Sunday, December 06, 2020


 Trauma Parenting.

A year and some ago, as I led a training for families interested in helping foster families within our church (no, we don’t foster, I just volunteer with this ministry), I heard the video once again say that kids who have experienced trauma have different needs than a child who has not experienced trauma may have.  They’re all “just kids” but there are certain things to think about when caring for or babysitting for a child who has come from a history of trauma.

It got my mind going, and I had to set that down to finish the training, but when I got home it all resurfaced.I wrote this out that night, and I only shared it with a small group of families like ours.  I came back across it and I think there are more than that small circle that need to hear about trauma.  About what it is like to be a family who has a child that has experienced trauma.

Trauma dictates how we go out.  It dictates what activities we decide to do and which we do not.  Trauma comes in to every decision making process we have in our home.  How we do birthdays, how we handle activities, how we attend events, how we attend church, how we… and so, I wrote it down. 

How parenting kids from a history of trauma affects our lives:
-dictates how we go out and when we need to stay home

-dictates what activities or events we do and which we pass on, and the entire ‘mood’ of the outing oftentimes

-affects how we handle discipline inside and outside of the home

-determines what birthday celebrations we have for those children, and how we handle birthdays for others, to some extent

-affects whether or not the affected kids can take part in extracurriculars, and of what types

-affects how we attend church, when we can attend church, and often times the entire experience while there when we attend

-affects every holiday celebration in our home

-affects how we have bedrooms set up

-affects how we handle company that comes by for a few minutes (seriously, even the UPS guy)

-affects how we handle company that are coming for several hours of time but only on occasion

-affects how we handle company that come for holidays or special occasions, especially for multiple days

-affects how we can interact with company that comes or plans to come on a fairly regular basis but doesn’t yet know the affected kids well
-affects how we wake up in the morning

-affects how we go to bed at night and what types of monitoring needs to be used between bed time and morning to keep everyone safe

-determines what level of “letting our guard down” is really possible in a day

-affects our eating schedule, making sure it doesn’t stray far enough to cause issues

-affects how much supervision we have to provide in which activities

-affects how we respond to specific behaviors that can cause escalation

-affects how we stand, talk, what tone we use, and what protective stances we have in place when escalation occurs

Trauma affects EVERY aspect of our lives.  We don’t just parent a child who has a history of trauma.  We learn how to live with the elements of trauma years later that continue to bring us to our knees and pray that Jesus heal their hearts and minds.

Trauma is life changing, physically brain altering, and it is not something that just “goes away” from love and supervision and consistency.  Trauma is hard.

Adoption is still worth it.

Flipping the coin- which is a bigger sacrifice?  To live with a child who triggers from trauma and sometimes goes right off the deep end with raging and things that seem crazy, or to know that that same child is living in filth and dysregulation and hunger across the world, unloved and lonely because we decided it wasn’t worth it to us to give up some of ourselves to help him or her?  Everybody deserves a family. Everybody has hope. Recovering from trauma isn't easy, but the process of recovery will never go anywhere if noone ever allows themselves to be affected in order to help another person heal. To my trauma kids: You are worthy.

To my trauma mommas and daddies: You are valued.

To those who support the families in the trenches: You are needed.

I think it is always good to remember that God is good, even in the hard stuff.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

TEN years ago we became a family of TEN!

On Dec 02, 2010, we adopted Wesley in a court in Ukraine. A few days prior, on November 28, we adopted Aleksa at a different court in a different region of Ukraine! Just prior... We adopted James on September 1, 2010! He was in our home for just over 3 months before that as a foster placement with the intention of adoption.

