Thursday, November 17, 2011

Safe Places

Grace fell off our bed and onto the hard wood floor yesterday.

Who knows what she actually did to her mouth. Bit something I guess, but regardless it hurt and it bled. A lot. And she cried. A lot.

I immediately picked her up, realized she was bleeding and started sopping up blood with a towel. She cried and cried. And I gently snuggled her and told her it was ok and did all the things a Mommy should in a situation like this.

After a few minutes she wiggled down from my lap, still crying, still bleeding, and she walked herself down the hall to her bedroom (I followed of course). Then she reached up and, through screams, asked to be put in her crib.

And my heart just sank.

Her crib. Her safe place.

I, reluctantly, placed her gently in her crib. And then I stood over her, rubbed her hair, spoke to her gently and told her I wasn’t leaving. And she stopped crying.

I knew I couldn’t force my comfort on her. She needed her safe place.

Which happened to be her crib and not my arms.

It wasn’t about love. It wasn’t about attachment. For the first 17 months of her life her crib was the place that brought her comfort. Those habits don't just go away.

It was just where she needed to be at that moment. The best I could do for my baby girl was to meet her there.

Her wounds are indeed real. It isn't psychobabble mumbo jumbo. I've seen it first hand.

I can't heal her. Oh how I wish I could. But I can't. I pray that God does.

What I can do is provide her with a safe place to heal and LOVE her right where she, how she is, just as she is.

and oh boy do I ever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A post in honor of National Adoption Month

The Starfish Story
(adapted from The Star Thrower, by Lauren Eisley)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good Morning, May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean".

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean"? asked the somewhat startled wiseman.

To this the young man replied "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die".

Upon hearing this, this wise man commented "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said...

"It made a difference for that one".


My husband often has to remind me that I cannot save the world. I know that. I wish I could. But I can't.

There are 147 million orphans in the world. I certainly can't be a Mom to 147 million orphans. (HA! I don't even do Mom to four very well.)

The orphan crisis seems insurmountable. The multitude of reasons behind the orphan crisis seem even MORE insurmountable. Poverty. Famine. Disease. It's overwhelming to me.

But, here's what I can rest my aching heart on...maybe I can't change the world. But, I know that my God can.

I have seen how God works in people's lives. I have seen how just ONE orphan turned beloved son or daughter changes the lives of MANY.

How that one innocent child, that one face, that one story, may be just the one that nudges the hearts of another family and they adopt one.

and then how that one innocent child, that one face, that one story, may just be the one that nudges the hearts of another family and they adopt one.

And one by one lives change.

and then maybe before you know it... you look around (as I do every Sunday during church) and you see the faces of several children who are orphans NO LONGER.

and I see siblings of these children. And I hear them talk. They say things that most 12 year old, 10 year old, 7 year old children don't normally say. They think outside of themselves more than the typical. They think of children here in the US. in China. and Ethiopia. Russia. and Uganda.

Adoption changes lives.

and I'm not talking about the lives of the once orphaned children.

Grace has changed me. Forever.

I know every parent says that about their children. But, this is different.She has taught me about faith. love. and hope. I can't even begin to find the words to describe what she has taught me. It sure makes me wonder what lies ahead for us. Is sure seems that Grace entering our's just the beginning.

Do I think every family should adopt. Nope. Not saying that.

But, I do think every family should think about ways they can share love with orphans. THAT I do believe we have an obligation to do as humans living on this earth.


Pray for the 147 million orphans all over the world. That they find families. That they have food, water and an education. That the systems that are put in place to protect them, do indeed protect them, but also allow for them to find loving families.

Provide support, either emotional or financial, to families that have decided to adopt a child (or two).

Perhaps your heart leads you to support relief efforts that directly affect orphans. Providing food, water, education to those in need in this country and around the globe.

Sponsor a child.

Mentor a child.

God puts us on this earth to do His work.

While we alone can't change the world... One starfish at time we CAN make a difference.

And remember, to that ONE starfish, your small (or maybe large) act, whatever it is, DOES make a difference.

Just look at the pictures I have posted of these beautiful children. Their faces prove this oh so much better than any words could.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The seat

It's back.

The potty seat.

I can't believe it.

Do you know what one of things, maybe the only thing, I dreaded most about having another "baby"?

Potty training.

Uhhh! I was done, way done, with potty training after baby number one.

and here we are again for the fourth time.

My girl is a little excited. Even though she has know idea what this is all about. Yet.

She spent about 15 minutes tonight pulling out each and every pair of big girl panties from the packaging.

And she managed to put one cheek on the potty seat. Not both though. Both is a little scary I guess.

It's time.

She tells us when she has to go.

She pulled a "potty book" randomly off the shelf at the library and insisted Daddy bring it home.

And I have learned, three times over, that it is better to do this earlier than later.

Later, they realize they can fight it. Later, it becomes a game of control. Later, it just ends no where good when it comes to a two year old and pee and poop.

So, wish us luck. I've only known Grace for 8 months, but I can tell you... unless we figure out a way to make her think this is what SHE wants to do... this could be difficult. She may win. She usually does.

FIERCELY indendepent, I tell ya.

Here we gooooooo.....

(BTW: Do you think she will forgive me someday for blogging about this?)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


We have survived.


I repeat

SEVEN days of no electricity.

No power.


No heat.

A crazy October 29th snow storm literally snapped and cracked millions of trees and completely destroyed our power system leaving us and 800,000+ state residents power-less. The day after the record breaking snow storm, both in amount of snow and amount of damage, 89% of our town was without power. That meant... pretty much everyone we knew was without power.

Even now, 7 days later, 50% of our town is still without power.

I've always wondered what it was like to live like a pioneer woman. I know longer wonder. Thank you very much.

First and foremost, even though it is only late-fall and not the dead of winter, no electricity means it is darn COLD in the house.

Living without water. Oh my. NOT fun.

Washing dishes and flushing toilets with melted snow water.

I'd prefer to never have to do either of those things again.

I'm not sure how we would have survived without friends with generators who shared their warm homes, hot showers and food with us.
I should qualify. STEVE and the boys survived 7 days without power. I gave up on day 6 when the girls and I were invited up to a cabin in Vermont to get warm. Yes... North to Vermont... to get warm.

I'm now sitting in front of this computer screen EVER so grateful for electricity. and HEAT. and running water.