Hands and house

Hands and house

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ravenna's Fabulous Family Tree!!!

      Our sweet tender Ravenna has been walking through some deep grief and questioning over the last few months. She has been really wrestling with wanting to see and know her birthmom, to tangibly feel her and be known by her. We have both curled up and wept together, talked to God about the pain and agreed that we will love and honor her birthmom and these feelings in every way that we can, she and I. I wrote more about this intense and intimate, sweet and searingly painful moment here. Then and few weeks later, after all of my attempts at things to help (draw a picture of birthmom, give her a name Ravenna creates etc) fell completely flat with almost hostile indifference, Ravenna came up with this:

It was a moment I hope to never forget, it was so beautiful
Read the story here

Well...about a week later, her class started a section on families.
The teacher wanted to share something about adoption with the class and when I asked Ravenna what she wanted the class to know she frowned and said, "I don't want ton tell them anything Mama."

Her teacher was wonderful and we talked through some of what has been coming up for Ravenna. Instead of family trees they made adorable family gardens

Her garden with 6 flowers for our family of 5 now sits where she lovingly placed in on our mantle.

But she kept mentioning wanting to make a family tree,

and I kept trying to figure out how to honor Ravenna's whole story in that family tree.

What does it look like when there is a birth family, a foster family and all of her immediate family now?

 Which thing goes where on the tree?

How do I guide her as to where those things go?

Well...in true Ravenna style, she led me.

She proclaimed one morning, "Mama I want to make a fabric family tree!"


The girl is crazy about fabric. She took a whole box of it all the way to Mexico as her one main toy during our Whatever Project roadtrip and has already started piling some up for when we go this year!

So...we headed off to the fabric deptartment and I stepped back and finally let Ravenna lead. She lovingly and deliberately picked out fabric for everyone. Ladybugs for Georgia, space for Parker, Lighting McQueen for Daddy...and horses, two different horse fabrics. One for her birthmmom and one for her foster mom. She hincluded her birthdad and foster dad as well with dog and buffalo fabric. I was a garden with birds and she sparkly see-through candy canes.
During all of this, she twirled in the aisles, hugging her fabric and saying, "Oh I love this day Mama, I wish it would never end!!!"

We bought a pack of two canvases and she diligently went to work.

I let her decide where and how everything went and it was totally different and far better than if I had forced structure on it.

This is her masterpiece, her family, filled with love- her love for these people in her life:

So, do you see it? the candy cane fabric?
 She insisted that she did not want to be a part of the tree. At first I paniced thinking maybe she did not feel like part of the tree or part of the family. I could not be more wrong...

She wanted to be touching everyone. She said, " I love them all Mama!" So if you look closely, that candycane fabric is around and ontop of every piece there.

Then as we were working away, she cutting and placing fabric and I glueing it down, she stopped and said, "Oh no!!!" and ran to her room to get something. She came back with that big striped piece (from her Mexico collection) that is now across the top saying, "Mama, we forgot God and this would be perfect!"

So God gets to hang out all striped and sparkly at the top of our family tree!

She made me the top of the tree flanked with Doug on one side and my mom on the other and she is nestled up close to us.

She then brought it to school, wrapped in more fabric so her special secret would not get out
and proudly showed her class

Showing Daddy over and over again!

"God sets the lonely in families..."
Psalm 68:6


The Raudenbush Family said...

What a beautiful way to walk with your daughter through her process -- love the idea. Can I share it more formally on WAGI on the main site?

Marci said...

I love it! It made me cry! Thanks for sharing.

Learning Together at Home said...

I am crying. Crying, I tell ya'. I think that Ravenna has had an inspiration that may just help my girl. Thank you and please let her know (if you feel it is appropriate) that there is 7 year old girl up in Canada that she may just have helped (& her Mama and Daddy too).

It's me! said...

Now that is incredible! I am in awe. Pure awe.

Cedar said...

Beautiful! I had heard this idea before, but was unsure of what it meant. It is beautiful and so individual for a child. What a tender heart your daughter has!

Nancy said...

that's just the most gorgeous heart shining so brightly through! What an incredible blessing!

Heather said...

That girl has SERIOUS imagination! What creativity God has woven into her, and what love.

Heather said...

That girl has SERIOUS imagination! What creativity God has woven into her, and what love.

Freedom Hollow Farmgirl said...

Hi Shannon
I wanted to share a new fundraising blog I just launched. Trying to get the word out to other families that are fundraising that I would love to help them bring their child home.

Stop by the blog spread the word to your friends onelessbrokenheart.blogspot.com. I plan to highlight a fundraising family every few weeks.


Annie said...

Wow! That was beautiful!

Miller Moments said...

It's beautiful Ravenna!!!

Lerah said...

I am amazed at the creativity that God gives - that is healing too - that He gave through a child/ to a child. I so would've felt the need to "lead" to "structure" etc... and yet here Ravenna is creating something so completely "out of this world" so beyond .. so beautiful!

MusicalMommy said...

Tears. She is a bright shining light for all to see. I love how the Spirit leads children to God's healing power. The smile says it all. Beautiful.


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