Less Than a Month Until She’s Home

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“I wish Dimples was here right now so I could have fun with her.”

I just overheard Little Man say this to Eby as they did their morning chores. It struck me that he would never have said that a year and a half ago. There was very little fun going on in our home back then.

In less than a month, Dimples will be on her way home for good; what a journey this has been for all of us. The day we left her at her program was unbelievably hard. Six years of hope, effort, prayer, tears – and it seemed that only failure remained. We couldn’t give her what she needed and keep the rest of the children safe at the same time.

I just reread some of the posts I wrote at that time and it all came back to me – the grief, the fear, the relief. I couldn’t imagine then what I know now; it was all worth it. This time of living in an intensely therapeutic environment has done more for Dimples than we thought was possible.

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Her visit was very encouraging and ended well. One of the most notable differences is her ability to tolerate the frustration of things not going her way. When I had to say “no” to a request, she rolled with it, not without complaint at times, but in a fairly normal way. Moms with kids from “hard places” – you know what a miracle this is.

Tomorrow we are moving our family to Whidbey Island for three weeks. We are so incredibly thankful for the gift of this beautiful place. Russ brings his work with him, so hopefully he’ll be able to stay the entire time. The only reason he might come back in the middle is if we can finally make progress on the addition. We still can’t get the person who is probably pouring the foundation to come give us a bid. This is one of those times when I wish we had a contractor handling everything for us. We’re operating on a tight budget, so we’re doing the best we can. I’ll write some posts about the house plans soon.

All for today. I hope you are having  a wonderful summer. If you have a minute, leave a comment and say hello. Thanks so much for reading and walking this road with us.

 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.

27 Comments

  1. Sue B.
    July 23, 2014

    Hi Lisa, I know of a concrete guy if you want his name. Have a great time at Whidbey!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      Thanks Sue, I'm going to email you.

      Reply
  2. Kim
    July 23, 2014

    We are preparing to adopt a teen from foster care. I have found your posts to be both terrifying and encouraging, Lol. We have worked in group homes with teens before, so we're not altogether new to different behaviors, etc, but we know that adding a practically grown new family member from a hard place to our family is going to be challenging. Seeing the progress that Dimples has made and the humility and tenacity your family has had to stick with her through everything is a great reminder that God's grace is sufficient. Blessings to you and yours.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      Kim, it's so nice to hear from you. I'm glad that following our story is helpful to you – the good and the bad. It's a wild ride!

      Reply
  3. Christin
    July 23, 2014

    Hello!! And praising God for Dimples' progress. So wonderful to see her smiling face. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      Thank you, Christin. We are so grateful.

      Reply
  4. Chris
    July 23, 2014

    so so happy for you and your family time these next 3 weeks. So happy for a wonderful time with dimples and the journey God has brought your whole family. Praying for you as you enter the renovation chapter!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      Chris, thank you for your prayers over the years. And thanks for volunteering your architect husband to help with our plans. We are so thankful.

      Reply
  5. Chris
    July 23, 2014

    Wonderful news about Dimples, I found your blog late last yer whence were in crisis, and have read much of your blog over the past few months…can't wait to see your house plans…we have found SPACE to be crucial for all of ours, as all 7 are adopted, and 4 have cognitive issues that can Beverly wearing on all of us!
    Enjoy your vacation, I'am truly envious of that!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      Thank you for reading, Chris. Yes indeed, we honestly think having separate bedrooms and simply more space has the potential to make a huge difference. If only it could be done quickly!

      Reply
  6. Julie
    July 23, 2014

    You give such encouragement and hope by sharing your story. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      It helps me to write, so I'm glad it helps you to read my thoughts, Julie. Thanks so much for commenting.

      Reply
  7. Debra Jones
    July 23, 2014

    Lisa,
    I am so excited to hear of her progress and am praying for all of you as she transitions home. The restorative work of God is so incredible, even if we would like Him to speed up the home restorations to our timetable! 😉
    Big hugs, Friend!
    Deb

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      Deb, you are such a gift to me. Thank you for your friendship and encouragement.

      Reply
  8. Sarah
    July 23, 2014

    Hi! Praying for Dimples, always!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      Thank you, Sarah. I am always grateful for your prayers.

      Reply
  9. Kemery
    July 23, 2014

    so glad to hear the good news! Let's *definitely* catch up when you get back from Whidbey. Tomorrow I take Emily to CU orientation…how time flies!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 23, 2014

      Don't wait for me to get home, call me while I'm at the beach. I'll have time. As for Emily going to college – how can that be?? Have fun at CU with her.

      Reply
  10. Kathrin
    July 23, 2014

    I hope you have a wonderful time! Traveling is still not an option for us …but it will be. The little one doesen't understand the concept of a vacation and gets way too scared.
    What an amazing progress for Dimples!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 24, 2014

      Kathrin, I understand about no travel. We foolishly tried to take Dimples to Whidbey Island her first summer home and it was a total disaster. I'm hoping that next year she'll be able to join us and have fun.

      Reply
  11. Luann Yarrow Doman
    July 24, 2014

    So very happy for you. Thanking God for the progress you have seen in Dimples; it's nothing short of miraculous. Praying you have a restful and refreshing time on vacation.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 24, 2014

      Thank you, Luann; it really does feel like a miracle.

      Reply
  12. memphisyall
    July 24, 2014

    Hi Lisa,
    I'm a new reader. I'm looking forward to walking your journey with you. I'm 25 and hope to someday foster/adopt with my husband. Any tips for the newbie? Thanks!
    Emily

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 24, 2014

      Hi Emily, I'm glad you found my blog. There is so much wisdom in the Tuesday Topics that you might enjoy. Also, if you go all the way back to the beginning, you can read some of my early posts about the adoption process, waiting for our children, and then bringing them home. Thank you for the comment.

      Reply
  13. Jennifer
    July 24, 2014

    Lisa, why do you think children from hard places take the word "no" so hard? My son is 4 and we have had him for over a year and a half and telling him no can be a huge melt down. I am wondering if it has anything to do with not having a say of who takes care of them or who moves them from home to home? Just wondering what your thoughts are on the issue.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 26, 2014

      Jennifer, I imagine children have different reasons for this. With my children I think it triggers deep fear that their needs will not be met, they cannot trust adults, they have no control – and never have, they are losing in the competition with their siblings (e.g. resources are scarce, so get all you can of food, attention, stuff). Of course, there are all the normal reasons too! My kids I birthed weren't fond of "no" either, but they had a greater ability to calm themselves and accept it because they had/have attachment – Mom and Dad are safe, I may not be happy with them now, but I love them and they love me, they said "no" now, but they may say "yes" next time, there is enough of everything I need – including food and attention, and more. That's a great question, Jennifer. I would love to use it as a Tuesday Topic in the next weeks.

      Reply
  14. Maple Walnut Mama
    July 28, 2014

    Lisa, I am so very encouraged and inspired by your story, the perseverance and love within your family and your commitment to your children and their healing. To see these words – "has done more for Dimples than we thought was possible" – seems nothing short of a miracle (and a mountain of hard work!). Will keep you all in my thoughts as you move through the welcome home stage.

    Reply

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