miss me yet?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

so here is a little note for those of you who are too afraid to ask us directly & instead are running to others to talk about what we are doing & why we are doing it.  trust me when i say that it would have been better to simply call, email, facebook, or simply find a way to seek us out.

fighting for lives.
fighting for hearts.
fighting fears.

chasing away anxieties.
chasing away fears.
chasing little boys.

understanding trauma.
understanding the brain.
understanding the hurts produced through adoption.

teaching manners.
teaching life.
teaching little lives about Jesus.

loving through actions.
loving when i don't want too.
loving because God has called me too.

crying alone.
crying with my kids.
crying out for God to help.

for the past 6 months... these things have been my life.  the past 6 months have blessed my life far greater than any other thing in my life.  God has stripped me of my comfort levels.  he has showed me what it means to remove myself from the equation & allow him to fight my fears & fight for the things that are important to me in my life.  these months have also been some of the most lonely months i have ever experienced.  because what i am deeply fighting for is healing & attachment.

here is a little bit about both.  plus a little extra.


adoption is brought out of something that is rooted in loss.  abandonment.  heartbreak.  often others view it as an opportunity.  an exciting journey.  a wonderful gift.  don't get me wrong.  it TRULY IS all those things, but at the root of adoption, at the root of titus & levi, at the root of us becoming a family, is loss.  they lost just about everything.  they have lost their country.  their culture.  their family.  friends... they have lost their family.  put aside for one second everything else.  they have lost their family.  it has only been a little over a year (1 year 3 months.  almost to the day) since they said goodbye to their dad. that alone needs healing.  healing deep wounds.  big heart break.  big emotions.  that alone takes time.

through the rush of emotions, every issue we are dealing with is rooted in this idea of healing.  we are trying to heal our boys of their hurts.  their trauma.  their heartache.  we are doing it all in the name of Jesus.  The Healer & Protector.  but we are fighting a battle that will break your heart when hurt rear their ugly heads.  hurts that are based in loss & tragedy.  hurts that are rooted in fear.  fears that one day i hope that our boys will share with the world... in the name of Jesus.  who claims victory over everything.  so we fight FROM that point.  we fight from victory.  not for it.  we fight from it.  BECAUSE Jesus has already won.

healing takes time.  a lot of time.  and titus needs it in spades.  my little guy, he has such a sweet spirit.  such a sensitive heart.  but others have bruised and hurt it.  we are helping him work through those hurts.  he remembers so much of the past.  so much of the ugliness of life in the middle of congo.  so much fear.  so much abuse by others.  he has the physical scars to prove it.  he does not trust others easily.  he does not want to be around others he does not know.  he & i were on a hike last week.  he wanted to talk to me about somethings off & on as we walked down glacier mountain in montana.  at some moments i thought i might cry a million tears.  there was a break in the conversation & i had let go of his hand because my hand was sweaty.  we both giggled and joked how weird our hands felt.  so we laughed and continued to journey down towards the bottom of the hill.  just titus & i.  it was one of the sweetest moments.  as we walked i noticed he saw someone looking at him.  in a panic way, he grabbed my hand really tight.  i asked him if he was okay.  he looked up at me and said yes.  that lady just scared me a little.  she looked at me weird & i was afraid.

these are some of our little battles.  fear from others looking at him.  fear that others will hurt him.  fear that someone will do something mean to him.  right now, the only place he will tell you he feels safe is with todd & i.  he will not even step foot out our door without us.  he needs time.  so we will give him time.  as much as his little heart needs.


oh attachment.  a word i never really knew until i adopted my little guys.  {sigh}.  something i took for granted with ash & j.  attachment refers to the "interpersonal bond between a child and his or her parent or caretaker." (the connected child)  it is a bond that starts within the womb of a mother & is transferred to the child.  a beautiful bond.  one that both my boys shared with their birth parents.  a bond that is hard to replicate because it means that they need to let go of the bond that they had with their birth parents & allow us to step into.  the depth of that loss does not go unnoticed.  not by us.  not by the boys.

