Is There a Book in Me?

I’m finally doing it;  I’m beginning to sort through all of the My Learning Curve posts in preparation for a book.  Just as I typed those words, my stomach lurched a little because it feels so vulnerable to put it out there.  What if I can’t do it?  What if it takes five years?  What if I’m in way over my head?

I know you all are busy, but if there is a certain post that was helpful to you, it would be hugely beneficial for me to know.  There are a lot of My Learning Curve posts (in the Attachment and Trauma section) and as I began wading through them yesterday, I got overwhelmed.  I need to buckle down and get serious; there are people waiting for me to get content to them.

The book is going to be far more than simply my writings about my family, but since we’re still in the early planning stages, I can’t really say much more.  Just know that it will be a thousand times better than I could make it on my own.

I’ve been thinking about my purpose in writing this book and it is this.  Our family is living with a very difficult adoption situation, and in God’s incredible kindness He gave us some of the best help in the entire country.  First, we had Deborah Gray for our therapist and she is exceedingly gifted.  Then He blessed us abundantly through Empowered to Connect and our friendship with Dr. Karyn Purvis.

I am fully and painfully aware that most families will never get the help that we have received.  I get emails, calls, and Facebook messages nearly every day from families in desperate situations.  I’m not even able to reply to all of them, and when I do, it often takes weeks.  I know how blessed we’ve been and I want to do what I can to share the help we’ve received.

To whom much has been given, from him much will be required.

Luke 12:48

Of course, our journey is ongoing.  Like many of you, we are still struggling to help our children heal and I honestly don’t know what that is going to look like.  We’re right in the thick of it with you.

Now that I’ve written all of this, I’m completely scared to post it because then a book is going to be expected.  I welcome your feedback, suggestions, and thoughts.  I want this to be a book that you will read and recommend because it offers skills, help, and most of all, hope.

Blessings, my friends,

Lisa

P.S.โ€”After years of work, I am thrilled to share that The Connected Parent will be available July 7th, 2020 from Harvest House Publishers! Visit the book page to pre-order and learn more.

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 TBRIยฎ 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.

65 Comments

  1. Dustin Greenup
    June 20, 2012

    Awesome!!!! We'll read it and give it out to lots of people! God has gifted you with the ability to communicate and He is taking you through these trials for many reasons, but one of those is to be a help, support and blessing to others. Your book will be wonderful!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Thank you, Dustin. I have to believe there is a purpose, and maybe this book is part of that.

      Reply
  2. mamitaj
    June 20, 2012

    OOOOOOHHH! I'm so excited!!! Off the top of my head…"Match my voice, smell the flower…blow the candle, the one about the (homeschooling mom) disappointment you felt in sending your girls to school.

    Oh, come to think of it…all of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    God bless this endeavor.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Mamita, thanks for the suggestions. I'll pull those ones up and begin editing them. If any others come to mind, please send them my way!

      Reply
    2. Mary
      June 21, 2012

      Those are the exact same posts I remember on a nearly daily basis. Such practical and helpful advice. I would buy your book in bulk Lisa and give it to anyone I know who fosters or adopts.

      Reply
      1. Lisa Qualls
        June 21, 2012

        Mary, I appreciate your encouragement.

        Reply
  3. mannarae
    June 20, 2012

    No suggestions here … just encouragement! Just want to encourage you as you step out in this adventure, Lisa!!

    May the Lord guide each and every word.

    May He give you the patience and diligence to do what He is leading to do (whether it is to write or not write this book or when to write and what to write, etc).

    May you give yourself grace in the process. You already have grace from the Lord and from us (internet people, haha) … please remember to extend grace to yourself, too!!

    May the Lord protect you and your family as well. The enemy doesn't like when we step out in boldness, faith and trust. He will try to thwart what he can. May you stand firm. Immovable. Unshakeable. Undaunted. Unashamed.

    Our Great Lord, who has called you, is Faithful. Do not lose heart or grow weary … the Lord is with you. He goes before and after; He leads and guides; He comforts and assures; He strengthens and upholds.

    I must confess, I am excited at this possibility! No pressure, just excitement. I love hearing and seeing people walk in faith and obedience as the Lord leads.

    To God be ALL of the Glory!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      I'm going to print out your comment and keep it on my desk. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

      Reply
      1. mannarae
        June 20, 2012

        ๐Ÿ™‚ You're welcome, Lisa. My comment was from the heart … so I'm glad it touched yours.

        Though my journey has not been "adoption" … but "fostering" … your blog has been one of the most valuable to me. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use your experience(s), wonderful words of wisdom, and insight to bless those of us who are in the same boat.

        Thank YOU, from the bottom of my heart.

