I Was Thinking…
Today my heart is just overflowing with gratitude! This community...YOU...that I get to be a part of each and every day is AMAZING! Over 8,500 committed loving adoptive, foster, kinship, guardians. grand parents and their workers, teachers, support systems and more. From almost every state in the U.S. and many other countries like Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Japan, France and more. I mean WOW! I am so lucky to have a job in which I get to serve people from around the world who are CHANGING the world!
I am SO inspired by the strength of your character, the No Matter What way you keep pushing forward even in the face of really painful stuff, and the never-ending HOPE you have for your children! Our world is a better place because of you! I know you didn't set out to change the world and don't want to be considered a super hero, but for this one moment, from someone who lives it, take the compliment and own it! You ARE doing GREAT things!
You have changed me too, made me a better woman and mother, a better leader and more. Thank You. Thank you so much for who you are and what you do! My world is changed and my heart is full!
I Was Thinking…
I was doing a bit of research for my upcoming class the other day and I just have to say I LOVE to read research! Research about the brain or child development or basically anything. I love to delve into the absolute newest stuff along with the longtime foundational information. It gives me a real rush to be able to look at situations with my kids and others and draw correlations between what I have learned and what happens in our life.
My nursing education is a great basis for my love of reading research. It’s a lot of the same lingo and perspective. I enjoy reading about the actual study as well as the results – it’s like a good mystery book if you read them in that order.
Over the years, I have learned how important it is to continue to educate myself. There is no way one person can have ALL of the answers. There is no way one psychologist/neurologist/doctor/researcher/therapist can have all of the answers! Not Yet! Neuroscience is learning new information every day! Studies about the challenges our kids face have not really been being done long enough to provide a lot of insight yet. Most importantly, the people in the trenches are only beginning to talk about their struggles and how they overcame them so a whole wealth of knowledge is just beginning to be available in that capacity as well.
As I continue to research, I have come to recognize that I also really enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge. It is a gift I can give to others who are working hard to help their kids heal. It is a way I can make a difference! I still believe that the essential piece to any of it is…US! When we can stick with our kids - no matter what - that is a positive impact!
My message to others is to KEEP learning! There is so much to know. So much we can do if we are armed with knowledge! Even when you think you have tried it allor nothing will work, I urge you to keep trying. Apply one more piece of the puzzle; it might be what brings it all together!
I Was Thinking…
Today is my middle daughter's SWEET 16 birthday! Wow, I can’t believe we are here. She was three when she joined our family so many years ago! When I think of Grace’s life thus far, I think of a rose. As a closed rosebud she was beautiful. You could see snippets of what was at the core of that rose. The beautiful lines of the petals, the soft silky texture, the deep rich color of the flower, but you couldn’t really see the whole flower – it was still held tightly shut. Grace has always had the presence of a beautiful long stemmed rose.
Even as a little girl she had a sparkle in her eye that was infectious, she held herself with great poise and her physical beauty was noticed by all. On the outside, she was typically joyful. She loved to play with dolls and create art. She really excelled at most everything she tried. Every now and then we would see snippets of the pain and loss that moved through her soul. We began to understand her great need to be PERFECT. To please everyone - unfortunately at the expense of herself lots of times. It became painfully clear that she believed she was lovable only because she was perfect. So sad!
Our mission became clear…it was really important to us that our daughter knew she was loved NO MATTER WHAT! We actually had to stop her from doing extra chores and giving up her turn. We talked about the fact that she didn’t HAVE to be perfect. That no one is perfect. It was hard for her and for us. We fought this battle alongside of her for years! Little by little things began to change.
Her trust in us and her trust in herself began to take root. Little by little the bud began to open, allowing the world to see more and more of this precious child. I have to tell you the magnificence of this blossom has become unbelievable. The beauty of the bud fades in comparison to the fully open flower. The sparkle is still there, but now it is blinding. The poise with which she used to carry herself is now just an unbelievably natural part of her being. She is still very beautiful on the outside, but the inner beauty that is a kind and loving heart, an incredible ability to show empathy, unending patience, perseverance, and a gentle sweet confidence is absolutely stunning!
I am so proud and full of love and admiration for this young woman I can hardly put it into words! I am so excited to see what her future holds. I am very lucky to be her mom!