take care of me and Fikirte is older than Samuel.” So I explained that when their mother died Fikirte was only a girl and she was too young to take care of her then. I also made a silent vow to email a friend in Ethiopia and ask him to check on Fikirte.

We have long way to go on grief and healing, but we are working on it and trying to embrace the process even when it is very hard.

I finished reading Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control during a ninety minute session in the rocking chair with Dimples. I learned some things that are useful, but I found myself wanting more specific advice for my child. It is not a perfect book, but it comes from a perspective that I can embrace. I believe in addressing the heart of the child, not only the behavior. I also appreciate the approach of relating to the child’s fear rather than their need for control (which the authors feel stems from fear).

Today I signed up for Heather Forbes’ (one of the authors) Daily Reflections, and this is what I received in my email today:

In order for children to open up to their past trauma memories, the parent has to be willing to be a ‘parental sponge’–acknowledging, absorbing, and experiencing every feeling, every tear, and every fear associated with the trauma. Now that is connection!

When I look at Dimples, I try to see her through eyes of love, the way Jesus sees me. I am a broken and challenging child of God whose behavior is far from perfect. I also always try to remember that she has experienced trauma unlike anything I have ever known. From the death of her parents, to hunger, sickness, fear, and more. I cannot expect her to suddenly and spontaneously recover. It is going to take time and more love than I may think I have, but the good news is that God promises to provide me with everything I need for the work that He gives me. Russ and I are not in this alone.

I have pulled Attaching in Adoption off the shelf, one of the first books I read when we began the adoption process, and I’m going to start in on it again today.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing this journey with me.


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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. Lisa H.
    January 9, 2009

    Praying for you all!

    A hug to you!

    Lisa H.

  2. Jillian and Crew
    January 9, 2009

    Thank you for sharing so openly! We leave in 2 weeks to get our boys! We have been praying for the transition and the healing process. Thank you for reminding us it is a PROCESS and to be ready for those “out of the blue” times they need our full attention to deal with something from the past or present.

  3. KT
    January 9, 2009

    I have really enjoyed reading your thoughts as you continue to walk the road towards attachment. I also am convicted about some areas that I need to make more effort in! Thanks for sharing your experiences so openly!

  4. ange
    January 9, 2009

    I just received my 2nd copy of Beyond Consequences today. I gave out my first copy and found I needed a refresher! I too need more information (I am hoping for time to do a tele conference). It puts things into a new perspective!
    I pray healing over your children as I do my own. Isn’t it wonderful that God is with us each step. I love the fact that we aren’t ‘on our own’ in this jumble of emotions.
    God is good, always!

  5. Caroline
    January 10, 2009

    Thank you for sharing! I also read Attaching in Adoption when we started our adoption, I will read it again now for the fourth time… I think I see new things in it every time I read it, becaouse what our children are going through!

  6. Kresha
    January 10, 2009

    is her sister up for adoption? how old is the sister

  7. Thankfulmom
    January 10, 2009

    Hi Kresha,

    No, we believe her sister is nearly 17 and it is unlikely that she could be adopted. AAI is very good about never separating siblings if they are both available for adoption. Also, in Fikirte’s case, her aunt and uncle are willing to care for her.
    Fortunately, we are able to be
    involved in her life and support her to some degree.

    Thank you for asking.


  8. Pajama Mama
    January 10, 2009

    Thanks for sharing all of this. Can I ask how the healing process been for the children adopted at toddler-hood/infancy? Have you had to help them grieve their first family yet?
    Thanks so much,

  9. Signe
    January 10, 2009

    Such a lovely picture of Honeybee. You are doing a wonderful job, and are such a blessing to have as a friend.

  10. Amy
    January 10, 2009

    Thank you for sharing, I learn so much from your blog. Praying for you all~ Amy

  11. the ewings
    January 12, 2009

    Thanks for this entry. The dreams are so telling of their past and how they feel about the present. You do such a wonderful job with your reactions with your kids and help draw out their thoughts and feelings. Praying for continued healing! Love ya, Chris

  12. Sarah
    January 13, 2009

    What an incredibe journey Lisa. I love reading about it. 🙂


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