        Reply
  4. Hannah Tucker
    June 20, 2012

    What wonderful news! And… how daunting. I love to write, but going through and sorting and editing are exhausting jobs. Praying for you as you begin this enormous work of ministry!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Prayers are very appreciated, Hannah!

      Reply
  5. Sara Edwards
    June 20, 2012

    Of all the adoption and/or parenting blogs I've read since beginning our adoption process, yours has been the most useful, practical and inspiring. You give your readers a perfect balance of honesty and and hopeful encouragement. My husband and I found your blog while we were in-country, waiting for final visa approval, just before bringing our children home. We were just beginning to have some sense of what it would be like to parent our little ones full-time. I truly believe your truthful, beautiful words were a God-send for us. If you are writing a book, I can't wait to read it!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Wow, Sara, your words are so encouraging. Thank you.

      Reply
  6. karenpullin
    June 20, 2012

    I am so glad you are doing this! My adoptions were all relatively easy, but I have used your suggestions in our foster parenting situations and have passed them along to a friend going through her first international adoption of an older child. I have many of them bookmarked for her and I email them to her periodically when she needs some help or encouragement. I will be glad to send you the links for those if that will help.

    You are so right when you say that not everyone has access to the help needed to get through certain situations. I have been so thankful that I have been able to pass on your wisdom to my friend. It has helped her feel like she is not alone…thank you for sharing with us.

    Much love,

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Thank you, Karen – and YES, please send me the links. Any help is appreciated.

      Reply
  7. Emily
    June 20, 2012

    Woohooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
    There is a book in you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Emily!

      Reply
  8. Beth
    June 20, 2012

    Yes!!! I knew you had a book in you! I have been thinking for ages you should turn your blog into a book. I want to help! Let me know what I can do!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Beth, I would love your help! Thank you – and see you at the pool in two hours ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  9. Coffeemom
    June 20, 2012

    About darn time I say! Godspeed! And… Courage! You TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY can do this. "bird by bird…"

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Thank you, friend. And let me know when you write yours ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  10. Laurel
    June 20, 2012

    So excited for what the Lord is doing in you and through you. You have always been such an encouragement to me . . . as one who has not been able to get the help and resources that we so desperately need for our Little Miss.

    Praying that the Lord gives you ALL that you need to write this book for Him.

    I will go through your trauma posts and let you know what has really spoken to me over the years.

    Hugs!

    Laurel

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Laurel, I would really appreciate you doing that for me! I'm glad my posts have helped — I know how desperately we all search for help and it is very, very hard to find.

      Reply
  11. Elizabeth
    June 20, 2012

    Your words and wisdom apply to ALL children. I think we all need to be more careful and intentional w/ our kids. Thx and good luck!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Elizabeth, I'm hoping this book will be useful to all parents, not only those who foster and/or adopt. To be honest, we wish we had parented all of our kids this intentionally. Thanks for the kind words.

      Reply
  12. Tisha
    June 20, 2012

    So glad you're writing a book! I honestly don't know how I personally would have been able to make it through the past couple of years without the practical advice and encouragement found on your blog. God has certainly given you a voice that has already helped many – it's exciting to know your opportunity to benefit others will soon expand! You clearly have the words! This is just an extension of what you've already been doing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be praying for you Lisa!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Thank you, Tisha; I had no idea my blog had helped you so much. I appreciate the encouragement!

      Reply
  13. schlef
    June 20, 2012

    One of the posts I keep coming back to is: My Learning Curve: Giving Choices. It's a great post and I use it often.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Thank you! I'll pull that one up and look at it right now.

      Reply
  14. karen
    June 20, 2012

    Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing ALL of your joys, struggles, triumphs and challenges w/so many! As a newly adoptive family I cling to your wisdom, experience and honesty. I will be first in line to purchase your book…..Thank you for being transparent and real:)

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Karen, thank you for letting me know that my blog has helped you. It means so much to me.

      Reply
  15. Melissa
    June 20, 2012

    Lisa,

    You are such an encouragement to me. I read your posts and for one know that I am not alone, and also see ways that can help. I am excited about your book, I know it will benefit others as your experience has benefited me. God has used you in our family and I thank you. I know that it takes a lot of courage to write some of what you share. Some of my favorites and most helpful have been…

    "As soon as rather than not until"
    "Lesson in Liking"
    "Tip of the Day: use 'and' not 'but' "
    "Vacation is not supposed to be this way"

    and I haven't done this, but I am hoping to implement this summer "No more 20 questions".

    Thank you so much and God Bless!
    Melissa

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Melissa, I love these suggestions. I had forgotten about "As soon as…" Oh, and the vacation post…it still pains me, but I know it is the right and good thing. I'll look at the ones you mentioned. Thank you!

