I Remember Summer

I have a new article up on the Empowered to Connect site, I Remember Summer.  When I got the email that it had been posted, I panicked a little.  It seems that I wrote it so long ago, when the summer was fresh and I was full of optimism.  Yet, this summer (like last) has been such a challenge; I feared the article would mock me with grand confidence in things that didn’t play out the way I had hoped.  But I took a look, and you know what?  I like what I wrote.

While we struggle and stumble to parent Dimples as well as we possibly can, we are seeing beautiful progress in Honeybee and Eby.  We work hard to meet their unique needs, but too often, they’re lost in the swirl of life.  I need to remember how far they both have come.

I haven’t updated you all about Hannah (Sweet Pea) in awhile.  She is loving life in Minneapolis. Her first rotation, Neurosurgery, just ended.  She enjoyed it so much that she hated to wrap it up, but she’s moved on to Emergency Medicine and chatted happily yesterday about suturing, learning to do nerve blocks, and more.  She has also found a wonderful group of friends and often walks down the block to Dorothy’s house for meals and fun on her one day off a week.  Dorothy’s kids keep her from losing the stamina required to be the oldest sister in a large family.

We are packing our big van to head to Whidbey Island today.  The canoe is loaded on top, and I have a mountain of Costco food in the garage.  The girls have done a good job packing, while I have not packed a single thing for myself.  Dimples will be spending this week with Aunt Michele; that is an entire post of its own, but one I’m not quite ready to write.  Suffice it to say that I got tearful at Costco at least four times as I picked out jars of special peppers and other treats for her.

Once again, I thank you for your wonderful comments, FB messages, emails, and calls.  Russ and I are looking forward to resting, taking long walks on the beach with the kids, doing some planning for the upcoming year, and enjoying the beauty.

Have a wonderful day, 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. Robin Douglas
    July 26, 2012

    Whidbey is so lovely and peaceful. I hope you are restored!! Praying for you! Robin

  2. Angela Atkison Dormish
    July 26, 2012

    I didn't realize, or I've forgotten, that you have a child with spd. My oldest, bio child, has spd, and I suspect our Ethiopian girlie does as well, though milder.
    Thanks for this encouragement today. Have a great time with your family.
    Love and hugs to you, dear one!

  3. Angela
    July 26, 2012

    We are halfway beween Idaho and THE coast of you ever have THE need to stop!

  4. Laurel
    July 26, 2012

    Hope your time on the island is BLESSED!

    It is a GOOD thing (although hard) that Dimples is spending the week somewhere else. You ALL need a bit of respite, and a time that you can completely RELAX. For Spring Break, our Little Miss went to a friend's house while I took the other kids to visit friends in CA . . . and it was GOOD.

    Hugs & Prayers,

    Laurel 🙂

  5. Jennifer
    August 1, 2012

    Thank you for your post on ETC about summer. I am trying to survive summer with several kids from "hard places". I had no clue all this was within expectation when you have kids struggling to this extent- to have to edit summer to such a level. I will be better armed next summer after reading your post because I was already mulling over ways I could make things more pleasant next summer…but didn't have the confidence to know my thoughts were valid. That I CAN find solutions to make summers better. I will NOT feel bad about seeking out a summer camp for my hardest one next summer. Thank you!!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 1, 2012

      Jennifer, your comment is exactly the reason I wrote that article. Thank you for letting me know it helped you. Not more than ten minutes ago I was thinking about how it feels so unnatural to not have one of our children with us on vacation, and yet, it is just what the family needed – and I believe it truly is better for Dimples. Who would imagine something so contrary to our normal way of mothering?? I am truly still processing this myself. I wrote another post last summer on my blog that you might like, "Vacation is Not Supposed to be this Way." If you put the title in the search bar, it will come up. It was almost exactly a year ago today and I was afraid to publicly share it, but I'm glad I did.


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