Too Many Troubles

Yup! Sometimes the troubles are as hard as remembering what way is left and what way is “wiiight”. Sometimes they are as hard as remembering they are all in our brain. Aint no place that troubles don’t go….

The cool thing though, is that when we take them to someone or somewhere else and let them out, they usually don’t seem AS hard.  They start to become more manageable. 

Just 4 days after Jeff recorded this video, Savanna left our house unexpectedly and did not come home for a couple of years. 

We recently had the opportunity of sharing some of our journey for the first time in a public arena. I posted these pictures of us on the way to our radio interview and before we hopped in the car afterwards.

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A friend of mine commented that we looked a little happier and a little freer in the second one.  There is so much power in sharing our stories. Not just the pretty ones that fit neatly into some unattainable perfect package.  The ones with the troubles.  The fact is there ARE too many troubles.  We face them every.single.day.  When we keep them all in our brain, they only grow bigger in volume and power.  The truth will set you free. This has never proven itself wrong to me or my family. 

Don’t get me wrong, sharing openly is not always easy.  We’ve found most of the time it’s actually really hard.  But, intentionally working together over the last 2 years, our family has found a groove.  We are all in an awesome season of sharing our truths. It started with my girls.  Together we learned the healing power in vulnerability.  Sharing our messy and broken (but beautiful!) stories involves SO much vulnerability.  It is awelcomed  vulnerability, though, because it is a shame-smasher.  In our family, shame is not welcomed.  Shame leads to secrecy and secrecy feeds the lies of our hurtful pasts.  So we do out best to tell it like it is – and 100% of the time we are able to follow through, we feel a little lighter and a little freer and a little braver and a little more ready to keep on keeping on and working through the troubles…

Two nights ago we got a bombshell share from Chelsea.  She took that first step and shared another piece of her story. Initially, Chelsea told me how awesome she felt and that she was so thankful she had talked to us.  But once we were headed to and got in that therapy room at The Tree House and had to tell a little more of the story…it was SO hard. So hard that her brain tried every trick in the book to keep her from sharing it – dissociation, aggression, distraction, forgetting, falling asleep.  We kept on keeping on and eventually she was able to share the hardest parts of that story. Eventhough during the hour it felt yucky, as soon as we got driving, Chelsea’s free spirited self came out. She was able to enjoy the fresh air blowing on her beautiful blonde hair as she sang her heart out.  Even more beautiful and powerful, she was able to share with me how proud she was of herself for working hard and “letting it go”. And then she said, “Mom. I am so thankful for this day and this family I have. I am so glad that now I feel safe. Tomorrow I might not feel safe again, but I have you and Daddy and I can talk to you about it instead of acting out like I did this time. Thank you for always helping me.” Together, we can do hard things. 

I was meeting with a writer yesterday.  They had read the blog and knew some of our story, but asked me to tell it to them from the beginning. I hadn’t ever done that. I needed to do that. I had so much bounce in my step as I walked back to the car; weight had surely been lifted!  

Much of the story highlighted how there are a whole lot of troubles.  Near the end of our conversation,  they asked me if there are ever days where we just sigh with relief and say “this has been a nice and easy day.” There hasn’t been one to date.  Instead, I explained to her that we live for the moments like that. And, there are no shortage of those…even if constantly fleeting, we find enough of them to get through each day and honestly feel that we wouldn’t trade our life for anything.  It’s not often that all is well with all of us at the SAME time. We live for these kind of moments…they are truly miraculous.  After a touch and go morning, we’re having an all is well kind of afternoon.  At least for the moment – here’s proof captured.
 
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If you stay up to date with me on FaceBook, you know we had a big share with Savanna last week as well. After 2 years of hard work, she completed her trauma therapy which culminated with the sharing of her narrative.
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“Hi this is savanna and I am so happy that I am going to share my trauma narrative with my mommy and daddy and dr. Meyer today. Me and my mommy toke this pics at grandma and grandpas house. they are are feeling pics. ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ ”

Here we are on our way in with the perfect bag for the occasion.

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Awesome it was.  Equally awesome and hard.  She was BEAMING as she shared the first 10 pages.  Then, page 11 came. Page 11 has her hardest part.  And her brain tried to tell her she couldn’t.  We worked our strategies to change that thought and she was able to believe she could…and then…she did.  She did it!  We did it!  Together!  Then afterwards, look how proud and free she felt compared to the first set of feeling pictures. Eyebrows relaxed, shoulders down as she holds on to her “friends”, standing tall, and probably the most natural smile I’ve ever seen on her.

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Life is hard, but good. 

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About Kristin Phoenix

daughter turned teacher turned social worker turned wife turned foster parent turned mom When people who donโ€™t know our family story find out that we fostered and adopted the girls, we generally get one of two reactionsโ€ฆโ€I would have never known. They look just like you!โ€ or โ€œOh, how beautiful.โ€ Both of these things are 100% true โ€“ on the surface. The picture perfect, shiny, pretty surface. But, just below the surface is a whole lot of mess and brokenness. Our girls endured things that I never even read about in my textbooks. Our family endured things that go completely against the 3 philosophies of safety, permanency, and well-being that the child welfare system is in place to protect. When we have the chance to share a little bit more, the response always goes something like โ€œbutโ€ฆhow?!โ€ฆand why?!โ€ I believe in dreaming big. Part of my dream is a child welfare and healthcare system that would have prevented unnecessary trauma for my girls, my family, and our community. The other part is one of redemption and recovery for everyone involved in our story โ€“ which is everyone. I now believe part of why our family endured what we did is so that people would hear our story and ask the hard questions of how and why. With sexual abuse, trauma, foster care, and adoption, we never truly know until we find ourselves in a position of not knowing. Because of the nature of our case, I often found myself in a position of not being able to really answer the hows and whys. I reached a point where staying silent was the only option. Now that our adoptions are finalized, it is time for me to break the silence. This blog is me daring to run after my dreams โ€“ even when I find myself out of breath (which is mostly every. single. day.) It is stories of how the collective we have lived up to the Phoenix name and are rising from the ashes to burn bright! I also currently write and edit for Social Justice Solutions
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3 Responses to Too Many Troubles

  1. Thanks for sharing your life and encouraging others in their own troubles. I’m glad I got to share a little with you. Loved listening to the podcast.

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  2. Tammy Glass says:

    This Journey of yours and Jeff’s is so incredibly worthwhile! These 3 girls of yours has certainly had a rough road but I believe with all my heart that with such wonderful Parents and God in their lives they all three are going to become some of the most Awesome people ever! Excited to see the Good they will do!! P.S. They are already awesome but I was referring to when they become Adults and have choices to make! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

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