Cave to Cliff

One woman's journey from darkness to light



We Survived Mother’s Day 2016

I’m just gonna say it right off the bat. Sometimes Mother’s Day is really hard. I’ve written about it on this blog many times. Neglect, foster care, adoption, and other traumas can leave their scars on us. I wrote blog in 2014 of how good Mother’s Day was. Last year wasn’t a disaster, either. This year wasn’t too terribly trauma inducing.

Listen, I have a wedding coming up. My parents are dead. I’m feeling rather orphaned at times. Then I come home and kid acts out and I’m so over it. So the other kid and I get away for some time together. It was a blurb of sadness and frustration in a whole day of goodness.

First of all, Christopher calls me from basic training. It’s Mother’s Day and he gets to call his mama. I’m so glad to hear his voice. He tells me of how he wants more mail and how he earned the rank of expert in marksmanship. He’s working hard and keeping his head above water. He has no idea when I’m getting married or if I am already. I think he’s lost track of time. It’s so good to talk with him. When we get off the phone Ireland and I sit together crying because we miss him so much.

Lennox made us a good lunch! There were pigeon peas grown by his father, pumpkin also grown by his father, fried potato, fried plantain, rice, and a drink made from sorrel that his father grew. It was so good. His father told him, “You did good, son.” That was a beautiful moment right there. What son doesn’t want to hear that?


After our lunch some of us rested for awhile. When I woke up I went to go see Winter and the baby. She gave me such a lovely card and gift. I reread the card just a few minutes ago and I wanted to cry. I love our story and how our family has been formed over this past year. It’s so beautiful. I’m so grateful!

_MG_0516Then for our final meal of the day, Mom and Dad make what Lennox called “bakes”. It’s a bread that is lightly fried. It’s thicker than an elephant ear. It’s more like a bun or biscuit. Lennox tells me that he would eat it with egg, cheese, or peanut butter. What he didn’t tell me is that he’d eat it with cheese AND peanut butter. He sliced that baby open, covered the inside with peanut butter, then layered cheese on it. What kind of crazy is that? I tasted it. It wasn’t horrible so I had to taste it again!

It is Monday the 9th. I marry Lennox in 5 days. It’s coming up so fast. I am soaking in these last few days before becoming a Fleary. I want to remember so many things. I don’t know if I can. It feels like this is a sacred time.


Day 3: Parenting…

I’ve been parenting for over 19 years now. I kind of thought it would get easier and that I’d be a total rock star of a parent. Now, I’m not sure about either one of those. Parenting is one of those things that makes me question myself more than anything else in my life.

This will take more than one blog post so let’s start by introducing you to the family!

In the picture above are Christopher and Christopher. My son is the big guy on the left, the little one is his brand new baby. {Eeek! I’m a grandma!!!}

My Christopher made his way into this world via C-section after about 36 hours of laboring at home. He is my only biological child; I consider that a miracle in itself. He loved it when I would read out loud to him, sing to him, and play my flute at night as he was drifting off to sleep. He still loves those things. When I sang to baby Christopher recently my own Christopher kept saying how he always loved it when I sang to him. Through reading we’ve explored many cultures, some of them were even real. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried. When he was 9 we brought 3 kids into our home to adopt. He never once complained or asked me for more of my time.   His dad left us when he was 12. He quickly stepped into the role of being man of the house. It was hard for him. He wanted so much to fill that role, but it wasn’t meant for him so he couldn’t fill it in the way he wanted. He makes me laugh a lot, even when I’m mad. He’s been so good at seeing me when I’m struggling and grabbing me to hug me until I laugh. For many years he was my biggest cheerleader.

This life hasn’t been easy for him. Fostering and adopting kids is a hard road. I chose it for him. I didn’t know how hard it would be. I didn’t know how much it would cost me…or him. I tell you what, he’s really good at loving people.

