Sunday, August 4, 2013

Being When Others Grieve

We have ALL experienced loss in life, in fact research suggests there are more than 43, yes 43 things we can experience as a loss. What we know is that no two people who experience the same loss, experience it the same.  No loss is greater than the next.  We all experience our pain at 100%!  (A few of the 43 losses, a pet, a friend, a parent, a spouse, fertility issues, adoption, a job, a divorce, birth, a hearbreaking break up, a child).  

That's right, We ALL EXPERIENCE EACH LOSS at 100%.

To say to someone, "I know how you feel because I lost....." is not comforting.  You do not know someone else's pain.  You just do not.  Grief is defined as the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind. Being with someone who is grieving is HARD, AWKWARD, and UNCOMFORTABLE. These feelings do not reflect negatively on you, feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.  What reflects in a less than honorable light is what we do with those feelings.  When those feelings, about you, overtake your ability to BE about others. The power of BEING with someone who is grieving is not measurable.  I would like to suggest it is one of the biggest gifts you can offer to one who is sinking in pain that words can not adequately describe.

Grief is a process, no timeline, no stages, and there is no way of getting around it.  It is a process and no matter how hard you try to avoid, pretend, or portray, it is there.  Right there waiting!  Birthdays, anniversaries, traumaversaries,  smells, songs, sights, places, people, things you would never think of that bring that grief raging to the surface to be addressed.  Grief knows no social class, time or place, in fact it knows no etiquette. It rises up at the mall, work, home, school, and church.  It looks different for everyone, behaviors (from kids to adults) crying, sobbing, withdrawing, moodiness, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, looks like depression and ADHD, and more.

In the western world, on average people get 6 weeks for surgery, days and weeks for a broken bone, but for a shattered heart that can not be seen, we get three days.  Three days for the death of someone we can prove is close enough in our blood line. Zero days for all other losses.  This is telling of how grief is perceived and viewed and directly impacts the way we deal as a a society, as communities, as churches, as families and friends.  You know that awkward, hard, awkward, uncomfortable feeling you get when you are "with" someone who has experienced a loss,think back, who taught you how to grieve? How old were you?  

Have you heard time heals all pain (grief just takes time), if you are going to cry, go to your room (be alone), we will get another one when a pet died or a bike was stolen(replace the loss), or what about be strong for mother, brother, wife, husband, father, sibling, etc (your pain is less or not as important or feeling is pain is weak) OR stay busy and don't think about it (like if you don't think about it its not REAL or there).  Don't feel bad you did all you could (like you had the power to change the outcome).  These are the 6 most common myths we learn as children.  Amazingly enough our brains were designed to process grief, just watch a child experience a loss without the influence of adults who have been reprogrammed.  It is an amazingly beautiful experience, its normal and natural to grieve a loss, nothing is wrong, nothing requires fixing or replacing, it only requires experiencing the normal and natural process.

My goal is to help others BE with someone who has experienced a loss and not let it be about you, but them. To LET GO of the message you must fix it, change it, or take it away.  As a parent who has lost a child, if I could "get over it already" let me assure you that is the first thing I would be doing.  Grieving is exhausting and lonely!  I have lost many people in my "supposed circle of support and I continue to lose people who think it has been long enough, that I need to move on, that I am moody, apathetic, sad, depressed and even angry, sensitive, and indecisive.  ALL true statements that I am moody, apathetic, sad, depressed and even angry, sensitive, and indecisive.  I will add, I cry alone and in public, and I'm still not over it.  NO, because I can not just get over it and move on.

Am I progressing? Absolutely!
Is it quick enough for others or most? Absolutely not! 
Do I appear just fine at times? You bet I do! 
Am I just fine? Do you have all day?

Sadly, I am not alone, it is not uncommon to experience more loss while grieving a LOSS because it just doesn't work for others.  Yes, it adds salt to wounds and complicates grief. (Complicated grief is something in and of itself, for another day.) Reality is my circle of support has become smaller and honestly, only gets smaller.  Its sad, I grieve, I feel anger and rage, but I am better for it.  I do not have the energy or ability to manage others needs for me.  Shedding of relationships that can not withstand the storms of life allows room for ones that can. I have gained people,  people who love me, appreciate that they can not fix, change, or make things go away, but that they can give me a hug, send me a text that says, "I love you or just checking in."  We have people who have prayed and fasted for us that we don't even know.  Yes, that makes me cry too.  

