Two Things – maybe more

My view as I write.
My view as I write

I have two important things to share with you – well, probably more, but two come to mind at the moment.

First, I’m very excited to be speaking at the Passion for Orphans Retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado, September 25 – 27. I am especially honored because this is my second time being invited. Two years ago, April 2013, I stood before the women at this retreat and told my story of being an unlikely adoptive mother. It was a very sweet time.

The Passion for Orphans retreat is for anyone who is passionate about embracing orphans:

adoptive moms
foster care moms
moms in process of adopting
wanna-be adoptive moms
orphan advocates
and future orphan advocates

(I stole that from the website because I want to get it just right.)

There will be worship, teaching, discussion groups, good food, and plenty of time to relax, regroup, connect with other women, or take time for solitude.

Early bird registration ends August 14 and gives you $40 off, so if you’re thinking about coming, sign up soon.

I hope you can make it.

Second, Annarose is pushing me to take the leap into the world of Instagram. Isaiah created an account for me more than two years ago, and I didn’t post a single photo. Blogging and Facebook were enough for me to manage, Twitter was a bit too much, and Pinterest came and went.

Then the kids got me an iphone and taking pictures to post online became instantly easier. I think I’m ready for Instagram now, and it’s going to be fun. If you want to see my pics, you can  follow me on Instagram. At the moment, Annarose is posting Whidbey Island pictures – I just might hire her to be my social media assistant.

Whidbey Island continues to bless us with beautiful views, water, sunshine, beach glass, thrift store treasures (you can see one on my Instagram) and time together. Russ and the boys began constructing a fabulous beach fort yesterday, which I’m hoping will occupy the boys for our remaining week.

I got some quiet time with Russ on Tuesday when we made another trip to Costco. We are plowing through food at an alarming pace. When we get a pocket of calm, our conversation often turns to Kalkidan, the accident, our grief, our loss of Nick, and how the kids are coping. As often happens, tears come.

I am deeply, profoundly, thankful to have Russ walking by my side and holding me close. I don’t even have words to express this – he is the most faithful, loving man. I am very blessed.

The kids are all still sleeping, but soon they’ll wake and the adventure will continue. I expect the day will hold a long beach walk, blackberry picking and cobbler baking, fort building, book reading, game playing, and laughter.

I told Russ yesterday that I feel spoiled rotten by God – this time and this place are  lavish gifts.

What does your day hold? How are you? I would love to hear from you. Thank you to everyone who left an encouraging comment for Annarose; it means so much to her.




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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. Karen
    August 5, 2015

    Rejoicing with you as you soak up all the beauty around you and spend time with your family. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers. May the Lord continue to demonstrate His love and care for all of you! (He will!)

  2. Emily
    August 5, 2015

    Annarose is posting!!! I TOTALLY CALLED IT. See my comment on your instagram a few pics ago 🙂

    Faithful, loving husbands are the best aren't they? 😉


    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 5, 2015

      I saw your comment on Instagram – cracked me up. And yes, good husbands are the best.

  3. Joelle
    August 5, 2015

    "…I feel spoiled rotten by God..: What a beautiful gift for you right now.

  4. Robin in AZ
    August 7, 2015

    I am so thankful that you are able to get away and enjoy just being a family! My husband, Tim, our youngest daughter, her boyfriend and I are on a fun getaway to hike Zion National Park this week. On Sunday we will put the kids on a flight home. Tim and I will drive to Cali and spend the week exploring from San Francisco to LA along the Pacific Coast Highway. With running a busy smallish business and having a very crazy schedule as well as a large family, this has been a much needed get away. We are so thankful to be able to experience God's awesome creativity in creation here at Zion.
    May God bless you with rest, peace, beauty and some wonderful memories!

  5. cindy@lifeascindy
    August 8, 2015

    I attended a summer camp sometime in junior high on Whidbey. Even at that young age I thought it to be a most beautiful spot. It sounds like you are having a lovely time.

  6. Laurel
    August 13, 2015

    While you were in our area, we headed to your area (but a bit north). I thought of you and prayed for you as I drove highway 95 several times, wondering where exactly your accident had taken place. One of the trips on highway 95 to and from our friend's cabin on the lake was especially deep/profound (as I prayed for you), as I was driving my 18 year old daughter the 400 miles home from vacation to attend the funeral of a friend who had just been killed in a rollover car accident. (I drove the 400 miles back to Coeur d'Alene the next day.) Yes. You were in my thoughts and prayers often last week.

    Please pray for Sofia's family, as I do not believe any of them know Jesus. (She gave her life to the Lord through Young Life.)

    Blessings to you and your precious family!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 14, 2015

      Thank you for your prayers and for thinking of us, Laurel. I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter's friend – the shock is so severe when a child dies.


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