Category Archives: Family

Olympics, Korea and Adoption…some thoughts on an Evolved Worldview

Tears welled up in my eyes as I watched the Korean Children’s Choir sing their National Anthem. The fact that the North and South joined together to compete is unreal. It was just a short ten years ago that I was indifferent to Asians as a whole. The adoption of our first grandchild changed all that.


Loving little Spencer Daniel Sang-Jin Klein broadened my worldview. That love has extended to all Asians and as I look, really look, I see people and individual cultures now. I can pretty easily distinguish between Korean, Chinese and Japanese.

That might not seem important, however at a business dinner this week in Phoenix it was important to the lovely woman I met. I asked her if she was Korean and she, surprised with delight, replied, “Well yes!”. She has lived in America for the past 40 years.

She has married and melded into the American culture yet still reads and writes Korean. I proudly showed her a recent picture of our grandson Spencer. I told her we were a Christian family and how Spencer told me, “I believe in Jesus… Grammie, but I believe in the spirit of the White Tiger too!”.  She and I laughed together.


Spencer’s parents have done a remarkable job of encouraging him to be proud of his Korean heritage and rightfully so. As I watched the opening ceremonies tonight I am proud to be connected to Korea through the miracle of adoption. I cheer now at the opening ceremonies not only for my homeland the USA,  but also for Romania, Korea, and many other countries.


Observe Korea’s miracle, please don’t take it for granted. Rejoice with them tonight as the North and South unite to compete. If you are a person of prayer, pray for the healing of this country.

There is such beauty in God’s creation and His unique design of people if you choose to look for it. I’m thankful that watching the winter Olympics give us an opportunity to do just that….to look and see.




ARFO Summit – Why Adoption is Not Second Best

Note: I had the privilege of speaking at the annual Alianță Romania Fără Orfan (Alliance Romania Without Orphans) Summit  The following is the transcript of my workshop. It was a wonderful group of people, and the first time I have publicly spoken with an interpreter. Here is a picture of a courageous single woman Daniella, who attended the workshop and left very encouraged. She is in the process of adopting a seven year old daughter! Please pray for her and ARFO!

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Greetings to you and your beautiful country from The United States. My name is Bonnie Klein and I have had the privilege to visit Romania every year for the past four years. I have been married to my husband Daniel for 42 years. We have six children. Our oldest daughter, Marie, and her husband Christian and their children live here. Our youngest daughter Isadora was born in Romania. She had lived in an orphanage since birth. She was adopted in 1999 when she was 6 years old.

When my husband and I first married we never planned on having a large family. We had a son, Aaron and then three years later we had a daughter, Marie. Five years later we had another son, Andrew, then a daughter, Sarah and then another son, Timothy.  It was a happy family with five children. Even though by American standards we didn’t have a lot of money, we had lots of love and God always provided everything we needed.

When our youngest, Timothy, was 6 yrs. old, our hearts were stirred to consider adopting a 4-year-old girl. At first, I must confess I felt a little silly. Why would I want another child? I had three sons and two daughters! As a follower of the Lord Jesus, I did believe that every child was created in the image of God and every child’s life has value.

My husband and I had read the scripture in the Bible in James 1:27 –

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

We were caring for my mother who had been widowed. This was acceptable in our culture to care for our elderly parents, but children? I already had a house full of children, then ages 6, 8, 10, 15, and 18! Was there room at our family’s table and in our hearts for one more?

We prayed earnestly about this important decision. We shared the idea with our children. Everyone was in agreement – we did have room in our hearts and we can always make room for one more at our table!

I believe every life has a story. We have the privilege of writing parts of an orphaned child’s story by adopting them into our family. We share our identity with them and our home and our love, as we add chapters to their life story. We do not have to be childless to do this.

This is why Adoption is Not Second Best. Many couples who cannot have biological children will choose to adopt and many people will think it is second best.

We discovered that adoption is not second best, it is instead God’s good plan. In the Bible in Psalm 68, it describes God as this-

“God is in his holy Temple. He is a father to orphans, and he defends the widows. God gives the lonely a home.”

This is God’s plan for the orphan crisis, to give the lonely child a family. For each of us to make room in our hearts and at our table for a child. If those who were able to, made the choice to adopt, then the problem would be solved. You being present here speaks of your heart being concerned for these children. God bless you.

