Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa Thoughts

I was going to post this in the comments, but thought we could add it to the discussion as it's own post. I know I have written somewhere about Santa, but it's always a good conversation this holiday season. Here is a great article on how to explain Santa. It is how both Dawn and I explain it to our kids. In addition to the theological and accuracy discussions, here are a couple of other things to consider for our kids:

We do all we can to communicate to our kids that our home is safe and that they are protected. We never wanted a traumatized kid thinking a huge man in a red suit is going to sneak into our house. Usually Daddy would attack some guy that tried to get into our home, but not on Christmas. Christmas is a free for all. If they give you treats, it's okay. :-l

We also have clear boundaries with our kids. Strangers receive a high five or wave. Santa is a stranger. In no way shape or form was it "safe" emotionally for my children to be sitting on the lap of a stranger. It was inconsistent, awkward and unsafe to do this for Santa. Especially a stranger that then claims to know their inner thoughts and behaviors. Crreeeeepppppy!!!

Last and probably most importantly, Santa doesn't show up to orphanages. IF--and a huge unlikely if---there was any Christmas celebration in your child's orphanage, it didn't include stockings and tons of gifts. "He doesn't care if your rich or poor cause he loves us all the same." Really? No, that is a lie. Especially if your kids have memories from their home country or foster home, what are we communicating by saying "now that you're in America, Santa will come. He loves the kids in America. He goes all over the world giving children gifts, just not to you/your friends??" Not to mention this is so far from the story of St. Nicholas who did help the poor.

Just some things to think about as we set traditions and help traumatized children heal, accept the good and learn to trust the authorities God has placed over them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I don't know about you, but this first week of advent has been filled with D-R-A-M-A!!! Too much excitement, too many activities, & too much sugar. Most of all, way tooooo many emotions. Sad over empty past Christmases, sad over deep losses, feeling unworthy of the showering of love and gifts, hating all the attention on Jesus.

I love the sweetness of the holidays but I hate what the sugar and dyes to do my little one. So I've resolved to add a little silliness to each day. Something to add giggles and snuggles and connection. Silliness and fun are deeply important for all days with our kids, but it seems much more so today.

One idea we did this week:
I let the kids pretend that they believed in Santa. We were at the mall and I let them go sit with him and tell them what they wanted for Christmas. They thought they were so funny saying their wishes with straight faces. They walked away and burst out laughing. It was a good connecting moment for us, too, because I praised them for their excellent acting skills with hugs and kisses. Just silly. Goofy. A little way to lighten the mood that seems so intense and dark for some of our kids.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fabu Husbands

Have I ever shared with you what my husband did one night to make me smile? If I have amuse me and read it again. ;)

After the longest RADtastic day that probably involved bodily fluids, he walked up to me, handed me a glass of wine and said, "Proverbs 31: 6, my love."

Honestly, after a long day of being rejected by my daughter and my heart withering in sadness I really didn't want to hear about how I was still some Proverbs 31 woman. As if despite my failures and my daughters hatred of me, I was still making it work. I didn't feel like I was and couldn't handle the standard at the moment.

I think by the look on my face, he could tell what I thought he was saying. "Just go see."

Well, the sweetness of the wine and the ridiculousness of his joke certainly ended my evening on a much better note.

No, I'm not going to tell you. Go look it up. And just know I am clinking your glass from the Sonoran Desert. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

♥ to you

There have been days over the last few months where my heart has been heavy for not writing here. I have felt guilt over leaving this blog quiet. But I have come to terms with the fact that it just needs to be what it needs to be. It's here to be an authentic outlet for our real life. And lately my real life with attachment disorder has resulted in a lot of not wanting to talk about attachment disorder. Sometimes you just need to say no. Ya know? So we will post when we can and I quadruple promise to be better about checking our email (attachinghearts at yahoo dot com)

You are loved and not alone. Cyber hugs........

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Flower ♥

This was sent in by a reader. Isn't it lovely? I imagine it bringing a smile to her face the way it did mine.

Send us your hearts. . . our little spontaneous reminders of God's love in the midst of our chaos.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Torturing a RADish

Phone rings.

Girlfriend shares how my little RADish blatantly disobeyed me.

She's a good friend.

She shares it with no condemnation. No shame.

With kindness, reminding me that the Lord is faithful to reveal all sin.

She knows I don't actually care about the issue.

She knows I care much more about the distance between my heart and my daughter's heart.

She tells me to do what I want with the information.

After a very long week of pee on my floor, ignoring my voice, making a mess of her lessons and generally stirring up strife in our home, I decide to see what I can elicit with this information.

In other words TORTURE her!!! I don't mean for it to sound so fun. . .

She doesn't know who I just got off the phone with or what was said.

I simply say, "Well, bummer! That was such a disappointing phone call. Now I know that you are trying to hide from Mommy. But the Lord is faithful to reveal sin. He loves you that much! that He would let me know about even the secret things so we can deal with them and help your heart get stronger. I want you to come and sit right near me as I make dinner. I want to give you some time to think about your choices. I hope you will choose tell me what you are hiding from me."