It is my desire to encourage you not to avoid that loved one, friend, co-worker, neighbor, or stranger who has experienced a loss, just BE with them, be honest, don't quote the cliches that cause more feelings of "something is wrong with me and I need to be fixed."

HONESTLY eye contact with a smile or a warm hello or simply saying "I have no idea what you are experiencing and I can only imagine."  If you want to relate further add, "I only know what I felt when I experienced a loss." Eye contact is comforting, so many people avoid people who are grieving.  Trust me I am not paranoid.  I bet many people can share the experience of seeing someone they know at a store and "catching them" go the other way, ok, ok, maybe that was you because you did not know what to say or do.  Do't beat yourself up, now you know how to respond different, better, more.

No words will take away the intensity of the immense pain.  That is not your role.  Your role is to offer support in the form of a hug, a visit, a meal, a text, a call, a suggested "I am going to come get you and take you for a ride, a walk, or I would like to just come sit with you.  I would like to come clean your bathrooms or wash your floors, or heck your whole house, which day is best? Start with 2 days and if those days don't work, offer other times. No expectations. Say, "I really just want to support you and I don't know how or what that looks like." Making decisions in the midst of grief is hard, so keep expectations low and be ok with feeling awkward and uncomfortable.  If it is your desire to truly support someone, don't say, "I am here call me if you need anything." Consider yourself informed, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN!  Individuals grieving do NOT know what they need or if they do how to ask for it.  

To those I have lost.  I forgive you!

To those I have gained in a variety of ways.  I appreciate you!

To those who have been on this journey from the beginning and stuck it out and not given up on what some consider "a hopeless mess" I love you and want you to know your time and energy has not been in vain or gone unnoticed, but has been that encouragement I have needed to grieve and grow.  

Real relationships are messy.  Requiring authenticity, vulnerability, being raw, the good, the bad, the ugly folks.  

The next time you are aware of someone experiencing a loss, reach out.  You will survive.  It is ok if you feel like you want to jump out of your skin, you will not.  You will offer a gift. A gift that says you matter, your pain matters, your normal. You are NOT ALONE.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Breaking The Silence

Sharing Our Story Publicly for the First Time

It has been a long time coming, many conversations, prayers, and hope that the ending would change.  We believe that sharing OUR STORY , in hopes of encouraging others, will move us along in healing and grieving.

This is our journey, written by my husband Ben.   Perhaps I will share my response to this journey, but for nowhere is our story and Ben's perspective.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Wading through this chapter of our journey, I find that at times I am overwhelmed with the magnitude of the injustices that have occurred within our family over the last 5 months and I feel like I am sinking.  Those who are closer to our family know the intimate details and the pain we have endured.  You do not need to know the details to know that any time one is wronged, bitterness, resentment and anger can and often do creep in.  The greater the "wrong" the greater the chance that one can find themselves justifying being angry or bitter.  I have never been so aware of this as I have over the last 3 months.  In fact the awareness and the thoughts of what would happen to me if I allowed bitterness and anger to take root has paralyzed me.  What can I possibly do and where do I began to protect my heart, soul and mind from wreaking the consequences when I can not even move.

How does one endure the evilness and corruption of people who abused power, a flawed justice system that failed us at every stop, bribes, lies, and deals.  How do I make peace with knowing TRUTH will win and turn and walk away, not righting any wrongs, seeing that the lies, bribes and deals be uncovered and do nothing about the defamation of who we are as humans, parents and professionals.

There is no potential for a positive outcome in my attempts to uncover evil and corruption. It only serves to further torment me and deplete me of the little emotional energy I do have to give to my family.  What I know  and have experienced about grief is a deep fog, a separation of knowing and doing, and a sense of sadness even in moments of happiness.  I am numb and will do anything to avoid reality

In times of discomfort when words seem inadequate, music has helped me to make meaning. So much so that I have not been able to listen to music out of fear of completely unravelingHowever, over the last few days I found myself humming a couple of choruses over and over, and so I turned to my friend, Pandora, to listen. As I listened, a familiar song played and the words gave me a sense of peace, possible resolution, and as I listened the sense of urgency I felt to pursue these words and find healing intensified.  For a moment I believe I felt excitement at the promise of thawing my numb, facing reality and protecting my heart from bitterness, anger and resentment taking root in my heart. 