It was 1996 when we started our adoption journey. A little 4-year-old girl name Izidora located in Târgu Mureș was presented as a “waiting child” to us. A “waiting child” was a child that most people did not want to adopt, either because of their age or having some kind of problem. She was four years old, had some developmental delay and a heart murmur that possibly needed surgery.

My husband and I were not nervous about these things. All children, including the ones in our home had different medical needs. When you have a biological child you do not know what you are getting – boy or girl? Personality? Hearing? Think of how different you are from your brother or sister! No two children are alike, each are created uniquely by our heavenly Father.

What I was nervous about was this – could I love an adopted child the way I loved my biological children? How could I know for sure? This was something that we wanted to do and asked God to give us the special love needed for this child.

We discovered that LOVE is more a choice than a feeling. I had chosen love many times for my biological children, from changing a dirty diaper to talking with a teen. In fact, I discovered that it was easier for me to add a child to the end of our family because I already knew that sometimes children could be hard to love!

Our adoption process was a long wait. What was supposed to take one year took three years. By the time Isadora came into our family she was just a few months less of being seven years old. I will not pretend it was easy. All children are a blessing and a burden! An adopted child, especially an older one, will come with painful memories of being very alone. They will struggle to trust you, because their experience is there has been no parent they can learn trust from.

It is a slower road, but today we have so many resources to help us connect with an adopted child. Because I had raised five other children I was able to relax with childish things Isadora did because I was already a mother. It was easier for me to mother her, because I had experience.

As an adopted child Isadora did struggle with identity. I have found this to be true with all six of my children growing up, trying to figure out who they are. It is especially true for an adopted child.

As we loved and encouraged our daughter throughout the years we saw her start to trust us and her siblings. We have told her that her life is a story that God is writing, He brought her into our home and made her a Klein. He has a good plan and purpose for her life.

In the Bible in the book of Acts 17: 26 it says, “From one man God made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and God marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.”

We believe that God also allows her to write parts of her story and now at 25 years old, Isadora works full time and lives independently of us. She gets to make her own choices, and like some of our other adult children, she sometimes makes choices we do not think is the best choice!

She does know these things though – she knows she has a family, people who will always support and love her. She has parents who will listen to her and speak truth to her. She has a place to belong during the holidays. She knows that God has a good plan and purpose for her life.

Isadora’s story is not over, she has a bright future. Her short fifteen years in our home seems like the blink of an eye now. It is a few chapters in the book of her life. Having the privilege of being her mother is one of the best things that has happened to me. I am a better person because of loving her.

I know God in a more intimate way because I now understand His unconditional love for me. Our family table would have an empty spot without her. My heart would have an empty spot without her.

Sometimes the problem of the orphan crisis seems overwhelming. We can be tempted to think that what we do will not make much difference. We have discovered that making room at our family table and in our hearts for Isadora was like planting a seed. And that seed grew and sprouted and multiplied.

Never in our wildest dreams did we think Marie’s trip to Romania in 1999 was more than to help my husband pick up Isadora. But God had more planned. He planted a seed in her heart to love the children here.  She has been back and forth from the United States several times and finally moved here permanently in 2014.

Never in our wildest dreams did we think that our oldest son, Aaron and his wife would adopt internationally, especially from Ethiopia. But God had more planned. When traveling to Ethiopia in 2009 God planted a seed in their hearts to love the children there. They are living and working in the US, while working to create a vocational school for teens in Ethiopia.

Never did we think we would have such a diverse family, but it is one that we are proud of because we believe it is a little picture of heaven, our unity being part of a larger family.

I have found Romanians to be a very hospitable people. So, I would ask you to search your hearts and ask yourself, “Do I have room at our family’s table for just one more? Do I have room in my heart? Is this something I have the ability to do?”

While you ponder those questions, I would like to show you some pictures of our family. Then if you have any questions I will try my best to answer them.



January 15, 1999 – We celebrate “Dora Day” the day she entered the United States. I am telling her here that “I am your mama!” I felt instant love for her!


1999 – This is the picture we sent out to friends and family announcing Isadora joining the Klein family.


2001 – Isadora’s school picture – she is 9 years old and her heart did not require any surgery.


2005 – Isadora’s school picture – she is 13 years old with braces on her teeth.


2008 – 16 years old and her favorite food is Chinese – years of braces are over!