      Reply
      1. Melissa
        June 22, 2012

        Our youngest son is affected by prenatal alcohol exposure and as time is going on the kids are all getting older, but he isn't maturing at the rate the others are. So the gap is getting bigger. After reading the vacation post I arranged with a friend to watch him one afternoon while I played games with the other 3 (games that would frustrate him, but the others wanted to do). It was a great afternoon for everyone including him. Before your post I was stuck in thinking that we had do to do everything together, all the time. And not that I should "send him away" all the time, however, once in a while is o.k. I am looking at what is beneficial to all of us and especially him. I needed your post to step back and look at the big picture. Not sure if this makes sense, I'm just saying the vacation post was truly helpful. As I read it I could see your love for your daughter and the camp was truly a way to set her up to succeed.

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          June 22, 2012

          Melissa, I am so glad that post helped you. I cannot tell you how much I agonized about sharing it, fearing that people would think I am a bad mom. We are planning our summer vacation for August and I just signed Dimples up for a week of camp again. She'll start vacation with us, go to camp, and finish vacation with us. It is hard to do, but when I think about her needs and all of the other children, I know it is right and good. I'll have to share that post again.

          Reply
  16. Kirstine
    June 20, 2012

    Just the title of this post made me go "Absolutely!!" Please do write a book. I volunteer to root and cheer along the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The posts with specific tips are awesome ("And instead of but") but also posts like "This could have been my life." That feeling resonates with me these days as we are realising things might not "get better in three-six months" with one of our kiddos… So mommy reflections as well as the tips.

    Oh, and I really remember the posts where your children explain things as helpful: Was it Honeybee who told us why she got scared when you were sick? That opened a window to the world of the child.

    So many helpful post – hard to choose. – Kirstine

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Kirstine – you mentioned posts I had completely forgotten about. Thank you! I'll take a look at them. And thanks for cheering me on.

      Reply
  17. Jennifer Anderson
    June 20, 2012

    You can do it with Gods power. I'll send you a list if my favorites

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Jen, thank you and you know I value your input.

      Reply
  18. kristen
    June 20, 2012

    so exciting, lisa!!! blessings on the process + to your family as you work ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Kristen, it is exciting, and a little scary. But it's all good!

      Reply
  19. courtneycassada
    June 20, 2012

    yes, yay, hooray!!!! this is AWESOME news! praying for wisdom and discernment for you. He is in this…He will guide you!!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Courtney, thank you for your prayers and for saying "hooray!"

      Reply
  20. Paula
    June 20, 2012

    You CAN do it, and I will buy it. I learned more about parenting my hurt kids from you than anywhere else. My favorite post ever was the one with the picture of the broken heart drawn by your daughter.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Paula – I just showed that drawing to a friend this weekend; that was some powerful therapy. Thank you for telling me that I can do it!

      Reply
  21. jen
    June 20, 2012

    So, so, so excited to hear about this! I know you have it in you and that it will be a great encouragement to many families!

    Some of my favorite posts (all My Learning Curve posts):
    -Creating New Ways of Thinking (love the emphasis that you put on having kids practicing the right way to do something)
    -50 Points of Joy (this was so nourishing to me; in the midst of all the kid-care, we need to make sure that we have our own oxygen mask on first)
    -Five Minute Cards (loved all the posts on these – very practical, helpful for all members of the family!)

    Thanks for letting us share input!
    Blessings,
    jen

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Thank you, Jen. I haven't looked at 50 Points yet, or Five Minute Cards – I appreciate the suggestions! I probably need a refresher on both of those posts right now.

      Reply
  22. Mary Andrews
    June 20, 2012

    You are blessed! You are brilliant! You are a blessing to every family! Write, Lisa, write! Love, Mom

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Thank you, Mom. Love you.

      Reply
  23. Laura
    June 20, 2012

    So, my dear sister…we talked on the phone this morning for almost 1 1/2 hours and you never mentioned you were writing a real book only the silly things books we talked about. I say go for it.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      I guess I forgot to mention it! That is funny, now that I think about it. I guess we had too much catching up to do, and too many kids to talk about.

      Reply
  24. Christine
    June 20, 2012

    Hi Lisa –
    Your posts are all so interesting and helpful! The ones I have bookmarked (in addition to those already mentioned) are "What happened to Play?" and "When sad looks like mad". I often reread "Meditations on a Messy Life", too – it's not a Learning Curve post, but it was oh-so-valuable. Thank you for writing this wonderful blog and sharing your experiences and knowledge. Your book will be an incredible resource to families, I know it. Good Luck!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 20, 2012

      Christine, thank you! I forgot about What Happened to Play…and I'll definitely look at When Sad Looks Like Mad. I still think about that post often as it plays out before my eyes.

      Reply
  25. SleepyKnitter
    June 21, 2012

    Definitely write a book!