At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have given me life
Through the judgment You received

And You've won my heart
Yes You've won my heart
Now I can

Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown

Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross

(portion of At The Foot of the Cross by Katherine Scott)

What I must do to heal, love, give and care is to lay it all down and LIVE OUT what wearing forgiveness like a crown looks like in 2013.  Intentionally forgiving the people who abused their power, repeatedly lied under oath, bribed and lied to our daughter, defamed us as parents, and purposefully deceived to promote personal agenda's and denied us the freedom to live out our faith convictions as parents. 

God, give me the GRACE I need to trust and pursue what You want for me.  To CHOOSE forgiveness, not revenge, or my version of justice, to lay it all down, as many times a day, hour to fill my heart with healing, leaving no room for bitterness, resentment and anger to take root.  I WILL CHOOSE TO WEAR FORGIVENESS LIKE A CROWN.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What it COSTS to Access Mental Health Treatment

In the blog world I have noticed that the absence of blogging means only a couple of things, your busy and overwhelmed or your hurting and without words.   Rarely does the absence represent a lack of desire to share the joy and laughter that fills families hearts and homes.

Our close friends and families have walked with us in some of the darkest days and words are not enough to express our gratitude for hanging with us on this part of of our journey.  Thank you is only the beginning of how we acknowledge you for your love, prayers, listening ears, time, hugs, fasting, tissues, text, emails, flowers, calls and more.  We have found comfort in each of these acts and appreciate you for being the hands and feet of Jesus, intentionally and unintentionally. 

It is my desire to share our story at some point in the future, for one purpose, to shed light on the reality of what is happening and to awaken many to the realities of the injustices of the world and the caution of judgement.

What rings true for me today as my newsfeed has shown several times is this story...........


This mother's story highlights the need for acknowledgment of mental health issues and need of access to mental health treatment. We have our own experiences to speak to with the what she is saying in the following quotes

While every family's story of mental illness is different, and we may never know the whole of the Lanza's story, tales like this one need to be heard -- and families who live them deserve our help.

" his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.“
“You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to......I have rights!” "I love my son. But he terrifies me."
 "His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan"
"That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room."
"Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home."
" it’s impossible to predict what will set him off."
“You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”
For days, my son insisted that I was lying -- that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”
By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises I don’t believe them anymore.

We know what it is like to watch your child's physical appearance change before your eyes and the words that are spoken be words you can not even repeat when a simple boundary was set, and your younger child to have a safety plan that she shared about how she and her dog stay safe, to have the police arrive at your home multiple times, sometimes in one week, ending in trips to the ER, waiting long enough to be seen that clinicians are confused by why you are there and even they look confused by the chain of events that led to that very moment, to receive an apology to secure a want and when not obliged the rage, threats of harm and clearly articulated intent to lie about us returned with a vengance, to come full circle to maintain great behavior to return home only to begin again. 

This cycle repeated itself until the clearly articulated threat that came one full year prior was achieved. 

We know about mental illness and we were blessed to have encountered some of the best clinical people in the mental health field.  For us it was not about accessing the professionals and recommendations it was about securing the intensive treatment that was recommended to keep our family safe and the hope of our daughter returning home safely.  The cost of treatment became the issue and the calculated lies and accusations were used to make us the demons to avoid the payment. 

Our concerns for our daughter's safety, our religious convictions, repercussions for following clinical recommendations, and our daughter finally finding people who believed at 13 she had "a voice" that needed to be heard about how she wanted to be parented,  and her need for us to change, all contributed to the state agency DISMISSING the mental health issues that had our family living in crisis and fear for 21 months.  Our daughter's psychiatrist, a national expert in trauma, provided very clear, signed in an affidavit, that in order for our daughter to benefit from treatment she needed a very specific treatment modality.  It just so happens that the "path to this treatment" was very specific in the state of Massachusetts and the goal for the state is to avoid at all cost, led our family to make decisions that NO FAMILY should be forced to make for the sake of safety for the whole family. 