(now insert tears, whining, carrying on and me smiling and telling her I know you can use your words!)

she is a twisted mess right now. I know she is dying trying to figure out which hidden thing I now know about. She would rather die than give up this control.

So I'll wait.

She is healing enough now that it won't be long. Maybe not tonight, but not long.

I know she will choose us.

And her choosing to tell me---to trust me---will be 1000x better than me coming down on her for an incident that doesn't really matter

always choose the heart, ladies. always choose the heart.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Autumn Love

Right there by my pumpkin...I looked down...and lo and behold.....a whisper from the Lord.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


"Screw that. It's not like you're my parent."

Nice after ten years.... plus some.

You can read all about some other WHIPLASH moments in no particular order here.....and here.

You can pray for me because moments like these hurt. My heart. My heart hurts.

The great news is that I think she was as shocked as my husband and I were. Immediately, she started to cry and tell me she didn't mean it. Real tears...lots of them. She has wanted lots of hugs and lots of kisses over the past days.

That's why I say, "Pray for my hurt heart...." because I must set myself up for more WHIPLASH.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I think most potential adoptive parents would read a book or see a checklist like this and be so shocked by #'s 17, 24 & 27. So shocked maybe that they close the book or website, say I'm adopting a baby/toddler, this won't apply to me and ignore the rest. Unfortunately, that will lead to behavioral modification now and later and not really get to the core heart issue.

Someone that was suppose to meet my needs didn't.

Someone I knew and maybe loved is missing.

Someone sinned against me.

Sometimes these issues are so subtle at first. Then 2, 3, 5 years later the behaviors are out of control. I'll give you some of my 'subtle' examples that have led to a great deal of relational damage now over 2 years into healing.

~steals small things. treasures of sisters, change, earrings. Hides them. Throws them away. Nothing of financial impact. Things that have clearly been identified as not hers.

~crazy lying. hits wall and makes a loud noise to wake up siblings. Groggily and grumpily siblings ask why she woke them up. She says, I didn't do it. You did. In your sleep. (Dawn also had girlie break a siblings toy and blame it on the immobile newborn baby. LOL)

~poor peer relationships. she is not a bully or dishonoring. but she does not seek out friends. she then will push peers away by doing things like not speaking clearly or loudly enough.

~incessant chatter. she will recite and re-recite movies quotes over and over and over and over. to no one in particular

~receiving love-will never make eye contact and will be rigid when being held.

Now, I also have a lot of overt crazy behaviors going on here. But just something to chew on. . .

Do the checklist. Maybe when you video. And then do them both in 6 months.
RAD treatment

Friday, September 10, 2010

Zoo Heart in the Rain

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

He Has Called You




Monday, September 6, 2010

Just You and Me

oh, that the weary heart of my daughter would one day find refuge in Christ. . .
that her heart's cry would be this:

Friday, August 20, 2010

River Heart

Whispers of His love. They are everywhere.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Guess what we got as a Summer Reading Program gift from our local library?


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trauma Discussion

Thanks, Christine.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Family Bed Article

We're a family bed sorta family. At one point or anohter...each of our kids have been in w/us...adopted or not.

This is an interesting..... article..... on the subject.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

RAD song

A long time ago...I told a dear friend that I love each of my kids enormously and that each one occupies a unique place in my inner most being down to it's very core...but that there is one...who holds a "special spot" in my area where the others do not tread. I know it's because that child has been used to push me into uncomfortable places. Places that have not always been traversed naturally...but supernaturally. Places I must pay very close attention to if I am to learn the lessons intended.

Oh, when that particular uncomfortable spot crosses over and seeps into the comfortable zone! When growth brings with and peace. When parenting feels like the joyful gift it is! When reciprocal love is the reality rather than the ever illusive dream.
PAUSE the Music Player first.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What's Your Worldview?

A great book dealing w/Worldview stuff. Are we like Frankenstein or Jekyll and Hyde? What do we believe? The answer to that question will answer so many others.

And, I feel like it's time to repost this...and this.

What's Your Plan?

Girlie got up an hour early and readied herself for church. Shower....cute little summer dress...blown out and straightened hair.

The reason there is no Sunday morning pre-church stress and anxiety today? (It's a time management thing.) Because she chose for there not to be any.

That's what she told me. After giving me a few big happy pleased with her decision & new found wisdom kisses.

It seems she and her sister had some late night pillow talk about how she could avoid some of these crazy nonsense meltdowns. She came up w/a PLAN!

I am so proud of the hard work she is doing. And I am thrilled that she has the patient, loving, and kind sister she has. The one who always hopes the best for her.

For years now...whenever I sense that Girlie is spiraling...I say firmly while holding her shoulders and looking directly into her eyes..."STOP! Stop now."

She does.

"What's your plan?"

It did not happen over night...but over time...

....she has gotten into the habit of taking time to focus...actually hearing the question....processing it...and trying to answer it.

Lately...she is able to.

With a deep breath & a slow and steady response it usually goes something like this...

"My plan is.......ABCXYZ."