When looking for a picture of Dusty I couldn’t really find a good one. She isn’t around much these days. She runs away and there’s very little I can do about it. It’s hard being an adopted kids sometimes. I was also adopted so I can personally talk of the difficulties. Nearly 10 years ago when I brought the younger 3 into my home I was told by a therapist that Dusty was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder [RAD].   I looked at that sweet therapist and thought, “Oh honey, I’m a good Jesus loving woman. Have you seen my amazing 9 year old son? I’m a fantastic parent, I’ve got this. Keep your psycho-babble to yourself.”

Woah! Well, was I in for a surprise or what? _MG_0620

Next up is my little man Sage. He is a reliable, hard working kid. Sometimes. Other times, he is sullen, angry, and raging. It’s hard being a teen boy raised by a single mom. His brain has some challenges, too. He’s on the fetal alcohol spectrum and has recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s. I don’t know much about either and how it affects him. There’s always something to learn. All I know is that I feel like I’m not doing a good job parenting him in such a way that he’ll be successful in life.


Finally, comes Ireland. The firecracker in our family. She made breakfast for me today and made me stay in bed while she brought it to me. She’s also a RAD kid. She’s fun and vibrant, she’s also controlling. Most of her poor behavior shows up in the classroom.

I lay all this out for you, not to give you the dirt on my kids, but to give you a glimpse of where I’m coming from. When I started this journey of parenting them there weren’t a lot of resources out there to tell us struggling parents that we aren’t alone. It’s been a tough road and I’m still learning so much. Learning and trying to implement them is the challenge.

While in my best moments I think that I am the very best thing for these kids. God put us together and has brought us so far. Many of my own hurts have been healed through this journey. Yet, there are moments like today when doors are broken and hearts are hurt that I wonder if I really am the right one. Who am I to think that I know anything about parenting when I was raised by a single dad who really didn’t know anything about parenting? I have all these doubts about whether or not I am any better for them than where they were before. I think of all the mistakes I’ve made. There are behaviors I simply can’t stand to have in my home, but they’re always present. I want them to get over it already, isn’t 10 years long enough to prove that I love you and want the best for you?

Moved to Tears

There I was, innocently perusing facebook when I saw a friend’s post about a live video that the Huffington post had just aired. Right away I shared and asked people to watch it. I know that people don’t understand when I’m trying to explain my kids’ behaviors. I wouldn’t have understood either. I continued to watch while multiple emotions washed over me. I relieved to be reminded that I’m not the only one. Then I cried because it’s not always a happy ending. I found myself thinking, “Oh, that happens here, too. Ok, it’s normal for them.” Then hating that there is a “them”, that it IS different no matter what I do. When the video ended I just sat at my desk and cried.

Please watch this 3o minute video. It briefly touches on what it’s like to live with children who have attachment disorder. Link below.

Raising a kid with reactive attachment disorder

some days

Some days are so hard. I can’t breathe and I scream at my children. I remind my oldest he is not the dad and that makes him cry. He says, “We have no dad. We don’t even have one. Who else are they to look up to? I am the only thing they have.” We sit silently at the table. Tears silently fall. I can’t look into my kids’ eyes for two days. I tell my Mac therapist that I hate all forms of therapy. I want to call her and tell her that I hate therapy, but I love her. Then I wonder if that is too crazy.

I’d like to blame it on too much neurofeedback, but the truth is that I’ve done this before.

I know the culprit.

Fear. The Bible says that perfect love casts out all fear. I would venture to say that fear snuffs out love if we let it.

Tuesday was therapy in Salem. RAD therapy. Chani and I get to talk alone (together) with our therapist, Chris. The more we talk, the more I want to stop talking. At one point I just want to cry. I hear us moms talking and I hear the therapist’s questions. At some point we talk about my Ireland and her attachment. My heart breaks. I can’t decide if Chris is right. I want her to be wrong. Totally wrong, but I don’t think she is. I’m not convinced that she’s all the way right, either. I am being more vigilant.

But I am scared.

Scared that I’m not enough. Scared that my kids are so damaged that they can’t find healing. Scared that I can’t see the needs of my children. My big boy growing up into a man. What am I to do with that? I pull away when I’m scared.

