His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

It Was Like A Breath of Fresh Air

Easter Sunday was a wonderful reminder of the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He brings about NEW LIFE by breathing into us His Love.

After services, the gang showed up for an Egg Hunt and BBQ.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship.  The grand kids are REALLY growing up!  We had so much fun with family and friends. :)















 And this is what they looked like after we cleaned up! :)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Washed In the Love of Christ

My last post was rather negative. I'm very sorry. :(  It was raw, and I was raw.
Rejection hurts.
But you know what?  Isn't that how our kids feel?  Isn't that how they got to be with us in the first place?
For an adoption to take place, there has to be a rejection, right?

For some kids, they are able to heal, and we have experienced and been a part of that process for many years.  For other kids, it never ends.  Their hurt is too much, and while they take baby steps for a while, sink back, take more baby steps and even giant leaps, they still sink back, and as parents, we have to understand that this child will not heal easily.  They will be grown and yet not ready to face life.
And you know what? That is where they are, and we have to accept where they are, even if it means they reject our love.
Their stories are not over and 18 is not the magic age of everything being fine, so now you are on your own.

They have a life time of relationships and growing to do, just like everybody does. There will be people who come alongside and speak life into them, just as we have.  They may be in the form of a friend, pastor, significant other, spouse or child....but it will happen.

As I sit here and type, I realize more and more that life is so short, and the time we have with our children is so short.  We MUST make the most of it, even when it is difficult.

Love, even when they scream they don't want it.
Accept, even when they don't want our acceptance.
Reach out, even if they don't take your hand.
Be kind, even if they don't return your kindness.
Reach out, even if they don't respond.
Be available! So when they are ready, they can reach out.
Leave the door open.... they may try at some point to walk through it.
Pray!  Oh Pray!  Prayer is powerful!

And NEVER EVER EVER EVER GIVE UP.... Never, EVER.

Christ loves us.  We are washed in His love daily.  It is palpable for me right now.
The Lord comforts those who mourn. He is near to the broken hearted.
He is the lifter of my head.

And I will walk in faith and TRUST the one who is worthy of my trust!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

She's Gone....

Alli was doing well when she first came home, and quickly began to erode away at any semblence of family life.  She has stated numerous times she didn't  want  family and especially didn't want parents.  The reasoning is trauma based and makes no sense if you are trying to make sense of it.

This child can say, "I think you are wonderful parents", "I just don't want parents."

I cannot describe the last  6 weeks.  She went from being great to running away; something she planned out for her 17th birthday.  We talked her into going to her bio sisters house for a week hoping she would settle down, but no. When she came home, on her birthday, she was adamant about moving.
I took her to see the counselor and that was the last time we were together.

We actually stopped to eat at Cracker Barrel.  She ordered her coveted mashed potatoes and gravy.
The very first place we ever ate together was Cracker Barrel in NC and all she would eat was Mashed Potatoes. :)

So, now she is 17. We talked her into staying with our son and daughter in law, who have graciously opened their home for her for a short time, and she did go with them.  (They are treating her as an adult guest)
She is working at a new job which the Lord graciously provided.

Texting her hasn't been very successful. She doesn't want to talk.  We are blocked from FB or Instagram.

She wants to live her life how she wants to live it.  She said, "I don't want to be told what to do, or that I have school or that I have bed time, or need to get up. I don't want anybody to tell me what to do. "  "I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, eat what I want, when I want, sleep when I want, when I want, get up, or do school when I want to."

And the sad part is, the only thing we were telling her by then was, "You may not have relations with a 25 year old man"..... She was doing what she wanted and she still left.

TRAUMA is horrid.  This child is the long term result of long term trauma.  Our 6 years of intensive, connected, purposeful, intervention could not stop the tidal wave of behaviors that have been a part of our lives all this time.
She would have periods of doing great, and then fall backwards into old fears.  That I get.
But this? I honestly don't get this.  She threw her Summit program notebook in the trash, and is choosing a dead end.  I fear for her safety and where she will go from here.
We have done ALL we can do.

She is in the hands of the Lord. She always has been, but today, it is more of a reality.

Why do people reject love?  Why do they knowingly run towards destruction?
Those are questions I will probably ask the rest of my life. :(

Sooo, unless I have anything positive to say regarding the two girls who are no longer home, I am going to focus my attention on the two who remain and are doing fabulous.

I don't know what else to say.....

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Some really great visits with Miss Alli




















Many of you know that this has been an extraordinarily difficult couple of years.  But praise the Lord this little one is coming out of the deep fog of trauma and seeing the world with a new set of glasses.
The glasses of reality.....
Life can be very unfair and difficult... but life can also be VERY VERY good.
She is LOVED. She is SAFE.  She has her entire future ahead of her.
This is something we could not do on our own, and required intensive outside help.

