Oh that boy sees, and he blesses me


24 hours have passed.  It’s time to do a family check in.  Where is everyone at?  How is every feeling?  Do we need another 24 hours of rest, or are we ready to talk?

I go last… I know I am not ready to talk and I know some others are.  I am about to call out more uncomfortable time.  I have to let it be ok that I am not ready when everyone else is.  I know the boys will be angry with me, and I have to let it be ok.  I know my husband would rather us move on, he is uncomfortable with it too, and I have to let that be ok.  I am nervous about the dinner time we are about to have…

And then something amazing happens.  I take my turn.  “I am not ready boys.  I am still tired.”  I look at boy 1 and I tell him I am still angry with him over last week.  He does not pull his eyes away from me, instead he listens intensely, and he knots his head.  “Boy 2, I still so hurt by your actions towards me, or lack there of.  My tank did not fill up enough yet.  I am afraid I am still able to fire up easily, and I need to work too hard to self-regulate.”  When boy 2 rolls his eyes at me I continue… “And I have to be honest with you guys.  When I see boy 2 rolling eyes at me, when I see that he’s not gotten passed the fact he can’t be on his device, it’s really hard for me to get rest.  Because the rejection continues, the anger at me continues… you are all resting but I still get this treatment.  I still get to be tense.  And boy 2… you do not share anything about where you are at.  You are just angry.  So I just have to breath through this, but also give myself more time.”

Boy 1 steps in: “Can I please respond to this?…  Today has been good for me.  I have been writing and thinking.  I have had good talks with my brother and he’s helped me today in processing things.  But of all things, I have wrestled with the question: “How is it that mom loves me the way she does when she is so angry with me?  How does she do it?  I don’t understand.”  He went on to explain about Monday, when we came home from therapy… “I was still set on being angry with you guys, I was still set on making you hurt because… well… I hurt.  I decided I was not done being defiant and stubborn.  I was not going to listen to anything you had to say.  I was not ready to let go, and the therapy session showed it, I stuck my ground and kept calling everything unfair, without listening to what the adults had to say.  But then we drove home, and we all realized we had nothing to come home to and mom happily offered a trip to the library.  Why would she want to take me to the library and serve ME? And when it was time for dinner, I saw mom make our favorite family meal.  I also know I don’t like the broccoli that comes with that favorite meal and usually mom makes a separate dish for me, with my own vegetable.  I told little brother that dinner was going to suck, how mom usually makes it different for me but there’s no way she would tonight.  I was going to hate dinner.  Then we sat down… and mom actually made me my separate dish just like she always does. It got me quiet, and it made me think. I don’t understand where it is coming from.  How does she do it when she is angry?  I have not found an answer but mom, I want to applaud you.  In my time alone today I have come to realize dad is right when he tells me what a strong woman you are.  You tell me you are angry, you have every right to be, but you just tell me you are, and then you go about life.  You don’t yell at me, you don’t stop loving me, you don’t reject me, you don’t ignore me.  I want you to know I see.  You are a remarkable woman.”

As our boy speaks I let the tears roll down my cheeks.  I grab my husband’s hand.  He knows how hard this week has been and boy 1’s words are healing for my heart.  In that instant I realize it’s all worth it.  In that instant I see what God is doing… He is healing our boys.  He has given me an amazing gift: Hurt, hurt for these boys and show them how you heal.  Love, love these boys and teach them what it truly is.

And with that we did extend our family rest with another 24 hours…


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Our Family Rests

IMG_8348We are in the middle of a very hard patch.  During our vacation in NC last week things did not go well, and I mean, did NOT go well. And so upon return, we knew our place to be: this week alone is filled with 8 hours of family therapy.

We are tired.  All of us are.  And in this moment we do not know how to get passed things.  If I speak for myself, I am still feeling very angry about the things that have happened the past week, and I am also still getting very hurt by actions of boy 2.  All that is hard to take in, it’s hard to process.  So I am in no place to start talking, especially if the talking I do is met with anger, resentment and without any sense of wanting to get better.  Boy 1 is tired and he expressed it in therapy: “I am not sure we should be talking.  I am so tired from trying to be good, and mom and dad are so tired of having to deal with my behavior.  It seems we need to take a break and rest, to not talk until we are more ready.”

