Being Sheep

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep."John 10:14-15

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I delighted in my baby boy this week. We are in the second week of our new therapy. Tomorrow (Wednesday), we have one occupational therapy session, then we drive an hour to our attachment therapy session, then go home.

Monday morning was horrible. I was trying to get school done with Alex and David, finish packing for me and Nathan, and get everything ready for me being gone. But there was screaming all morning. All. Morning. It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, but it was bad. Made worse because I knew I was about to take him out of town for two nights. By myself.

I was rather depressed, anxious, and discouraged. I finally left for therapy (a bit early in the hopes he'd fall asleep in the car and then be done screaming. That backfired when he just woke up screaming and we got to therapy 30 minutes early.). We had an awesome therapy session. It ended with him cuddled right with me eating a sucker. It seriously was great. We headed to our hotel and had a "picnic" supper on the floor: sandwiches and soup. Nathan was sweet, loving, and absolutely adorable.

And in the pool I just... delighted in him. Delight is the best word I can come up with. He was so happy, and not a frantic and anxious happiness, but a genuine "I'm happy to be here, and I'm happy to be with my mom" happiness. We swam, we played, we giggled. It was amazing.

And so I have hope. Hope that things will continue to get better, hope that more healing will occur. Hope that this therapy and all the craziness it brings is not in vain.

It's a wonderful feeling to be able to completely delight in my son. I know we will still have more days like Monday, but I'm going to cherish the happy times, and delight in knowing that there are more happy times to come. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thoughts From Steve

Steve was telling me about the sermon at church this morning, since I was helping in the preschool room during the service. I liked what he was saying so much I asked if he'd be willing to write it down. Here's what he had to say: (credit to David Flowers at who preached this morning's sermon.)

Jess noted a few months ago that humanity acts toward God in ways consistent with attachment disorder in adoption. Several times since then, sermons at church have reminded me of this observation.

Some inexact quotes from today's sermon (1/6/13):
"All religious activity that does not come from quietness" (peace, attachment) "is neurotic. The problem we're trying to solve with religious activity is the problem of feeling distant from God."
"That is the basis of our spiritual neurosis - living in constant self-recrimination because of our failure to acquire God, whom we already have."
"We spend so much energy rubbing the lamp, hoping to get God to come out, when he's already with us. God was never confined to the lamp."

Something Nathan has been doing a lot lately is yelling out "Mommy!! Mommy!! I NEED you!!!" He will do this when he's supposed to be going to sleep. He'll do this randomly when playing with his brothers. He will do this when he is already being squeezed in Jess's arms. He's convinced that he doesn't "have" her, when in reality it is that he doesn't know how to understand that he has her, doesn't know how to feel close to her and feel her love for him. The love and closeness are there, he's just not understanding it. He doesn't need to do anything in order to be loved. He's not in danger of being abandoned, he doesn't need to keep watch for signs of her leaving him. He doesn't need more of her, he doesn't need to ask her for more, he just needs to see and understand that he has her, that he is loved by her.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Therapy and Ways You Can Pray

We have some awesome things in the works therapy-wise for Nathan! In a couple of weeks he'll be starting occupational therapy for his sensory processing disorder. The previous OT we did was not very successful because the therapists there didn't have much (if any) understanding of attachment disorders and they were very difficult to communicate with regarding Nathan's specific needs. We did make progress, but we were not very happy there and after a couple of months we decided to be done.

Our attachment therapist got us in touch with an occupational therapist who is very knowledgeable about attachment disorders and who specializes in sensory processing. We did an evaluation with her and she is WONDERFUL. This therapist has worked around the country training others, she has written parts of textbooks, etc. She's very well-trained and was so great to work with.

The problem? She works at an office about two hours away from our house. After much discussion, it's been decided that we will definitely be going there for therapy. Because of the severity of Nathan's issues (we were told we're the toughest case she's worked with!), we want to get in this therapy as soon as possible. In order to make good progress, they require that clients come in at least twice a week for sessions. That's a lot of driving!

Our current plan is for Nathan and I to go every week for 3 days: we'll stay overnight for two nights and get four sessions in during that time. This is going to be crazy in some ways, but really great in others. The hope, of course, is that we see lots of progress very quickly with such intense therapy.

The whole thing is a bit overwhelming though. We'll be doing 30 sessions before the end of March, and then re-evaluate to determine if more therapy is needed. We could really use some prayer during this time.

Some specifics you can be praying for:

  • My two other kids. We home school, so someone will have to be with the boys while I'm gone these days. We have family members stepping up to help, but in some ways this will still be a strain on them. Please pray they will do well, be able to get their school work done, and have good attitudes through this time. 
  • Our family members who will be helping us. 
  • Steve, who will be stepping up a lot to help with schooling the boys, giving me breaks from Nathan while I'm home, etc. 
  • That our marriage will remain strong and we'll have good communication with each other. 
  • That the therapy will be very effective, that we will see big results. (!!!!)
  • That Nathan will sleep at the hotel. 
  • That I don't lose my patience. Ahem. Guess I don't need to go into detail on that. 
  • That I'm also able to get good rest while away from home. 
  • Our finances. We are thankful that we're financially able to do this, but it will certainly be a strain. Pray that we will make wise decisions, that we will get good rates for a hotel room, etc. 
  • Safety as we're on the road. 

I know many have prayed for us through this entire adoption journey, and we so appreciate it. You are wonderful; thank you for supporting us!