We're Okay

I want to write a post about sunshine, swimming, and all of the fun we are having this summer, but the truth is we are having one hard day after another and are depleted.  Within minutes of arriving home from family reunion Tuesday night, everything fell apart. I’ll spare you the details, but hours later when all of the children were finally asleep, Russ and I were lying next to each other and all I could say was, “We’re okay.  We’re okay.  Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  We’re okay.”

The next morning we signed Dimples up for Parks and Rec day camp to give the other children peaceful days – and to give us time to think, pray, and pursue more help.  It took both of us to get her there.  Although we tried to make ourselves appear to be happy parents just dropping our daughter off for a fun day, we felt far from normal driving up to the group that was in the midst of a field trip, showing the leader a receipt, and encouraging Dimples to join them.  She is not happy with day camp, but I can’t provide her with enough structure at home, Russ can’t miss more work, and we just can’t ask any more favors of friends.

I am spending hours making calls, sending emails, reading websites and pursuing help for Dimples. We are considering traveling a distance to do intensive therapy that will include EMDR, which is a technique specifically used for trauma.  The challenge is finding a therapist that uses EMDR with children who have complex developmental trauma – and who does not use therapeutic methods that are in opposition to our Christian faith. We have one good possibility we’re pursuing and I hope to get more information today. In the meantime, we’re talking with people about respite, and breathing in and out.

The strange reality is that while we are walking this hard road, I still need to do the normal things of life and care for my family.  Making a grocery list when my mind is full and my heart is heavy is no small task, but our refrigerator is nearly empty.  At the moment I am rewashing a load of laundry that I haven’t managed to transfer to the dryer for two days.  Neither Russ or I are sleeping well.  I wake in the night to find he is already awake, then we drift back into sleep, over and over.

Yesterday I had an appointment with the ENT in Spokane.  I didn’t have time to go, but it had been scheduled for seven weeks, so I didn’t dare cancel.  The two hour drive up and back was a good break; I listened to music, prayed a lot – messy prayers with unformed sentences – and made it home calmer than when I left.

While we make every effort to find the right help, and while we search for answers, I know one thing to be true.  God knows and loves us all and He already knows the exact path we should take.  He has the answers – all of them – and we trust Him.

And because I need this more than ever today:

#921 – 930 giving thanks

Russ’ faithful devotion to us

friends who surround us with prayer and understand unanswered emails

allergy testing 

a fantastic local pool

kids who love to swim

youth group watching a movie on our barn last night

a hug from Dimples as she left with Russ for day camp this morning

music 

the Word – 1John this morning

Dimples – and the opportunity to love and serve her

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.

36 Comments

  1. Julie Blair Pitts
    July 19, 2012

    Exchange Dimples name for my son's name, and we are in the same boat. We couldn't find a day camp to take him to, so I have filled it with swimming lessons, VBS, soccer camp(s), a short trip to our home state to visit family and friends, and a visit from Grandma before school starts in August. EMDR is in our future as well. I am very nervous about it for the reasons you are; however, our therapist is trained well in the art of it, and is a Christian, so we feel like we are safe. Today is another day. I am so tired. I have a babysitter today, and I just want to go to bed, but if I do, they will be in my room 50 times, and I will have no rest. My heart hurts for you as I read your story, which appears to mirror mine at the moment (except I have several less kids than you!). HUGS to you, dear Lisa.

    Reply
  2. Laura
    July 19, 2012

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. May you find strength and peace.
    "It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear." Is 65:24

    Reply
  3. Mary (Owlhaven)
    July 19, 2012

    Praying for your family….

    Mary, momma to many

    Reply
  4. Cindy
    July 19, 2012

    Tears…
    Praying for you.
    Love you,
    Cindy

    Reply
  5. mrsungeek
    July 19, 2012

    I pray that God will give you wisdom, comfort, energy, and peaceful nights' sleep. These seasons are tough, and are more than we can handle, yet with God, there is hope. Praying this season in your lives turns to joy, peace, and growth soon for you and your family. Hugs!

    Reply
  6. Abby
    July 19, 2012

    I just prayed for Dimples and your family.