And so our amazing therapist asked our boy what people do when they are tired.  They sleep, that is right.  “So yes, I think you all are tired.  How about a 24 hour rest period?” she asked.  And together we put a plan in place.  We go to bed early, no late nights just because it’s summer vacation.  No sleeping in, that only causes you not to be ready for normal bed time, routine is important.  No date night for mom and dad.  No children asking to go out to spend time with friends and no ‘going to the movies’ requests.  And most importantly: NO talking about any of what happened.  This time is to rest and to focus inwardly.


It was time to pull a few other important things, and we knew this was not going to be easy on the boys, in fact, it would make them MAD!!  There is a huge need for us to go inward.  What happened last week?  Why?  How can we understand better why we do what we do?  And so we also called in a media fast.  No devices, no tv, no electronics.  If we spend this rest time being on devices, watching tv… we’d learn nothing.  We can indulge in snapchat and it’s great how numbing that works. Sure we can hang out with friends but then we are not dealing with any issues on the inside, we are just walking away from them. It was time to get uncomfortable.


It’s time to face our pain, past and present.  And with that our therapist gave us an exercise.  An exercise I will not get into right now, but the exercise is hard work.  It takes huge effort.  It takes looking back, sitting with the past, feeling the pain of it, and learning about our believe system today because of it.

So here we are… the home is very quiet.  I catch boy 1 on the porch with his note book, working hard to go there.  To go to that place hidden deep within, and I see him hurt by what he discovers.  I have to let it be ok.  He is hurting but I have to let him be.  I see my husband having a longer ‘daddy time’ then usual.  Boy 2 is mainly struggling with not having his device, he is angry.  I know he has a long way to go.  I have to let him sit with the anger.  I can’t help him.  I see boys reading books.  I see boys picking up jobs around the house.  I even hear boys chatting about important stuff, deep stuff and it happens without anger or fights.  And me… I mostly watch our family do this.  Being this uncomfortable is not foreign to me.  I have learned in life that I can’t control things, that I can’t walk away from pain and I know it is important not to get into someone else’s pain.  Sometimes you just need to let someone be there.  And watching that hurts, but I am ok with it.  So me… I write, I pray, I cry, I do this very difficult exercise, and me… I go deep as well.


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Here we go again…

Rejection, unkindness, silent treatment, rolling eyes, even nastiness… all coming at me once again. It hurts, and I have been told that because I can let it hurt me, our match was successful with boy 1. Our match will also be successful with boy 2.

But it really does hurt and it really is not an easy thing.  And the next months will look just like that.  But it will come to pass. Our first boy worked through it in amazing ways and we find ourselves now having fun, joking around and spending one on one time together.  We long for that now.

Why are my emotions necessary?  The boys need to see me connect with them even if I hurt because of them.  I express my emotions healthily, they do know when I am hurt by their actions, yet I do not walk away, withdraw or get mean in return.  For some reason this is intricate to their healing.  Healthy, but difficult bonding!

I get through it because I have friends who will always receive my texts about the heaviness of it all, no matter how many of them. I get through it because Tim and I will take breaks. I get through it because friends will happily take our boys for a bit. I get through it because we did it once before, and we can do it again.  I get through it because God is not silent.

One day, we will have two boys who are better at trusting people, one day we will have two boys who know what true love is, one day we will have two boys who will return home after college because bonding did happen.  It is not too late and we pray God’s mighty power over all of us.  We all need healing, we all need to trust, we all need to know love in better and true ways.


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It’s a sad day, and a good day…

IMG_7590 copyIt is mind blowing that a day like today can be so sweet.  God would not have it… He would not allow this day to just be sad, period!  He made sure this day would not happen without the good.

