My Job is to Love Her

I was folding laundry, large piles of laundry, as I talked with my friend.   She is traveling a similar winding adoption road with children who have been wounded beyond what we can imagine and whose hurt spills over onto the family each day.  We are each other’s best therapists.

I was talking about how badly I want Dimples to heal.  We’ve tried so many things, and some have helped, but we have a long way to go.  I yearn for her to be whole, but sometimes that yearning is less focused on her and more on me.  I want her to “get better,” so we can live a tidier, calmer life.  I want to “fix” the problems that plague us.  I want answers, plans, schedules, techniques. This desire grows heavy and becomes a weight I don’t bear very well.

My wise friend shared that God is showing her something new about her child.  Her only job is to love him.  That’s it, just to love him.

We can’t heal our children. We can help, a therapist can help, but only Jesus can reach into a child’s heart and mind to touch those deep places of suffering.

I feel called back to being her mommy.  She may resist my efforts, but who else is going to tuck her in at night, pray over her as she sleeps, ponder her future, hope for her, and believe in her?  I can hire therapists, doctors, tutors, but there is no professional who can love my child like I can. That’s my job, my calling, my ministry.

#121-130 giving thanks

good words from my friend

Honeybee’s excitement over her birthday tomorrow

meeting with our church small group last night

an extra hour of sleep


an invitation in the mail

plans for Nashville – Empowered to Connect

hand prints made at camp

older sisters teaching math to little brothers

the sounds of little boys playing outside

Let the morning begin.


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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. Pam
    September 8, 2011

    I was sitting in church on Sunday morning, and the special music was about Jesus being the Healer. I very clearly heard God say to my heart, "I will be the one to heal M. It's your job to be my Hands and Feet." In my heart, I knew what God was telling me. Love him. Minister to him…but stop trying to "fix" him. That's His job, not mine. As moms, isn't that what we are wired to do though? "Fix Things". My upbringing involved a Dad who always had the answers, went to great lengths to fix things for us, shelter us from anything wrong. The tendencies have been passed down, and I'm working to trust God to be who He ALREADY is…I just need to let go of my own desire to control the "fixing". I know certainly God is working in my own heart, just as he is working on M's. Thanks for being the trenches with me, right where my heart is today. Makes me feel better. lol
    Grace & Peace

  2. dorothy
    September 8, 2011

    Amen. Loving the child/person behind the behavior is hard some days – they can be so overwhelming that they merge and the behavior begins defining the person. Love can't change many things…but it is our first and most important job as parents.

  3. Erin
    September 8, 2011

    You have no idea how my heart needed to hear today. I have known it before, but in the daily craziness of life, I had forgotten. Thanks!

  4. Renae
    September 8, 2011

    Thank you for this precious reminder today! Praying for the healing of your daughter, and for your love toward her to ABOUND!:)

  5. Donna
    September 8, 2011

    Beautiful and true!

    Find joy in the journey—that is my new motto.

    I too seek the calm 'normal' before, but God knew I needed to be changed too.

    He is good!

  6. Heather
    September 8, 2011

    Your wonderful post today has brought me to tears. Thank you. I'm having a really hard time loving my son this week. Thanks for reminding me what to pray for.

  7. Juli
    September 8, 2011

    Thank you. I needed to be reminded of this today.

  8. Joelle
    September 8, 2011

    Thanks for this post. I'm hearing that for a particular situation as well. It's nice to have comrades even if the situations aren't all the same.

  9. Dawn Wright
    September 8, 2011

    Soooooo true….thank you for this…..

  10. candice
    September 8, 2011

    I rarely comment, but read almost every post on your blog. The Lord has used you and your journey to minister to me in so many ways. Our older children have not yet joined our family, but we anticipate a long, hard road ahead. Thank you for your honesty and for posting about all of the struggles and also the joys. I have much to glean from you as we bring a 13 and 11 year old home hopefully soon!
    I, too, have started a "gratitude journal/list and it has helped me to focus on the here and now and not what might be.

  11. Mama D's Dozen
    September 8, 2011

    Thanks for the reminder. It can be really hard some days, to find the love in my heart for a child that has not one ounce of love for me or the rest of the family.


  12. Carla
    September 9, 2011

    As a friend once shared with me, "Love is an action, not a feeling". When we take actions to do things for the good of others, this is love. It's nice to have the feelings and emotions to go along with it and I believe that will come in time. Jesus suffered and died for us, not because he felt like it, but because he loves us. Hope this will lift a burden from your heart. Continued to love in action and trust God for the rest. Blessings to you precious sister in Christ.


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