    Reply
  7. Deborah
    July 19, 2012

    Oh Lisa – My eyes are prickling with tears as I read and so understand where you are……. I wish I had some words of comfort, anything to offer, but as I don't I will simply say you are in my prayers and I am hugging you in my heart.

    Reply
  8. AmyE
    July 19, 2012

    I will pray for you this morning, Lisa. Your blog has been such an encouragement to me on our difficult journey. The therapist we've been going to in Portland is a strong believer in EMDR, and has remarkable stories of success with it with extremely severe cases of trauma. I hope you find someone to help you, and will pray for you as God brings you to mind. While our little guy who is 6 is settling down some after 2 years home, I suspect that our pre-teen/teen years will also be extremely difficult.

    Reply
  9. Dana
    July 19, 2012

    I am so sorry. Praying for you. And praying for friends who will have hearts to give even when you don't feel you can ask any more.

    Reply
  10. angela
    July 19, 2012

    Oh! Prayers for you and your family. I am sorry this is so hard. I pray that the Lord reveals the best help very, very soon.

    I can sort of relate because I have been there with the twins. Today though, the behaviors are not escalating, but I am desperately trying to put our lives back on track with a schedule after weeks of fun and company and everything. My one big daughter that helps me with the kids is in Texas for 5 weeks. The other two left this morning for Vienna for 4 weeks… I am single handed, (save a sweet 6 year old girl my daughter usually babysits and is now in my care. She helps me keep my sanity! lol)

    I stayed up making a schedule and making schedule cards for the kids to turn in after each task to break it down for them. If they are turning in their cards we can go for ice-cream or something!! But it's 9:30 and we are just getting to breakfast. …. they don't like moving fast. We are an hour and half behind the time slots. The basement is flooded. The repair man is here. There is no water and the dishes are piling up. and the 17 month old is bent on making as many messes as possible. And foster care is calling me with a possible infant….. AND I'm going LORD?????? I NEED YOU!

    Reply
  11. Katie Patel
    July 19, 2012

    my heart is heavy for you Lisa, but I know the One who carries all our burdens, and I know you do too. Praying for your peace. Wanted to also say that our therapist does EMDR from a christian perspective, and its been enormously helpful for me….we haven't started it yet with my 6 year old but that is the plan in the near future. I highly, highly recommend it. Like I said, i only have done it with me, but the insights it has given me for dealing with my daughter were pretty major. Hugs!!

    Reply
  12. Ruth
    July 19, 2012

    Lisa,
    I have no great words of wisdom to offer and I almost never post comments, but I do want you to know that your honesty and transparency is an amazing help to us as we struggle along too. I also want to let you know that I am praying for your family and you especially as you try and find help for your daughter.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Ruth

    Reply
  13. Hannah Tucker
    July 19, 2012

    Praying, praying, praying for all of you during this time.

    Reply
  14. Leslie
    July 19, 2012

    I am praying for all of you. One day the Lord will say, "well done!"

    Reply
  15. Lucy
    July 19, 2012

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for sharing where you are today. I will pray for you. I'm in graduate school to become a marriage and family therapist as well as pursuing training in EMDR, and I was struck by your observation that some therapists' approaches are in opposition to your Christian faith. What do you notice that alerts you a therapist's approach is in opposition to your faith?
    ~Lucy

    Reply
  16. Chantelle
    July 19, 2012

    Thank you. I know it sounds redundant and is so little to offer you after all you and your blog have given to me, but it's the best I can do to just THANK YOU. Thank you for being honest and making us feel less alone. Thank you for sharing the reality and trying to give it a positive spin even in the darkest of times. ((((((hug))))) You are truly one of my few and precious mentors of mothering and I appreciate you so very much.

    Reply
  17. Becky
    July 19, 2012

    Lifting prayers daily for you and Russ and Dimples and the family, and your extended support circle!

    Reply
  18. Carly
    July 19, 2012

    Praying, my Friend. And, in the trenches with you. Wish we were closer.

    Reply
  19. Em
    July 19, 2012

    Lots and lots of prayers from Bolivia, friend. Looking forward to being home and seeing what I can do to help out. Love to everybody.