We had a court hearing for our boy today that had much potential for pain.  And there was pain.  So we sat with our boy telling him it should not be like this.  As much as we love him, and love loving him, it should not have been.  So we stood still and we felt the pain.  We mourned together, the 3 of us, at the table, crying tears. That is not the end of the story though… because of today’s happening in court, we are now able to call him ours very soon.  We can adopt our boy.  And so there were bittersweet tears. Bitterness that will turn into praise, at some point, when he is ready.

So our boy did not go back to school that day.  Instead we went to Chick Fil A for some comfort food to address the sadness. And then we went to Starbucks for a Celebration drink to address the goodness.

How beautiful a day can be, even if pain was mixed into it.


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Dear Sweet Boy 2,

You have already shown so much character.  I am amazed how, an almost teenager like yourself, can put in so much effort to do the right thing, for the sake of others.

I am amazed at your effort and intuition to call me daily.  You are afraid, and you tell me that.  You are afraid of what it is ahead.  You are afraid of us, you and me.  And I understand.  I tell you that I am okay with that, I am afraid too.  You and I will have to climb some mountains together, you and I will have to overcome some thunder and lightning.  But you and I, we can do that.

You are already in my heart, and I fell in love like a momma who falls in love with her newborn baby.  I like you boy 2.  I like you a lot.  Your charisma is charming, your humor hilarious, out of that little body of yours.  You are gifted just like your big brother… you are an amazing set, the 2 of you.  My prayer is that you boys will bring out in one another all the goodness that is inside, like no other person will be able to do.  I pray you will grow to have a bond that goes so deep that it brings forth power, love, forgiveness, generosity, selflessness, and peace.  The world needs you boys.  The world needs your story.

Welcome Boy 2.  Welcome…


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Ready for a mother’s heart

Our boy and I have landed somewhere I think, and we are going somewhere.  He hasn’t told me, God revealed it to me.

Our boy has been clear about boundaries: there is not to be any touch, there is no getting close, there is not too much caring accept for lattes in the morning and a strawberry banana milkshake in the afternoon.  I have had to put my heart away in some way.  I longed to touch him, to get close when he hurts, to show how much I care.  But he wasn’t ready.  Love hurt him.

In therapy I found out that our boy doesn’t know where I am at.  He is frustrated over that fact.  He even mentioned that he knows I am emotional, but he doesn’t know what that means: if that means we are in a good place, or if it means we are in a bad place. And because our boy still needs his space I have been given him that space no matter how hard.  And because our boy has the ability to really hurt other people (and me) along the way, I can’t help to get quiet at times and process what is happening in our home, making him insecure about where we are at with one another.

Today I realize he’s moving out of that place without saying so clearly, without even knowing it himself. I believe he longs for a mother’s touch.  He desperately wants to know I love him and approve of him.  But because he’s put me at a safe distance, and I have respected his boundary, he’s not had the opportunity to see my heart.  It’s made him insecure about our relationship.   And he is a child, he should not have to ask for it.  I am glad God showed me that our boy might be ready for more.  He might be ready for a mother’s heart.  He might be ready for me!

And it is scary. This boy can reject. I am going to put my heart out there in all vulnerability. I am going to love him knowing that  he has the ability to hurt me depending on where he is at on that day or in that moment. But when we get passed this, how precious it will be. We are very slowly moving towards being a family. Our boy told me last week that there is ‘being a family and having to work at being a family.’  He feels we are still in that second category and I agree. None of what we are doing feels like family, it feels like a mission and sometimes that is a hard reality when you long for family.

But than I remember what God has called us to. What my mission is in life: I am all for healing and hope.  I have experienced much of it in my life and I want to pass along God’s ability. Everyone can heal and have hope for his/her life. I want to walk along side people who need healing, I just never knew it was going to look like this: up close and personal, that it would take everything out of me, and that it would be touching and healing me at the same time.


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Coffee for the Heart is a place where we just see ourselves sitting down for coffee and sharing, accept it is on the internet, never the less it is very real.  Go HERE for more stories!