Sometimes it drives a parent crazy...the extra attention it takes w/that certain child....but we are committed till the end.

The Lord does not call the equipped...He equips the called.

Keep on keepin' on. Slow and steady.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

True Sanity

Love that Dawn has been sharing this last week. She articulated my heart exactly lately. Sick of RAD. This last weekend I got to go to a retreat. This song ministered deeply to my soul during a minor but seemingly endless spiral from my RADish. Only one thing is my true sanity through this world, through sin, through the consequences of sin.

(pause the player first)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Have You Looked In A Mirror Lately?

Here's an idea for your toolbox.

We haven't pulled it out in at least the last 12 months.......... and...due to it's get the job done effectiveness...only had to use it a handful of times.

When you are at home...or (GASP) out in public....and your child begins to embark on a downward spiral...losing eye contact....talking nonsense chatter at an annoyingly high volume etc......pretend you are a mirror.

With a straight face....mimic him/her. Do EXACTLY what they are the EXACT manner they are doing it....come what may...come hell or high water.

Wow, did this snap Girlie into reality. She hated it. But, got the point. Quickly.

Here's the have to be so committed to the well-being of your child that you are willing to let others in your community wonder if you need to be committed.

I'll never forget one night in particular. We were at a pizza place and I was staring at Girlie's chin saying, "I DON"T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN I'M NOT MAKING EYE CONTACT?!?!?!?!?! OF COURSE I"M MAKING EYE CONTACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

At the same time, Dad was staring just above her her eyebrow saying, "OF COURSE MOM IS MAKING EYE CONTACT AND SO AM I!!!!!!!!!!!"

Girlie wanted to crawl under the table.

The poor people in the next booth.

Our other kids ignored us and just kept eating.

I really think that most of these kids are unaware of the ridiculousness of their behaviours...until they see themselves in a mirror.


When she told us under her breath how embarrassing it was to have the people at the other table looking over at us.......we didn't coddle her.

"Yeah...your brothers and sisters probably know ALL about that, huh?"

Silence from Girlie.

"And by the way, maybe you should be more concerned with how you treat your parents and siblings...your actual family...than the strangers in the restaurant who you most likely will never ever see again .......and who most likely have troubles of their own and could care less about yours. How's about getting your own house in order and then, allowing the rest of the world to fall into place???????????"

Silence from Girlie.

Stares from the next booth.

The other kids just kept on eating.


Watch out for "eyebrow contact"...or "corner of the eye eye contact." It's so subtle and oh so easy to miss.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Are You Numb?

So we were in the waiting room of the dentist's office...when I was faced w/a conflicting choice.

Sit where I was ...continue drinking my freshly brewed cup of coffee...vegging out for a few peaceful moments reading a nonsense magazine...or go back w/14 year old Girlie and hold her hand while she got the shot she did not know she would be getting.

She would be numb by the time the shot came. She wouldn't know the difference.

I asked her. "Are you okay?"


"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm not's just know...going to the's not fun."

"I agree."

She was called in. After a kiss...and a thumbs up...I flipped through exactly two pages of the nonsense magazine ...before I motioned for the nurse.

"Due to my child's trauma history I would like to be back with her as she gets her shot."

"No problem...come on back," came the response.

When I entered the room where Girlie lay...mouth wide open...already the hands of nurses she's known for years and years....I noticed tears in her eyes.

"I'm not crying," she said.

" must be the eyelash in your eye that is causing those tears then"...I said...."or the mascara getting in those eyes."

She held my hand and chuckled nervously.

As the nurses ohhhhed and ahhhed about how brave she was....about how far she has come in the bravery department...I stroked her arm and held eye contact.

All done.

Sterile needle placed strategically out of her range of vision.

No pain whatsoever.

I leaned in for a farewell kiss.....and reminded her.
"Just in case you were are loved. I love you."

She smiled and held her breath to brace herself for what was about to come.....a FILLING to fix a weak and cracked tooth!

One proud momma. And a convicted one too.

Who the heck cares what's going on in a magazine when I have opportunities to connect w/my baby girl???!?!?!?!?!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Buckle Up

So Girlie had a bad morning. The buildup to the car-ride to church was not pretty...not by a long shot. The car-ride consisted of glares transmitted through the rear view mirror and pointed silence directed at me.

Here's the good news.

I saw the moment that the break happened. The exact moment....I can pin point it.

We had travelled 3 miles...we were at the intersection between our quiet neighborhood and a well trafficked avenue. She had been sitting stubbornly since the drive-way...refusing to buckle up. Arms crossed. Pouting.

Our little one kept reminding her of the safety rule. The same safety rule that has been in place since the day Girlie arrived home 10 years ago. She would not buckle up.

"It's okay. " I said. "Everyone makes choices in life and if Girlie desires to mock the Lord w/her choices...challenging wisdom....then let her. If there is a car accident...she will have to suffer the consequences of her choices/hard hearted rebellious sin."

By the time we reached the intersection I heard the CLICK.