Dusty hugged me 3 times this week. Truly and for real. She let me bless her and pray for her. That is a gift. I know it’ll get worse before it gets better. It’s like that with healing.

Tuesdays are hard. Brain work and heart work. My kids do art and I look at it and feel sadness. We made masks a couple sessions back. I did one child at a time. They laid down on the couch while I laid strip after strip of plaster onto their face. I spoke loving words to them. I told them of what I hoped for them, what I saw in them, and how I love them. They had the option of having their eyes covered. Dusty was the only one who chose that. I did her eyes last. I had to keep telling her to open her eyes so we could have eye contact while I spoke truth over her. It hurt. I hurt for her. Last session the kids painted them. Looking at Sage’s and Dusty’s made me sad. I didn’t know what to think when I saw Ireland’s. I wonder if I know anything when it comes to her now.

My brain map shows that my fight or flight part of my brain is as active as can be. Not surprising. This brain mapping is so interesting.

Over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday my friend spends countless hours on the phone talking with me or texting me. I laugh. I cry. I wonder aloud. As Wednesday comes to an end he lowers his voice and says, “It’s time.” Time? I hear it. I know what he means. It’s time to stop wallowing in the muck and stand up.

I am worth so much more. My kids are worth so much more. 

I have so much to say, but I am weary.


A couple of days ago the kids and I went up to OMSI. We have a membership that’s about to expire and tickets to go see and omnimax movie or go on the submarine. [We still have enough to do one of those things again.] For this trip I chose a movie. We watched the movie Born to be Wild about 2 amazing women in 2 different parts of the world taking on wild orphaned animals and raising them to go back into the wild. My kids were in awe.

Last night at the dinner table I asked the kids what they enjoyed about OMSI. It was so much fun listening to their answers. Dusty really loved the Life Hall where she could practice balancing or jump roping. Christopher loved a lot of things. A couple of them were learning that an octopus can disguise itself as a lion fish, sea snake, sting ray, and one more thing I can’t remember. He also enjoyed learning about nanotechnology. [Of course all that reminded me of was the replicators on Stargate.] Ireland liked playing the games about food and health. I thought that was interesting. She also liked the ball room. Sage liked seeing the car body that was on display. Whenever you’d look through and move around these screen things they showed the parts bigger and would tell you about it if you wanted them to. He like the Australian bird, whose name I can’t remember, that could imitate lots of sounds including a chain saw! Personally, I enjoyed watching my kids explore. It was exasperating at times with all four of them wanting to come see something, but it was fun. I enjoyed the National Geographic Photos that were displayed. Some were absolutely breath taking.

Things are so tense in our family that it’s hard to have fun. I have to be constantly aware of triggers, that while they may not act out right on the spot, it will come later. That was evident in our car ride home. Sage started yelling at Ireland because she was touching him and she wouldn’t move whatever body part that was touching him. I can’t see back there and I don’t actually care so I just pulled over and said when there is peace in the car we will continue on home. Dusty actually played a part in the peacemaking. She offered to trade places with Sage so he wouldn’t have to sit next to Ireland, but he wouldn’t answer her so she traded with Ireland. I thanked her for being a peacemaker and told her it was a blessing. That’s a new thing.

We were at therapy and I told the therapists that I think this LENS thing is actually working. [You can follow the link. It explains it better than I do or can.] It is simply weird and amazing. I don’t even try to understand it exactly. I had just decided we need help. Our brains are wired differently and this helps to untangle some of the wiring. Here’s the thing, our life experiences affect how our brains develop. If there is trauma, injury, chronic pain, etc. it will affect how active our brain is and where that activity is happening. I’ve had 4 sessions so far and I think it’s making a difference. I am more calm than I was before. I can deal with my kids’ behaviors much better. I have seen some small improvements in Dusty. Sage has only had 2 sessions and my other 2 kids aren’t doing it. Sage became defiant immediately after his session yesterday and it lasted the whole day. That just means we’ll do less sites next time.

Hey, check out my astronaut kids!