When we look back at life in 2010 it was a WILD year. Lynae was born in September of 2009, so her year of infancy happened at the same time that God brought James to our family through foster care adoption. At the same time I was working (as a volunteer) with an adoption ministry running their Ukraine program and advocating for special needs adoption, as well as helping independent adoptive parents to complete their paperwork in a correct and timely manner. When Wesley came across our computers and a grant was given to him to find a family since he was in urgent need of adoption (he was already supposed to be transferred to an institution and had been sheltered for a time to keep him from transfer), we spent a week in prayer and then Mike said "that's us. Let's go."
What a busy year, a bit of a blur, really. I left for that trip a week and a half after Lynae turned a year old, and then went to adopt Wesley... and then Aleksa as well... about 6 weeks later. We missed our homecoming at Christmas and
Christine Harm
(she went with me for almost a month to help me bring the kids home!) and I ended up celebrating in Ukraine, then came home on December 30th with our new arrivals.
As I look back on 'memories' of today, exactly a year later, in 2011, I was traveling home from Bulgaria with
Shelley Bedford
when helping her bring her new daughter home! Although we have a child from Bulgaria, this trip with Shelley was my only experience traveling there since our son was already in the USA before he came into our lives. It was definitely a special trip and opportunity to see his country (which of course we didn't even know about him for 2.5 years after this trip), and to be able to do some missions outreach in Bulgaria as well. That was my last trip across the big pond! It's hard to believe it has been 9 years...
As a little fun side note, I found out on that Bulgaria trip that I was pregnant with Delaina, too 🙂 . She is my only biological child that traveled to Eastern Europe! She was only big enough to make me sick enough to know I was pregnant withough needing a pregnancy test on our long flights home, though! Ha! When we traveled,
Rachel Davis
's husband and mother in law were with us for a leg of the journey, bringing their son Jordan home, and their mom kept telling me I must be pregnant. I was in some serious denial!
We have come a long way since picking up those two little ones in Ukraine in 2010. We've gone from a family of 10 to a family of 16, by adopting 2 more times and having 4 more biological kids. We moved from our "lifetime" home of central Florida to northern Georgia. Our lives have a whole lot more medical involvement now than they did before. We had ZERO g-tubes in early 2010, then James joined our family and eventually Wesley got a gtube, and now of course we have Nya with her gtube but also a trach, ventilator, and occasionally O2 needs. James also has home oxygen, and Wesley developed epilepsy almost 6 years ago now.
Just a little reminiscing 🙂 Here's a throwback picture to December 2010 and a picture from October 2020 from Aleksa's 18th birthday!

In 2010 (above) we had Aleksa (8), Emma (7), Kristopher (6), Wesley (5), Brianna, James, and Micah (all 4), and Lynae (1)

In 2020 (above) we now have Aleksa (18), Emma (17), Kristopher (16), Wesley (15), Brianna, James, and Micah (all 14), Paul (12), Lynae (11), Delaina (8), Harper (5), Nya (4), Silas (2), and Ryleigh (9 mos)

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

The dish on disability and periods from moms

Four years ago I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and opened up a conversation on my Facebook wall about disability and… PERIODS.  Female cycles.  YIKES!  I wanted to do a follow up, a “then and now” since at the time of the original post, I had only 1 teen female with disabilities in my home.  Now… I have THREE!  At the time of my original post, we had a conversation with 190 comments, so, I’m sharing the original post here as well as a summary of comments that were left so that we can continue the conversation! After the words from the experts, our family update on this subject is at the very end.

December 2, 2016: (this will only be linkable if we are friends on Facebook)

Disability parenting means talking about things you do NOT want to talk about sometimes.  This is the case here.  Feel free to skip right on over this post if you are not a parent of a daughter with special needs or medical professional. 

Let’s talk about something that none of us want to talk about (ever) but some of us NEED to talk about.  Female monthly cycles… for our disabled daughters.

This has been a very (very very very very very very) difficult thing for us the last several months, and for my own sanity I have only asked for prayer as we handled it and talked to doctors (just to make an appointment thus far) and attempted to live through it.  I knew if I started writing I would say more than I should, so I asked for prayer and closed my mouth.  Right now, while I do not have a child with her cycle today, I can write about it a little better 🙂.

Let me start with the fine print.  I don’t like to discuss anything on social media that would embarrass my children, however because she has zero understanding and not a care in the world about any of it, and likely never will, I have decided to open up and ask for the sake of knowledge, understanding, education, and whatever else I can gain from other BTDT parents who would like to share all of that above good stuff with me. 

I am traumatized.  My daughter couldn’t care less about any of it.  I hate periods.  Mine, hers, anyone else’s I have to deal with… it just is so gross to me.  I can deal with all the other ‘medical’ stuff.  This is a 24 hour a day mess that takes away all of my daughter’s independence and keeps me literally following her to the bathroom every hour for several days and spending 15 minutes there with her. 

The rest of the time I have to keep an eye on where she is, what she’s sitting on, and keep a timer going to not go too long before dragging her back to the bathroom.  It is imprisoning right now.  For her because of her loss of independence, and for me because I can do NOTHING else, and go nowhere during that time.  Plus there's all the actual clean up that I'm doing every hour which is something I will not give direct imagery on for your sake.