Just before communion...she leaned her head on my shoulder and repented for her behavior...naming specific heart problems...specific sin issues. She asked for forgiveness and a kiss and she got both. Genuine eye contact.

On the drive home...unsolicited....she articulated what was bothering her...the thing that spiralled the morning into a hell zone.

Tomorrow we have the dentist and her weakened due to malnutrition cracked tooth needs to be fixed. She is afraid. Eye contact.

Full reconciliation.

I'm thanking the Lord she did not wind up in a hospital bed paralyzed on that three mile trip to the intersection where I allowed her to ride w/out a seat belt.

Cutting Board Heart

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Heart Splash


It's been a while since I've posted here. To tell you the truth...sometimes I just don't want to talk about attachment issues. It's gets old.

Update in our home:

Girlie has been making GREAT strides. Mostly in the form of trusting her parents w/her heart. This kid is a believer w/the gift of discernment. Her discernment blows me away sometimes. She can nail a sin issue to it's core.

A handful of times over the past few months...she has addressed troubling areas in others while owning her own troubles (we don't take well to planks in our own eyes around here. )

She has done so w/our knowledge and under our protection. She has handled herself beautifully and I am sure feels very safe.

With that comes trust and much growth.

And, a few spirals. To be expected. Predictable.

They don't seem to last long these days though. And she is able to articulate rather quickly what she is feeling...because trying to figure it our based on behavior is almost impossible. When her feelings don't match her reactions....we point it out.

Actually....we usually just kinda look at her blankly and remain silent. Within seconds...she usually figures out that there is a discrepancy and adjusts herself.

Sometimes....we have to do that three or four times in an afternoon....but no more week long or month long or season long spirals to speak of.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unattached Mommy

An article about the other side of attaching trouble.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Trashed Heart

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fried Heart

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baby Sling Recall

We are all about keeping those babies close. We love slings and wraps and backpacks. There are changes in both the Momma and the baby to have that little one bumpin up against you all day long. Today there was a recall though. Be sure to check and make sure your sling is not one of the ones that has been recalled. One million in the US alone. If you have a newborn, preemie or failure to thrive, etc you should probably stick to a wrap.

Be safe with those snuggles. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do you remember when I talked about secular psychology breaking down because they superimpose adult thoughts of process onto child minds?

SUCH a perfect example erupted this week. One of my kids had to be hospitalized for a ruptured appendicitis. But what are both my RADish and her sister GRIEVING??! The loss of her umbilical hernia that was fixed during the operation. It was an after thought to us. It was doing a little tuck to prevent her having to go under a second time. It was small. No big deal to us. See? This isn't even heart wounds and trauma of the past. Kids. They don't think the way we do. We can't crawl into their minds to see their perspective. That is why we need to be consistent and clear and biblical in their instruction and discipline. Because until they can use their words, we won't guess what has really hurt their hearts.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Answer The Question Asked, Please

DD had a relatively calm day. We were in public for most of it, which always helps. Saving those pretty behaviors for me. ;)

BUT one of her default behaviors is to avoid the question answered. She likes to give some long extended explanation about things similar to the topic but not answering the question or crazy lying about something that the senses negate.

E.g. did daddy say you can wear that? daddy says the dress is too small. . . and on and on.

E.g. do you have brown shoes? ~no. do you have brown shoes? ~only big ones. do you have brown shoes? ~a little brown. do you have brown shoes? (maybe 12 times later while I am holding the brown shoes) yes, I have brown shoes with white polka dots.

Sometimes it is so subtle that you may not notice it. You have to attune your ears to bunny trails and the avoidance of intimacy or fault. I will continue to ask the original question or say something like "oops! that's not what Mommy asked you. Try again." There are little ways they are pushing away a normal interaction with you. Press in. Little here, little there.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Explaining Attachment

Felt the need to repost this. There are lots of moms coming forward who are just realizing their child has RAD or have a new baby home. I know for me a lot of my weariness came from try to explain what we were struggling with to people that had previously had no exposure to wounded children. I hope in a small way to say, we've been there. You are not alone. Here are some words that helped us. I originally wrote it on my personal blog in 2008. . .

