Kalkidan’s Cute Moments

Three Sisters

I could make a stack of albums titled, “Kalkidan’s Cute Moments.” As you know, there were plenty of hard moments, but we didn’t take pictures of those. We aren’t rewriting history, we’re just savoring the precious, joyful times with her. Her smile was amazing.

Three girls dancing

These dress-up pictures are from January 2008. Kalkidan had been our daughter for one year and had been home from Ethiopia for eight months.

K C Dancing

K A Dancing

There are lots of tears at our house, mostly each night; bedtime is hard for all of us. Little Man’s behavior was horrible yesterday and I have to wonder how much of it is grief over his sister and fear/frustration that I’m unable to take care of him. I need to educate myself on children and grief – if only my brain could concentrate long enough to read a book.

Thank you,  friends,  for your continued prayers for our family. Some days are better than others – today is not so wonderful. Thankfully the sun is shining.

Lisa

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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.

38 Comments

  1. KEB
    January 21, 2015

    Your family is in my thoughts. I can not imagine how hard this is for everyone in the family. The emotions around loss are just so huge, that even for adults, it's hard to bear. The sun is shining as Kalkidan smiles down…….

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      So very huge – it washes over us sometimes. Today got better as it went on. Thank you for caring for us.

      Reply
  2. Kristine Nesslar
    January 21, 2015

    Remembering the beauty is the most lovely and loving thing.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      It does feel good to think about the best and sweetest memories. She was an amazing child.

      Reply
  3. Dardi
    January 21, 2015

    I don't look at it as you rewriting history at all. Actually, it looks more like a snapshot of what it will be like one day when each of us finds ourselves in the arms of Jesus. There will be no snapshots of the hard, but the beautiful pictures of how God has always seen us to be…loved & precious & worth the sacrifice.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      So, so true, Dardi. We saw beautiful glimpses of her soul even in the hardest moments. The miracle of her healing was evident to us every day in our times together these past years.

      Reply
  4. Amy Louise
    January 21, 2015

    I believe Little Man is also struggling just thinking about his own mortality. Also there were many rough times with your family when Dimples was detached. I'm sure there were times the others may have secretly wished she was gone. They may be wrestling with guilt, feeling they caused this to happen. Lisa you have a lot on your plate. I know you will read that book, take them to a therapist, etc. when you are able. In the meantime, you might want to have all of their respective school counselors have a little weekly check in with each kiddo. Another set of eyes and ears to watch their process would probably be a good thing. You might also see if their are grief groups in your area. Grief Share is a faith based grief program. Praying for you all.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      Amy, thank you for sharing your thoughts – so much to process for all of us.

      Reply
  5. Sarah Kidd
    January 21, 2015

    I'm sure you've had many, many book suggestions. but Tear Soup (http://www.amazon.com/Tear-Soup-Recipe-Healing-After/dp/0961519762) is an excellent one that doesn't require any energy to read. It's accessible to children, and one I wish I could make available to everyone supporting anyone who is grieving. <3 My prayers are with your family!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      I received it as a gift last week – I will open it up and read it. Thank you for the encouragement.

      Reply
  6. chris
    January 21, 2015

    Praying for you dear friend. My heart breaks with yours!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      Love you, Chris.

      Reply
  7. Elizabeth
    January 21, 2015

    Of course you want to savor all the precious memories you have of your sweet beautiful girl…my heart has been so heavy for you and I check your blog probably 10 times a day to see if you have written anything so I know you are OK! Sounds a little crazy I know but you are a mentor of mine and I have just grieved with you over the accident. Please know that my family is praying for you and you are constantly in my thoughts~

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      Elizabeth – thank you for standing by us and being willing to read even the hard things.

      Reply
  8. Joelle
    January 21, 2015

    Wish I was still there with you but maybe the grieving is more possible with just immediate family. Think of you often. Another link has been made thru Kalkidan's life and home going. I reposted a tribute on fb and my cousin-in-law's niece who has an adopted daughter from Ethiopia has appreciated your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your loss and grief as they to deal with attachment/trauma issues and the resulting impact on the rest of the family. May God's peace carry you thru this very painful time. Love you lots.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      We miss you, Joelle. Thank you for giving us so many days of help and support.

      Reply
  9. Dana
    January 21, 2015

    Lisa-
    Willow-center.org is a wonderful, local resource that focuses on grieving children. Well worth a look (offer support groups, summer camp etc.)

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      Thank you, Dana. I'll look into it.