Monday Thoughts and Life

Four times a week I head down to my church with a few other ladies to exercise. It was my idea. Several times when I’ve struggled, I’ve wondered why I ever suggested such a thing. I must be crazy. After I finished my 1/2 marathon a couple of years ago I told my sister-in-law that it was a stupid idea and to never make me do it again. She laughed saying, “It was your idea”. I do this. I think, “Hey, this is a great idea and it’ll keep me accountable.” It sounds great until I’m struggling to breathe or get my feet off the floor for a jumping jack. Sweat drips down my forehead burning my eyes and all I can think is, “I HATE EXERCISING!!!!! These girls are not carrying around an extra 130 lbs !!! That’s a whole person!!!! But then I get through it and I’m fine. Actually, we’re not doing Jillian Michaels anymore and that’s the only time I felt that. The one we’re doing now is hard, but not that hard. 

Anyway, I had taken a pretty long break. I was sick for so long, but before that it was hit and miss because I was busy. I went back today expecting to not be able to make it through the entire video. Guess what? I made it. I was dripping sweat like nobody’s business and couldn’t speak in full sentences, but I made it. I didn’t do most of the easier modifications, either. The ones I did do were because something is wrong with my feet and I physically can’t do them. Yay for me. I even put a gold sticker on my calendar for that.

Summer feels like it’s coming to an end. My kids have 2 weeks of summer school that started today. It’s not for remedial help, though I have some who need that, it’s supposed to be a couple of weeks of science fun! I felt a little like I was betraying my “good Christian” roots by enjoying the fact that they were at school. I’m almost over feeling inferior to real homeschoolers, but not quite. Christopher was working so I was completely child free for several hours.

That gave me time to think. I realized quite a few things today. 

  • I have to say, I love these bullet point things. It looks so organized even if it isn’t.
  • This summer is WAY easier and peaceful than last summer. Last summer I felt very alone. Days were really hard. Sage was raging almost daily. I was depressed and desperate.
  • I was full of fear. 
  • I have grown so much. I understand myself more which helps me understand my kids more. But it’s a circle. The more I learn about them and their challenges, the more I learn about me. 
  • I understand who I am to God. It’s deeper than it was. Last year I would’ve said all the right things, but this year I believe them.
  • I am stronger in so many ways. I can speak the truth even when it’s hard. 
  • I recently wrote a difficult email to someone. I didn’t want to, but I had to for the healing of my family. 
  • I’m more daring. 
  • I’m more choosy. I choose more carefully the kind of things I jump into. (Though I still am too busy.)
  • I don’t worry so much about what people think. 

I realize that most of this is about me, but I’m ok with that. I think that’s where the change begins, anyway. I sought out help for my kids and I. We have an additional therapist. I plan on seeking more help for one of my kids. I’m learning to be more honest with people and if what I say is too hard, then I’m ok with that. This life right now is about protecting and finding healing for my kids’ hurts. 

I’m in a battle, YO! If you can’t get on board and do all these crazy things that feel so backward but brings healing to my kids then I can’t be bothered with you right now. 


I am tired still, but I think that’s ok. Last year I was exhausted and exasperated. This year I can keep going. I am tired because being proactive and on guard all the time is hard work. I’m always looking for potential triggers or obstacles. Sometimes I try to cut them off before they happen, other times I just watch it all unfold. 

I realized that today that my little Ireland that many think is so perfect actually has a victim mentality. Summer with her has been alright. Earlier this year I started having some concerns about her concerning her past. There were just little things, but mostly a feeling. When I mentioned it to one therapist she said, “I think you’re right.” Then later when I brought her to a group therapy with another therapist that one paused, looked at me and said, “Do you want to start bringing Ireland?” Um yeah, if you ask me that, then I sure do. So, Ireland went to school today and I get a phone call later in the day telling me of some undesirable behavior. When I ask Ireland about it her answers were, “Well, everybody [blah blah blah]” and “Well, nobody would let me [blah blah blah].” I’m beginning to see what we need to work on here. Oy vey. 