I am tired and frustrated beyond tears. Loving a child that doesn't want to be loved is the hardest thing in the entire world. I know at the heart of it, she wants desperately to be loved and the rejection has more to do with my position-not me personally. But her actions all day long say, 'you are horrible, I don't like you, I will not do what you say, I don't like my siblings and I hate this house.' It is sometimes disobedience done with a smile or quiet manipulation. But even the parts that look happy are fake! And by God's grace, He prompts me to ask questions and reveal her sin. And yes, it is sin. But there is no breaking. And when there are tears, I have learned it is usually something selfish like she has to pee and not because her heart has really softened to repentance. And then comes the stillness. It is the cold, hard, apathetic, self-protective stare that scares me the most. It says to me, I need to save her from this moment or it will only get worse. Next time, will she resort to something harder or harsher? Every day, I am balancing consistent discipline-usually not in my flesh-of the one while not ruining the day of the others. It is exhausting and depressing. It is isolating. Explaining it to others and having to explain why you aren't crazy really prevents you from talking about it. Please. Please. If you know someone that is struggling with their child-traumatize bio or adopted, please do not tell them it is just like your kid. It isn't. It is not a strong willed child It is not what all kids go through.
You can research and read if you really want to learn more. But I have found telling people to research something they are not affected by won't happen. I get it. So I have been trying to think through how to explain it to others without the science and psychology. Most people think we are dealing with a strong-willed child. But it is so not like that. When a strong willed child is hurt-say a gash on the knee-they still cry. They still want Mommy to comfort them. They may be the most independent, sassy kid on the block, but they know their parents will meet their needs. They know they really can't do life without their parents. They communicate their needs-down to I am thirsty, I am hungry, I am bored. They don't flail around, pick at their fingers, take deep breaths, twitch and shake before they can look you in the eye. They show their desire for control because they want their way. It is not to communicate clearly to their caretaker you are not in control, you are not doing a good job, so I feel the need to take over. And most of all....YOU are attached to your child. That is the hardest part of the equation. As a mom, I want to connect, gush, and be moved by my child. When a naughty, independent, strong-willed child is giving you a go, you are still passionately in love with your child. I love her in the she- is- my- child- given- by- God and I will do my best for her, but quite honestly, there are not warm fuzzies right now. And that is really really hard. I know I am a good Mommy. But I don't feel like it right now. Love is an action and I submit my heart to what He is calling me to do. We struggle to attach to the Lord who loves us sacrificially. I want that joy in the sacrificial love. But He also loves us as children and friends..... and I long for that, too. Please pray for us as parents to have wisdom and for our girls as they learn to trust, to obey and to feel safe.

You are not alone. It is a long, hard marathon. But God wants to redeem this child for His glory. And He wants you to help Him do it. You are not up to the task, but turn towards Him. He will equip you.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bubble Gum Queen

One way to mimic nursing for an older child is chewing gum. The jaw motion and sweetness are calming. So I've become the bubble gum queen.

Here are my couple of rules:

1) anytime between breakfast and dinner (or when the sun is up, etc) you ask for bubble gum in an honoring way (May I please have bubble gum?), I will say yes.
2) You may not touch your gum, take it out of your mouth, etc.

This not only calms them and gives them great sensory input but it also helps build trust. The always affirmative answer helps my RADish trust me with a fun want. Everyday for the first week, I had to remind her it was there and what the rules were. It was over a week before she mustered the strength to ask.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sensory Input

Purvis said the vast majority of kids with wounded pasts will deal with some degree of sensory processing issues. She suggests doing the checklists in a book like Kranowitz's Out-of-Sync Child. You can also have an OT do an evaluation. You can also use one like Dawn has suggested here, too.

A lot of sensory issues will mimic attachment and vice versa. Babies learn to interpret their worlds and learn to later make decisions through their senses. If they don't learn how to interpret senses coming at them, they interpret all of it as danger. I love that Purvis wants parents to use a breastfeeding newborn as the standard of a sensory bath. Think of all of the ways a baby is washed with + sensory input when nursing. Our kids need sensory baths. all. the. time. However, everything she does is age appropriate.

~Simon Says
~Chair sit-ups

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I've gotten stuck a few times as I sat down to type out some these thoughts from the conference. I think mostly because so much of what she shares she touches on in her book. BUT I am just going to hit the points that resonated deeply with me and gave me some hope! Again, I am just sharing from my notes, for what they are worth. Obviously, you'll have to do your own research and find what's best for your child.

There are many reasons I was crying several times throughout the day. As I shared before, she is about treating the whole child. What she said made sense to me, if that makes sense. You can't look at these kids and separate out the physical or spiritual or emotional parts in hopes that just addressing attachment will resolve all the other parts. Because therapies and teachers are usually treating the child individually, these people silo their efforts and don't treat the child holistically. We as parents need to be the primary therapist (like you didn't feel this or know this!) and set the vision for care and advocacy.

First and foremost, she would say these kids need comprehensive evaluations for things like parasites, allergy tests, urine assays, blood work, etc. We usually bring our kiddos home and test for parasites and general communicable diseases. But I think a lot of these kids have so much more going on. You need to know everything you are dealing with to be able to make the right plan of action.

A child with a wounded past, as Purvis described it, has a different brain chemistry. The trauma they have been through (even an unwanted pregnancy) alters the brain chemistry (dopamine, seratonin, lead, etc) of a child. She suggests a urine assay that will help determine if you are dealing with toxins/inbalances that chilated mineral or other supplements could help with.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Video the Opposite

Can I tell you how brilliant Dawn is?? (and this time I am not just biased ;) You may remember we talked a bit about the importance of video taping or photographing your RADish. It is soooo important. But today, as my RADish was spiraling, grandma came over to help with home schooling (yes I heart her!!). I was chatting with Dawn for a minute while they were busy and she said you need to go video them. Your attaching kids need to see one day all of the + moments of their lives. Their memories cannot just be filled with yelling and pain of their sister.

We can get so distracted by the center of attention child, that we forget to capture (for us with video not pictures) all the special quiet lovely moments for them.