I am so thankful for those in law enforcement, in the detention center and in the medical community and within our church who have prayed, and who have prayed  us through this very difficult time.
She will be coming home soon. :)
We are ALL thrilled that our sweet baby girl is back to LIVING.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Is It Possible??

This was Erika and I in Ukraine in 2006.  She was 7 years and 9 months.  Isn't she just adorable?!!!
Is it POSSIBLE that THIS little one could be HER today???

OH yes it is. 
She is just awesome!  She has grown so much inside and out.... and in 2 weeks. She will be 18.
EIGHTEEN!  NO WAY!
Way!

I am so proud of her. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Miss Fannie's Hat

Somebody got this book out and had it laying on the table when I came inside to start dinner. Tonight, it is just Mike and me for dinner. The other girls are all at work.
It brought a little tear to my eye, as I have so many great memories from this book.  We read it over and over and over again. I think we nearly retired it checking it out at the library so many times.

I finally bought a copy of it for Easter in 2005 and dedicated it to Anna. It became Sarah's favorite and Erika's favorite after that. 

Times are changing so fast around here.  Little girl books bring back great memories!
I can think of a few grand babies that will enjoy this book too. :)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Adjusting....

           ( A much younger Miss Erika) :)
So now that Miss Erika is driving, I no longer have get  to drive her to school, or take her to work. 
She is perfectly capable of getting there on her own, in her OWN car!
Times they are a changing WAY TOO FAST!
I am so happy for her, and at the same time there is a twinge of pain that she is oh so grown up!
I confess, I drove behind her the first day she drove to work on her own.
But today? NO.  She drove to work with her and Sarah, then dropped Sarah off at a Super Bowl Party and drove home on her own to study.
Whoa baby! She is so grown up!
Love my girl!
The Super Bowl party we attended had no children! In a house that used to bustle with loads of children, there were just two couples, enjoying the game and the commercials.  And I might just say, the "Weiner Dog Commercial" was my favorite. :)
We are entering a new phase of life. 
And we have learned to love each phase.  So here we go!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A New Milestone

Raising ALL of our girls has been an amazing experience.  Erika has been home almost 10 years, Sarah almost 11 years.  More things have happened in that short time than I can write here.
They have overcome so much and are such joys.

And now.... A new right of passage.  Erika is officially a DRIVER!  She has worked so hard over the last year plus to drive.  And now it has happened. :)  With driving comes more responsibility of course.  She has her car, a Taurus, and a job and will be covering her portion of the insurance.
Real life, brings real responsibility.

So, I believe my taxi days of taking her to college and picking her up are over. :(
I say that with a little sadness, but also a little joy, as I know she is thrilled, and it will take a lot off of my plate and free me up to work more in the shoppe.

Erika will also be the primary driver when Sarah starts college next year too. :)

And now it is time for Sarah to start working on HER permit to get her license.
They are growing up TOO FAST!

And just LOOK HOW!
Best friends in the orphanageAnd Best friends and Sisters now!

And look who has gotten so tall!!!!
(to be fair, Erika says she is slouching.  Reality.... Sarah is 1/4 " taller. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Where's Waldo???

We were given a new Rooster because our other rooster was killed by a wild animal.  We named him Waldo. He was perfect!  And then, he disappeared! We only had him 2 weeks!  We have no idea what happened to him!  So we decided that our next rooster would NOT be named Waldo.  We needed a Rooster with Grit... TRUE GRIT!
So here is our new rooster, "Rooster Cogburn!"

Merry Christmas 2015


We are having a wonderful Christmas Season.  It was such a blessing to see almost all of our grand children and older children at various times during the week and on Christmas Day, and to spend the day with family and friends. 
We started with reading the Christmas Story from Luke Chapter two, After everybody was nice and awake, as they are no longer little kids and tend to sleep longer, we opened gifts.  
The girls were very thoughtful with what they asked for, and of course Miss Erika got a comb in her stocking as she does every year. :)

 


The Cat joined in and left us a lovely present on the back porch!
EWWWW

We saved the best for last.....
We are a family of backgammon players.  We had been studying the history of where backgammon came from and started looking at Vintage boards.  We found this one on Ebay, being sold by a fellow named Vadim!  It didn't come with any pieces, but we found the right pieces located in Ukraine.... Kharkiv Ukraine! (where the girls are from)  It was perfect, and everybody loved it.  The board is from Russia.


And then Anna bedazzled her dad's pj's. :)

Here are some highlights of the week.  I wish I had gotten more photos!



Many of you know from my other blog that Miss Alli is in detention for the next year.
We miss her terribly, but she is getting much needed therapy to help her navigate all her trauma.
We were able to take her favorite foods to her yesterday a.m. so she could celebrate Christmas and share some of her favorite things with her pod mates.
We will be visiting her tonight. :)

You Are Still Holy

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