Tuesday, September 30, 2008


As a follow-up to Dawn's post yesterday, I wanted to share something. It may be obvious, but I have had the thought several times today. Maybe it is the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The blog world is something unlike people have had in the past. There is comfort in knowing you are not alone, despite miles or countries in between. But sometimes it helps to hash things out-one-on-one. You might not have a listening ear near you. We know God has called us to be that shoulder to moms with kids struggling to attach. Do not hesitate to email us if you don't want to post, even anonymously, here on the blog. We are here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

After speaking with a girlfriend who needed to be "talked down from the cliff".... I realize how much I appreciate the ability to be transparent and authentic before my sisters. Without your prayers, support, and cheer leading...I would be less of a mother.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart...for loving me when I am unlovable.

It is not personal.

It is not personal.

It is not personal.

I know it feels it.  I know it seems your child may be better off with someone else.  I know you think they will obey or grow or change with someone else.   It is not personal.  It is your position, what you represent and how you make them feel.  Press in, beloved, He does not make mistakes and will equip you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I rock my children, 2 ways. I don't do them every day, but probably should.
1-One at a time, I give them a Milk Dud-note to self, buy more Milk Duds- and snuggle them into my arms like a little baby. Their job is to not touch it with their fingers (you want the sweetness to linger) and look in Mommy's eyes. I then tell them, "You are precious. You are loved. You are chosen. You are beautiful. You are sweet. You are loving. I love your laugh. I love your big brown eyes. I love to snuggle you. I love being your Mommy. Jesus loves you. You are the apple of His eye. He formed you in the womb. He has a plan for your life. I know you waited a long time. I know things were not easy. I know you were scared and sad sometimes. But now you are home forever. I am so happy you are here. And God will use all of it. You will have a beautiful story to tell one day. I love you."

2-I give them a sippy cup or bottle of vanilla milk. Their job is to look at Mommy's eyes and let Mommy hold the cup. I look in her eyes and tell her her story. "A long time ago, Jesus told Mommy I was to have a baby girl. Mommy and Daddy prayed and learned you were waiting for us in Haiti. I looked on my computer and saw this beautiful picture........"

I have done this regularly for 9 months now. I gaze at them lovingly, smiling as I talk to them. After all of this time, just the other day, Radtastic looked at me in absolute shock and said, "Oh, Mommy is smiling at me." I am not sure how to even respond to this. It is hard because it seems like everything I do to build attachment is thrown against a brick wall. It is also jarring. What kind of fog is she living in if she is not aware of these simple moments. It is also a bit promising. A moment of breakthrough. I say a bit because it is so discouraging to work and work and work for essentially nothing. It is the readjustment of expectations. It is another realization of the delay. But I don't let my thoughts show. I gird up my loins for the long haul, smile sweetly and say, "yes, honey, Mommy smiles at you because I love you."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pool Fence Love

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fathers (Click PAUSE on MUSIC PLAYER first)

I have a dear sister in Christ who lives far away...but never seems far away...if you know what I mean.  When we talk on the phone, it's usually regarding the kids, home-education, life's inevitable ups and downs etc.....and we ALWAYS LAUGH OUT LOUD at some point during our conversations...possibly because we have a quirky take on things?  I don't know.  We don't really give much thought as to why we usually seem to be the only ones giggling.  This ride we're on....this roller coaster called frightening as it can often be....also has a great potential for fun!  

My girlfriend has six children, one home through adoption and somehow she's fitting in the studies required to become a family therapist.  After a difficult moment in her home, she posted the following quote on her blog.     

"More than anything else I could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them.  For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move;and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purpose in me.  When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad.  I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials.  The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and to do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ."  
Milton Vincent's Gospel Primer

I'm including it here because I find it a great reminder today...of the truth it communicates.  

There are many Christ followers out there who are feeling disappointed in the Lord for His allowing difficult circumstances to enter their lives (attachment struggles included.)  He could have prevented this and He chose not to. He has abandoned us/me.  He is punishing us/me.  He must not really love us/me. Maybe we/I made this decision in our/my flesh and now we/I am living out the consequences of my distrust and lack of patience. 

I felt very much this way after 5 miscarriages...during marital trouble...during career/financial woes...during relational lows etc.   I still struggle with feeling this way when yukkkk hits hard.... as it often does.   

CHRISTians, no matter what mess we are in...the circumstances....the ways in which we arrived there....all of it has passed through the throne room of the King .  

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." 
Romans 8:28

Every single time an attachment issue arises today...every time you feel rejected by your child...every time you are challenged...every time you are ignored...every time you are blamed...every time you are on the receiving end of the anger....the fear......

hold a mirror to yourself.....
and ask....

Lord, am I okay with You? this what I am doing to You?  Am I very much like my child at this moment?

We cannot ask even a question like this on our own...outside of the Lord's prompting.  He makes the first move.  The parent makes the first move....towards the child. 