I want them to remember their great-grandmother's voice and hear the way they encouraged one another and learned new things. The little moments that are in the middle of the pain.


Charging the camera now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Comforter

I love Spurgeon. His words never fail to freshly explain God's Word or communicate my heart through the trials. You can read his devotions daily here. This one, however, can only be found in this:

And who comforts like Him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder that doesn't listen to the voice of the charmer, even though he charms wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and no matter how you comfort him, you will only get a note or two of mournful resignation from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance, and the mourner's eyes glisten with hope. Do you not hear him sing-'tis paradise, if you are here, if you depart, 'tis hell.'

You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; He is the "God of all comfort." There is no balmin Gilead but there is a balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvelous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is like the gold beater and can hammer that promise our for weeks. So, then, poor Christian, you need not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter and ask Him to give you consolation. You are a poor, dry well. You have heard it said that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all and then you will get water; and so, Christian, when you are dry, go to God, ask Him to shed abroad His joy in your hear, and then your joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, you will find them to be Job's comforters; but go first and foremost to "God, who comforts the downcast," and you will soon say, "when the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul."
I was so humbled by the realization of how often I seek comfort from creation and not the Creator. On my longest days of frustration and pain with my daughter, it is easier to seek out a friend than it is to wrestle it out with the God. In my flesh, I know it is my anger towards Him for not 'fixing' this trial or my own attachment issues of trusting that He will deliver the comfort my heart is seeking. I don't know where you are on the attachment journey or if there is pain in your heart tonight, but are you truly seeking Christ to be the comforter in your downcast moments? I know I have stumbled here. It is not that we are not to comfort one another. This blog would not exist if we thought that. We are to help carry one another's burdens. But first, our hearts should seek HIS consolation because it is deeper and sweeter with Him. To His feet I run. . .

. . .My words appeared slowly as I typed. I glanced up and through the sprinkle of rain, the sun shone fiercely. I could not see a rainbow from my yard. But knowing the Lord's faithfulness, it surely is nearby.

P.S. I am working on several posts about the conference. Coming soon this week!! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Discipline Cleverly

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting a child who is struggling alongside siblings who are the discipline factor. What works for the rest (or most kids) does not seem to work for this one child.

Now, we know we must discipline our children.... out of obedience.

Coming up w/clever "disciplines" goes w/the territory.

Try this one...

If you have a child who.... "fill in the blank w/an action/behavior/choice" which requires discipline...

....inform that child that you will be choosing their clothing for the day/week/month/year (j.k.)

Last week, I chose an adorable pink skirt and floral pink top for Girlie to wear to co-op. It was a lovely outfit. She looked very nice in it.

It's not that the outfit was's the fact that I was choosing it...that drove her wild.

She tried a few times in her most honoring unsubmissive way reason w/me....explaining why the adorable outfit was not appropriate for her on that particular day etc.etc.etc.

Eventually, when she hit the Mom Brick Wall ...she submitted.

It was an awesome moment when she arrived at co-op to hear one of the other mom's comment on how cute she looked.

Girlie and I had eye contact. We shared a smile. I moved over and whispered in her ear, "Thank you for submitting....and because I am a good Mom...I chose an adorable outfit for you today."

I got a hug and then she ran off to class.

We've tried the wear this TOTAL DORKEY LOOKING RIDICULOUS CENTER OF ATTENTION... WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE BEING BTW SO WHY THE HECK NOT APPEAR LIKE IT IN ALL IT'S GLORY??????.... OUTFIT out in public also....and because I am a good get to wear striped socks and mismatched Crocs just to finish off the look.

There are many options available to our arsenal of parenting tools.

If one things for certain we must remain consistent while constantly switching it up :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Over the years we have developed and maintained a close knit circle of friendships. Obviously, the "acquaintance circle" has been larger...but the actual 'friendship one" has been tight.

Some struggling kids attract mean spirited kids like flies to poop. Two kids in our history come to mind. Bullies (emotional not physical) from the word "GO."

A while back, it was almost as if Girlie was asking for the bullying. She'd step directly into the line of fire... and then not even realize she was getting hit smack in the forehead.

She'd even defend the bullies.

It broke my heart. It made me angry! At the bullies..... and at Girlie.

This momma don't raise no dummies!!!!!!!!!

Now, I am very well aware of the fact that my kids are sinners. From the word "Go." Girlie is a big time honkin' super duper-sized sinner.

She is not a bully, however.

And now...because we've had practice dealing w/them.... she recognizes one when she sees one.


If your child is not a bully....BEWARE because they may attract them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Progress Report

So, unsolicited I got another Progress Report from a co-op teacher. She has noticed great improvements in Girlie's academic work over the past year & simply wanted me to know. It took all my might not to leap for joy while twirling and kissing this sweet lady all over her beautiful face!

It was just the encouragement I need to keep on keepin' on because you can tend to think you might be deluding yourself when things appear to be going well.

Peer relationships seem to be going well too. Lots of play dates and sleep-overs here at the house...w/no trouble to speak of. If something minor pops up (as it does w/all kids) Girlie is now very quick to catch herself.