We LOVE our daughter, we love both of our daughters, and we value of marriage.  The reality of a family is that it consist of more than one individual and one individual's needs.  For 21 months we lived, advocated and fought for one individual in our family.  It became evident to many, long before this mother's heart, that this one individual needed more than what was manageable or sustainable in a family setting.  I was willing to consider and had embraced the idea of parenting our daughter other than I had hoped for and desired.  The reality of the overwhelming contributing factors that were way beyond my control, left us to make decisions that gave our marriage and family the best chance of healing and thriving.  We had to make the decision that gave our daughter a greater chance at receiving the mental health treatment she needs and keep the rest of the family safe and intact.  We had to agree to surrender our legal rights as her parents.  NO PARENT should be forced to make this decision.  No child should be given, not even considering a child with mental health issues, the power to make decisions on how they wish to be parented and refuse the recommended treatment, with no ability to comprehend the implications of the decisions for the here and now desire.  Our hearts are broken, our spirits are raw, our emotions uncomprehendable, our energy is zapped, our resources depleted, and yet our faith is strong.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

When Others Words Clearly Express Your Experiences

A letter shared by an adoptive mother that she wrote to herself 5 years post adopt.  I have edited to share what I feel 18 months out. I just crossed out what did not apply to me and italicized the words I added.

A letter to my {pre-adoption} self

Dear Nancy (in 2007) Tracy
I know you’ve just started to seriously consider adopting a child. I know that the thought of adopting has been on your mind not just years, but since you were a little girl and heard about the abandoned baby girls in China and saw videos of the Romanian orphanages heart for many years. So I understand that adopting isn’t an impulsive thought. And I know that even though you don’t know how or where your children will come to you, or what he or they will look like, you are excited… and unsure… and scared peaceful all at the same time.
But I am you… five years 18 months later… and 18 months into your adoption journey. And I want you to know some things that I think will help you along the way, some really important things.
1) I know that you are currently thinking that adoption is a great way to add to your family, and it is! But you should know Remember you knew that your adoption journey is going to be so much more than that you can even imagine. Adoption is gonna rock your world like you’ve never imagined! You will not be the same woman ever again. It will be profound in your life. Bigger than you can fathom. Be brave and faithful, and you will be rewarded.
2) I don’t want to scare you, but you need to know this. This journey will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You will cry. Your heart will break, and you will feel grief like you’ve never felt before, so much that there will be moments that you fall to your knees. There will be days your sadness envelops everything you do. During the worst times, you will withdraw from both your family and friends and feel completely and utterly alone. And indeed, there will be no person around you that can either understand the grief in your soul or console you. I promise you, it will get better. Please know, the trials of the process are part of what make the rewards so great.
3) In your times of pain and sorrow, you will never be alone. Not only will God be with you, but in times of grief, your relationship with God will grow and become something more amazing and powerful than you can imagine. There will be days when you pray without ceasing. And in these times, you will feel His hand comforting you. Trust Him. Feel Him. Lean into Him. Listen to His quiet whisper in your soul, but also be prepared when He speaks loud and clear.
4) Some of those closest to you will doubt your sanity, your judgment, and your worth. You will lose close friendships of people you thought you’d have your whole life. You will be questioned and judged. But you will also gain amazing friendships of people you don’t even know yet! Some will have walked a mile in your shoes and will “get it.” Other friends won’t have a clue what you’ve been though, and that will be ok too because you’ll learn that they love you completely and totally unconditionally. These friends will hold you in the hard times and will be the first to celebrate the blessings.
5) I know you’re a mom already, but get ready to love someone you haven’t met yet like you don’t even think is possible! Oh I wish I could tell you just how much you are going to love this child these girls! This love is just so so much more than you can imagine it will be. Once you meet this child these girls, you will be so certain that this is the child these are the girls that you were destined to have all along. I know that right now you can only try to visualize the face of your children, and I know you try to imagine what it will be like to make this child, a child another woman grew inside her, your own. But get ready to shake with emotion when you first see your child enter the doorway. You’ll remember every little detail of the moment you meet your child, met your children and although you’ll try, no words will come close to expressing how amazing it was to have that child placed in your arms. wrap your arms around them. You will be awed daily. A tiny weak frail child will be the strongest person you have ever met. This child They will teach you more about life than anyone ever has, without ever saying a word. Get ready to burst with pride and joy and so so much love.
6) You’re never going to see the world the same way again. I know that you already see blessings and God’s beauty, but trust me when I say that this world is even more beautiful and amazing than what you see right now. After this journey, a child’s laughter will sound even sweeter. Your husband’s hand in yours, no matter where you are at, will be the best place in the world to be. You will appreciate a nap and a tidy home even more than you do now. The sweet smell of rain will seem like God’s little miracle just for you. A smile will creep up your face more easily. You will fear things that you’ve never thought of before. And you will run towards and embrace things that currently scare the pants off you… like the words “special needs.” Your priorities and goals that you value now may be shelved and forgotten forever. But soon, you’ll have a much better appreciation of are what’s really important and truly beautiful in this world.
7) You will doubt yourself. You will doubt your decisions, your worth, and your ability to do what you willingly and gladly chose to do. You’ll lose sleep. You will have times when you are sure that God overestimated your capabilities, and you will plead with Him to lighten your burden. And because you not only chose, but actively sought out this adoption path, you will feel unworthy to complain or stress or regret… yet at times you’ll feel quite unworthy and have stress and feel regret. Know it’s ok to change your mind. It’s alright to re-assess and change directions. It’s ok to quit and take up a different path. And in this process, you’re confidence will grow strong.
8) Through your adoption journey, you will learn more about yourself than you thought possible. You’ll learn that you are stronger than you thought. You’ll learn that you can be pulled in a gazillion different directions and still get everything that needs to be done, done. You’ll learn who really loves you. You’ll learn to walk away from the things that don’t really matter and concentrate your energy on the things that do. You’ll learn lessons in patience, and you’ll come to appreciate how amazingly proactive you can be orchrastated every single job you had prepared you for what you would need to know to advocate for your girls. Some things that you think are important right now, won’t even be a thought in five years. And things you never even considered, will completely occupy your thoughts and your actions.
9) Although you will learn so much and gain strategies and techniques to become a better parent, you will never get to a place where you feel like you pretty much know what you are doing and feel totally confident in your decisions and actions. You will not have all the answers all the time. And that’s ok. On many occasions you will feel like you are going crazy and are completely out of control. Do the best that you can do at the time, because actually that’s all you can do. Listen to your gut. You’re going to make mistakes, lots of them in fact, and try not to feel guilty about what you did wrong or what you could have done better. It’s ok to wing it. It’s alright to pretend. Go ahead and fake work it till you figure out a better way.
10) Five years later, in some ways, your life will be just as you had imagined. And in some ways it will be very different. Five years later, you will still be on this adoption journey, and you will realize that it is a journey that lasts a lifetime. There is no destination, just the journey itself. It doesn’t end the day you unite with a your children. That day is just the beginning. Five years later, you will be so very amazingly happy. You really will be! And it doesn’t stop there! You be content. And confident. And so fulfilled. And the Lord will bless you more abundantly than you ever dared to ask for. And five years later, you’ll be so  You will be very sure that the adoption journey was one that you were meant and called to do.
I understand that you really won’t be able to appreciate these words now. I know that without the experiences behind them, they are just that… words. You can’t really understand the depth of what I’m saying now. But you will in five years 18 months.
Nancy (in 2012) Tracy