Well, I think my thoughts for the general public are about done here. These are the ones that I could actually form into sentences and paragraphs. The others are just partials. I imagine my thoughts as though each one resides on its own piece of broken glass. Sometimes they just float through the space of my mind; other times they form into something sort of beautiful. 



Post Retreat Thoughts

I’ve been home a whole whopping 1 day and 14 or so hours. That’s it? Well, as each moment passes I am appreciating my weekend more. It isn’t as if I didn’t appreciate WAY back then, I guess I just didn’t know what to expect. It is a strange thing to travel 600 miles with your crazy friend into a foreign country to meet 17 women you don’t even know anything about.

I know what you’re thinking and yes, Canada is a foreign country. It’s so….odd. Hello, ever heard of toilet seat covers? Doesn’t matter if they work, it makes me think the bathroom is cleaner than it is if you offer them. Oh, and rest stops. Do you really think I can hold my pee that long? When I am lost here in Oregon I at least know the road, street, or bridge I just crossed. Do you need a label maker? It was adventurous especially when we started down what Chani called a little goat road. That’s my favorite saying from now on.

I am home now and things are real. I am thankful that the struggles I have are mine and that I’m not dealing with some of the stuff the other women are dealing with and they’re probably glad that they’re not dealing with my load. I told stories and listened to stories and you know what? It was great to sit in a room and not have to worry about every little word that came out of my mouth and how that would be judged. It was great to sit there and think of how I would judge the mamas in the grocery store towing along sullen children and wimpering infants. I, of course, was going to be a better mom than them. You train them up and then they’re perfect. You never compromise and you’re always consistent. You love them and teach them to love and obey Jesus. Isn’t that what the books told me? I did that with Christopher, the only one I’ve had since birth. Guess what? He’s still human and messes up all the time like the rest of us! He is great! There are so many things I love and appreciate about him. There are also things that make me cringe and worry about his future. I have done my best with him since before he was born. I no longer judge the women whose sons don’t get perfect grades or serve the family with joy and strength or whose girls wear too  much makeup and not enough clothes. (I did wear WAY too much makeup when I was a kid.) I thought by now, according to what I had read, that my children would be able to run the house by now and have an easy time transitioning into adulthood.

Now, I am not saying that this is impossible. I read blogs and follow the status updates of my friends. I see their children grow and their accomplishments. They have raised their children well, but I bet they still have some concerns. I bet their lives aren’t as perfect as I make them out to be in my head. Shoot, I even read blogs of moms with RAD kids and think about how much better they’re doing than I am, but guess what? They might be, but they might not be. We don’t write about every moment of our day. We have good moments and bad ones. Most of the moments can’t be shared. There just isn’t time.

We all are doing our best. I think our best gets better and better when we want it to. It’s work. It’s hard work. It’s therapy. It’s learning. Seeking. Crying. Laughing. For me, it’s holding tight to Jesus because I can’t fathom how I would do it without Him. I can’t understand compassion and gentility without looking to Him. The One who would be betrayed by even His closest friends. The One who knows better than even us tired mothers how it can be frustrating to try to get away for some time alone with the Father only to have the crowds following Him. They needed Him. More than they even realized. He had compassion on them and fed them when He didn’t have to. Nobody would’ve been like, “Why didn’t Jesus feed us after we sat and listened to Him all day?”

My friend and I will often say to one another that we were made for this. God knew. He’s sovereign and we were chosen for this road. I realize that even those who are called to this don’t always choose this road. They choose the easier road or ignore that they have been a great gift in this sorrow and joy of parenting. I think it’s hard whether or not your kids come from hard places.

Don’t we all come from a hard place? We are born into a world of sin. We have this nature in us; this flesh that cries out to be satisfied in all things. Our spirit and flesh battle all the days of our lives.

Ann Voskamp’s blog post today reminded me that we only see a sliver of what God is doing. We don’t know whether it’s bad or good, blessing or curse. We only know that we see very little, but God sees it all.