Yesterday, Girlie came to me and told me she had a need (private mother/daughter kinda need.) When this need has popped up in the past....sometimes it's taken Dear Old Mom a few days to find out about it....but now, Girlie sees and understands why moms should be & can be trusted in this area.

At one point in the afternoon....I got a big tight hug. From behind...kinda sorta I was unable to hug back. I thanked Girlie for the affection...mentioning that it was a bit weird though...the way she offered it. Twirling her around...I modelled what true hugs look like. She's seen them/had them (full on frontal swoop you up in overwhelming love giant hugs) a bazillion times before. She relaxed in to it w/ an..... "Oh, Mom"....then, sauntered off as teen-aged girls tend to do. Only thing missing was a flick of the hair.

Last night, I was tucking lil' sister in when Girlie came to me for goodnight kisses. Oh and btw....she also mentioned that she had done the dishes for me.

Without asking?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????? I just about died..... but instead, remained outwardly calm and said, "Why thank you very much."

This is your encouragement:

At one point in time...a few years back...Girlie had me VERY worried. There were days when I was depressed...when I could not see the forest for the tress.

There were days when I was frightened. When I was sad. When I was angry. When I was numb.

One Mom's Attachment Testimony....

Evidences of deep and lasting change did not become apparent until the Lord drew Girlie into a saving relationship with Himself.

Without the Holy Spirit leading the way...all our work/energies/efforts ....good as they were/might be....

....were/are in vain. Built on sand.

We must continually check ourselves. Are we operating in the flesh?

And, we must remember the fact ....that our unsaved kids.......... are most definitely operating in the flesh.

Stay close to the Lord, that you hear His that you recognize His promptings. Obey what He is showing you.

Plant the seeds. Water the seeds. Pull the weeds. Prune.

Pray parents. Pray siblings. Pray grandparents. Pray friends....for the Lord to heal hearts.

Our kiddos and ours.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sensory Rooms

Girlie had a sensory room in her orphanage similar to something sorta kinda like this one...except not quite as elaborate, polished, or fancy.

It was hardcore...though. Just a bit more rustic and folk arty.

Anybody have experiences w/spaces like this here in the states?

What I am Reading

Like with most other books...I find myself weeding through all the info...digging for nuggets of gold.

There is a thorough checklist.

Lots of assessment tests ...many of which resemble games.

And now (1/2 way through) I am getting to the good stuff....

...looks like there is plenty of practical hands on helpful suggestions for.... at home.... brain building activities.

Fun stuff.

Stuff we can do w/all our kids...struggling or not.

Let us know if you've read it. Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

Are You Exhausted Spiritually?

Whenever you are exhausted....visit this link (specifically Feb 9th).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Do Not Panic

So we have been at this "attachment thing" for ten years now. For those of you following our lives or our know that we seem to have/have made great strides.

It has not been easy. Far from it. It is still not easy. Far from it.

We have failed again, and again, and again. We have gotten up again, and again, and again. We have seen healing again, and again, and again.

For a very long time I was very worried about Girlie's academics. She is the kid who bombed every standardized test (we home-educate) put in front of her....always scoring 2 levels or more behind where public schooled children of her own age would place. PANIC!!!!!!!!!

She is the kid who needed to read books twice...once alone and again w/ as to pick up on not only the nuances but the over all themes as well.

Not anymore! At fourteen...she is thrilled to have recently gotten a B on her Saxon Algebra 1/2 Progress Report...and an A on her Johnny Tremain unit. These grades were not given by me...but by co-op teachers. HUGE news for Girlie!!!!!!!!! She is quite proud of herself and we are proud of her.

Girlie has not figured out her passion yet. It may be horses? It may be dance? So far...she is not excelling in any area. We do not have a w/horses....or play w/horses. The rest of our family could give a flying hoot about being near horses...CONVENIENT HUH??????........... & although she is in dance classes
twice /week....she is not naturally graceful. Hard working? Yes. Graceful? Not so much.

Being the insightful writing teacher I am (co-op IEW)...I assigned our class a 5 Paragraph essay....My Passion. This sent Girlie into a spiral.

( I kinda knew it would....there is usually a method to my madness.)

After talking through it...she decided her possible passions weren't yet passions...but areas of interest.

Her passion is ....Being A Good Student.

And, her essay is well written.

And, as we think about standardized testing (first time in 5 years?)...I am not having a heart attack.

Do not PANIC.

Be consistent. Strive for excellence...while allowing grace to cover imperfections.
Slow & Steady.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can't wait to hear more about the conference Cate went to.

Over in our Book'll find Sensational Kids. Lots of ah ha moments for me. Lots of practical advice. I highly recommend the read.

Check your local library before purchasing because I would much rather you call in respite & spend the $$$$$$$$ on a pedicure & a latte.

I'm thrifty that way :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Connected Child

First, I want to say I am sorry for the long silence. I've been here, sort of. ;) We are working through some pretty major stuff over here..... more on that soon.