There’s no way for me to deal with this in a public restroom with 10 other children (or ONE other child!  This isn’t truly a ‘large family’ issue).  Something’s got to give.  The crying, and nearly vomiting aren’t healthy (those are my symptoms of dealing with her periods.  She is completely fine with it all 😉 ).

We will be seeing the gynocologist on Monday to discuss options for her and I’d like to have a little more knowledge when we go.  I discussed this with him a little over a year ago before either of our oldest daughters started their cycles, so he was aware we would be coming and shared some very basic and general info with me at that time, however now’s the real deal. That was our "let's make a plan".  Now, well,  we’re sinking here.

I think this is an area where there’s a lot of silence, and not a whole lot of information.  I’m sure I’m not the only one sinking, and I’m also sure there are many of you who have gone before us and sunk and somehow figured it all out and gone on with life… 🙂  I know it will be 'worked out'.  I hope and pray that's true, anyway...


The response from who *I* consider to be the experts!! (aka, moms of girls! These are from the comments of the original post. Names have all been omitted)

I gave some more information: We have been preparing, but that said, I was still completely unprepared. It has been worse than anything I had ever imagined it could be, and not only that, we had 4 or so ok ones to start which gave this false sense of "its gonna be ok" Then it has been two cycles of horrible horrible horrible, for 8 days and 3.5 between starts. Horrible. If someone told me what I would experience I'd have said- it can't be THAT bad. But it is.

One response to the use of pads: “Adhesive from pads + pubic hair = horrible experience....”

Many suggested depends (we were using a similar underwear type of diaper at the time), Thinx or other varieties of “period panties.”  Here was my reply at the time: “We have an issue with her removing a pad and diaper with her hand straight over the part that is dirty-- and squeezing it. I'm not sure this would have any more favorable results for us in that department with poor fine motor skills.”  Another mom said this: “We talked about a couple of resolutions and I've made an appointment but in the meantime, let me just say that Thinx underwear have made an extremely difficult and unpleasant time a little more bearable. Her issue is that if she doesn't have to wear protection she doesn't have her period. So she sneaks away and takes the pad out. They look like regular underwear and no pad is needed so for now, our issue is resolved.”  Another mom offered this: “We have Thinx, and they are no better than what you are dealing with when changing a pull-up. The difference is Thinx cannot handle HEAVY flow. (I have a daughter with heavy flow, and they can't handle it!)”

Several left comments like the following: “I know I've read many things on this (a while ago)...some controversial. From hormonal options (BCPs, Depo shots, etc) to implants/IUDs, to hysterectomies... I'm not sure where we will end up. My daughter is tough. On a good day. Soooo much trauma in her history.  I just can't imagine this will go well. At all…  If I'm being honest, she doesn't even wipe well. I.just.cant.imagine.”

A few brave souls shared their own experiences with other options: “Being on a hormonal supplement (like birth control) used to make my periods farther apart, much lighter and the emotional balance for me was much better too after a few months on. I believe you can get it packaged to make periods a few months apart instead of every month to maintain both health AND sanity.”  Another said “I have had an IUD for 7 years now and not had a period in that's glorious and possible. The shot did not work for me and made me bleed for over a year...every day. So I'm telling you all this TMI to let you know that if one form doesn't work don't be discouraged and try another form.”  And a third: “Fyi..with the impanon(arm) alot of women myslef included bleed for months at a time. I was on it for over a yr with constant bleeding before i removed it. My doc. Said alot of women have that side affect. Constant or gone.”

Another common response was “I’m listening” because their daughter was approaching puberty.  “This made me feel so much better. My daughter is still completely in diapers, no clue she's going or has gone. She will go on the stool then stand up and pee her way back to her room. I felt like she was the only one not trained!!! (My other child is completely trained with the exception of night time). I dread my daughter starting her period, it freaks me out, with my luck I will just get her trained and then we will have that!”  I could definitely relate!  “I have 3 trained and 3 not. One is 13 and doesn't have any idea. Another is 10 and has so many other issues, toileting is the last of our worries. The third is almost 9 and I think he will train soon. Every kid is so different.”

An adult friend with disabilities offered some personal advice: “It's more painful for us with physical disabilities and a little more complicated as far as 'supplies'. Birth control is a great idea. I was on it at her age just to regulate my cycle.”