Dear Canada Moms Away Ladies,

I appreciate you. Really I do. I don’t know any of  you well, but I hope to. It is such a gift to be with people who get it. We don’t have to talk about it, but we get it. Even if we’re not currently struggling we understand that one day we might. We all come from different backgrounds. Some struggle with money, some don’t. Some have many and want more, some are done. This is not a hopeless or useless thing we are doing. I don’t know how our children will turn out in 20 years, but can you imagine the life they’d have if they weren’t given a home like ours? How many children between all of us? 70+? We are changing the world. They do not have to carry on the pattern of brokenness that has been laid out for them. It can be different. It might cost us our sanity, but on some days I am okay with that. I feel very thankful right now.


She won’t look at me. This child. My child. I have loved her since the moment I knew about her. I didn’t carry her in my womb. I didn’t rock her to sleep or teach her to walk. My heart swelled with emotion when I saw her head full of dark hair make its way into this world. I stood at the bedside of her mother and cried. I cried because of the amazing miracle childbirth is. I cried because I knew her life would be a difficult one. I wanted something different for her. Better than my own. I wanted to be her favorite Auntie. I didn’t know that I would become her mom. I didn’t know that becoming her mama would change my life so drastically. I was so naive.

She is precious. She is broken. She is hurting. She is angry. She is sad. She is scared. She is safe with me, thus ALL those big feelings get hurled at me. I hear things like, “What does it matter to you if I ______?” She tells me of how life was better before or how we live in a free country so she can do whatever she wants to do. I remember growing up scared. Terrified that my dad wouldn’t keep me. Terrified that my bio mom (who lived in the same town as I did) would take me away. Terrified that I wasn’t good enough to be able to stay right where I was, with my dad who loved me deeply.

Yes, my life changed that day I brought her and her younger siblings into my own to love them with a fierce fiery mother’s love. I didn’t know I had it in me. I didn’t know I’d need it. I didn’t know it would always be a fight. I didn’t know that growing up without a mother would affect me so much. There is so much I didn’t know back then and I’m sure there is so much I don’t know now. I am learning. I hope that my family and I are learning together. Learning to love, be less selfish, talk instead of throw things or slam doors, etc.

Parenting is hard. Parenting kids from hard places is challenging. It makes me tired before anything even happens in the morning. I lie in bed at night wondering if I am crazy. I wonder if people really live like this or if it’s harder for me because I don’t have a husband and they don’t have a dad. RAD parenting is not for the faint of heart. It’s for the chosen; the ones who will battle. No. Matter. What. I didn’t know that for a long time. I wanted to give up. I wanted to run away. I kept hearing words like battle and warrior when people talked to me or prayed for me. I didn’t want to do this alone. Then I kept hearing 2 people telling me, “help is on the way, you’ll see” and “people are coming, they ARE coming”. It made me want to cry. I couldn’t see these people. I could see only a couple, but I also saw that they couldn’t carry this alone with me.

It’s hard to be honest. It’s hard to let people know how much I struggle emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially. It’s even harder to ask for help so I try not to. Sometimes I don’t even bother asking God for amazing things, I just ask Him to help me survive the day, or that moment. I have a hard time believing that people actually care. I know it’s not true.

A few weeks ago my friend and I were staring at this beautiful map. It shows where other parents like us live. Parents with kids from hard places who are working out their pain by hurting the people who love them. People just like us. Looking at that map makes me want to cry. It encourages me and reminds me that this struggle is all worth it. It really is. AND I am not alone.

While looking at this map we see a marker in BC with the web address indicating that it’s retreat for moms; moms like us. I suddenly turn to my friend and declare that we are going to this. It will be the last weekend in May. She asks me if I have money or a passport. Nope, but God has that covered. I know it! She looked at me like I was crazy, but got on board the crazy train with me. I spent a couple of days praying about it. Then I did the unthinkable. I emailed a few people and made a request on a private facebook group made up of Christian women in the area. I asked if several would give me $10 for my trip. Many did. Some gave more. All were supportive. I am fully funded. FULLY. In the end I will have collected a little over $500 for my registration, gas, travel food, extra night in a hotel, and my passport. I also received a huge bar of chocolate.

