Your Steadfast Love

It was a huge, messy, swirl of emotion last night.  Dimples was crushed when she realized that she is going to be in Nebraska on the Friday of her class play.  Each class performs a play twice a year during the Friday morning assembly.  It is a very exciting and important event for the students, and on day two of the school year, Dimples was already talking about what part she might have.

The sorrow, grief, and shame that poured forth was overwhelming; I have tears in my eyes even this morning as I write.  I could not console her, nor could I fix the problem.  I felt her sadness deeply.  I can’t put into words all that happened, but it was gut-wrenching, painful, and fatiguing.

What seemed like hours later, Dimples asked me to sit with her.  We crawled into the big green chair and she said, “Can we read the Bible?  Is there anything in the Bible for when you are really sad?”  How many times have I held my Bible and asked myself, “Where should I look for comfort?  I know it is here.”

I answered, “Oh yes, there is lots in here for when you are sad.”

We turned to Psalms and she read aloud Psalm 84, then we turned to Psalm 67 and she read it too.  I flipped forward to Psalm 57 and she asked me to read it to her.  When I got to the words, “For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds,” my voice was thick with tears.  She asked, “Why are you crying?” I took a moment and then answered, “Because I remember singing this psalm and I needed to hear it.”

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.

0 Comments

  1. Chris
    August 29, 2012

    Lisa, thanks for always sharing from your heart and from the heart of GOD! Praying for you my friend! Thankful for you in so many ways!

    Reply
  2. Jamey
    August 29, 2012

    When I had postpartum depression (and thought THAT was the hardest post-bringing-a-child-into-the-family event that I'd ever experience and not just a warm-up) I used to listen/sing "How Great is Thy Faithfulness" over and over because I HAD to hear that my suffering didn't negate His faithfulness. And I still need to hear it. I love because He loved first. I can (try to) be faithful because He is faithful first. Every day, no matter what.

    Reply
  3. Hannah Tucker
    August 29, 2012

    Oh, my. My heart aches for you.

    And I read the Psalms you shared. I need them in a way I never did before. My little brother was killed in a tragic accident 15 days ago, and my friend, who was working with him, has been in a critical condition for that time. Kyrie Eleison.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 29, 2012

      Hannah, I am so sorry. I hadn't made the connection that this was your brother. I heard that your father wrote something beautiful about your loss and hope in God. Could you email that to me? May Jesus comfort you and your family today.

      Reply
      1. Hannah Tucker
        August 29, 2012

        I sent it – plus some other things the family has written that I've found helpful – to the email on your "about" page. Hope it goes through okay!

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          August 29, 2012

          Thank you, Hannah.

          Reply
  4. sleepyknitter
    August 29, 2012

    Oh, I am crying as I read this post! May God reach into Dimples' soul and comfort her and let her know that He loves her and that He is so very Real. And may He comfort you, as well. What a journey! –Shawnee

    Reply
  5. Laurel
    August 29, 2012

    How beautiful that you have obviously taught her to look to the Bible for answers and comfort. That is a huge accomplishment right there!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 29, 2012

      It was a good gift from God.

      Reply
  6. Elizabeth
    August 29, 2012

    My heart breaks for the pain your daughter feels, but oh, what hope I felt for her when I read your post. My greatest fear and sorrow for my son is his pushing away the God who loves him when he is in his ugliest of places. I know I can only do so much, but until he opens himself up to God's love when he is hurting there is only so much I can do except trust in God's love for him. I long for the day when he asks me to comfort him with God's Word.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 29, 2012

      Elizabeth, I was so amazed and thankful when Dimples asked for the Word. I nearly burst into tears right then. I've been pretty much crying off and on since.

      Reply
  7. Mary
    August 29, 2012

    Wow, Lisa. Truly, how precious to the Lord are the tears of his saints.

    Reply
  8. Emily
    August 29, 2012

    I always go to Psalm 56. "You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in your book?"

    love to you guys.