Now! I have been wanting to share some of the new nuggets I learned at a Karyn Purvis conference. She is one of the author's of the Connected Child. WOW! It was so encouraging. Last year, I wrote a bit about this book. It is one I recommend to Christian parents because within the secular world of attachment theory, it is highly practical. It also, unlike others, hints at biblical truth. I want to share lots of things from the conference, but this is the one that was so surprising.

She immediately began speaking of the Lord! She referenced the Shema and spoke about the Lord wanting us mind, body and spirit and ministering to the wounded child completely, mind, body and spirit. She speaks about kindness, playfulness and a zero tolerance for disrespect. You can read more of her heart here.

more to come when I have a free minute. Gotta get dinner on. :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Girlie has gotten very good at identifying her feelings. It's taken a long time. She's had much practice.

Me: Yes, and so is true. You did do that. But I do not believe it is because of such and such like you are saying it is.

Multiply this scenario by 100 million times.... plus more....then some more. This is some of what life over the last 10 years has been like.

We are currently in a good place.

Girlie: I did such and such because.....

This is when she is met w/my "don't even try to go there w/ your lame nonsense excuses..."all knowing/baloney detector" lOOk.....

Girlie: (loooooooooong pause)..............

....after a few minutes in a quite place to ponder..........

Girlie: I was feeling like I was going to blow it...(chuckling at herself)... so I blew it...(then realizing)...yeah ummm....that didn't go so well.


Girlie: I was worried because I knew you were going to read my essay and I didn't want to do a re-write which I knew you would make me do...(then realizing)....which of course I had to do so why not just do it w/out the drama?


Girlie: I had a lot to do and I was scared I wouldn't finish...(chuckling at herself)...which is what happened because I dragged it out and caused drama....which obviously didn't work for me at all.


Girlie: I know they think I'm the center of attention all the time (chuckling at herself) I acted like the center of attention...(then)...aaaaaaaand...obviously that didn't go so well and I proved them right.

Again, slow and steady.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Love in Central Park

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hell on Earth


Things are better. Downward spiral lasted 7 hours.

Better than 7 days :)

That was our day today. Hell on Earth.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Children Underground

Depending on where your kid/s have come from...or are at...this may be a good film to watch as a family. It opened the door for lots of conversation over here.

"It's sad. It's not fun to see. It's not enjoyable. It's a horrible state. I feel bad for those kids. I would hate to be like that. I'm glad I live with you guys. I feel really thankful to have you guys. I wish that could happen to them. I'm praising the Lord that I have you guys. I'm glad that I have protection and discipline...because that shapes you, you know?" Girlie 1

"I can't explain it in words. If I talk, I'll cry." Girlie 2

The Lord appears to have used this film in softening/opening hearts.

It's raw. It's harsh. It's authentic.

Real Tears

Last nite we watched My Sister's Keeper. Not my favorite film...for a few reasons...mostly worldview stuff...but that's a whole different story.

The reason My Sister's Keeper will remain in my memory is what I want to talk about here.

I'm a crier. My husband is a crier. We have no problem showing our emotions.
There we were in the three daughters and a family friend...all crying at the end of the film.

ALL crying. Tears flowing.

Even GIRLIE!!!!!!!

That was a first. She has never ever cried while watching a film before. What she used to do was sit staring at us blankly as if we were crazy people for crying.

What she did last night was shed appropriate tears while coming to me for comfort. She wanted hugs while agreeing with me that "the story was sooooooooooooooooo sad."


Baking Love

my daughter did this accidentally with her tongue. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ask the Lord

Through all the ups and downs. Through all the turmoil and heartache...through every single monstrous moment of hell on earth where rejection & loneliness tempt to reign....there has been a deep connection. A connection on my end...that keeps me closely tied to the one who seems to reject me. I remember telling a girlfriend once..."I love all of my kids. All of them. But, this one....there is a special place in my heart for this one."

If you do not have a special spot...ask the Lord to give you one. He is able. He is faithful to provide.

Here's the hard question:

Are we hardening our own hearts towards this child?

Repost / The Long Haul

I felt led to repost

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Great Attachment Website


For me...the discovery of this site was exactly what I needed at the time. Learning about the subtypes was eye opening and helpful...especially when dealing with individuals who don't necessarily fit into what the world "thinks" RAD looks like.

They've made some changes over their website...going deeper with explanations etc.

Thumbs up.


This website has come up several times on various blogs and sites recently. I think it is very practical and concise. It was encouraging, too, because some of the concepts or tips were new and some were things we've done because the Lord revealed those things in the moment. (e.g. we very clearly talking about family behavior vs. orphanage behavior). Still picking through it and thought if you haven't seen it yet, you would like it.

Attachment Disorder Maryland

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year's my wisdom 10 years in:

Slow and steady wins the race....put one foot in front of the other...never EVER give up...husbands & girlfriends are necessary...two steps forward one step is a new day...fear not...repent...forgive.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Buckle Up

Merry-go-round...roller coaster...whatever.

Let's buckle our seat belts and enjoy the ride...cause we're on it.