A few moms looked at this topic from a different angle- that of fertility: “Some will disagree with our approach but we have our daughter on birth control pills that limit her period to 1-2 very light days. She simply cannot handle a full blown period. And as sad as this is to say, she is in public school and not very boy who is nice to her has good intentions. She needs protection from boys who would convince her to let them abuse her and possibly get her pregnant.”  Another chimed in, “This has always been one of my big discussion points. We are not with our girls 24/7, and cannot trust that everyone around them have good intentions. A friend of mine used to do foster care and one of her foster children was born to a 22 yo mom who has Ds.”

And of course, I don’t have the only opinion on female cycles, so a few shared their differing perspectives, which I appreciate! “I've got three now that have periods. But it does not bother me nearly as much as it bothers you.”  They went on to say “All three girls are semi independent with it. One bleeds much more heavily than the other two, and wears a pull up diaper for a couple of days, but that's it.  Thinking of a bidet attachment for the toilet? I'm considering.”  Someone else shared: “I can't speak as the Mom of a special needs kid, so on that front I'm not super helpful. I can say that while you may be grossed out its a completely natural and normal process you, and her, body go through. People don't talk about it enough so it's become some sort of taboo gross thing, when it shouldn't be that way. From your perspective I certainly understand the dread and discomfort having to navigate that every month for someone who isn't able to deal with it independently. From an outside perspective, and this would have to be both a personal choice based on your personal beliefs and what's best for her per her doctor.”

Another option described was ablation:  “I'm definitely interested in hearing more about the ablation option. What would the negatives be? (I didn't have one, so I don't know a lot about it.)”  A personal perspective was shared: “I personally had an ablation done for myself due to heavy periods (as I approach menopause) -- it's fantastic, but I still have a little bleeding maybe about every 3 months for a handful of days. I'm guessing it's because I had some cysts and such that it had to go around, but it's not guaranteed to completely eliminate the period. In having it, you have to have permanent birth control as well - I had my tubes tied at the same time. My OB would not do it until we could guarantee that I would never get pregnant again.”  Someone else shared “A peds gyn told me that ablation isn't a good option at such a young age since the uterine lining can supposedly grow back after a few years.”  Another perspective: “Our doctor advises very strongly against ablation for kids with developmental disabilities, because they may not be as capable of telling you when they are having symptoms of potential cancer. And ablation can hide the cancer. Just a thought”

One mom shared a perspective about a conversation with her daughter with developmental disability: “we had a conversation about ablation, and the doctor told me that he felt very strongly that doing it chemically was much safer and it was not a risk he was willing to take. We really do need to see an OB/GYN though and get a more permanent plan because my daughter really wants to just be done with it all together. She also wants to have babies someday and although that is very unlikely, she would never agree to anything that would permanently take that option away at this time. She handles it pretty well but she does hate it.”

Another aspect of personal care was school!  “We are facing that with my daughter right now. We are still discussing with her doctors of what to do. I also have to add the girls go to public school and do not feel like their teachers should have to deal with this either. I'm really torn.”  A mom shared their response to the school issue: “We use the above mentioned pill and have three periods...... plan is either thanksgiving or christmas break/ spring break/ and a week in summer when it is supposed to rain the whole week.”

Other resources were given:  “There is a closed group on FB: Down syndrome and Puberty. It's not very active now, but maybe some post might help you. With your other daughters (and sons), I recommend the book "Teaching Children with Down Syndrome about Their Bodies, Boundaries, and Sexuality, A Guide for Parents and Professionals."”

A birth control shot was discussed, and a common theme in replies was this: “We didn't do the shot bc if there are bad results, you're stuck for 90 days. Pills are easier to change and adjust since it's a once a day dosage.”

Speaking of a regular pill, several stated it helped or didn’t help, and what type they used.  Here as one of the more unique replies but I’m sure there are more with this same outlook! “We have both our girls on "the pill"- from 7+ days of heavy to 2-3 light, and it has made a world of difference for cramps.. we choose not to go drastic because God made our bodies to function that way and who really knows if procreation is the ONLY reason it does.. was just our thoughts.”  A response to this (simply another perspective): “I'm not a fan of chemical birth control so in addition to not being familiar with it since I do not use it, I questioned where I stood as far as the moral dilemma I have myself with taking it (I understand that not everyone sees this as an issue, but it's something I was thinking through). I basically decided that it is not being used AS birth control- because sex is required to form a baby and there's none of that ever happening for either of my daughters so the aspects of hormonal birth control that I don't like are not something that even comes into play for either of my daughters.”