    Reply
  9. Emily
    August 29, 2012

    Oh, Lisa. I am praying for you and Dimples right now. Praying that you continue to look for and see His faithfulness, that the respite of time spent apart would make her feel free to work through hard things, and that ALWAYS she would seek the Lord's face in sadness. What a testimony to His work in her life! May He extend grace upon grace to you on this path. (And I'm praying that the play date will be changed–Oh, Lord, have mercy on Dimples, we ask!)

    Reply
  10. Stan
    August 29, 2012

    Forgive me if this is an impertinent question: have you considered that Dimples has a **legitimate** reason to feel hurt and excluded by **your and hubby's** actions? 

    You excluded (exiled??) Dimples from the fun family summer holiday, that the rest of the family went on, ie. everybody but her went on the family vacation. You exiled Dimples from your house for weeks – yes, it was to crisis respite, she wasn't banished because you wanted to be mean to her, you (legitimately ) sent her away for her/your sanity, but, well the end result is probably the same from her perspective. (if I were a former orphan, I'd probably see being sent away as being banished too). And now Dimples has to miss the school play, a special event that's important to her and happens only twice a year.

    My heart goes out to Dimples. I empathize with why she's feeling so hurt and rejected over very very very recently being exiled from fun family activities. 

    Have you considered showing Dimples a bit of grace? Would it kill you to have scheduled the Nebraska therapy trip for Not The Day Of The School Play (or if the date of the play was set after the therapy was booked, to switch the date of the therapy trip by a day or two) so that Dimples doesn't have to miss her play? A teeny-tiny bit of grace grace for your girl??

    Reply
    1. Emily
      August 29, 2012

      Stan, respectfully, as a friend ("in real life") of the family, I can affirm that Dimples had an excellent time of respite and that she did not experience her summer time as a punishment. As well as that Lisa and Russ weighed that HEAVILY and did what was in DIMPLES' best interests.

      Others have affirmed this but I'll add one more voice to the discussion: an important part of attachment IS times of respite- FOR THE CHILD. Being in a family full-time is hard work for a child who has experienced trauma, and Dimples needed the time of rest and de-stress as well.

      The Nebraska trip also does not involve just Lisa and her husband's choice of dates. To get in to an EMDR program is incredibly complicated and difficult and involves applying and hoping and praying to find ANY place in the schedule. Additionally, they have ten other children whose schedules have had to be planned around this week. It is not something that is simple or even possible to switch.

      Lisa, Russ, and the entire family express on a daily basis vast amounts more than a "teeny-tiny" bit of grace.

      Thanks,
      Emily

      Reply
    2. Lisa Qualls
      August 29, 2012

      I empathize with Dimples' pain as well, and would consider rescheduling Nebraska, however, we did not choose the dates – we were told when to come. The team in Nebraska is setting aside an entire week to work with Dimples and gave us these dates before we knew when her play would be scheduled (school just started Monday). They are extending great kindness to Dimples by doing an "intensive". Although it is very sad, our hope is that the long term gains of EMDR will offset the disappointment of missing a class play.

      Reply
      1. connie
        August 29, 2012

        Lisa, you are such a gracious person.

        Reply
  11. Stan
    August 29, 2012

    Who knew attachment-challenged children learn to attach to their parents by spending time AWAY from their parents?

    My dearest friends, parents to a traumatized, attachment-challenged, internationally adopted kid, spend huge amounts of energy finding doctors/therapists to work with THEM to help their child. Their criteria for therapists is that they won't work with anybody who will not let them be in the room with their child, on the theory that said kid finds it much harder to triangulate adults against  his parents when the parents are in the same room (and who won't send their kid to an in-patient RTF for that very reason). But hey, you know Dimples and if you believe she attaches to you better from far away, you know your kid best and more power to you. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 29, 2012

      I'm glad to hear that your friends have the same requirements for therapists that we do. It's considered poor treatment for children with attachment disorders to have therapy apart from their parents – which is why we are always present for therapy and will be present at every session in Nebraska as well. My concern is not so much with triangulation as it is with building trust and healing together as a family. Therapy and respite time spent with friends (who Dimples considers to be extended family) have different purposes.

      Reply

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