so why work so hard?  why fight for attachment?  why battle emotions?  because in the end, it is everything.  if they are unable to fully attach to us, me specifically, than the issues and battles stem from their & get really difficult.  really fast.  one friend reminded me of things in this manner: "if they are unable to fully attach... how are they going to understand their need for Jesus."  that statement hit me.  like a ton of bricks.  i want all my kiddos to know and understand their need for Jesus.  i want them to have a relationship ship with my savior.  to know my Jesus.  and they do.  they have asked Jesus into their hearts.  to live in their hearts.  and that is where it begins.

how do we grow that?  how do we harvest that?  how do we encourage that?  psalm 139:13-16 "for you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.   i praise you , for i am fearfully and wonderfully made.  wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  my frame was not hidden from you, when i was being made in secret intricately woven in the depths of the earth. your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."

so now i fight.
i fight for attachment.
i fight like i am not going to get tomorrow.
because what if i don't.
what if the only jesus i show them is the jesus they see today.
from me.

the brain.

this one is for free.  the brain.  trauma brain is a beautiful mess.  early childhood trauma can re-arrange how your brain functions.  it can take you places that you are not currently in.  it can make you believe things that might not be true.  and at any moment, a single movement can trigger a memory that takes you right back to that hard place.

one of the greatest blessings from going to camp was to sit down and chat with a neurologist.  after having a LENS map, we got a clear picture into the trauma that the boys have experienced.  it was not unexpected information, however... the confirmation was hard.  at one point, todd had to take titus & levi out of the room because i was crying.  (titus cannot handle me crying.  it reminds him of a past experience that would traumatize anyone).  our little titus.  his brain revealed heartache.  it showed signs of mild PTSD.  friends.  he was 5 at the time of the map.  suffering from PTSD.  ugh.  tears.  my sweet little guy.

the brain has a right and a left side.  {duh}.  the right side is our emotions.  the left side is logical.  trauma brain gets stuck on the right.  it also has an "up stairs" & a "down stairs".  trauma brain gets locked down stairs {you amygdala... it quickly processes things & expresses emotions, especially things like fear and anger).  when it is locked downstairs, it is locked into a fight, flight or freeze mode.  you never want your kiddos to be in this situation.  it is heart breaking.  but there are ways to navigate through the rough waters of fight, flight or freeze.    knowing this... made one of levi's last fit situations a little bit easier.  okay.  a lot easier.  levi has not had a fit in a very long time.  (ultimately because we have put in a lot of time with both our boys. & know i will share very FEW stories publicly, but this seems to help with understanding).   in a moment of rage, levi had at it.  i simply tried to hold him in my arms... telling him it is going to be okay... telling him i love him... but he was asking for 'mommy'. wait.   what.  i was talking to him.  i was right there.  then it hit me.[ he had no idea where he was.]  i told him to look into his room.  and my room.  as we sit in the hallway.  he looked up and saw his room. & mine.  and then he looked at me.  it was that moment, i realized that he had no clue where he was.  seeing his room, my room, and realizing the person he was calling for was right there... & realizing how confused he was... we both realized what he needed.  almost immediately, he wrapped his arms around me and cried.

i have found out more about the brain than i ever thought i wanted to know.  & God made our brain to hurt.  but he also made it to heal.  so we are in the business of healing hearts & brains.

what we do.

so this is what we do.  we keep our world super small.  and by small... i mean really small (best advice EVER given to me).  it is so small in fact, that i often feel secluded and alone.  then i am able to remind myself of our purpose.  of our goal.  healing.  attachment.  family.  becoming a family.

so while i love each of you... and you question why i keep my boys at home... consider what we are trying to heal.  and why we are doing it.  imagine you went and lived in a different country.  different language.  different food.  nothing look familiar.  nothing looks the same.  wouldn't you need time to adapt?  to understand this new way of life?  wouldn't you want someone to FIGHT for you?

