Where are They This Summer? [Isaiah]

Isaiah Ferguson

The weeks are flying by and I’ve hardly managed to blog, I have lots to say but I’m struggling a little with writing. The simplest thing for me is to update you on what the kids are all doing this summer; they lead interesting lives!

I’ll start with Isaiah because he is in the midst of a big project. Last spring he went on an alternative Spring Break to work with Operation Help or Hush, an organization based in Ferguson, Missouri. They’re doing really good work helping rebuild the community.

He was offered a summer job and has jumped in. He’s working long hours coordinating service projects for teams of college students who will be serving in Ferguson this summer. Here are some of the projects the team of 60 students will be working on this week:

  • West Florissant beautification
  • Ferguson Library beautification
  • Homeless/houseless outreach
  • Supporting Ferguson Foodshare
  • Launching Ferguson Toy Library

As a white mom of black children, this is important to me. I want my children to grow up in a community that values them equally – black or white. I want them all to have great opportunities and be safe.

During the school year, a friend of Eby’s called him a n****r. I couldn’t believe it. This is a boy we like very much and he is from a great family, yet he must not know just how wrong it is. I’m learning more about race as I parent my children and I imagine my education is going to ramp up as my boys become teens in the not too distant future.

Like most very small non-profits, Isaiah’s organization is running on a bare bones budget and is in the midst of raising funds. If you would like to help, you can visit their website: Operation Help or Hush

I also want to be clear that I support the police officers we know and love. This is not at all about bashing law enforcement. They have a very hard job – one that requires a huge amount of commitment and sacrifice. My brother-in-law is a hero in my book, as are a number of our friends who serve as police officers, state patrol officers, sheriff deputies, and the sheriff himself.

The younger three kids are going to VBS this week. The boys are having fun and Claire is helping teach the pre-K class, which is her kind of fun. I had high hopes for all that I was going to accomplish this week and I’m pretty disappointed with how little I’ve done. I have two days left, so we’ll see if I can knock out some serious decluttering and cleaning.

Nine more kids and a husband update to go; this will  help me do some writing and hopefully break out of my struggle.

All for today – my very messy and overflowing coat closet awaits. I’ll be back to tell you about the rest of the crew soon.

p.s. It will be six months on Saturday and I’m having a really hard time with that.

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.

9 Comments

  1. Joelle
    June 24, 2015

    I've been thinking about the upcoming six month anniversary and have been praying for all of you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 25, 2015

      Thank you, Joelle.

      Reply
  2. Teresa
    June 24, 2015

    Time passes, but the memories are always there and sometimes it's surprising what will trigger those memories. Sometimes it's an anniversary date, sometimes it's just random. Be encouraged, it does get easier. Praying that you would continue to draw on the comfort of God as you grieve and deal with the loss of your daughter. One thing that I have learned having also dealt with significant loss in my life is that having memories sometimes randomly triggered has given me a better understanding of how our kids from hard places feel at times and how things trigger them emotionally.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 25, 2015

      That is so true, Teresa. The entire experience of the accident and losing Kalkidan has given me a much better understanding of how trauma affects our brains and hearts.

      Reply
  3. Pam H.
    June 24, 2015

    A few weeks ago I googled foster parents blog or a variation of and came across someone else's blog who had your link attached. I am now a fan. I am also learning of your heartbreak and keep you in my prayers. As someone who lost someone in an "expected" manner, it doesn't get easier at all. 21 years later I'm still missing him, but know without a doubt that the reunion we will have someday will outshine the pain and sorrow I have felt. In other words, I keep the hope of that forefront to outweigh the sadness. Still, your sadness is fresh and I recall thinking of all the "firsts." Firsts are the most painful and you have already experienced some, your first night not tucking her into bed, your first Sunday, your first grocery store trip where you almost bought her her favorite food, first time you found her shoes out of place and started to call her to come get them, and then the first (few) holidays, first end of school year, first summer, first vacation, first – the list goes on, and each first is a painful reminder of losing her. Six months, six years, each reminder is a fresh pain. They say time heals all wounds, but the person certainly couldn't be talking about the heart – right? But this I can say about time…After awhile you will begin to remember all the good times, the funny smiles, the hilarious one-liners and the quiet talks you once had that at the time seemed so ordinary but now seem so precious – these moments in time will begin to overshadow the pain of loss, and hope begins to remind you that we are all, each and everyone of us, just temporary guests here on this planet; that God has such a wonderful place of joy and peace and happiness awaiting us, a place your daughter already dwells in, and she is waiting for you to come in God's perfect timing. Allowing yourself the time to mourn – and there is never a time limit – for some it is months and others it is years, while decades pass by for others – but as you mourn hold out your heart to God and ask Him to hold you close. He will without reservation. And then, finally, remember this: Your little girl is finally free of all that our mortal bodies hold us back from. She is experiencing a freedom we can't even dream about – we just don't know. No words I can say will ease the pain, but know that God has been there Himself and understands.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 25, 2015

      Pam, thank you for your kind words and for propping me up with truth. Sometimes I just need to hear it again and again. I know that one day we'll be together and it will be beautiful, but it is hard right now.

      Reply
  4. Teresa Legere
    June 25, 2015

    I wished I lived nearby and could help with that coat closet! Don't be so hard on yourself. Having a few hours to yourself without kiddos doesn't mean you have to turn into crazy cleaning lady. Put your feet up, drink a cup of coffee and read a book if that's what fills your soul right now. Or if you tackle that closet and come across something of your precious daughters allow the tears to flow if that's where you are at right now. God Bless.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 25, 2015

      I wish you did too, Teresa, I would probably get a lot more done. Maybe tomorrow I'll take your advice and enjoy the last hours of VBS.

      Reply
  5. Emily
    June 25, 2015

    Isaiah!!!!! You're the coolest.

    Reply

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