Thank you friends. You are my people. You are my support. You have come. You are coming. We are in this together. Not just my struggle here. Your struggle, too. We need each other. We are the body. We are HIS body. We are weak and we are strong. We walk together. I want to walk with you and pray for you and live your life with you.

Sisters, I need you. I’m pretty sure you need me, too. We are not called to just stand by and watch one another’s lives. We are called to something so much deeper. Praying for one another is great. It’s needed, it’s life saving. Action is also needed. We need to show up on one another’s doorsteps whether it’s to clean or to cry with. My favorite memories include my friend sitting on my kitchen floor talking about life while I made food. (I’d guess it was lentil soup. Good enough to cry over.) Those are special memories to me. Were we perfect? Was my house clean? Did I have the nicest things? No and even if I did none of it mattered. It was just me and my friend…and my precious baby.

Special is found in the everyday moments of life.

I don’t want to write. Not one little bit, but I know that writing helps me. It’s like when you have several knots in your yarn and you patiently sit down to watch a movie while un-knotting it. When it’s done you are now able to roll it into a tidy ball. I, however, cannot roll my feelings into a ball, but I can lay it all out.

Every day is really hard. Unbearingly hard. I don’t want to wake up any more. I can’t remember to eat and when I do eat I can’t remember if I have eaten.  Sometimes I can’t remember how to open a photo to edit it. Mind you, that I am having some software compatibility issues so it truly IS a battle.

But it’s all worth it. I believe that.

I’ll be starting a blog to journal and maybe encourage someone out there who also has children with reactive attachment disorder. I am just too tired to start that right now.

I have a child is so tragically broken. Her heart is shattered and it’s tearing all of us a part. The other kids are trying to hold it together, but there are small cracks forming. I am broken and weary and I have no husband to team up with me. I feel alone, though I know I’m not alone.

She is also beautiful. I remember the moment she was born. Once I laid eyes on her I couldn’t remember anything else. I cried. I cried out of the miracle of life that God had given to my neice. I cried knowing that their lives would be hard. I had no idea I would be the one to raise Dusty. I would take her hiking, camping, shopping, and and anything else I could do. Her curly black hair and button nose was enough to slay me. How did we get here?

How is this world so very broken? You know, there is a misconception of Christianity being preached, at least here in America. “Come to Jesus and it’ll be all better.” Can we just be honest here? Walking with Jesus is no cake walk. It is hard, but a hopeful sort of hard. We’re not alone.

Sometimes I feel very alone.

I have a kid who says I never listen to her when all I do is listen to her. She’s a broken record saying the same stuff over and over. In fact, I can’t hear my other kids. They’re talking to me, I’m looking at them, and she’s right next to me talking at me. I set the timer. Give her 5 full minutes to be heard. I do nothing else, but hear her. She’s done in 3. Then she still won’t stop. I’ve heard her, repeated back to her what she said, she confirms. She keeps talking for 2 more hours. NEVER.SAYING.ANYTHING.NEW.

I can’t figure out whether to feel discouraged or encouraged this morning. A friend said something to me that was so very encouraging and it made me cry. I have a friend who is so good about being level headed and asking me, “Have you tried…” when I text her telling her I’m going insane. I have another friend that joins me in my insanity with evening texts. I think she and I could laugh and cry like 2 long lost bi-polar friends. I have friends who are in this boat with me, some may not be here by choice, but they’re here nonetheless.

Yet. That word “yet”.

I read the pain of a friend and see it met with judgement from her friends. I hear of betrayal in other friendships when really kids, we need compassion, grace, mercy, love, and help. Pray for us. Get so involved in our lives that you get to see the ugly. The thing is that if you are not a huge part of our life you won’t see the ugly. You get to see the pretty side of RAD.  That’s the charming part.

Oh. I get ahead of myself here. So much I want to say.

I’ll leave with this one last thing.

Jesus paid all. 


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