Is it True?


I’m sitting at my computer with a website open that I can only look at briefly, before clicking over to another page – like this one.

I’m getting ready to order a cross that will be placed  on the highway at the site of the accident. I want to order it, but typing Kalkidan’s name and dates in the order form makes me feel nauseated and tearful.

Last night I talked with Russ about ordering the cross. Literally as I was speaking, I could hear another part of my brain saying to me, “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation. I can’t believe I have a child who died. I shouldn’t need to order a cross….”

Will it ever seem true?

Every once in awhile the thought floats through my mind that I should call the funeral home and have them tell me that my daughter really died. I know she did. I saw her in the hospital and later in the funeral home, but I can’t quite grasp it.

Earlier this morning I had a dental appointment and the hygienist reviewed my medical history. She asked about hospitalizations and I mentioned the accident. Later she asked where the accident happened and, as I’ve learned to do, I told her it was the accident after Christmas on Highway 95, and we lost our daughter. Nearly everyone I meet in our community knows about our accident.

I was glad that I spent the next 45 minutes unable to speak as she cleaned my teeth. I was close to tears all morning.

When I got home, our puppy had chewed up one of the fuzzy socks a friend gave me in the hospital. I’ve worn them on so many cold mornings. I cried.

I turned on my computer, opened my email, and found at least two emails from the middle school parent list. I tried to remove myself once and it all seemed too complicated, so I just delete each email as it comes.

I feel too sad, too tired; I want to curl up on the sofa and never leave my house. If only my kids didn’t need to be fed, clothed, and cared for – then I could watch Netflix and do my best to avoid my feelings for hours at a time.

This is a low day; tomorrow may be better. As Russ told Ebenezer the other day, “Feelings come and go. This one will pass too.”

Thank you, Jesus, for that.




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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. Amanda
    October 8, 2015

    (((Lisa))) I'm so sorry you're having a rough day. This grief journey is so new for you. The ups and downs are so unpredictable. Thankfully we serve a God who doesn't change, right? No matter the day, HE stays the same.

    In three weeks, I will celebrate (?) my daughter's 20th birthday. She died 2 hours after she was born. I still can't believe it's been TWO DECADES. How is that even possible? It takes just a second, and I can remember exactly what it felt like, that day, in those first days and years.

    It does get better. I promise. (((((hugs))))

  2. cathylank
    October 8, 2015

    I am so, so very sorry for your loss Lisa. Sending strength and prayers and I hope a better day comes soon.

  3. Deborah
    October 8, 2015

    I think sometimes you have to allow yourself days of grief….. you have to give yourself permission to be sad – to "wallow in it" however you need to in order to fully FEEL it and allow those feelings to be felt. They DEMAND to be felt – or they will manifest in other ways. Isn't that what we have learned with our children from hard places? That when we ask them to suppress their bad feelings – they can only do so for so long before they come out in other unpleasant ways. So if you get intentional and choose instead to ALLOW yourself grief days (one a month? more if that's what you need? less over time?) where you give those feelings the right to be felt – you allow the tears to FLOW freely – you allow yourself to say "I am NOT going to get dressed today – I am going to sulk and pout and cry and be angry and sad and watch movies and refuse to engage in life outside my feelings"…… but then tomorrow – you get back to life – I think that's healthy and OK. HUGS dear friend…… HUGS and prayers.

    1. Heather
      October 8, 2015

      Thank you for this helps today.

      1. ahhodgman
        October 9, 2015

        I like this advice a lot. Go for a full 24-hour period of self-indulgence if you can! I occasionally told my kids that I was sad and needed them to do something nice for me, and it was great how they picked up the ball.

  4. My heart aches for you. Praying God will give you comfort and strength today and every day.

  5. Emily M
    October 8, 2015

    Lisa, I haven't commented before, but I have been following your blog. I want you to know that you have my deepest sympathy in the loss of your daughter. And my empathy too, as I lost my precious 2 year old son five years ago. The immensity of this grief is at times, nearly unbearable. I remember thinking that it was as if someone had reached into my chest and ripped out one of my lungs – leaving me gasping and reeling from the shock and pain. But I want you to know that today, I have learned to handle things better. There is joy in my heart and in my home again. There has been so much healing. I hope and believe you will find your joy again, in time. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  6. Blessed
    October 8, 2015

    I'm so sorry for this new wave of grief. I am so sorry for your loss of your daughter.

    Kalkidan is healed.

    I'm still praying you and the rest of your family will be completely healed too.

    much love.

  7. Sue Burnett
    October 8, 2015

    Praying extra prayers for you today, Lisa!

  8. sophie
    October 8, 2015

    Your hubby is so sweet and wise with his words.

  9. Pam
    October 8, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your deepest pain with us. I'm praying for you and your family. My sister died 27 years ago and my husband 22 years ago and I will always miss them, always just a good cry away when thoughts of them burst through my day. Losing a child, I believe, is worst though, and I'm so very sorry that the accident happened.


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