My Learning Curve: Keeping You Safe

Dimples was very distressed this morning because her school library book had gotten into Little Man’s hands and he tore a page from it. I was on the treadmill as the events began to unfold; unravel might be a better word.

She was very agitated and angry with everyone, trying to place blame on who left her book out. Russ recognized that she was actually very anxious and worried. When I came in the room, she had her arms crossed and her head turned away from Russ, who was trying to calm her.

I knelt down on the floor next to her and very quietly told her that I knew she was feeling very scared, and that she had a lot of scared and sad inside her about the book. I told her that Daddy would go to school with her and explain what happened to the book. It was not her fault that Little Man tore her book, and Daddy would take care of it.

Then I pulled her onto my lap in the big rocker and I said, “When you were a little girl in Ethiopia, you had to take care of yourself and keep yourself safe, but now it is Mommy and Daddy’s job and we will keep you safe. Parents keep their children safe. Daddy will talk to your teacher and you do not have to be afraid.”

She got very quiet and then leaned against me. I repeated again that it was our job to keep her safe and that she did not have to be afraid anymore.

Tears began to flow quietly down her cheeks. We had never seen anything like it. Russ and I looked at each other and knew we had touched something deep in Dimples’ heart. She pressed her face into my chest and I held her close while rocking.

It was not long before she was ready to get up and go to school. I think we may be making progress. It is hard work, very hard work. Somebody asked in a blog comment how I have time to deal with things like this; to be honest, I don’t have time, but I have to make time.

We are in a desperate battle for our child’s healing.

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 TBRIĀ® 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.

0 Comments

  1. small world
    March 12, 2009

    I am right there with you Lisa. I have had a total of about three-five hours sleep per night for the last week or two from working with Meseret. She has been raging each night before bed and then again when she wakes in the middle of the night for her bottle. I am SO tired and I still have to get up each day and do school with all the other kids. I have been feeling like there will be no end. I almost called you twice this week just to talk to someone else who understands. Last night we had a breakthrough! She cuddled with me when she woke up and for the first time did not try to crawl off the bed into the darkness to I don’t know where.
    Hang in there and so will I and in the end God will be revealed in our children.
    Love, Theresa

    Reply
  2. Marissa
    March 12, 2009

    How wonderful. You're fighting this battle well. I'm inspired by you and Dimples. I pray that someday you two will have an unbreakable relationship.

    Reply
  3. Laurel
    March 13, 2009

    Thanks for sharing. That was a beautiful story.

    It is beautiful to see how the Holy Spirit is giving you just the right words to speak, when your children’s hearts are ready to hear them. Keep trusting Him, and He will guide your steps.

    How do we mothers of extra-large families have TIME for anything? Yes, we make time for what is important. And, our children’s hearts are right up there near the top of our priority lists … just below God and our dear husbands.

    Blessings,

    Laurel

    Reply
  4. Nicole Anderson
    March 13, 2009

    Thank you again, for sharing. I remember, and still do, mutter those same words to my Solomon. He has had a hard time too, knowing that he is not by himself,or that we will not be there for him.

    Reply
  5. Leslie
    March 13, 2009

    Thanks for sharing this precious experience. It takes so many repititions to unlearn all they learned in their early experiences. Hang in there. I’m praying for you.

    Reply
  6. Ryane
    March 13, 2009

    I am sure that it has been hard for you to decide what to blog about and what to keep private when it comes to your kiddos. Please know, though, that I really appreciate all the open, honest posts with real issues and suggestions for raising adopted kids and for managing large families. You are helping so many people.

    God Bless you and your beautiful family,
    Ryane

    Reply
  7. Shonni
    March 13, 2009

    Thank you for sharing how you are handling these things…I find it helpful for me to “see” and then try these things with my darlin’s who struggle.

    Reply
  8. Matthew and Amanda
    March 13, 2009

    Lisa,
    I just want to thank you so much for all your posts about parenting. We are anxiously waiting to bring home our daughter (almost 7) from Ethiopia. I really believe I am going to need some of the tools you have suggested. I’m sure it’s not always easy to be open, but it is so valuable to those of us coming along behind you.

    Thanks again,
    Amanda

    Reply
  9. Jennifer
    March 13, 2009

    It must be hard to know what exactly causes the anger or fear sometimes. Sounds like you really looked into her complex little mind, and helped her feel a little relief and peace.

    Reply
  10. DQ Mountain Girl
    March 13, 2009

    I am so excited that I found this blog! I’m a foster/adoptive parent and reading posts like this one encourage me to continue onward. Thank-you!

    Reply
  11. Jess
    March 13, 2009

    Beautiful post, of course not about the sad and hurt Dimples is feeling, but about how you are teaching her to trust that you will always keep her safe…and she doesn’t need to hold onto all of the sad and hurt anymore.

    Reply
  12. Anonymous
    March 13, 2009

    Yeah, Lisa! This sounds like the kind of break through I told you about once with MG! Its so hard to figure out what our little people need, and I admire the way you are doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of your girlies. I truly believe that these are the times God works thru us to bring healing to these children. So hard for us, but if not us, then who?

    Lisa H.

    Reply
  13. gloria
    March 13, 2009

    Thank you for a truly beautiful post… I am in awe of your patience and your ability to see beyond the behavior to what your child really needs. It’s an excellent reminder to me. Thanks again

    Reply
  14. Lois
    March 14, 2009

    Wow Lisa, You are definitely called to this. Such wisdom to know where the distress is really coming from.

    Reply

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