Welcome 2012

Last night when we went to bed, it was a brand new year – 2012.  For the first time in awhile, I feel happy and hopeful as I see a new year stretch before us.  I don’t know what 2012 is going to hold, but I think it will be good – not easy, necessarily, but good.

 I feel sure that we are loved and that our Father is a good God who has a plan for us.  Even as I feel hopeful, I have a nagging feeling that there will be suffering, because we do live in a real world, with real people, and illnesses and tragedies, and sin, but we have a God who says he will never leave us or forsake us.  Paul wrote that nothing can separate us from His love.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38 – 39

It’s not that life has gotten super easy, or that we have seen such dramatic healing in our children that we feel like our old selves.  It’s more that we are finding our way, we are finding balance.  We’re getting better at seeing the entire family and making decisions that are healthy for everyone.  There was a time when we needed to be laser-focused on a couple of children, but now we are stepping back and looking at the larger picture of the whole and not just the parts.

Last night we celebrated New Year’s Eve with our traditional grilled burgers, fries, and homemade milkshakes.  Then more young people joined us and we kicked off Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan games.  We listened to a little music,ate some fun snacks, and toasted with a bit of champagne at midnight.  Somewhere in the evening we had a quick  and dramatic bonfire with our Christmas tree.  I was reminded of the importance of watering the tree and having working smoke detectors in our home.  Let’s just say that our tree burned very hot and very quickly.

I have so much to be thankful for as I see 2011 close and 2012 stretching before me all bright and shiny.

#611 – 620 giving thanks

young people filling our home last night

listening to my children say what they were most thankful for in 2011

and what they are most hopeful for in 2012

kicking off the first day of 2012 by going to church

Noah – who helped me pack Christmas away

lots of coffee this morning

one more day with Sweet Pea home

more donations to The Water Fight – more wells to be dug

lives saved by clean water

the assurance that the year will be just want God wants it to be for our family

What is one thing you are thankful for from 2011?  What is one thing you are hopeful for or most anticipate in 2012?


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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. Chrissy
    January 1, 2012

    I am thankful for the birth of our newest foster (soon to be adopted) baby! He was just a peanut, weighing in a 1 pound 12 ounces, and we were told he probably wouldn't make it. Almost a year later, he is strong and healthy and absolutely breathtaking! So much to be thankful for….so very thankful.

  2. Lisa H.
    January 1, 2012

    I often smile when I read your posts at the ways that our lives and traditions are similar! We didn't do it this year, but have also done the bonfire Christmas tree thing! My dream is to figure out a way to rig it with fireworks/firecrackers and have them go off one by one…Alas, our tree is like yours, and by the bonfire, it always just ignites in one big blaze of glory!

    I was most thankful for God's grace and mercy for us in 2011, in providing a place of healing for Peter, and for our family, and for the peace in our home after two very hard years. I pray that you'll be amazed by the way God provides for your family in 2012, and brings peace and healing to your family….

    If it stays dry, maybe we could meet in L/Cl. and have lunch to celebrate our birthday month?!

    Love to you!

    Lisa H.

  3. Hannah Tucker
    January 1, 2012

    I'm so thankful for God's complete control in 2011 – the way He provided yet another second job for my dad, the way He gave us, once again, the miraculous gift of new life, the way He protected each and every one of us – at home, at seminary, in boot camp, visiting other branches of the family, and in another country – and shone His light through our feeble faith and made us stronger than ever, as individuals, and as a family.
    I see 2012 hazily – I'm sure of so little, and a bit afraid of the challenges and changes sure to come – but I can't help but be excited for the wonderful things that are sure to wait at the end of long, discouraging, busy days; unexpectedly around corners; and right where they'd been all along, simply waiting to be discovered. Blessings to you and your family in the new year!

  4. Kim
    January 1, 2012

    2011 gratitude – falling more in love with my Savior with each passing year
    2012 anticipation – becoming a mom to two beautiful Ethiopian boys!

  5. Donna
    January 1, 2012

    Happy New Year!

    Praying with you for continued healing in our children's lives and eyes to see the big picture, not just the nagging spot that begs for attention.

    So thankful we serve a loving, all-knowing and all-powerful God!

  6. Heidi
    January 1, 2012

    Thankful – for the birth of my third child, Annie Rose
    Hopeful – that I will accept more of what God gives me and strive less to make life perfect in my own eyes

    You are such a blessing to me, Lisa. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  7. Laurel
    January 2, 2012

    Hi Lisa,

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on the post I just wrote about "Psychology vs. Spiritual Help".

    Happy New Year to you and the clan. Thanks for being such a support and encouragement this year.

    Laurel 🙂

  8. darci
    January 2, 2012

    Lol! We got rid of our tree just in time, it sounds like! Glad you were all awake for the fire!
    So thankful for God's faithfulness. 2011 was extraordinarily hard in some ways–and yet so GOOD as He truly becomes all you have, you know? Thankful that He is GOOD enough and LOVES us enough to allow the fire and walk with us thru it. And still to give hope! 🙂 Ok, that was more than one thing…heehee.
    For 2012..oh so much. So much good ahead and so many things run thru my mind with the question of what I hope for. I guess my deepest hope, or prayer, is that I will just bring Him joy, that my FAMILY will bring Him joy.

  9. Susan
    January 2, 2012

    Going to the Philippines to bring home our new seven year old daughter!
    Should be very soon now!

  10. Karen
    January 2, 2012

    I am thankful that nothing surprises God, and He is working it all for good. And, I am hopeful for growth in our family (in more ways than one). Happy New Year!

  11. MommaFoster
    January 2, 2012

    Most thankful for a renewed walk with the Lord in 2011 that has been lacking for several years. And most anticipating the arrival of our new daughter tomorrow! 🙂

  12. Tonggu Momma
    January 2, 2012

    I feel so thankful to have our little one HOME. After a five year (to the day) adoption wait, and then an out-of-the-blue ambulance ride and hospital stay just two weeks before Christmas… well… it feels good to have Squirt home and relatively healthy.

    As for 2012, I always pick a Scripture verse with one word to signify my goal for the coming year. I haven't picked it yet. Still pondering…

  13. Mary Andrews
    January 2, 2012

    I am thankful for the life of a wonderful friend of our family whose life ended way to soon. He was a Catholic priest who was a real presence in our family as our girls were growning up. He gave his life to caring for the mentally retarded and their families and also cared for the families of those of us who volunteered with him at the state institution for the retarded. He baptized our children, celebrated at their weddings, celebrated with us on our 25th and 50 wedding anniversaries and was an inspiration for us reminding us gently to love those who belonged to us and those who crossed our paths. Love well in 2012. Mary and Dick Andrews


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