that is what we are doing.  we are giving our babies a chance.  we are allowing them to draw secure attachments to me, as well as to todd... then finally to ash & j.  they've lost a TON (trust us... their past are brutally painful) & time, love & consistency is what will help.  i have sacrificed 6 months of my time for my boys.  and i will sacrifice as much more as i need too... will you do me a favor... if you have questions.  ASK.  please don't ask my friends.  ask us.

i am willing to sacrifice my time (i have not even ran in 4 months).  and that is what they need.  if i'm not willing... what does that teach/ show them about me as a mom?  what does that show them a family is really about?   what does that ultimately show them about jesus?  so in this moment... can you sacrifice the judgements?  can you understand my sacrifice is for the greater good of my boys?  can you give up the ideology of what you think my life at church should look like?  please try.  because if i woke up tomorrow and had to do it all over again.  i wouldn't blink an eye.  i would do it again and again.  because those boys, they are my babies.  they are my boys.  and they need me.  everyday.  24 hours a day.  and i give it to them.  24 hours a day.  and i will do it again tomorrow.  and the next day.  because my JESUS asked us to sacrifice everything to help our sons.  so that is what we do.  we sacrifice.  we love.  we cry.  we do it with our hand open wide.  our hearts fully open.  our hurts fully exposed.

because they deserve it.  all kiddos do.  the deserve it.

the deserve greatness.
& i am trying to give that to them.
all four of them.
none of us would change a thing.
not me.
not todd.
not ash.
not j.

we will do it again.  hands down.
because james 1:27 says... "religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."  some care for orphans by donating money.  some adopt.  and while adoption looks different to some people.  this is how it looks to us.

we stay home on sundays.  we don't do youth group.  but i pray for the ministries of our church.  i love our church from a far.  but please.  ask.  don't judge.  just ask.

why haven't i been at church?  because the boys are not ready.  because titus tried it & didn't like the people touching him.  because it will take time.  because we love them more than we love the church.  because they have lost greatly.  because we need time.

because i will chose these 4 again and again.  i will fight for their health.  their attachment.  their hearts. their love.  i will fight for them to love JESUS.  everyday.  all day.  for as long as i live.


  1. Love this and sorry for your hurt but keep fighting it is worth girl!!!!


  2. Good for you, Summer! Sad that writing this was necessary - but God lives in your heart and HE called you to adopt and He knew what it would take to create the bond necessary to raise the boys that He placed in your amazing/loving/God fearing family. You, Todd and your kids are doing an amazing job with those boys. XOX Praying for you! - Kelly Mc.

  3. From your heart..........and beautiful! Psalm 139 is my very favorite of all scripture, and the Book of James is next in line. You touched my heart with your words and your choice of God's Holy Word. I'm so proud of you for your selflessness, your sacrifice, but mostly that you won't ever quit. I'll never forget the first time we shared lunch, and you told me of your desire to adopt - your heart was fully exposed that day, but today I hear in your words how your heart has been ripped out, twisted, scarred on behalf of your boys, and molded into something so beautiful that only Jesus can fully appreciate the transformation that's taking place inside you. What a beautiful gift you're giving Titus and Levi - a look at what pure love looks like - so they can take that kind of love into their little hearts and lives and into their future - imagine the day they share Jesus with someone whose life will be touched by theirs. Continuing to offer up prayer for all of you - with love and admiration! Sheila

  4. I can't even imagine anybody not being able to figure out your reasoning, so sorry Summer. My prayers are with you ALL, with this writing I can be even more direct. I hope it has taken some of the stress off by venting. I know we are not close but please call if you can use my help with anythin.
    Kathy Robinson

  5. Replies
    1. RIGHT? seriously. i wouldn't change a moment. not a moment of tears or heartache.


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