Monday, November 28, 2011

Jolie Pitt

Pure speculation. Do you think they have a crazy attachment challenged household?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giveaway WINNER!!!!

And the winner is.......Beckie Joie!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Send your address to our e-mail and we'll mail your hand-made heart ornament right away.

Monday, November 21, 2011


At the Together for Adoption Conference, they showed several adoption story videos. They were all . . . . sweet. They were the calls on couples hearts, the first honeymoon days/months. It was all warm, fuzzy, rainbow kind of videos.

That is wonderful. It is real. It is true. I have a couple of them myself. First meeting the girls, our trips to Haiti, welcoming them home. Amazing.

As I watched each one that weekend, though, I thought, oh, boy, this is not the whole story. It's kind of like turning off Old Yeller before Travis kills the dog. (I am NOT comparing anyone to old yeller, but I do think the shock some parents feel when the reality of attachment issues comes is like this). Or if your mom said giving birth was all sweetness and fun and didn't hurt at all.

Not quite the whole story.

These kids, even the babies, are coming from rough starts. It is not always easy to parent them. They are brave, resilient, amazing fighters. But not always easy to parent. We need some large scale forum to talk about those realities and the hard work it takes to agape-love them. That the phileo love isn't always instant.

I was talking to another trauma-momma at the conference. She is in the thick of it. Hurting. Clinging to Jesus to be filled up, every hour, let alone every day. We started talking about the videos. We were crying with tears of laughter at what it should look like to really prepare communities and families. But how do you share the reality in a god-honoring, child-honoring way? I haven't figured that part out yet.

I think people need a video that shows a child foaming at the mouth because she has "forgotten" how to spell her name or a child raging because you asked her which shirt she wanted to wear today or had a mom saying "if you have an accident, mommy will help clean you up, but if you pee on purpose, you will clean it up." or "you are not the idol in our home and we worship the Lord and we ARE going to church. if you are not dressed, you will be in your pajamas. i suggest you stop screaming and get to it."

I want a video of a mom dealing with behaviors all day long and her face falling as she tries not to cry when the child bounds into Daddy's arms with a big smile and hug when he comes home. I want to see a mom glazed over from the day in and day out stress. The constant dripping of behaviors that no one could have prepared you for. The truth that more kids will struggle than not.

I want a video with all this and the couple saying AND yet, God does not leave me when I don't trust Him or obey Him. God is faithful and so we will be faithful. We believe God can heal her heart. That He can work a miracle where sin has left wounds. We believe He is a God of reconciliation and redemption. We believe our child is not beyond His reach. And so we press on, knowing He will give us the strength and grace and wisdom for tomorrows worries and that every day is a day closer to healing.

I don't WANT a video like this, but I do want a video like this. Ya know? If I could get kids to play my kids so as to protect my kids and their journeys, I would make this video.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hold On

I know it is not always always always true that things will get better. We live in a harsh fallen world. But sometimes it is you MUST hold on to hope. In our case specifically....speaking as a mom....I'm realizing how hardened I have allowed myself to become. How jaded I have grown. How wounded I am. How awful I am.

It's not 1/2 as bad as I thought it might be. I'm a wretch.

I allowed our history to dictate our future which has not wound up to be our present.

I'm in shock and thankful during this season of Thanksgiving.

Thank YOU, Lord for growth.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Give Away

Adoption Related: What are you most thankful for?

Thanksgiving Giveaway. Leave your comments here by 12 PM EST Thursday the 24th of November 2011 and we will have a drawing to see who wins this handmade w/ love Attaching Hearts Heart.

Proverbs 3:5

Co-Sleep & Baby Wearing

Keep your little babies as close as possible. Train them to sleep in a wrap, sling or carrier on you. Some babies that struggle may resist this, but it is so good for them. Let them sleep on you, hear your heartbeat, feel your calm breathing, smell your skin.

And guess what? It is good for you!! It changes YOUR brain chemistry. It actually helps you bond with your baby and want to meet her needs.

Now, this next part is not for those of you that are super hippies like Dawn. But if you are more like me and don't walk around nekkie, listen up. At least once a day (besides co-bathing), where you take off your shirt. Put on your Moby, baby into just a diaper and in your wrap and rest. Read a good book or something quiet. Be calm. Skin to skin sleeping is even better!!

Then as your children, especially your girls, grow, point out all the mommas that are doing "attachment" activities with their newborns---breast feeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, eye contact, cooing, etc. Talk about how WONDERFUL those things are and what good mommas they are. Because before you can blink, your RADish daughters will be adults. Adult female women in relationships and pregnant. A wounded child's heart that is not completely healed needs every strategy and all wisdom to know how to connect with their babies and be good, attentive mommas.