The elephant in the room that many wondered about was brought up by a few: “A cousin of mine struggled with very very heavy periods. She has down syndrome and severe autism. She wasn't "bothered" per day by her period but she wasn't able to care for herself. My aunt tried birth control in both pill and shot form and nothing seemed to cease her cycles, or even slow them down any. After a couple of years and many many doctors they made the tough choice to have a partial hysterectomy. She kept her ovaries so she didn't go into hormonal menopause but lost her uterus.”  Another friend shared: “In situations like this I personally see no problem with her having a partial hysterectomy and having her uterus removed. Some people may think I'm horrible to say that. However you have to look at what she's suffering through as well. Just removing the uterus will cause the bleeding to stop because there will be nothing to bleed. Her ovaries still intact will cause her to go through her regular hormonal cycles and be healthier for her body.”  Many others said this is the direction they would choose for their daughters, if given the choice.  “We aren't there yet...but she's 12 1/2 so I'm hoping for a hysterectomy. I don't see why she needs a uterus, she's so severely delayed it isn't likely that she will ever surpass 3 years mentally, so she will never be able to consent sexually or even understand all of that. She can't wipe herself at almost 1e and only goes through the motions of washing hands not grasping fully cleaning them let alone cleansing her feminine region so a period sounds like literal hell. If the doctor won't do a partial hysterectomy hopefully he will do an ablation. My daughter would freak out and think she's dying if she had that much blood on her. I would think that would be more trauma than losing her uterus which she doesn't know exists, will not ever care about, and at a 18 month-3 year old cognition, I hope to goodness never uses.” “Partial hysterectomy would be what I would choose, If I had a daughter. No more messes and she gets to keep her ovaries/hormones.”  “I am so thankful you have brought this subject out here for so many to discuss. I have learned a lot just from reading the responses here and appreciate all the input. With that said, I have three girls with Ds that I am facing this very soon with and my decision is that I do not want any of them having a period at all so I would choose the hysterectomy. Now of course I realize that I need to get approval for this but this is the part that just chaps my behind. These are my daughters for whom I make all the decisions for and am held legally and morally responsible for in all aspects of her life except when some bureaucrat or doctor says otherwise?? Anyways, thank you to all for sharing your experiences and thoughts.”

The natural manager mom shared her experience: “I'm sorry you're going through this Meredith and I have no helpful words for you. My girls are both 15 and started a few years ago. They both had a hard time at first, and one chose to wear pull ups during her period each month. Now they both change their own pads-- so frequently that they each go through an entire pack each month. They do get moody and one gets crampy which is helped by advil, and we have no plans to use birth control.”  “My daughter is 16, had her period for at least 3 years now. Every once in a while we have a catastrophe, but she has learned how to take care of it. She is barely verbal, but between her OT, her hab worker and I we have come up with great solutions. It took a little bit of time. But she is independent with it. Probably the biggest problem is remembering to buy supplies. I forget.”  “My husband and I used to run group homes for Developmentally delayed adults. We had a variety of different disabilities, with a huge range of cognitive function, if they were potty trained, then they also dealt with their periods independently.”

And of course, there’s always these little jibes! LOL! “One more reason I only adopt boys!” Andall the girl moms replied: “Boys are gonna give us sexuality issues from a different direction! Lol”

And, those who aren’t in it, but read it to just be able to relate to people and understand: “Girl...I cannot even begin to imagine what you're going through. That is something I had never thought about u having to deal with.”

I’ll close out with the loving comments from those who just wanted to say thanks to ALL for their open dialog: “I just want to say "thank you" for posting this. You know that we're not in your shoes but our hearts know that it's a possibility someday. I'm thankful for friends like you who are open and honest. This gives good food for thought and a way to pray for those of you dealing with this currently. ❤ So, thanks!”   “Thank you for posting this. I'm learning a lot as we will be facing this MUCH sooner than I care to think about. Hugs!”  “I appreciate you being willing to talk about this. It's on my mind a lot lately. My daughter is developing but so far (thank God!) no period. Her ped said we had at least a year a few months ago. I'm planning to see how it goes first. She will wash herself in the shower but only after being reminded and I have to remind her to wipe after using the toilet - so, I don't know what it's gonna be like. It's been really helpful to read the ideas and tips in this post. Thanks!”


