Keeping the Lid on Tight

I’ve been asking myself why the decision to transfer Dimples to a new school has been so hard for me.  I had such a strong emotional response and I know it is wrapped up in all kinds of things, but as I cried and talked it through with Russ, it became clear to me that this represents a letting go of the appearance that we are “almost okay.”

It’s as if I’ve been holding the lid tightly down on a pot filled with a boiling mess.  It kept boiling over and the mess was oozing down the sides of the pot and all over the kitchen.  So I cleaned it up over and over again, trying to keep it all under control.   Finally, I was too tired to keep it pressed down, contained, and almost acceptable.

Admitting that Dimples couldn’t make it in her school was akin to taking my hands off the lid and letting it all blow.  It’s letting our local community see that we are not a normal family, we cannot make it without help from various sources like doctors, agencies, and now, the public school.  It means seeking an IEP in order to give Dimples more support and protect our family from the effects of the strain Dimples felt under the pressure of school.

This is another step of letting go, of admitting that we are not who we used to be, and of being uncomfortably needy.  Russ and I have a meeting with Dimples’ principal tomorrow and an appointment with her new therapist (trained in EMDR) on Monday.  We have respite in place for this Saturday and hope to get a schedule set up that will help Dimples through the weekends.

I’m pressed down by my children’s needs, and feel inadequate to meet them all with any measure of grace, but in it all, I know within the depth of my soul that we are not alone.  Not one part of this journey is a surprise to God. He loves our family and we are clinging tightly to Him.

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.

29 Comments

  1. Laura
    October 10, 2012

    I'm praying for you all. may you find peace in your decisions and gain many blessings because of them

    Reply
  2. Traci
    October 10, 2012

    Hurting for you. Praying for you. Believing with you.

    Praying for you now……..

    Traci

    Reply
  3. Acceptance with Joy
    October 10, 2012

    Prayers.

    I am sorry. Just know you are not alone. Been sorting through similar in the past few months… feels vulnerable and is painful.

    Reply
  4. Traci K
    October 10, 2012

    I have to admit that as we begin the adoption journey again, your blog that comforted me when we brought our 7 year old home from Ethiopia, now stirs up a little fear of the unknown. I thank you for your honesty. This journey is a hard one (some harder than others) and it all comes down to trusting God in our weakness. Praying for your family and so so thankful for this adoption community.

    Blessings,
    Traci

    Reply
  5. Jennie
    October 10, 2012

    Lisa ~

    Your honesty through this journey is a gift. Yes – not one part a surprise and never alone.

    Praying for you again today…

    Love,
    Jennie

    Reply
  6. lisa
    October 10, 2012

    praying for your new journey in the public school system to be a balm to your weary soul. We have found our district amazing to work with and they have provided our two sons (from hard places) with a ton of help that I wasn't able to give them home schooling them. The IEP process wasn't too complicated and we've found the support of a new team of professionals that I'm very grateful for. It's hard …. I hear you. I'm asking God to give you peace and favor and relief in these new steps.

    Reply
  7. Marissa
    October 10, 2012

    Fantastic imagery. I understand exactly what you mean. I'm right at the point where I'm too tired to keep it pressed down too, exposing our big mess for our whole community to see. It's not comfortable at all.

    Praying for you through such huge change. We can hold onto our ideals, while still change our actions.

    Reply
  8. Katie Patel
    October 10, 2012

    Echoing everyone else's sentiments: praying for you, blessed by your honesty, and believing with you that ALL WILL BE WELL, even this very minute, with your and your family's souls.

    Reply
  9. Bramfam
    October 10, 2012

    One time my mom (A pastors wife for 35 years) drove hours to talk to Elizabeth Elliott at a conference she was speaking at. Hoping to talk to someone older and wiser, "who had suffered". At the end of their brief conversation, beside the conference stage, Elizabeth gently told my mom, "If anyone ever tells you that the answer in life is anything other then, SURRENDER, they are wrong." This wisdom really struck me and I have remembered it often when the humiliations and stress of child rearing and the disappointments of life seem overwhelming. Our Savior is the lifter of our heads, and tells us to take one day at time for a reason. Trust Him for just today. Surrender it all. Knowing that His grace is sufficient for today. Blessings blog friend:)

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 10, 2012

      Thank you so much for sharing that story with me. Elisabeth Elliot is one of my heroes and I have tremendous respect for her. We went to hear her speak on Hannah's 11th birthday; the notes from that message are still in my Bible and continue to influence me today. If only surrender weren't so painful… Thank you – I'll be pondering this all day.

      Reply
  10. Angela Humphrey
    October 10, 2012

    I completely relate to this post! Neither my husband nor myself like to be needy but we have certainly seen how needy we are as a result of our adoptions. Our community of faith keeps us going with prayer, meals, respite care, love and encouragement. And I, too, feel most inadequate to meet the needs of my children with any grace at all, but am forever grateful to our sovereign Lord who is not surprised. Thank you for your honesty and there are obviously many of us who share your pain. Praying for you right now.

