Packing Up and Looking Back

It’s early Saturday morning and while the family room is still stacked with Sweet Pea’s boxes, it is beginning to show signs of order rather than complete chaos.  As she is sorting through all that she owns, she’s found childhood journals filled with large handwriting.   Even as a little girl, there were lists; this one was in preparation for a dinner party (which she wrote just before her seventh birthday):

1. make place cards

2. cook: chicken, salad, potatoes, vegies, brownies (I imagine I helped with this.)

3. clean bath room

4. dust

5. vacuum

6. water plants

7. set table

8. iron and wash tablecloth (Rest assured, I don’t think I let my six year old iron.)

Sweet Pea is traveling light and has let go of much of what she owns in order to simplify.  Through the kindness and resourcefulness of my friend, Dorothy, she was offered a place to live for her first months in Minneapolis.  This will allow her time to get to know the city and get oriented to life as a surgical resident before she finds her own place.   She is excited to explore her new city, find a new church, make new friends, and work hard.  Residents work 80 hours per week with four nonconsecutive days off each month.

Today should be a good day for Dimples.  Three of her favorite friends are coming to play and will be here all day.  Yesterday she and Sunshine spent the day with their friend, Happy, who was celebrating her 11th birthday.  It’s the hours of downtime that are unbearable for her and send us into a downward spiral.

Have a great Saturday.


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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. mamitaj
    May 26, 2012

    Love the journal…and all the memories that must bring back! Praying that Dimples begins to become comfortable with herself and free time. It is so hard sometimes. Do you think she's afraid to be left alone with her feelings? I think that is at the heart of Cupcake's need for speed. If she's busy, she doesn't have time to think about the hard stuff, so it makes her feel "happier".

  2. Laurel
    May 26, 2012

    I will have to get the name of my daughter's church in Minneapolis, to pass along to Sweet Pea. She lives 2 hours north of the city, but loves this church so much that she makes the drive nearly every Sunday. (Carissa is one of my 23 year old twins … not the married older sister that also lives in Brainerd, MN.) It would be fun to have our girls meet. Carissa has lived in MN since last August, and really loves it.

    I am dreading summer vacation for our Little Miss. She doesn't do well with downtime, either.

    Hope your weekend is BLESSED!

    Laurel 🙂

  3. Leslee Matthews
    May 27, 2012

    Why is downtime so hard – for our children and for us in them? Just thinking…..rhetorically

  4. shannon2818
    May 27, 2012

    You must be so proud of sweet pea!


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