Wear those babies and sleep with them, too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Co-Sleeping in the Family Bed

Dawn and I were both shocked and dismayed by this article. It is so ridiculous. Do accidents happen. Sure. All the time. But these ideas are very western and modern. Co-sleeping is a beautiful thing. I don't know if I have posted here about my love of co-sleeping, but it's worth repeating. Children with trauma backgrounds and/or struggling with attachment will have a very hard time with the normalcy of the parents bed. Unlike "typically" developing peers that run to it in the middle of the night or when sick for comfort, RADishes run from it. Or they are painfully---literally---awkward. (They alone are the ones that injure others in the bed).

They need this snuggle time, even if it's only once in awhile. I heard a lecture years ago (wish I could remember where to link to. Sorry!!) but it was the scientific research on the breathing and heart rate patterns of children and mothers while co-sleeping. While asleep (IE unconscious), a child's body learns to regulate and mimic their mother's sleeping body. They learn how to calm themselves while sleeping. The study said that the sleeping hours are the most unused time of connection and regulation for traumatized kids. With three children, it was hard to get in lots of "therapeutic" time with each of them. I rotated a child in my bed and two on my floor for the first 10 months that they were home. 10 months was my limit. I started to become a bit claustrophobic after that, and we began to transition them into their beds.

Now, for some, the awkwardness or even the fear from the child may make co-sleeping a nightmare. Try just snuggling or reading a book. Clothes, even shoes, on. Work up to longer periods. A rest time. Maybe even a nap. Make your bed a safe place. It is best for them and most certainly should never be compared to them sleeping with a hatchet!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whoa! Co-Sleeping in the News

Co-Sleeping in the news.

For the record. . . .we are both co-sleepers and encourage parents to co-sleep for attachment. safe about it.

I Was Wrong

I thought that when my husband lost his job and we told her it was time to move...that I would be thrown into RAD HELL.

I was wrong.

I thought that when we moved out of state...away from family, friends, our backyard view, our Sunday School class, our home-educating co-op, our favorite librarian...most of what was safe and secure and familiar...then for sure I would be thrown into RAD HELL.

I was wrong.

I thought that arriving in a new place...with boxes to unpack, a lot of anxiety, & practically zero connections and no real plan to speak of....well then that there would be the very thing that would cause the straw to break on the camel's back and I would be thrown into RAD HELL.

I was wrong.

I thought that the stress of her leaving old friends and meeting new friends would most definitely spiral me into RAD HELL.

I was wrong.

I thought that leaving behind a beloved Math Tutor at the very moment Geometry was entering our lives...would be the death of me for SURE. A slow painful TORTURED DAILY in RAD HELL sort of death.

I was wrong.

Girlie has handled the turning upside down of the only world she has ever known since arriving in the states all those many years ago in a lovely manner.

She's got big feelings. As do we all. She's identifying her feelings and talking about her feelings.

She's brave.

I was so wrong. So wrong about her.

And another thing....did you notice how I thought I would be in RAD HELL? ME. Me. Me. And Dad. And the siblings. To be sure.

This stuff affects the entire family. Everyone struggles.

For a long time...that was why I was so angry.

At her.

But really, I was angry w/the Lord for allowing this difficulty. In her life. In our lives.

Gotta make peace with the Lord. He is a loving Father. He is sovereign. And he reigns.

Things haven't been super smooth...don't get me wrong. But it's no where as bad as my previous experiences told me it would be.

Lesson: Do not live in the past. Live life now and hope for a better tomorrow.


Hi again. I'm back to blogging about RAD related stuff.

Needed a break.

Which reminds me. Do yourselves a favor and take a vacation from RAD related issues every now and then. An intentional break.

Refuse to talk about it.

Don't read about it.

Don't visit RAD blogs.

Never you mind the research. It isn't going anywhere.

Don't panic.

Do not fear.

Focus on all things lovely.

Whether it be for an afternoon...a week-end...a week...or longer...choose to be silent re; all things RAD related.

Laugh with your spouse. Hold hands.

Be with your children...the ones who want to be with you.

Be there for the one/s who don't...but choose to dethrone them. In love.

Listen to the Lord's whispers during this intentional time of silence. Allow Him to refresh you.

Vacations don't last we all know.

We are in this for the long haul. Let's pace ourselves accordingly, Parents.

Vine Heart

Cheesey Heart