Adoption, Trauma Parenting

Storm Swells and Pictures

They say a picture is worth a thousand words….


And if that’s the case, then this one is worth a million.  For most families who walk side-by-side with children from hard places, photos like these capture the true magnificence of a moment where the power of love and hard work pay off.

Recently, our family was able to sneak away for a few days of amusement park fun.  We loved every minute of it.  That is until we hit a small storm swell along the way.  It wasn’t completely unexpected…we had seen the “signs” of an oncoming storm for several days prior to our vacation.  We saw it in the pitch of her voice, the seemingly endless resistance to what should or should not be packed, and even in the way she held her shoulders.  Then, we found ourselves in the parking lot of the amusement park fully engaged in fighting back the oncoming storm.

A year ago, the storm would have had the potential to last for days.  It had the capacity to destroy furniture, hurl profanity in every direction, and send the other children in our home to seek cover.  On this particular day, the swell was threatening and I found myself sitting in the car watching it in the rear-view mirror, while the rest of the family swam at the water park.  Silently I prayed that we would be able to return to the park and that the underlying cause of the storm would be identified and understood.  You see, storms like these always have an underlying cause.  In this case, a swimsuit, an argument with an older sister, and a lie to cover it all up was the cause.

So there we sat in the car while the rest of the family swam,  and I waited for the storm to pass.  Within minutes (not hours and days like previous storm swells), an apology was extended and a solution was identified.  It was quite literally like watching the sun emerge through parted clouds after a thunderstorm.  Here was tangible proof that consistency and love that foster accountability for poor choices makes a difference.

As we made our way back to the swimming area of the park, we were met by her dad who was surprised to see us so quickly.  When they say a picture can capture a thousand words, here are a few of what it captured on this day in an amusement park following the storm when a father reached out for the hand of his daughter…








Bravery and Courage





The Bond Between Father and Daughter

The Power of a Family


…and most of all, LOVE!

From the land of chaos and clear skies,


This post originally appeared on our adoption blog,, in September 2016.