Bustling Winter Solstice With Children From Difficult Beginnings

Dear Parents,

In times past, dark, cold days and bare tree limbs would signal a time for slowing down and snuggling up cozily with loved ones.  Today, you might find yourself rushing around with pink cheeks, children in tow, trying to squeeze the last drop of holiday bustle out of the light before the shortest day of the year retreats into total darkness.

Whew!  Slow down if you can. Take a breath. Children feel safe and loved when you play with them, look at them sweetly, and laugh out loud with full abandon in their presence.  Tired, grumpy, worn out, holiday weary parents are rarely delightful.  How do I know this?  I learned the hard way.  Here are some things my kids love to talk about when gathered for holiday meals:

Remember when you gave us those toys you made out of clay for Christmas, Mom?  They were so cute.  I remember having a huge fit when one of them broke after I tried to stuff it into a toy car.  That was so fun, Mom!

Remember when Frank (our Black Lab) knocked over the tree?  That was hysterical.  I think that was the first time I saw you cry, Mom.  I couldn’t believe my eyes and I remember us all really laughing at you for crying.  Not very nice, were we?  After a minute, you started laughing with tears squirting out of your eyes.  

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Mom, remember buying matching Christmas sweaters every year?  Big laughter breaks out all around after someone starts that worn out story because there were never any Christmas sweaters and certainly nothing matching.  That memory is 100% false.  It started when my daughter was around 10 and has persisted now as a joke.  Some might think this a bit crazy–talking together about a memory that never happened.  It is our way of acknowledging that things were just a tad off sometimes around our house, and still are from time to time.  Good to laugh at ourselves than rigidly deny our experiences.

Here is a fact: None of my children ever mentions one single present I ever bought and gave them for Christmas.  All the bustling around is not the stuff of healing.  It’s icing for sure but try very hard not to confuse it for the cake.

Happy Winter Solstice, sweet parents.

Love matters,


Holiday Cheers to you parents, in case you missed it from all of us at The Attach Place.

Upcoming Events and Things in Sacramento…

GIVE MY BOOK FOR SUPPORT TO A FELLOW ADOPTION ADVENTURER: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  At Amazon or discounted at www.attachplace.com.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 19, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks, right? This is a  monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–6-8 yrs group and 9 to 11 yrs group.  The groups will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin in January 2018.  Contact Jen at Jen@attachplace.com for more details.

If you haven’t responded to the Capital Adoptive Family Alliance (California residents only) survey about needs you have for your family while raising adopted children, here is the linkFill it out now!  That is my way of encouraging everyone to answer the survey questions to the best of your ability. You can skip anything that you don’t want to answer.  This is a way to get funding channeled to adoptive parents.  Super special opportunity for all of us adoptive families who need financing for services.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on January 10th, 2018! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

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