I'll Always be Mad at You

Ladybug asked, “Did you sleep with your babies?”

“Yes, I slept with all of my babies.”

Honeybee jumped in, “Except for me; you didn’t sleep with me when I was a baby.”

I turned to her with a sad smile – not sure what to say.

“Except for me. Except for me.” with her eyebrows raised. “I’ll always be mad at you for that – for my whole life.”

We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re doing it, slowly and painfully at times, and sometimes with surprising grace.

There was more to the conversation, and there is so much to say about it, but I think I’ll just sit with it today.


Our friend, Emily, arrived a couple of days ago; she has kept the kids busy and happy with beach adventures, reading aloud, painting nails, and thrift store shopping.  Our niece arrived on Tuesday, so now we have four girls here between the ages of 13 and 9.

Another sweet friend, Katie, arrives tomorrow; the house is filling with people we love.

Noah has spent the last few days shadowing physicians at a medical clinic off the island and will be back tonight.  He has decided to pursue medical school and is working toward that goal by shadowing, starting an internship in the ER of our local hospital, and completing more prerequisites this year.

I got a fun photo of Dimples squeezed in Neely’s van with her three children. Piled around the kids was a mountain of food and everything needed for a camping trip.  Dimples is excited about camping and maybe even learning how to surf.

Russ and I have both been working too many hours the last few days.  I’ve been ordering school books, working on a school schedule, doing  paperwork, and scheduling appointments.  Yesterday I felt weighed down by decisions and not very happy.  Russ has been busy with work, helping Isaiah with lots of details, and piles of paperwork.  Today, we are putting it all away and going on a date for several hours.  I’m looking forward to time with the man I love most in the whole world.

Have a great weekend, 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. Becky
    August 10, 2012

    Hi Lisa,

    First of all, I want to let you know that I've learned a lot about parenting from your blog, and I really appreciate how open you are about your family and your struggles and joys. This blog and a few of my other favorites inspired me to start writing about my own family and adoption story. (www.moreinjeraplease.blogspot.com)

    I have similar conversations with my son often. He came home from Ethiopia at age 5 a year ago. I usually use this opportunity to reinforce his memories of his first mother, and the role she probably played in his early life (nursing him, diapering, care taking, etc). Even at 6 he is confused about time and his story- he so desperately wants to be "my baby", at the same time as he is very loyal to his first family. To be so conflicted at an early age!

    Thank you for sharing!

    – Becky

  2. Beth Templeton
    August 10, 2012

    My heart reacted to that first part– an adopted child's anger toward her mother is so common, and so very hard. With our son we are understanding that he cannot afford to direct his anger at his birth mother or at the facts of his relinquishment, because he wants so much to have some connection with his birth mother. If he were to unleash all that on her, he feels he would forever be cut off from her. (we don't even know if she is alive) But if he takes all that anger (which is his pain expressed) and focuses it on me, he knows I will not be destroyed and will still love him, and he will have some relief from all the confusion and pain inside. Needless to say, we are believing God for his healing — for his sake and mine! Bless you as you walk your daughter through the healing process!

  3. Kim Rankin
    August 10, 2012

    Blessings to you and Russ on your date!

  4. Heidi
    August 10, 2012

    Lisa, I live I'm Arizona and am finishing up my M.Ed. At ASU. 🙂 I'm planning on looking at GCU for my Psy.D (focus on trauma and attachment). Does he know anyone here? It's 115 today…tell him to get ready!! 🙂

  5. Sara Edwards
    August 10, 2012

    I hate that my kids have hurts I can't heal. I pray that both yours and mine see the grace of God at work in their lives through and learn to freely accept that gift of safe, secure, forever love of family.

  6. Jen
    August 11, 2012


    Certainly that is part of the very hard part of this parenting of attachment challenged children, huh?!

    Just an idea (and since I really don't know you or Honeybee at all – only online – I don't assume it will work), but maybe when Russ is gone for some length of time again, you could see if Honeybee would like to "be your baby" and sleep in with you for a week or two. (I'm sure you know this, but definitely put a DEFINITE limit to the timeframe of it! LOL!)

    I've let a few of the older ones come in and spend a few nights getting that fill of sleeping in with mom and it has been one nice tool for helping them heal (sort of like the rocking chair challenge!).

  7. adwiti
    January 4, 2013

    As an A parent when I hear this I do apologise to my kid. really from the heart for not being their when they needed us.. thats why perhaps we need to give more of ourselves and our time now to make up for the lost years which still pain them so. Think how much she trusts your love, that she was able to express this feeling… )) it is a milestone of love..When we really love and trust can we open up our deepest fears and regrets .
    One of the golden rules of all parenting as my mother once said to me is to give more of everything and expect nothing. My father used to say if we ve really poured our love into you without expecting anything in return.. then someday you will come back to us where ever you may go.

  8. adwiti
    January 4, 2013

    When my mother used to visit me and my son rebelled she would always tell me when I shouted at him that it was I who had more attachment problems, he was just a kid. At first I did not believe her but then now I ve truly started understanding what she meant and I started changing then the change started happening in little bits and pieces. and I am so grateful to my parents.


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