      Reply
  10. Gena
    January 21, 2015

    Lisa,
    You and your family are often in my thoughts. My heart is so sorry for your great loss.Praying for you tonight. Praying for your little man's ability to grieve well and healthily. I'm praying for the Father to sustain you beyond what you thought possible and deeper than you have so far experienced. I pray that His grace would abound to you more and more and that you would be able to see it. I pray for the Fathers voice to be louder than any lie the enemy would try to shake you with. I pray for a cocoon of the Father's love to envelope you. (I know that sounds strange, but it's what God did for me in a time of sadness.)
    Your words and shared life stories gave me hope when I had very little left. I pray that the words spoken to you and over you by friends, family , strangers and God, himself, would speak life into you.
    With much love,
    Gena

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      Gena – you spoke to my heart. Thank you.

      Reply
  11. Elizabeth
    January 21, 2015

    Kalkidan and her sisters are beautiful. There are times I wish I could hug a stranger, this is one of them. I don't have words, just the desire to help share the burden, even for a moment.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      Thank you, Elizabeth. I would take that hug – we aren't strangers anyhow 🙂

      Reply
  12. A friend
    January 21, 2015

    *Sorry if I'm sending this twice….

    Grief might be THE hardest thing to wade through in our time on earth. I've thought about it often, and it gives me comfort to know that it wasn't something God originally intended for us to experience. If not for the Fall, we wouldn't know the anguish of separation. Just as he cared for Adam and Eve after they left the garden (providing clothing for them and offering them a future), He will care for us in the midst of it as well.

    Griefshare is both a group and a curriculum– the video-based groups offer Biblical guidance as you process grief. This standalone video (see the link below) is less than an hour long. It's a basic overview of children and the grieving process–what to expect, how to help, etc. Might be an "easier" way for you or your family and friends to start looking into it than diving into a book right now. What I like is that it also offers empathy for you as you attempt to parent while also grieving.
    http://www.griefshare.org/children

    You and your family are often in our prayers. "He will cover you with his feathers and under His wings you will find refuge." Ps 91:4

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      That sounds wonderful; I will take a look.

      Reply
  13. Erika
    January 21, 2015

    Such beautiful pictures. God brings your family to mind often, so I make sure to lift you all up in prayer when he does.

    praying

    God bless you all much

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      We are so grateful for your prayers, Erika.

      Reply
  14. Jessica Pair
    January 21, 2015

    Lisa,
    You are all in my continued thoughts and prayers. My heart breaks for you all. Another resource for grieving children is a program through MultiCare called Bridges, which offers support groups. It's in Washington, but may have resources that could be of help to you. Also, they offer a three-day camp free of charge for children ages 6 – 17 that have lost a loved one.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2015

      Thank you, Jessica. We live only a few miles from the WA border so maybe there is something not far from us.

      Reply
  15. Emily
    January 21, 2015

    Thinking of you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 22, 2015

      Blessings to you, Emily. Thank you.

      Reply
  16. Jennifer
    January 21, 2015

    She did have the most amazing, full-of-light, smile. Keep shedding those tears, that is healing work, and speaks to the depth of your love for her. Holding one another, talking together, sharing tears – that is the work of grieving. My prayer are with you and your family.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 22, 2015

      Jennifer, thank you for your prayers and your kind words. You would have loved Kalkidan.

      Reply
  17. Bonnie
    January 22, 2015

    Dear friend, it seems you are doing all the healthy things,… remembering sweet times with pictures and stories, laughing, crying, feeling the raw pain for your family and for yourself. I just know in my own experience of loss that I often heard it was 'work' to grieve and that is truly what it is. Feeling totally spent from just feeling what was there at every moment and working through it, allowing everyone to process in their own individual ways. No wrong or right in grief. No time limits…God only expects you to live in today. He always brings sunshine after the rain, always. Holding you in my heart.
    B.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 23, 2015

      Your friendship has come at a very sweet time, Bonnie. God placed you in our lives right when we needed you – and Claire needed your sweet daughter. I'm thankful.

      Reply
  18. christycanuck
    January 23, 2015

    Lisa, I'm a lapsed Catholic and I'm not even entirely sure I've ever commented on your blog at all over the years, but I wanted to let you know that Kalkidan, you and your whole family have been on my heart this last month. If I'm commenting, I'm sure there are probably a dozen who aren't, yet who are thinking of you and lifting you up.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 24, 2015

      Thank you, Christy, for commenting. It means so much to hear from people.

      Reply
  19. Tricia
    January 24, 2015

    Lisa, I believe you already know an awful lot about children and grief. You have lived in many forms. Prayers for you and yours.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 24, 2015

      I suppose that's true, Tricia. So strange that I hadn't thought much of that – my brain is still muddled. The difference now is that the grief came as such a shock and it is so raw. I'm in the midst of it with the kids, and Russ, and our family and friends, and it's so intense. I am beginning to feel some clarity coming back, I even read a chapter in a book about grief yesterday. Slowly, we'll find our way. So good to hear from you.

      Reply

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