My Learning Curve: When Her Heart Broke

K loves fall out

On Wednesdays I go to my vault of posts (there are 1700, friends!), and share a My Learning Curve post from the past. Today’s post is from June 2009, when we had just begun traveling to Seattle for therapy with Deborah Gray.

As the family cleared the table last night, Kalkidan began drawing a picture similar to one her therapist had drawn. She talked about the ways her heart was broken. Then she drew many small hearts spilling out of the broken heart. Her therapist had explained that when a child’s heart is broken, her mommy and daddy can try to fill it up with loves, but the loves keep falling out and the child never feels that she has enough. Once a child’s heart is healed, the loves can fill her whole heart.

Kalkidan continued to spontaneously work, pausing to ask for help with spelling, and then writing some more. When she was done, she decided to color the heart and then tucked it in a folder to share with her therapist.

Kalkidan gave me permission to write about the work she did last night and share a photo of her wonderful drawing. The title alone brings tears to my eyes.

It took many years, but Kalkidan’s heart did heal enough to let our love fill it. I think back to those early days and how tumultous our life was. We were broken and needed help, but God met our need and I am forever thankful.

My friend, Pam Parish, has a great post up, The Best (and worst) Advice Anyone Gave Us as Foster & Adoptive Parents. I’m honored that she asked me to contribute.  Hop over and read it.

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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.


  1. Laura
    September 3, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this post. I appreciate the insight you share and find it so helpful. I did click over to read the comments on most helpful and worst advice. I am curious, you mentioned making alterations with the other children in the home when the focus is on the new children. Would you be willing to share what insight you have on things that worked well for your family? I would be very appreciative.
    Thank you!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 3, 2015

      Hi Laura, I just posted an article on siblings today and will continue it next week. Thanks for asking.


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