Remembering

I’m home from beautiful Whitefish, Montana where I spoke at the Deeply Loved retreat for foster and adoptive moms. I loved being with the amazing women who inspired me as much as I hope I inspired them. God is writing beautiful stories in their lives and families.

Today is Kalkidan’s birthday. I can’t even imagine her as a 17-year-old. She was still so young, barely 13, when we lost her.

Russ left for work wearing an orange sweater and I have an orange scarf around my neck. Early this morning, I lit my deep orange Glassbaby candle and it’s burning next to me now.

I can talk about her birthday (10/29) and her heaven day (12/27) before and after, but on the very days, I find it hard to express anything.

I spoke about her quite a bit last weekend, and truthfully, I was a little weepy. Thankfully, there couldn’t have been a more gracious and understanding audience.

I owe so much of what I know about trauma, attachment, connected parenting, and everything else, to Kalkidan. She started us on this long journey 12 years ago.

The book I wrote with Dr. Karyn Purvis would never have been written if Kalkidan had not joined our family. She came into our lives like a meteor, changing us is so many ways.

[side note: a draft of the manuscript is nearly done!]

We’re catapulting toward the holidays – can you believe it? We’ll talk about it soon.

With hope,

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 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.

10 Comments

  1. AmyE
    October 29, 2018

    And your journey with beautiful Kalkidan was a first spark of hope for me. That maybe I wasn’t alone in my struggle. Will always be grateful for her life and the brave and respectful way you shared about your journey. It made a difference for me and I’m sure so many others.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 30, 2018

      It’s amazing to think Kalkidan helped and changed so many lives. She taught me so much and I’m thankful I can share her story.

      Reply
  2. Randi
    October 29, 2018

    Happy Heavenly Birthday to your Beautiful girl! My heart is heavy with you. My daughter entered heaven 14 years ago today. She was 8 yrs old….I have a hard time picturing her at 22. Though I know she is whole, unlike here on earth, where her little body was very uncooperative. I love you Reenie girl. (I am a foster/adoptive mom).

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 30, 2018

      Fourteen years, and yet, always held close in your heart. Much love.

      Reply
  3. Jane VanDeventer
    October 29, 2018

    I see you…especially this week, Our Joey was born on 10/26…..and he died on 12/24. These Anniversary dates, during Holiday time, are so bittersweet.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 30, 2018

      Our dates are so close together – Christmas is especially hard. The blessing of it is we’re usually gathered as a family.

      Reply
  4. Allison Robbins
    October 30, 2018

    Your talk this weekend was real and raw and intimate. I don’t think you should worry one bit about the times you were choked up or the tears you shed. I think it was a very weepy weekend for many of us. God’s healing and comforting spirit was there. The fact that you cried, gave more freedom for the rest of us to see the sad in our situations, and begin or continue to move through it.
    May God continue to comfort and heal you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 30, 2018

      Thank you so much, Allison. There was something so sweet about being with all of you that made my heart open up even more than usual. If it helped others to feel their feelings and face their grief or losses, then it’s a good thing. I’m truly thankful I had those days before Kalkidan’s birthday at Deeply Loved.

      Reply
  5. Tiffany Cannon
    October 31, 2018

    Lisa, I think I was supposed to meet you and hear your story last weekend. I was the one who lost it emotionally on Friday and talked to you that night about my son at Shodair who moved to Intermountain yesterday actually. After admission they took me and my son to tour his cottage and see his room. He is in Sunrise Cottage (Coincidence… Maybe, maybe not). When we walked in I saw a collage of Kalkidan on the wall and I almost couldn’t keep it together. I’m so amazed at the little things God does to give us peace and hope. I’d have no clue who she was if I wouldn’t have been at deeply loved and I’m so thankful you shared hers and your story. It almost feels like she’s there and will help my son and us through this difficult process. I just want to thank you and let you know how much you touched my heart and how I’ll never forget you or Kalkidan.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 31, 2018

      Tiffany, that gives me chills. I will be praying for your son. We loved the staff in her cottage – I believe some of them are still there. If your son has the same therapist, you are in good hands. I loved meeting you and talking Friday night; you touched my heart too. Let me know how you and your son are doing. Courage and hope to you.

      Reply

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