Thankful for Vacation and for Going Home

This morning I was up at 5:00 because the “silent” alarm on Russ’ Fitbit was going off every five minutes. He didn’t hear a thing.

It’s our last morning on Whidbey Island and I’m thankful for the moments in the nearly dark and very quiet house, but after spending hours packing the house last night, I could have used a little more sleep.

The happiest reason to go home is we’ll see Annarose! She left to study abroad in Colombia last January and stayed to travel for the summer. We were able to FaceTime and text, but I can’t wait to actually spend time with her.

We also haven’t seen Zoe in nearly four weeks! She just got back from visiting family in Utah.

So much to be thankful for:

1. Connecting with big kids who arrived from all over the country. They fill my heart.

2. Celebrating Hannah and David’s engagement!

3. Sailing with Russ. Walking the beach with Russ. Talking with Russ.

4. Minimal cooking – lots of food from the grill.

5. Ebenezer and Wogayu learning to skimboard and discovering a new way to have fun on the beach.

6. Taking in moments with special friends and family.

7. Breathing the salt air, looking out at the beach and the Olympic mountains, taking in the beauty.

8. Fighting back against a huge fear.

9. Playing badminton and card games.

10. Enjoying Claire’s friends and my niece who added fun and energy to our days.

11. Reading – a little.

12. Escaping the hectic – no appointments or errands.

Vacation is not always easy; we had some really hard moments with kids. I wrote a long post and didn’t publish it because it sounded too sad or possibly too whiny. Maybe another day after significant editing.

The first episode of The Adoption Connection podcast will be available tomorrow. So nervous/excited!

Have you downloaded my free guide yet? I wrote Hope for Your Parenting Journey: a guide for adoptive and foster moms just for you.

Have you gotten away this summer? How did it go?

With courage and hope, my friend.


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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. Marilyn
    August 9, 2018

    We went to Phoenix for a week the end of April for my husband’s graduation from Grand Canyon University. He has done online school for a very long time. He has a masters in mental health counseling! We had a good week overall with also lots of temperamental times thrown in. We especially enjoyed the Desert Botanical Gardens, the Grand Canyon, and visiting his sister and family who live there.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 13, 2018

      What a wonderful reason to travel and celebrate!


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