2009 – Ten Year Anniversary of “Dora Day”, so we celebrated with having our picture professionally  taken together.


2009 – Our oldest son, Aaron served on a local college board. He had a special function that his wife could not attend so he asked his youngest sister Isadora age 17 to be his guest.


2009 – Easter Sunday and the family has grown to include our first grandchild, Spencer Daniel. Our oldest son, Aaron and his wife adopted Spencer from South Korea.


2010 – Christmas photo and Isadora age 18 has glasses now.


2010 – My daughters; Sarah, Marie, and Isadora attending a church women’s retreat with me.


2011 – Regency Ball – Isadora picked out the dress style and fabric and I made this gown for her.


2011 – Mother’s Day with the four remaining children


2011 – Isadora with her father at her high school graduation – 19 years old


2012 – Isadora with her good friend Loni


2012 – Isadora with her best friend Paige


2012 – The family table at Thanksgiving at our oldest son’s home.


2013 – Christmastime with Isadora age 21


2014 – Father’s Day at church – my husband Daniel is in the middle with Isadora, beside him. Our son, Aaron is on the left with his wife Cacey, and our son, Andrew is on the right with his wife, also named Casey! We told our youngest son, no Caseys!


2015 – Isadora receives a book in Romanian for her 23rd birthday from Marie. We have tried hard to help her be proud of her Romanian heritage.


2016 – We had a family reunion and all six children were home at the house they were raised in. It was a special time and they re-posed the same as the original picture of the six of them.


2016 – This is a picture of me celebrating my 60th birthday last year. These are my precious grandchildren. Aaron and Cacey adopted two more children from Ethiopia, they are on the left, Teddy and Emma. On my right is Spencer, my first grandchild, even though his brother Teddy is my oldest grandchild. The two little matching girls are Addy and Mercy and they live here in Romania and attend the public school. The youngest boy with them is Noelan. He was in the process of being adopted by Marie and Christian and much to our sadness, the adoption process failed. Christian shared in the last session about that story.

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2016 – We also have a grandson Taylor and a new granddaughter Cassidy. Our family has had our share of heartache as I have two granddaughters not with us named Eisley and Ava. It’s important to mention their names as it’s important to remember them.


2017   This is a current picture of Isadora currently 25 years old. She is maturing, working at a McDonald’s and has become a manager! She is in the process of renting her first apartment. She recently has saved her money to purchase a car. She lives just 20 minutes from us. She is self-sufficient. She knows she is loved and has a family. We are very proud of her accomplishments.

Table - Holiday

In the United States we have an annual Holiday called Thanksgiving. It was celebrated just two days ago. Most people eat a traditional turkey dinner. We talk about what we are thankful for. This is a picture of our family’s table from last year. I am so thankful we adopted Isadora and she is part of our family.

Table - Romania

Romania will always be very special to us as this country allowed us to make our family complete.

Table - Romanian

This last photo is of a Romanian dinner table with tradition dishes – but you might also notice some empty chairs.

So, I would ask you again to search your hearts and ask yourself, “Do I have room at our family’s table for just one more? Do I have room in my heart? Is this something I have the ability to do?”

Thank you for listening to my story.

The Table

It has been eight months since we left our family home of 29 years. We raised our family there and to downsize was a work we are still recovering from. You could call our new home an eclectic style. This is a nice way of saying that when we cut our square footage in half we kept our favorite or most meaningful pieces and nothing really matches.

Family and friends are kind and say, “Oh they don’t match woods anymore, it’s stylish to mix woods”. I’m glad to hear it as I have mother’s maple floor lamp next to the cherry bookcases, across from the oak family table, etc., etc.

With no children to blame anymore, we recently discovered a white ring on the oak dining room table, left from a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea. The table. One thing that had to come to the new smaller home because it has many memories and it was a special purchase we made.


The chairs are long gone and twice replaced. However the table itself represents so many dreams for our family. Thirty years ago it was one of the first new purchases we made. It came with two large leafs and I imagined the family gathering around it for many years to come.

Many memories and secrets my table holds. If it could tell the stories of wild games of “spoons” and serious conversations held, that would be a treasure. Marie was sitting at that same table when Christian surprised her, dropped to his knee and proposed in front of the whole family. Much work has been accomplished at that table. The scars and white rings tell it’s story.

