Letters from Montana

A package arrived from Montana filled with letters from Dimples to her siblings. The younger children spoke with her briefly during a spontaneous phone call last Easter, but have otherwise had no contact. When she previously expressed interest in talking with them, Dimples’ therapist explained that she needed to write each one a letter taking responsibility for her behavior in the family and making meaningful connection. It took many months, but the letters arrived.

I sat down with each child to read their letter. Initially I was dismayed by the content, which included a “sort-of” apology, but a good friend reminded me that this is a start. We all find it painful to take responsibility for our actions, and sometimes it happens in small increments. At least we’re moving in the right direction.

The letters brought back memories of life when Dimples was home. We had tearful conversations about days filled with fear, not only of Dimples’ behavior, but also of how we had to live to get through the days. There were also  tears over it just not feeling “right” to have their sister away from the family.

Sunshine and Little Man wrote letters back; I don’ t know when Eby will feel up to it. Ladybug plans to write a response as well, hopefully Bee will too. Once letters have been exchanged, we’ll move toward phone calls and Skype. It’s a slow process and the kids need a lot of support; frankly, we all do.

There is so much uncertainty about what life is going to look like in the future, and I have no idea what God is going to do, absolutely no idea.  I don’t like it. My mind comes up with lots of scenarios, and I often wake in the night to find them rolling around in my head. Yet the Lord’s plans are often far different from what I imagine. This quote sums it up,

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. C. S. Lewis

Lord, have mercy on all of us, hold us close, and give us peace.

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.

22 Comments

  1. Giann
    September 5, 2013

    Praying for you and your family, Mrs. Lisa.

    "We went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance." – Psalm 66:12b

    Reply
  2. Heather Snyder
    September 5, 2013

    Love the quote. Praying for you. I know how painful "normal" attachment disorders are. I can only imagine what your have has/is/will go through.

    Reply
  3. Paula Miles Spears
    September 5, 2013

    I was just thinking about Dimples last night; it's been just about a year since you were here to try EMDR. I pray for her all the time. I hope these letters will be a start towards healing those bruised relationships. Hugs to all.

    Reply
  4. Amanda Jarratt Boswell
    September 5, 2013

    I really like the C.S. Lewis quote. I feel that way much of the time

    Reply
  5. Rachel Rausch
    September 5, 2013

    Thanks Lisa for sharing. The quote captures my years-long struggle. Aaron Couch has brought to my attention that I am asking the wrong questions. love and prayers! !!!

    Reply
  6. Sonya Hillrich
    September 5, 2013

    Wow, Lisa. I love so much the peek into your heart as you seek God's best for your family.
    You are such an inspiration for me, as I navigate this journey.
    Lifting your family up in prayer today.
    ~

    Reply
  7. Mary (Owlhaven)
    September 5, 2013

    Such a true quote. Wishing you joy that comes in the morning.

    Mary

    Reply
  8. Kathleen Fallon Pasakarnis
    September 5, 2013

    Praying for continued healing and peace for you as you wait for God’s plan to unfold.

    Reply
  9. Lisa Harding
    September 5, 2013

    love the Lewis quote and identify with your heart and your journey. Praying He sustains and expands your faith as you guys all move forward to the unknown.

    Reply
  10. Sharon
    September 5, 2013

    Oh, that quote sums up so much of the wanderings of my mind and the whispers of my soul. Thank you for sharing that-praying for more small steps for all of you.

    Reply
  11. Deborah
    September 5, 2013

    WOW – didn't realize how close to the surface my pain still is until I read the quote and it was like a knife to the chest taking my breath away and causing an instant flood of tears. (I'm not talking a few tears, I am talking about equivalent to watching Tsunami flood waters rush in). I don't know how much more pain I can handle…… we all have a "pain threshold" – what happens when you meet yours?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 5, 2013

      When we meet our pain threshold, all that remains is falling headlong into the arms of the Lord. He is the only one who can see us through these deep waters. I'm sending you love and praying for you right now.

      Reply
  12. Allison Kelly
    September 5, 2013

    🙂 Hope everything is well with you guys.

    Reply
  13. afamilieslove
    September 5, 2013

    A merciful and loving God has great plans for you all through this, Jeremiah 29:11-13, and it may be best for you to not know them now. It is hard to walk faithfully through this storm, but God will provide for you and support you. You have a beautiful family and a beautiful heart, and I will continue to pray for peace and comfort and joy for them, and for you.

    Reply
  14. Lisa H.
    September 5, 2013

    These are SUCH hard things to navigate. Last week we took the girls to visit P. for the first time in almost 3 years. It was very interesting to see the interactions. I'm glad we did it, but it didn't exactly turn out like we'd thought. I'm sorry you're having to walk this painful road and I'm waiting with you for God's redemption…..

    Reply
  15. Kristin
    September 5, 2013

    Thank you for that quote.

    Prayers for you and your family.

    Reply
  16. Elizabeth Brandt
    September 5, 2013

    Lisa — I have followed your situation with Dimples from afar over the last couple of years. My hear goes out to you, Dimples and the rest of your family. I pray that your courage and love will be enough to help her heal.

    Reply
  17. Tricia
    September 5, 2013

    Love the quote. Thoughts and prayers to you and yours as you wait and pray.

    Reply
  18. Lydia
    September 5, 2013

    I have two sisters who were adopted who I don't live with anymore and I can feel your pain and your children's pain. It's nice to know that someone else understands. At the same time it hurts to know just how hard it is for your family as well. My prayers are with you and all the other families in similar circumstances.

    Reply
  19. Sandra Zimmerman
    September 7, 2013

    I would love to chat with you. We are in a similar situation but our son's therapist doesn't see the need for him to "own his behavior". Children are resilient and we can't work on the past as they are living in the now. When it comes closer to time for our son to come home she plans to help the siblings work on a plan to help things work. I am so confused,

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 7, 2013

      Sandra, I'm really sorry – this is very confusing for everyone. Taking responsibility is key, I think, for everyone to heal and move toward a healthier life together.

      Reply
  20. Hoolie
    September 13, 2013

    I pray for you too as well as your children who struggle through the complexities of having sis away. My son was placed in a very similar facility this past January and his little sister has not spoken to, or skype'd with him yet. This has been excruciatingly hard for all of us. Your quote will help me today as I am here in Los Luna's visiting with him. Bless your heart and thank you once again for blessing my day!

    Reply

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