    Reply
  20. shannon
    July 19, 2012

    Praying for you and your family!! Knowing that God is BIGGER and STRONGER than all of this, even when He asks us to walk really hard roads. There is just something about summer-one of my treasures is having really hard days and is full of making moments HARD. You are NOT alone-but God has not asked us to parent these children on our own. He walks with us. THANK GOODNESS!! Will continue to pray for strength, peace, wisdom, and love.

    Reply
  21. Chrissy
    July 19, 2012

    Praying for you and your family.

    Reply
  22. courtneycassada
    July 19, 2012

    oh, lisa. i'm so sorry. thank you for sharing! i am praying for you…lifting you up to the One that has ALL of this in His mighty hands!

    Reply
  23. Melissa
    July 19, 2012

    Thank you for sharing. Praying for you and your family.

    Reply
  24. Eileen
    July 19, 2012

    We're in a day to day (more like hour to hour) struggle right now as well. Praying for you and your daughter.

    Reply
  25. zehlahlum
    July 19, 2012

    You are not alone. Hang in there! This is a verse that I use myself for encouragment, maybe it will bless you too. It's nothing flowery or even uplifting, but it's a great one for mumbling under your breath as you trudge through those days when you can't remember which way is up.

    "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24

    Reply
  26. Rayia
    July 19, 2012

    May the Lord surround you all in peace and comfort!

    Reply
  27. Michelle
    July 19, 2012

    In complete tears reading this. As so many mention, you bless me almost daily and encourage me when I feel hopeless. What you describe was our last year and as I have read your past posts, I always think "Lord…years she has done this, I can't do that". I am in awe as you have drawn on His strength and encouraged so many. Lifting you all in prayer. God has carried me with several songs through this journey of loving a hurt kiddo. Just today, someone reminded me of this song:

    Kneeling on this battle ground
    Seeing just how much You’ve done
    Knowing every victory
    Is Your power in us

    Scars and struggles on the way
    But with joy our hearts can say
    Never once did we ever walk alone
    Carried by Your constant grace
    Held within Your perfect peace
    Never once, no, we never walk alone

    Reply
  28. sara
    July 19, 2012

    I will hold you in prayer. Keep breathing.

    Reply
  29. Caryn
    July 19, 2012

    I have been there. Our daughter has extensive developmental trauma and has been receiving EMDR therapy for the past year. We happen to be having a hard week here, but even within the hard I can see and feel the difference it is making overall. Her therapist is one of the earliest to use and research EMDR in children. Unfortunately, we're halfway across the country from you. I just wanted to drop in and say that there is hope and that I'll be praying for you, Dimples and your entire family. God bless.

    Reply
  30. Dawn Wright
    July 19, 2012

    PRAYING!!! Knowing that it is sooo very hard for your family, for Dimples……the constant struggle. Praying you find a solution for therapy that will work for all of you. PRAYING for strength, good night's rest, and love to be your rock!

    Reply
  31. sleepyknitter
    July 19, 2012

    Wishing I had the right words of comfort for you! Instead I will keep praying for you!!!!! –shawnee

    Reply
  32. Cari
    July 19, 2012

    I'm sorry to read about this difficult time. You really encouraged me a few weeks back during our phone conversation. I just wish there was something I could do for you. I am praying for you and your family. I hope that you and your husband will be able to sleep well tonight…that's so important when your emotionally drained all day long.

    Reply
  33. Heidi
    July 19, 2012

    Praying for you, Lisa. If I were closer, I would love to help you.

    Reply
  34. Laurel
    July 19, 2012

    Oh Lisa . . . my heart goes out to you.

    You may need to find more help than you can give her at home. We just made that hard decision . . . and absolutely believe it is best for our Little Miss and for the rest of our family.

    So hard. So sad. Praying for you tonight.

    Hugs!

    Laurel

    Reply
  35. Angela
    July 20, 2012

    thinking of you and your family in a way with more understanding now that I have 2 that were adopted from ET (7 yr old & 2 yr old)!!

    Reply
  36. Leslee
    July 20, 2012

    my heart joins the many who are bleeding with you and praying for you.

    Reply

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