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Here is to another attempt at unveiling the romanticized idea of adoption and the "they lived happily ever after ending".  It is NOT true with any individual or family, why, O why would it be so with adoption when adoption is based on loss? And normal, what is normal?

Its about Onlookers.  Defined by me as the people looking in at our family (and many other families who have adopted) through their own "normal" lens.  A lens that does not include that of adoption. Life on the inside looking out through the lens of adoption reveals a VERY different perspective.  The discrepancy in the focus of the two lenses leads to loneliness and isolation. The results is that the onlooker lens projects disdain for your parenting choices you make while looking through the lens that is adoption.

I would honestly adopt ALL. OVER. AGAIN!  Sounds crazy to some, I know and I expect it. In hindsight I find it comical that we were asked to complete psychological testing before our homestudy could be completed. Psychologicals because well, it was said that adoption for most families is Plan B, or an after thought after biological children, as a way to grow families, and well the most obvious if they have fertility issues. Yes, this is what we were told by a very seasoned adoption social worker.  There was no check box for other, and please explain. Our desire to adopt was Plan A and it is a minority decision.  We know what happens to minorities.   

Our desire and passion to care for the orphan, the poor and the oppressed is what brought us together.  We both had complete peace regarding this as our lives direction.  We have never been in more harmony, in sync, together, as when we made the multiple decisions along our journey to our girls.  It was AMAZING to experience and the peace was like no other.  It really was the beginning of the love that grew in our hearts for our daughters.  When you are fulfilling your purpose in life, there is joy like no other.