    One post (of many) that helped me was about using brief scripts. I would love to see a whole chapter on that! Brief scripts have helped us immensely, but for some reason, I don’t think of them on my own. I remember when our first little girl was learning how to climb off the couch by herself, and my husband would say to her, “Feet first!” Such a simple little phrase, but it wouldn’t have occurred to me to say something so simple. We’re learning through Purvis to say things like “gentle and kind” or “show respect” or “use your words” or that kind of thing, but honestly, these phrases wouldn’t have occurred to me on my own. You mentioned in your post several more that I hadn’t thought about. I’d love to read a whole chapter on every single brief script you can ever remember using with your kids!

    Regarding all the assistance you say you’ve had, what scares me is that you’ve had Deborah Gray and Karyn Purvis and still have such difficult days with one of yours. What will the rest of of us do who do not have such direct access? But we SleepyKnitters are blessed to have access to a counselor who has trained with Dr. Purvis, and she has been so helpful. In a few weeks we are moving to a community that does not have any attachment counselors. I am gearing up emotionally for that.

    Blessings to you in your book effort. It is a worthwhile project!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 21, 2012

      I love the scripts and it might be a good idea to write a section on just that topic. One of my challenges is that I use too many words — I guess that should come as no surprise given how much I like to write, and talk! Thanks for the suggestion. I hope your move goes well and you are able to find the help and support you need.

      Reply
  26. Teresa
    June 21, 2012

    "When sad looks like mad" and "Living in a life of gray" are two that I have meditated on. Although adoption isn't part of my story, I find the trauma and attachment posts relevant to my spiritual life. Growing up in an alcoholic home and not surrendering to the Lord until later in life, I can approach life, relationships, and my savior much like a child from the hard places. I've had several "a-ha" moments while reading your blog. I appreciate your wisdom, honesty, humility, and overall hopeful attitude.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 21, 2012

      Teresa, it blesses me to know that my thoughts are reaching beyond parents, to adults who once were children from "hard places." Thank you for sharing that with me. I'm going to pull up those two posts and look at them now. Thank you.

      Reply
  27. Charity
    June 22, 2012

    the first and most profound one i read, which i go back to often, is Meditations on a Messy Life, also What if we did it all wrong, and You just have to love her. My reminder often while reading your thoughts is how much they apply to all of my children, not just to adoption. I draw great strength from your consistent writing, and am encouraged not just by what you share, but also by the fact that you have found time TO share…that gives me hope:) I know they may not find a place in the first book, but just so you know, i appreciate your comments about your relationship with russ, because honestly, many times the difficulties of our family are magnified or diminished greatly by how well or not my husband and i are supporting each other. I find great solace in feeling like you also need to reassess and shift priorities to nurture that relationship together, and then get back into the battle. Let me know if you could use a friend to edit…you have so many great kids who are well spoken, you may not need help there, but i would be happy to help. Excited for the future along this path,…

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 22, 2012

      Charity, thank you for giving me input. I appreciate knowing that you've benefited from my thoughts about my relationship with Russ. With him in Kenya for three weeks, I've been contemplating our marriage and thinking about the ways we need to continue growing closer. We are not the people we used to be, but I know that God is making us into who He wants us to be, and that will be far better.

      Reply
  28. mamitaj
    June 22, 2012

    Oh yeah…Meditations on a messy life and the one where you called this our brutal privelege. ๐Ÿ™‚ And the first time you mentioned big kid date nights.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 22, 2012

      Yes! Big kid date nights. I'm speaking at a conference in Seattle next Feb. and I'm hoping to do a workshop on "Giving Voice to All our Kids." I feel so strongly about that topic.

      Reply
  29. Erin
    June 26, 2012

    I have not adopted, but your posts have really helped me identify sensory issues in my daughter. Some of my favourites (that I use!) are offering a choice with touching your hands (THIS or THIS), the "is it a BIG deal or a LITTLE deal" and using less words. I hope you recognize the posts from my likely less-than-100% accurate synopsis!
    While my daughter does not hoard food, your posts about food made me pay more attention to her hunger – which does NOT ever manifest itself with "Mom, I'm hungry"!
    Hope that helps.
    ๐Ÿ™‚ Erin

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 26, 2012

      Erin, I was just thinking this morning that we need a section in the book devoted to sensory issues. Thanks for letting me know which posts have helped you the most. I think I'll work on some of them today. Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Reply
  30. Lauren L
    January 18, 2013

    Really late to this party but I only just now have read your blog–starting from the beginning. My girl is a little like Eby. Favorites–Two–Rocking and "Try (or Say?) it again with respect". I was already using the chin touch prompt to great effect.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 18, 2013

      Lauren, thank you – you're not too late at all. One day I need to read my blog from the beginning!

      Reply

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