Just like Jesus...we pursue the hearts of our children and we give them ours.  

Unlike Jesus, we sin in doing so. 


We are loved.  We are forgiven.  


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lessons from The Radio

Christian radio station is playing in the car......"Glory in the Highest, He reigns!"

Baby asks, "Mommy, what is 'He reigns'?"  
Mommy, "Jesus has control over everything."
Baby, "Ohhhh, just like Sissy."
Mommy, "Oh, no.  Sissy wants control, but Mommy is helping her learn Jesus and Mommy have control."

Having a child with attachment struggles disrupts and takes away from the other children.  Sometimes hourly, usually daily.  With these challenges, it is at least comforting the others are learning if Jesus has control, life is easier for you.  Things will go well with you, you will be safe, cherished and provided for.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Slow and Steady today was GREAT but for a period of time....this evening wasn't anywhere near lovely. There was an ugly meltdown over the homework situation...or more specifically the STUPID HOMEWORK situation!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Never lost eye contact though...and it only lasted about an hour. Girlie even chuckled at herself when she realized that I had flat lined.  Me flat lining.... is that moment when ZERO appears...where I do nothing but stare w/zero reaction.   Her one man show...laughing at herself and crying all by herself ....throwing a grand old pity party with no other guests in attendance was short lived.  She noticed quickly how absurd the scene was.     

After a while...she wandered back into the living room in her pj's and gave me a kiss goodnight and an apology before bed.  Then she asked for a back tickle.  All that to say....two steps step back.  One step at a time...we are making progress.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Take courage!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our girlie did well at co-op today.  Fourteen families gather together weekly during the academic year to study all sorts of different things...depending on the needs, desires, talents, leanings etc. of the group.   This's Elections/U.S. Constitution/AZ History.....Literature.....General Science.......and Math for Girlie's age group. We left the house at 8:30 and arrived home again 7 hours later after a long first day filled with new teachers (all girlfriends of mine...or girlfriends of girlfriends,) new rules, new info and new expectations. Lots to panic over...fertile soil for stress if you are the type to get stressed out.  

Girlie made it through the day without fact she did super well.  She did cry in the car afterwards....fearful, frustrated,  and overwhelmed by everything on her plate.....but only in front of Mom...where she new she could be vulnerable and felt protected.   It was sweet.   

It is just after dinner and she has already completed her Math assignment, defined her Literature vocabulary words and written an apology note to the Elections teacher...whom she interrupted by talking w/out first raising her hand.  She's wanting to move onto the next thing....but is spiraling into "overload mode."  Obviously, she needs to relax so I pulled the plug...saying, "Stop now, for the night.  Tomorrow's a new day. Go relax."  I am very proud of her.

Change is not always easy.  She is working hard and wants to rise to the occasion.

If you home-educate and deal with attachment stuff, can I humbly recommend looking into a co-op?  The Lord has provided a place for me with like-minded women whom I respect and trust.  My girlie gets the best they have to offer.  I get relationship time with ladies who inspire me.  And my relationship with my girlie is all the better for it.  (Just be sure to have well- communicated boundaries in place that meet the needs of your individual family.)

We co-op w/all five of our kids...and would do so if attachment issues never entered our life.  This method the Lord has provided works well for us and in His wisdom.... is an added bonus for Girlie.  

Sharing the academic loads placed under our stewardship while still being fully accountable and responsible for them has been a saving grace for our family.      

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Crazy Face

We had a lot of CRAZY facial expressions at first.  Over exaggerated stuff.  Inappropriate reactions...toooooooo dramatic...straaaaange.  There was no concept after 4.5 years of being in an institutionalized setting of what was appropriate.  

Girlie had no idea that one did not have to open their mouth THISWIDE while eating...or that your face did not have to be THISSCRUNCHEDUPINAGAONY while brushing teeth.  There was no concept of a shy smile. Each smile was a HUGEHUMONGOUSCRAZYLAUGHATTENTIONGRABBER.  

Well, of course there was no modeling of appropriate social behavior.  Lots of needy kids cramped in dingy living quarters and overworked underpaid nannies.  Who has time to teach such basics? 

A mother does.  A father does.  

We used the mirror as a tool.  

"That's not quite alright, girlie....go do it again in the mirror.  Take your food with you....and eat in the mirror" etc.  " That laugh is a bit much.  Do it again in the mirror."  

"Are you in pain?"
"Well, go look in the mirror, because you appear as if you are about to die." 

Monday, September 1, 2008

Own Language

Attaching is all about establishing the intimate circle.  What is the difference between you as Mom versus every other kind lady?   Here's another idea from our house.  We have our own words for things.... for kisses, for hugs, for cuddles.  Some are in our girls native tongue, others just goofy things we say.  Some is intentional for bonding, some is just family culture....which is attaching, too.  You only get bo-bo's, squishes, pinkies and snugglebugs from Mommy and Daddy. Other people just get high fives and hugs.