Karyn Purvis: Hearing the Voice of a Child

Can you believe this is the only picture I took of Karyn Purvis – and I took it just for all of you.

I’m still thinking about all that I learned at the Christian Alliance Orphans Summit and I want to continue sharing it with you as I can.  Of course, I only have my notes to refresh my memory, so you are getting snippets of what was taught, but perhaps these little bits will be helpful.

As always, I also encourage you to watch Dr. Purvis’ videos available on the Empowered to Connect website.  These videos are extremely helpful.  I love the new short clips in the Insights and Gifts series, but the longer talks were what rescued us when we were desperately seeking help.

Dr. Purvis’ session was titled, Giving Voice to the Orphan.

She taught that in order to hear the voice of a child, we must:

1. Hear God’s voice

We need to quiet our lives in order to hear God.  She spoke about fasting, praying, and going to bed early in order to get restorative sleep.

2. Hear our own voice in the context of His love.

We have to give to children out of our healing not our pain.  The child will not heal us. We need to ask God, “What healing do I need?”  We need to make sure that it is God’s timing and His calling.  We may not be called to adopt, but we can still be called to orphan ministry.

3. Hear the child’s voice.

We need to help our children and not harm them.  We can give them:

a. undivided attention  (eye contact)

b.  the ability to ask for their needs to be met

c.   power by giving them choices, “Tell me what you need.”

This is a very stripped down taste of what Dr. Purvis taught, but it gave me lots to think about.

Just this morning Honeybee claimed that I “never listen” to her.  I was sleep-deprived, caffeine-deprived, and exercise-deprived (did I mention that Russ is out of town?) and was not pleased to hear these words come out of her mouth.  Many retorts came to mind…fortunately I managed not to say them, but I was irritated.

As I was reading through these notes, the morning came to mind.  Obviously “never” is a harsh word, and I do listen to Honeybee, but this morning she was not feeling “heard”.  I was rushed, I was grumpy, and I wasn’t hearing her voice;  I heard the words, but not her heart.  How long would it have taken for me to stop, look in her eyes, listen to her, hug her, and be fully present to her?  Honestly, three minutes of my attention would have filled her heart and I didn’t give them.

Now you know why I write this blog; it is profoundly convicting to write about therapeutically parenting kids when I regularly fail myself.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I wrote about God’s mercies being new every morning?  I guess I’m going to have to avail myself of His mercy once again.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

~Lisa

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 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.

12 Comments

  1. Shonni
    May 12, 2010

    I am very grateful for your post. Thank you for sharing what you are learning and living.

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      May 13, 2010

      Thank you, Shonni.

      Reply
  2. staci
    May 13, 2010

    Question Lisa- it seems from Karyn Purvis attending a summit on Christian Orphans and her talk that she comes at this healing process for adopted children with Christian values. Does her book "the Connected child" have a similarly religious approach? I haven't read it yet and I am curious.

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      May 13, 2010

      Staci, yes, Karyn Purvis does take a Christian approach to healing. However, her work is so good that I hope a person who was not a Christian would still benefit from her books and videos. The Connected Child is an excellent book.

      Reply
      1. staci
        May 13, 2010

        Great! As a Christian it wouldn't throw me off at all – I think I'd appreciate that special insight and "eternal" perspective when it comes to relationships and healing. I look forward to reading this book. Thanks Lisa.

        Reply
        1. OneThankfulmom
          May 13, 2010

          Let me know what you think of it.

          Reply
  3. Becky
    May 13, 2010

    Thank you for your wonderful, honest post. I gain so much from the information you share and the honesty you share on your blog. I always feel encouraged after reading what you post. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      May 13, 2010

      Thank you Becky. I appreciate your encouraging words.

      Reply
  4. Lee
    May 16, 2010

    Oh gosh. G.U.I.L.T.Y.

    I need to print this out and paste it everywhere in my house these days.

    Reply
  5. Melodie
    May 17, 2010

    As always, you share such wonderful words of wisdom. Thank you, again, for being real and honest about parenting. It helps SO MUCH to hear other mom's journeys and know I'm not the only one who makes mistakes!

    Reply
  6. Bruce
    May 21, 2010

    Oh gosh. G.U.I.L.T.Y.

    I need to print this out and paste it everywhere in my house these days.

    Reply
  7. Bruce
    May 21, 2010

    Question Lisa- it seems from Karyn Purvis attending a summit on Christian Orphans and her talk that she comes at this healing process for adopted children with Christian values. Does her book "the Connected child" have a similarly religious approach? I haven't read it yet and I am curious.

    Reply

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