Although our journey post adoption has been difficult, the pain does not give way to regret, or "what if's".  Why? Because we are certain that we did not misunderstand all the signs that led us to our very daughters.  From profession to employers and between states and circumstances, combined with multiple experiences of love, justice, mercy and humility as a strong reoccurring theme at the core of the resolution.  These events/circumstances could not have been more happenstance perfectly orchestrated and have confirmed for us that God knew exactly what each of our daughters needed.  Even people who don’t profess to believe in God or His ways have said your story makes chills go up my spine, as tears roll down their cheeks.

We are beyond thankful for the people and resources that have rallied around us as we have journeyed two very different paths with our daughters. We have had some of the best services and specialty services offered along the way.  We have graciously accepted ALL of them, leaving no stone unturned.   The journey speaks for itself as to the needs of our family.  The time, energy, cost, sacrifice, and pain is nothing we would ever desire to pursue without the great LOVE and BELIEF that our daughters have the potential to heal, grow, love and to give.  To give in ways that ONLY their stories have prepared them for.  We have made it this far supernaturally.  Difficult? YES! Lonely? YES! Exhausting? You have no idea!!  Costly? YES! Worth it? ABSOLUTELY! 

Adoption in many circumstances is taking back lives that were being destroyed.  The cost is great and I am not just talking financially.  In many ways the cost to adopt could be considered the least costly.  Healing is hard work for the children and the intensity required from parents to create a sense of safety where the child can begin to trust and heal is no easy feat.  It’s a financial cost, an emotional cost, a time cost.  An investment in a life that is valuable.

Creating a safe space is something that happens in most families naturally.  Children are born into it, knowing nothing different.  Naturally occurring in development,  growing, exploring, learning, trusting, and taking risks is “built in.”  It does not require parents to impose an often time unnatural structure so that a child can go back in time and make their way through multiple developmental stages, while learning that relationships are based on trust and respect not manipulation and exploitation.  There is nothing "normal" about it and there is nothing "normal" about a child being abused, abandoned, and left to survive on their own.

It appears from what our family, and many other families I know who have adopted, have experienced is that onlooker lens does not have the capability to view the complexities that adoptive families lens have been stretched to encompass.  I would not expect it to. What I wonder is, if onlookers carefully consider all of the above in the judgements they pass, the trite suggestions they give, and the contribution to isolation that they participate in? 

As I have been wrestling through the areas of my life that I believed would benefit from being more plentiful, I returned to my core values to evaluate.  Love, Justice, Mercy, and Humility.  This is how I/we desire to live our lives, and it can only be more plentiful if I surround myself with Love, Justice, Mercy and Humility.  I am a work in progress even on the days I feel as though I have digressed.  It remains my desire.

Farewell onlookers, judgement, trite commments and isolation will not find place in my life.  Your approval or lack thereof does not define me. God sees the real me, knows my heart and loves me just as I am.  

Friends, family, and community who have acknowledged, I have no idea what your life looks life on the inside, but I know you, I know your hearts desire and I support you.  It doesn't have to appear "normal" for me to love you, embrace you, or support.  WE SAY THANK YOU!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Finding Healing

So much has happened since I last shared.  We have been praying for a miracle.  Many have joined us in prayer and support as we battle for our daughter.  Praying that she would have a heart change.,  decide to accept what is best for her now and in the future, for her to hear truth, receive truth, and choose truth. 
After an unedited conversation with my daughter when I decided that I had nothing to lose.  That night I received a call that sounded like her sharing heartfelt truths that she had chosen to accept and believe. One day turned into three that turned into more giving us reason to believe that our daughter is pursuing her family for the first time. 
We have made some great strides.  We are on a journey, we have not arrived, BUT, I do believe we have turned a corner.
 Tonight we sat down and looked at pictures from our time in country for the very first time.  It was a positive experience reflecting on some times we had, particularly our initial meeting and time in region.  We laughed some, had some serious moments, and I learned more about my daughters.  The pictures had a theme with one little girl and a bigger girl who were with me in most of the pictures at the orphanage.  One recalled, “I was so jealous when she sat on your lap, I was fighting her for you and I won, forever and ever!  The other recalled, “oh mom she really liked you and she wanted you to be her mom too.”  I believe there was some healing, more reminders of what was desired, more love, more bonding, and an overwhelming sense that everything is going to be alright.

Look what we found.  The only pictures of the girls before we were united.  

This is the first picture that was taken of them at the orphanage.

  This photo was taken the year Ben & I met.  We had no idea our daughters were waiting.

Middle is my girl.  The girl can DANCE!

Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement, hugs, emails, calls, text, etc.  They have been a lifeline for us.  We hope you continue.