You thought you made it to the end with that, right?  But, how about NOW?  Now where are we at with things, 4 years later??  We have not one, but three teen girls with disabilities.  I’ll give a quick update!  At nearly 2 years of terrible periods and multiple pill options tried, our oldest ended up with 40+ days of bleeding and the doctor finally said he was done if I was done, and it was considered medically necessary to do a partial hysterectomy.  We had been literally captive for the entire Christmas and New Year’s holidays and momma was losing my mind!  It took many months to get the surgery scheduled, but in the end she had her uterus removed!  I will add that we have had a recent instance with a mild period! Even with no uterus?? Yes…  Scary, isn’t it?? Well, the gynocologist had a few ideas for what caused it, and if it happens again we will have to see what is definitely going on there!  For my next two girls, so far we are at very light and manageable cycles.  With covid, the appointment I had scheduled in May ended up being canceled, and really we’ve managed ok.  I’m hoping to use the pill to regulate their cycles so we have some predictability.  Our biggest issue is that our toilet trained daughter sometimes just ignores the blood and goes on with life. Our other daughter is in a pull up all the time, so it is just a matter of us following her to the restroom to remove a soiled diaper without making a mess with it, then cleaning her up well at the end of her time in the restroom.

Life is never boring around here!  Please leave me an update or your own (kindly worded :D ) thoughts on the topic if you’d like!

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Where did it go??

You know when you buy something for a specific purpose,  then you don't end up using it for that,  so it sits in one place for a long time? 



Then you get tired of seeing it sit there,  so you say "I'm going to put this somewhere else.  It's just in the way here."  And you move it.


Out of the way. 

Then,  you come up with another situation that it would work perfectly for.   

And. You.  Can. Not. Find. It. Anywhere. 

Welcome to our home.   Where did that remote power switch we bought for the Christmas light outside last year,  then never used for the light last year, so it sat in our foyer until June before being put... somewhere ... go????

What’s in your nativity?

We’re entering the Christmas season and as we deck the halls with lights and garland, we also take out the porcelain nativity scene and place it high on a shelf, away from all the fingers that will peel the creche apart at the seams.  Our family has also had a small “Little People” nativity set for many years, placed in the middle of the chaos of our own little people, ready for play and familiarity.  This year as we unboxed our Christmas decorations we found only a few pieces of the set.  I’m sure the rest of the pieces are together, somewhere, along with all of the Rudolph play set that is also missing.  We still left the stable up in the play area, and our kids quickly familiarized themselves with it again. 

I loved hearing Harper (5) tell Silas (2) that “that is where Jesus was born, and this (holding up the character) is Mary.  She’s been in my bedroom ALL YEAR!”  She went off to play, and I came back to the room a few minutes later.  This is the scene I found Silas playing out, complete with his thousand words an hour that he needs to get out.

Jesus has been located.  Not baby Jesus, mind you, but Jesus as an adult. 

Mary is praying on the roof top.  With Santa.  Maybe she’s helping him with his deliveries?

There are 2 dogs visiting the manger scene.  Silas loves dogs, so it only seems appropriate. 

I couldn’t get the scoop on Lightning McQueen and why he was in the manger, but really, that got me thinking.

As adults, what is in our own nativity?  When we build up the framework for our own Christmas story, what do we put inside the stable?  Is the Stable empty, only a few items left inside, unrelated to Christmas itself but more about our own interests?  Is Jesus on the outside, looking in, interacting with the fictitious idea of a gift giver from afar? (For what it’s worth, as a family we celebrate Jesus’s birthday with Santa bringing each child a gift as he, too, celebrates the Christ child!)  Has the baby been lost? Misplaced, maybe?  Are the wise men who seek him too far to be found?  Does our story of Christmas center around the Jesus-baby-turned-Jesus-adult and His sacrifice coming to the earth for our salvation?  

Today the play of my 2 year old challenged me to study my nativity.  

This Christmas I’m going to enjoy the Santa, adult Jesus, and Mary conversations on the rooftop of the stable told by my imaginative 2 year old, and I’m going to focus my own heart on the Jesus-baby turned Jesus-adult in my own nativity safe on the shelf where Silas can see it and copy it in his play, but where the story won’t be changed.  Jesus will stay at the center. 

(PS: I was able to purchase another kids’ nativity set on friday, so we can recover the story of Christ’s birth in our children’s play and learning as well.  Santa and adult-Jesus are, of course, invited to come visit as often as their appearance is brought about, though).