    Reply
  11. Dawn Wright
    October 10, 2012

    I get that feeling…..wanting to keep up appearances……so hard. Thank you for your honesty! Praying this will go well for you, for Dimples, for your family!

    Reply
  12. Lori
    October 10, 2012

    Thinking of you all and lifting you up in our prayers. Love and hugs winging your way! Lori

    Reply
  13. Sammie Fick
    October 10, 2012

    I hear how hard this is for you. I hope you have others in your life who have kids who have challenges like your daughters. I have found that only those parents really "get it", and others will continue to view you from their lives raising "normal" kids, you have no control over that, but it can still hurt. (as they will think you are bad parents due to your daughters behavior.)

    My two adopted kids with the challenges of having grown up with early trauma and neglect have taught me a lot. Most recently it is that they are on a path, that I as a parent can only do so much, I can't totally change how things go for them, but I can be supportive and careing, while at the same time the most important part is taking care of myself. If I don't have the energy to be the kind of parent they need then both they, myself and my other kids don't do well. You are only humane, give yourself permission to make mistakes. Our kids come from very hard places and we may not be able to repair it all, and we have to come to a place to be OK with that. We still love and support them, but admit we are human and have our own needs that need to be met. My boys are 16 and 14 both adopted at age 5, so I have been at this for awhile and know how challenging it is.

    Big ((((Hug))))

    Sammie

    Reply
  14. Tricia
    October 10, 2012

    Something I've noticed on this journey – when things seem to be awful and so out of control, that is the beginning of a new thing. Truth is we don't have control over much of anything but ourselves. Lisa, thank you for being honest and real. God will honor your letting go. He is up to things we can hardly imagine.

    Reply
    1. Emily
      October 10, 2012

      "He is up to things we can hardly imagine."
      Love that.
      Much, much love to both of you.

      Reply
  15. Robyn McLellan
    October 10, 2012

    Lisa:
    I am feeling your pain right now….and praying for you so hard. I am there with you in regards to your feelings about wanting to be normal. I struggle daily with that…you are IN MY PRAYERS

    Reply
  16. Gwen
    October 10, 2012

    From Psalm 126:
    Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
    Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
    will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

    May God uphold you and encourage you as you sow precious seed into your children's lives. My prayers are with you today. ♥

    Reply
  17. Mary (Owlhaven)
    October 10, 2012

    Lisa,
    Praying for your family….
    Mary

    Reply
  18. Darci
    October 10, 2012

    Praying for you dear Lisa.

    Reply
  19. Sharon
    October 10, 2012

    Praying.

    Reply
  20. Laurel
    October 10, 2012

    So thankful that you have such love and support (and people ready and willing to do respite). We have walked such a similar walk . . . and lost all support when people found out that we weren't "normal" and that we were "needy".

    Praying for you this week.

    Laurel 🙂

    Reply
  21. Brenda
    October 11, 2012

    Thank you for sharing this. You have no idea how many times your blog has helped me to know that we are not alone in this journey. My heart is aching with yours as we have 3 children adopted through foster care who have suffered much. Please know that I am praying for you. Cling to the promises of our Savior!
    Brenda

    Reply
  22. sleepyknitter
    October 11, 2012

    "I’m pressed down by my children’s needs, and feel inadequate to meet them all with any measure of grace"

    That's exactly how I feel today, too.

    May God be the one to guide you through.

    Reply
  23. Melissa
    October 11, 2012

    Praying for the new school and the new team. Our son is adopted from Korea with prenatal alcohol exposure attends a homeschool charter school. We have an IEP and wonderful team of support. I know it is a gift from God. I am praying that your team will be as wonderful as ours.

    Reply
  24. Emily
    October 12, 2012

    Lisa, you've been on my heart and in my prayers for the last several days. I just wanted you to know that I was awake early this morning, praying for you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 12, 2012

      Emily, thank you, I am very grateful for your prayers.

      Reply
  25. Coffee mom
    October 12, 2012

    Prayers!!!! And hope….when we had one of our hard ones switch to public school and the whole new world of IEPs and special resource teachers etc….it was scary and overwhelming. But it was totally a better fit for her then! It helped her get to the next steps here she is now….back in parochial school w lots and lots of accommodations. And the next step as we look at high school? Idk. But God does…… It IS hard Lisa! Surrender is some of the hardest work there is….

    Reply
  26. Ann
    October 13, 2012

    Hey, wait! I've been thinking about this post and realized this morning that you sound as though you expect the community to judge you, and harshly. Unless you live in a phenomenally judgmental community, that's not likely to happen. Practically everyone who lives in a family already knows that there's no such thing as a normal family–and anyone who meets YOUR family is likely to realize that you have some noteworthy challenges as a parent.
    Is it possible that you're projecting some of this (in which case, you're being awfully hard on yourself)? Because it's much more likely that other parents in your town feel inadequate when they observe what you're doing…

    Reply

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