Mother's Day – It is Well

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Two  years ago I wrote a post titled Mother’s Day for the Brokenhearted (you can read it below). I never imagined that I was writing quite so directly to myself.

Being a mother is beautiful, terrifying, and humbling. We love fiercely – even when it’s hard.

Today I feel the loss of my spicy, sparkly girl. She came to me with fear coursing through her veins – mothers die, adults aren’t safe, I need to take care of myself. For nearly eight years I was given the opportunity to love her well; over and over again I did my best to demonstrate that I was safe, that love was worth the risk, and that I would never give up on her. 

With help from many beautiful people along the way, Kalkidan’s heart healed enough to know it was true. She was loved – she is loved.

Whatever your present circumstances are, I hope your Mother’s Day is filled with moments of joy and peace in your heart. For all of you whose hearts are hurting today, I wish we could sip coffee around my table, cry a little, laugh over shared stories, and hug one another tight. You are treasured – Jesus loves you more than you can know.

May we be able to say, it is well with our souls.


Mother’s Day for the Brokenhearted – May 2013

I’ve given birth eight times.  Call me crazy, but I birthed my babies naturally, and half of them at home. Each labor brought me to a moment of not knowing if I could make it through. It was unbelievably hard and sometimes I was scared. But every single time I went into labor, I set my mind on the purpose of the contractions – my baby. I focused on the joy that would come when that little one was in my arms.

These years are like that. I’m laboring for my children who came to me from hard places. There are days when I don’t think I’ll make it through, when the pain is too great and I’m scared. I cry out for an emotional epidural. Then I set my mind on my purpose of loving the children God gave me, of believing for their healing, and of holding on to the knowledge that God is good and He placed them in our family. I waver, I fail, then the people who love me come alongside and help me see the truth once again.

I come to this  Mother’s Day with joy and sorrow entwined. My arms have been filled, my table is surrounded; I know I am abundantly blessed. Yet, loving the brokenhearted has broken my heart, loving the wounded has wounded me, and loving orphans “in their distress” has brought distress to me.

This Sunday we will see women who are suffering because they have not been able to become mothers and there is severe aching in their hearts. What we may not see are the women who have children in prison, those who are walking the long journey of mental illness by their children’s sides, and mothers in the midst of painful struggles with children who have rejected the family, or forsaken the faith they once held dear.

I don’t have profound wisdom, only this, if your heart is hurting as Mother’s Day approaches, you are not alone. There is no shame in acknowledging that being a mother can be very hard. God knows this, and somehow he counts us worthy of this beautiful, broken, messy calling.

The Lord will,

…comfort all who mourn,  and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61: 2 – 4

I pray for glimpses of beauty and moments of praise in your heart this Mother’s Day.


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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.


  1. Sharon
    May 10, 2015

    Thank you, Lisa. You are indeed a blessing. I needed this today.

  2. Luann Yarrow Doman
    May 10, 2015

    Beautifully said.

  3. Tina Allen
    May 10, 2015

    Beautifully written Lisa. My heart aches with yours this day. My thoughts were with you. HUGS sent from a far. I pray you feel Jesus's arms wrapped around you tight.
    Tina Allen

  4. Laurel
    May 11, 2015

    "I come to this Mother’s Day with joy and sorrow entwined."

    That is right where I am at today. Trying to hang onto each little bit of joy, while grieving so much heartache and loss. Some days, I don't know if I can handle the pressure of one more crisis . . . yet God continues to give me strength for each new day.

    Thanks for the scripture (a much needed reminder for me today).

  5. Joelle
    May 11, 2015

    I thought about you and prayed for you yesterday. You are much loved.


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