Two Miles and a World Away

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I have so much to share with you – about driving past the site of the accident for the first time, about today being the four month anniversary of Kalkidan going to heaven, of how tears are so close today…but what I’m going to tell you about is the fun we had yesterday with our kids. The other topics can wait a day or two.

Eby turns ten this Thursday and that’s a big birthday in our family. We always celebrate as a family, but the kids get a party when they turn five, ten, and fifteen. Thursday is packed with school and family events, and I couldn’t figure out how to even squeeze in a family dinner. Instead, yesterday we rented a room at a local hotel and celebrated poolside.

After church everyone gathered at our house for pizza (that I did not make!), then we loaded up and drove two miles to the hotel. A few of Signe’s kids came to join the fun, plus one new friend of Eby’s from school. The party was plenty big.

We kept it simple and appropriately junky for a ten year-old birthday party: cake, chips, soda. There was nothing remotely Pinterest-worthy about it.

The big kids left after a bit and the few friends were picked up by 6:00, which left just the three youngest in the pool while Russ and I sat in the jacuzzi. When they finally seemed to tire of swimming, everyone showered and we walked across the parking lot to WinCo. Mind you, this is the store I’ve shopped at for fifteen years, but when we walked in, all relaxed, with only three kids in tow, and said, “Choose something for a bedtime snack,” it felt nothing like a regular run to the grocery store.

Snacks in hand, we trekked back to our room with a box of Rice Krispies, a small carton of milk, and chicken strips from the deli. Dinner was eaten kneeling around the coffee table while watching Full House, an all-new experience for the kids.

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Russ tucked the boys in at 8:00, Little Man on the sofa bed and Eby on the cast-off sofa cushions tightly covered with a sheet. Sunshine and I snuggled up to watch the last half of Princess Diaries 2. I felt miles from home and the work awaiting me there.

This morning we ate a yummy breakfast before packing up the room and then making our way around town dropping kids off at school. We had been away less than 18 hours, but we immersed ourselves in enjoying our family and it felt wonderful.

I’ll still cook Eby’s birthday dinner one night soon; he requested bacon, sausage, and “those little trees” (asparagus), with lemon bars for dessert. I’m pretty sure I’m up to the task.

I hope your week is off to a good start, friends. We’re having a quiet, sad day, but it’s so full that we don’t have much time to dwell on our feelings.

I am truly so thankful for all of you.

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.

15 Comments

  1. AmyE
    April 27, 2015

    Love that he wants bacon AND sausage! My little ET boy won't eat any meat except for pepperoni when it is on a pizza. Sounds like you did great!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 27, 2015

      All Eby wants is meat!

      Reply
      1. Austins
        April 30, 2015

        He's a carnivore

        Reply
  2. adventisthomemaker
    April 28, 2015

    Happy birthday, Eby!!! It sounds like a wonderful celebration!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 28, 2015

      Thank you!

      Reply
  3. KEB
    April 28, 2015

    Happy birthday Eby! Lisa – I am so thankful for you and your whole family. Thank you again for sharing all that you have over the years! To see such a beautiful smiling face and to hear about the joy of the birthday celebration – what a gift!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 28, 2015

      Eby is really an amazing boy – he's come a long way from the sad, malnourished toddler we brought home.

      Reply
  4. Laura
    April 28, 2015

    Sounds like a perfect Qualls birthday—I still remember the picture of him when he saw an entire container of bacon at a hotel breakfast buffet. It was priceless!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 28, 2015

      I have to admit, he was a bit disappointed that is was a sausage day rather than a bacon day, but he made the best of it. It wasn't too much of a sacrifice, what with eggs, potatoes, sausage, waffles, juice, etc.

      Reply
  5. Melissa Joy
    April 28, 2015

    There is something about getting out of your own space and routines that is a balm and a blessing… and it just so happens that that is the very pool at the very hotel that we take our own kids to, whether for celebrations or distractions… the water, the television, the fresh sheets, sharing one room together so we can not get away from the peals of laughter even when tears have been fresh on the surface…
    Our prayer for you is that the peace of Christ would continue to chase you down every day in unrelenting ways.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 28, 2015

      Melissa Joy, I'm glad you enjoy the same restful spot. Thank you for your prayers for us.

      Reply
  6. Mirko&Claudia&Mesky
    April 28, 2015

    How hippy we are for Eby's birrhday!!!!!! Best wishes to this lilltle "brother" even from your italian family!!!! kisses to everybody.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 29, 2015

      Thank you! I'll tell Eby you wished him a happy birthday. Give Mesky a big hug from all of us.

      Reply
  7. charity
    April 29, 2015

    I love that you managed to celebrate his special birthday in a big and memorable way without making it big effort for you…and I love, love love that there was nothing Pinteresty about it! you make me laugh…6 months into my own recovery from emergency surgery and learning to walk again and all the focus being on that, we just had our 7 year olds birthday, albeit delayed a week at the last minute, and I was happy to feel like some normal had returned, the mom invited a friend, shopped for a gift, took pictures and was able to drive and be the supervising parent…all without having to go to bed for two days to recover…gold stars for us both! praying for you my friend

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 30, 2015

      Charity, I'm glad to hear that you are also healing. I have this sense that time is going by so fast and I'm being swept back into life too quickly. I'm glad we managed to pull off Eby's birthday – when he wakes up this morning he will be 10. It's hard to believe. Praying for you this morning.

      Reply

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