She Beams

Saturday was Dimples’ 10th birthday and it was a big celebration.  Normally we have a family dinner, but since Marissa and her kids were here, we invited Signe’s family, and of course Aunt Michele and her family.  That gave us a grand total of 30 people here to celebrate.

Two weeks ago Dimples gave me some birthday gift suggestions, but she was clearly anxious about narrowing down her options.  She kept changing her mind about what she might like, and finally she said, “Just get me anything you think I will like.”  When a child has had so little, it seems to be nearly painful to have the opportunity to receive something.  I think in her mind it may have gone something like this, “What is the best thing I could possibly ask for?  Will I really like it once I get it?  I won’t get another gift until  Christmas; what should I choose?  Maybe it’s best not to ask for anything at all, then I won’t be disappointed.”

She was uncomfortable opening her gifts and not very responsive – no smiles or thank you’s that I can recall, but we didn’t press her.  That’s not to say that I wasn’t just a wee bit disappointed that it seemed her gifts were duds, but I didn’t dwell on it.  Later that night and the next day she did enjoy her gifts, she just had to adjust to the reality of them and not the imagined hope of what they might be.

After gifts we moved right to cake.  At first she still seemed a bit nervous, but as the candles flickered on her cake and we sang our two birthday songs, she began to smile – a little shyly – and then her smile grew wider.  She beamed.

That moment was sweet joy for me.  She was surrounded by people who love her and she felt it – it reached her.  It was priceless.

Look at her face in these two pictures – that last smile does my heart good.

#361 – 370 giving thanks

candles on the table

unexpected dinner with friends

Russ enjoying time with his parents

favorite recipes on pretty cards for my newly-engaged niece

more interviews for Sweet Pea

Eby discovering he likes to vacuum the stairs

friends who listen while I try to make decisions

completing this month’s bookgroup pick – the first time in many, many months

little boys playing while I wrote my talk for Sunday

a clean, fluffy down comforter straight from the dryer

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.

13 Comments

  1. Jenise
    November 3, 2011

    She is beautiful!!! What a blessed mommy you are!!

    Reply
  2. Chrissy
    November 3, 2011

    Absolutely beautiful. I treasure those smiles when I get them, too!

    Reply
  3. coffeemom
    November 3, 2011

    Happy Bday To Dimples!! LOVE that beaming smile – even more as I know how hard won it was. I know the first picure's kind of smile all too well. Birthdays are such loaded events- especially for our kids from tough places. Good job mom on keeping it calm and open to finding space for that smile! You're so good at this vocation. Happy Bday!

    Reply
  4. Julie
    November 3, 2011

    Now that's a picture of a girl accepting love! Priceless!

    Reply
  5. Marissa
    November 3, 2011

    That smile was as real as they get. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing.

    Reply
  6. blesseday
    November 3, 2011

    Oh, her smile made me cry. Happy years, though! May this year be filled with more and more such moments, when she can feel love surrounding her.

    Reply
  7. Anita
    November 3, 2011

    Beautiful!!!! So thankful to see the Lord blessing you!

    Reply
  8. thefisherlady
    November 4, 2011

    it is true about you sharing the anticipated disappointment and how it keeps us powerless to make choices…I am so glad god's love can miraculously change all of that… Her smile is proof that it is happening

    Reply
  9. Cindy
    November 4, 2011

    Beautiful!

    Reply
  10. shannon2818
    November 5, 2011

    Great pictures, especially the last one!

    Reply
  11. Asiaha
    November 5, 2011

    Beutiful!

    Reply
  12. Sharon
    November 10, 2011

    Beautiful-tears as I'm reading this.

    Reply
  13. Gelila
    January 13, 2012

    This is amazing. already ten ? she is such a cutie.

    Reply

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