Here I go…taking the leap of faith and sharing publicly the radical idea we believe God has given us to help our kids get a breakthrough in their healing.
We believe that we should seriously pursue taking, in essence, a “gap year”. A year away from all the routines, appointments, expectations, activities, interruptions and the multitude of distractions from our now primary priority of bringing healing, regulation and bonding to our three newest children. Our hope is that the payoff of this gap year will be a solid foundation for the following years with more peace, love and family cohesion (and more sleep would be a huge bonus too!)
Our gap year would consist of taking off with a travel trailer and a minimal amount of “stuff” and traveling across the country at the start of the next school year. There are many obstacles to seeing this come to fruition – not the least being the kids adoption being finalized (we can’t do this with them in the system still). The fact that we do not own a travel trailer nor a SUV large enough to pull a trailer and seat the 8 of us is another big obstacle. And of course I am well aware of the stresses of traveling in tight quarters and being away from our vast support system of friends & family who are so very important to our sanity and who we will miss terribly. But honestly it is one of the reasons we believe this is truly a nudge from the Lord…because we would never tell ourselves to do this.
Before sharing our obstacles…let me explain why we believe this radical departure from our normal life may bring the break through needed.
❤️ Solidifying the Loving Connection with our family
I’ll never forget when the boys counselor looked at me and said….”more than anything else what heals brains is loving relationships.”
I was amazed that even in his mainly secular & scientific understanding of trauma he so clearly understood that love in action is the most powerful force in the universe. (And that was Gods idea from the beginning and is the foundation of the Christian faith )
At the end of your life the most important thing is your loved ones and the moments of connection you shared with them.
Building loving relationships and close connections take time….lots of time. With children we raise since birth…this loving connection develops naturally. With children you get half way through their childhood and with the trauma of broken relationships and rejection…this loving connection takes an intense amount of time, energy & purpose.
Times that by having three kids (and two birth children at home who still need that love & connection) and we can’t keep “trying” to do this & so often failing. We believe we need to take the time to cut out every distraction, every hinderance and do something radically different like this. Our focus can be fully fixed on building loving relationships & positive connections.
❤️ Healing through Gods creation in nature & Breaking Routine
Interaction with nature is a healing activity. Gods beautiful creation – mountains, trees, stars, oceans, lakes, sand, canyons, desserts, meadows…and I can go on and on…bring refreshment, peace, calm, inspiration and joy. Open, unstructured play in children has been shown to encourage creativity, reduce anxiety and even significantly reduce learning problems.
When we travel we are usually breaking our normal routine which means we can’t operate on autopilot. The decreased familiarity is an opportunity for most people to be more fully present, to really wake up and be more aware. This mindfulness has also been shown to reduce stress and increase compassion, resilience, and happiness.
We plan to spend a lot of time in these natural elements and watch the healing progress.
❤️ Education at its best – Hands on learning
What about school you may be asking?
Our children from hard places struggle with school and learning. Of course as their brains heal that will get easier but again with only half of their school years left we need to fast track them to be able to learn while they are healing. And bottom line the seemingly best way to do this is hands on learning where they can be actively engaging through nature, history, museums, culture, creating, travel and more. They also need us to be less distracted by our daily work & lives so we can better help them to enjoy and learn to love learning!
And my mantra has always been…Life is school!
❤️ Making positive Memories
Our new kiddos have memories in our city around every corner…and many are not positive but rather memories of abuse & neglect in their family of origin as well as several very challenging foster homes. We hope to build beautiful, loving, positive memories that will overshadow the ugly ones and help them on their journey to overcoming. Creating new unique memories with their new family will also provide a bonding experience for us all.
Next post: we will share our obstacles and ask for your prayers & perhaps partnership with us.