Tomorrow Marks One Year

Fall 2011
Fall 2011

Tomorrow marks one year since Dimples began her program in Montana. Anniversaries like this are a big deal and can be a trigger for our kids, even in much less severe circumstances – so I can’t begin to express how crazy it is that tomorrow Dimples is flying to Seattle to meet us for medical appointments. The timing was not our choice and was coordinated between the doctor’s schedule and squeezing this trip in before Russ’ classes resume. It is what it is, and I’m trusting that it is for the best.

Tomorrow morning we’ll head out with Bee on the drive to Seattle. A counselor will put Dimples on her plane and, assuming all goes well, we’ll be at SeaTac to pick her up when she lands. Since she is traveling as an unaccompanied minor, I will go through security to meet her at the gate. The girls have not seen one another for a year, and they’re both feeling nervous and excited.

The girls’ past relationship is a trauma trigger for both of them. In order to keep things as regulated and calm as possible, we’ve put together a plan to give them supervised time together, as well as plenty of breaks. We’re taking them out for Ethiopian food on Wednesday night, then Russ and Bee will stay with friends, while I stay with Dimples at Kathleen’s. The next day will be filled with appointments (and lots of waiting) at Seattle Children’s, followed by dinner and then parting for the evening again. Friday morning Dimples and I will drive back to the airport and wait for her flight back to Montana.

I find myself wondering how all of the goodbyes will go – will there be sadness, relief, fear? It’s impossible to know. As I write this, I feel sad thinking about the new few days. It is shorter than we would have liked, but there are so few flights to the small airport in Montana, that we didn’t have other options.

We’re back to homeschooling today, so I’ll end here. Have a wonderful day.

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.

12 Comments

  1. Karen NumberTwo Hannaford
    January 7, 2014

    I really hope it all goes well for you. (All of you!) Drive carefully.
    It sounds so strange that you are back to homeschooling. It's our summer holidays lol. But the child who was too lazy to finish his work before Christmas well be doing a couple of hours each morning to catch up (he's 15 and has exams coming up). My younger son goes to school and he has asked if he can do work too! So I guess we're almost homeschooling, just having more than the usual amount of field trips.

    Reply
  2. Tara Bradford
    January 7, 2014

    Praying for sweet moments ahead for all of you. Don't ever hesitate to call me if you ever need some help. Helena is a quick and easy drive from us and we're happy to help if you need an option for help in state.

    Reply
  3. Sherri
    January 7, 2014

    My heart goes out to you. Life is hard. There are gifts along the way…I hope there will be some for you this week. Seattle childrens…love that place.

    Reply
  4. Anon
    January 7, 2014

    Oh, Lisa, how stressful! I will be praying for you and the time with Dimples and Bee. May God bless that time and use it to futher the healing process in many hearts.

    Reply
  5. Alyssa
    January 7, 2014

    Hope all goes well. How do you pass the time while waiting during your appointments?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 7, 2014

      We're packing games, cards, and books. Within the hospital, there are a number of places to pass the time, including a Starbucks, so it shouldn't be too bad.

      Reply
  6. charity
    January 7, 2014

    blessings and hugs, and lots of reminders to BREATHE. "where two are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them….GOD"…love you.

    Reply
  7. Molly Kitsmiller
    January 8, 2014

    For some reason this post makes me cry – I think mostly because your undying commitment to your kids challenges me and because of the difficulties that must seem so overwhelming. I'm feeling some overwhelm right now too 🙂 I will be praying for your time together. God bless you!

    Reply
  8. Julie
    January 10, 2014

    It's excruciatingly hard but you are strong and everyone around you will feed off of you. Our daughter just saw her brother for the first time in a year as well. The three hour visit was at his center in Los Lunas. He still hasn't earned an overnight pass and is slow in this process. We stayed regulated largely because we spent most of the time with the horses and playing Battleship (he actually taught her how to play!). The kids hugged so hard when they saw each other for the first time. Our goodbye was precious as the kids both wanted a family hug, several times. Here's where the heartbreak exploded… driving away. My daughter was consumed with so many feelings. I've had the practice 12 times already, and so the "driving away" and "leaving" him there, isn't new to mom and dad. But the departing is knew to my daughter. Still processing it, for everyone. Thankfully she is my son's biggest motivator to "do the work". I'm so grateful our special family was together FINALLY. 2014 will be an amazing year, everything is unpredictable as our "map" continues to be "re-drawn". ~Everything I need comes to me at the perfect time~_hugs, Julie

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 10, 2014

      Thank you so much for sharing that, Julie. We're at the airport waiting to say goodbye right now.

      Reply
  9. Deborah
    January 10, 2014

    Wow – Lisa it seems like such a short time ago that you were writing about the decision to send Dimples to Montana. I cannot believe it has been a year so quickly! I am so happy to read on fb that things went well for the visit and I just want you to know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers. I am so grateful for your honesty and openness.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 11, 2014

      Thank you for your prayers, Deborah.

      Reply

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