My Learning Curve: I Have Enough

 

K i have enough 2

In 2009, I launched My Learning Curve, a series of posts with practical tips for parenting children from “hard places.” I’m reaching back into my archives to share some of these newly updated posts with you. We are nine years into our adoption journey, while many of you are at the beginning; I hope these posts are useful to you.

So many of our children from “hard places” experienced extreme deprivation. They may have lived in an orphanage, neglectful home, or in a place where there simply was not enough to go around. These experiences wired their brains to believe that there would never be enough of anything: food, clothing, attention, love.

We spent years helping Kalkidan work through these fears. Back in 2009, she created the photo above during a therapy session. With help, she made a list of the things she feared she did not have enough of, and then drew the picture showing that there is enough to go around.

K I have enough

One evening, shortly after that therapy session, food was being passed around the dinner table and Kalkidan was very concerned that we would run out of something she wanted. We all knew she wanted the chicken because she was giving a constant commentary on the amount left in the bowl as it passed from one person to another.

Russ reminded her to breathe and say, “I have enough.” At first she said, “No, I don’t have enough and we are going to run out of food!” A few moments later, she calmed herself and said, “I have enough.”

“I have enough” is a phrase we practiced saying each day for a long time. Try it with a few deep breaths alongside for ultimate calming impact. Maybe it will reach your child’s heart and begin the process of healing that fear.

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

8 Comments

  1. Emily Summers
    January 21, 2016

    We say "there is always enough to eat, always enough to drink, and always enough love to go around." During cold months we throw in "always enough warm clothes to wear."

    Sometimes it is calming, but sometimes I think it also reminds my kids of seasons where this wasn't the case and brings hard memories to the forefront.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 21, 2016

      I like that too, "there is always enough." At that season of Kalkidan's life, she breathed those memories – they were constant. It's amazing what our children have survived.

      Reply
  2. Rebecca
    January 21, 2016

    Sounds so much like my big boy. He has been home and fed for most of his little life, but that first year mattered, and it still matters today. There are so many tears over foods he wants and he is afraid won't be left for him. I think we'll try talking through "I have enough."

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 22, 2016

      Food deprivation has a profound effect on the developing brain; thankfully our kids' brains can heal, but it is a long journey.

      Reply
  3. Vicki
    January 21, 2016

    In our home, the two biggest areas where fear of "not enough" is exhibited are food and attention. We are constantly reminding and reassuring that there is always enough – and that, as parents, we will make certain there is enough for everyone. One visualization that has helped one of my kids is the idea of the heart as a "love bank". Just as I would not take money from one child to give to another, I do not take love away from one child in order to give love to another. Our hearts are "love banks" that receive a daily deposit by God, for each person we love and care about. In other words, we always have more love. This concept made all the difference in one child's attitude toward and acceptance of another sibling and is a topic he brings up frequently, with much confidence.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 22, 2016

      Great idea, Vicki, thank you for sharing it.

      Reply
  4. Barb
    January 22, 2016

    my daughter fears that there's not enough loveand that we are just pretending to love her. I'm struggling with how to help her

    Reply
  5. Blessed
    January 23, 2016

    This was so inspiring to me as a parent too! When I am worried about running out of patience, etc. or all the ways as moms we can only look at our deficiencies. How good to remind myself, "I have enough." (Through Christ!)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy