Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Use Every Opportunity To SEE Their Preciousness

Yesterday I shared that in the “life-ness” of the days my motivation had changed to controlling my precious darlings more than I was really connecting with them.   

Another thing that I have, for a better word, “neglected” was to remember that my children that are home through adoption have come from hard places.  I have tried to parent them the way that I did my 3 bio children, and I am grateful that from the beginning having a healthy attachment with my children has always been my ultimate and highest goal.  BUT, I believe now that I was overlooking a very important piece in mothering my precious children who have had different “risk factors” then my bio-children; like:
-prenatal stress
-difficult or traumatic birth or labor
-medical trauma early in life

I now realize that I was minimizing the impact of these risks factors and somewhat ignoring that “my” children might have been impacted.  I can say now that I was being blind and impractical here.  I needed to be reminded of my children's beginnings so that I can help them move forward.  I want to help my children not just behave, “but to blossom and to empower the healing connections that will bring greater joy..”  from Created To Connect workbook.

The workbook also says “There is an undeniable truth that everyone who loves a child from the hard places must remember: the past affects the future...but it does not have to determine it.”  This journey that we will walk with our children must be firmly established in a steadfast faith in and dependence on the One Who delights to redeem and restore the brokenness of this world.
See, here’s my real goal and motivation and my hearts desire for all of my children...to empower them to fulfill all that God has called them to be and do.  And I realize that for my children from hard places I will need to learn “new” things.  Now, really, there is “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  

The LORD has created us all with a longing of the heart to connect and belong.  And I believe with all my heart that God offers a wealth of wisdom in the Bible for us to apply.  
A phrase that you will hear often in the Empowered To Connect teaching is “Trust Based Relational” parenting.  In the workbook they write, “His (God’s) love for us is made tangible in practical ways, and we believe that our parenting must also make our love for our children tangible in practical ways that they can understand, accept and apply.”  Because of the back ground of some of our children, their ability to “understand, accept and apply” my love for them may be very weak.  

So where am I beginning....
-First, my goals for each day are different (I’ll come back to this);
-We have given ourselves permission to set apart the next 6 - 8 weeks (longer if needed) to do some “intensive” in our home ... I will be blogging about what that looks like;
-Steve and I are reading some books to better understand the needs of our children home through adoption...in particular Sensory Processing issues, but there are other things;
-I need help...plain and simple...I can’t do this alone...so we are hiring Kalyn to be our house cleaner and our meals for now are becoming even more “super simple”;
Back to number one...what are my goals for each day?  To connect!!!  So I am using my daily chores, jobs, work...what ever...to create connection with one, several or all of my children (NOT EXCLUDING  bio-children...hey they want to know that they are precious too!!!!!)  An example from today are the picture in this post...I love to hang my laundry outside when it finally gets warm enough here in Colorado.  

And lest you warmer weather states think that is is at least 80 degrees based on the pictures, I will let you know it was a balmy Colorado 58 degrees.  Hey, we even took a walk because it was so nice - LOL.  However, my GOAL was not to hang the clothes up, my goal was to connect with my children...to focus on the PRECIOUSNESS of each one of them.  My heart is where I start!  Making sure that I am SEEING the God created preciousness of each of my children and show that to them.  
By the way, all the ADORABLE pictures where taken by my extremely talented oldest daughter Kalyn, who gave me permission to edit them to black and white.  Thanks Kalyn for sharing your preciousness with me. 


  1. Love, love the first picture. Great pic, Kalyn. Parenting those from hurt or hard places is a huge challenge as I have had to learn that not all kids can be treated the same, life isn't fair. I grieve FOR and WITH my kids sometimes. Thank you for sharing this journey. I would love to know how you will balance the precious moments within the context of a larger than average family. :)

    Keep on keeping on!

  2. Can't wait to hear more!!!! Loving your heart to focus on your children.....I desire to do the same.... :)

  3. This a great topic, and I'm looking forward to reading more here. I, too, am a mom that loves to have well-behaved children...but sometimes lacking that special connection. I need to do more work here so they know they're all precious!

  4. Shonni - this season that you are beginning and sharing here will benefit many.

    As a mom of many this is a whole other level of faith and trust to walk out what you and Steve are committing to. No book or video or conference can prepare you, me or others who have adopted many hurt children for the road you are walking on. They are awesome at encouraging us and helping us get back on the right path where God is leading the way. His love must rule and reign in our hearts first.

    Because without that as we both know it just doesn't work.

    I'm so proud of you and will be praying with you daily to get this right for them, you and all generations to follow.

    I can't wait until we move so I can put my focus back on all of this again too. The inbetween causes way too much anxiety around here and issues that were long gone have crept back in.

    LOVE YOU!!!!

  5. It's a beautiful journey to God's heart, isn't it?! We've been reading and watching videos and giving hugs and playing and looking into our children's eyes and telling them that they are absolutely remarkable and precious...and God is already doing something beautiful.

    Blessings to you,

  6. Hi Shonni
    Lovely, lovely pictures - it looks very balmy there (although from the temps you mentioned I'd be freezing!!)
    I look forward in hearing how it all goes - I am in awe of all you adoptive mums - you do such an amazing job!
    Have a wonderful day


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