This home has a lovely entry closet that can hold the leafs which will rarely be needed. The hosting of Christmas has transferred to the eldest son and wife with the largest home. That’s a good thing since they are gifted with hospitality. Our table now seats just the two of us.


As we enjoy this season together, we are well aware that eventually only one of us will remain at this table. It actually is a good reminder to love each other well and to live life to it’s fullest. Whether my precious table goes to an adult child or the Goodwill some day, I know it will serve others well.

I also know it will guard our memories and secrets and my special dreams that I had for it.

A Poem for Eisley and Noelan and Ava


Sweet Grandchildren lost to me

for a season, but not forever

My arms are full, yet empty

because you are missing

Last night I saw you

in the eyes of another

running with play, squealing with delight

cooing, crying, alive with being

Know you are missed

Know you are remembered

No-one could ever replace you my darlings,

my little ones who still live in Grammie’s heart.

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Happiest of New Year’s to You!

Hope, Joy, Peace, Love – These are the four Sundays of ADVENT that we just celebrated.

Over the years our family has lit the candles and tried different devotionals. The past five years we have been at a church that lights the candles each Sunday and the sermon will often focus on that week’s word.


Wikipedia says- “Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”. Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from three different perspectives. “Since the time of Bernard of Clairvaux (d.1153) Christians have spoken of the three comings of Christ: in the flesh in Bethlehem, in our hearts daily, and in glory at the end of time.” The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.”

So even though the word means “coming” it involves “expectant waiting”. I now realize this expectant waiting seems to be part of everyday life, not just the for weeks before Christmas.

This hoping for good times to arrive, for the storms of life to settle. Yet it often seems that just when one storm is settling that another is brewing on the horizon. Such is life.

2016 was a good year for me. Looking in from the outside one might not think so as 2016 has brought my share of storms and I’ve had to learn to wait as never before. I’ve been brought to a place of letting go, of surrendering and riding out the storms and that’s what’s been good.

I see a subtle change in me, one that involves more Hope, more Joy, more Peace, and more Love. I have better perspective and more emotional well being. I realize this life is much like the weather, as much as we try to predict it, as each day dawns we really don’t know what it holds.

So for 2017 I’d like to embrace what each day holds and live in the advent way where I have Jesus ruling my heart daily and I am being “alert for his Second Coming.” I want to be anticipating his return for us with hope and joy, peace and love.


I think this will give me a needed perspective when my prediction of life is “clear and sunny skies” and the day proves to be “drizzling with drama”.

Hopeful that 2017 brings you personal growth, that you might find Joy in the simple things, that you would worry less and have more Peace and Love others the way you desire to be loved. Happy New Year. ❤️



I would not want to be anywhere other than where I am right now. Not even on a cruiseship with my beloved, not on a plane to Paris, not anywhere else. I’m in Eastern Europe and in the past four years this is my sixth visit!


I am not a big time traveler, but you wouldn’t know it considering my history here. I’ve come to Eastern Europe three times with Danny, once with Cacey and kids and twice now by myself. Note “Eastern Europe” because there is a big difference between that and going to “Europe”….which by the way… I’ve never seen normal Europe, but everyone tells me there is a big difference.


I was that child who was happy as a clam playing dolls in my tidy bedroom, my first little nest. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have never left my present nest located on American soil had Marie not left. My love for her and her family pushed me out of my comfort zone.

I remember the lyrics of the song “Oceans” that originally confirmed to me I was to courageously go.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”

With such a strong conviction that God was calling me to go I had so many ideas of WHY I was to go…To share the good news of Jesus? To work in the baby hospital? To share with the teen girls on Friday night? So trip after trip I came and I did many things, but I always left thinking my being here feels really small. Physically I couldn’t do what I had imagined, like daily going to the baby hospital. However, clarity came before I left on this trip. I’ve been called to the ministry of the mundane.


This is a good thing….yes it is ordinary and unexciting, but I excel in the ordinary things of this world. I am slow and meticulous, that’s how I was designed by my designer. I thrive in unexciting…at home I still opt out of the Demolition Derby at our little Gold Country Fair. I guess that’s why as a child I loved my quiet room and my dolls. I still remember being scared out of my wits when everyone would holler at the TV with the Super Bowl on. Nothing has really changed.

I am a teacher at heart, so with the ministry of the mundane I can invest in my granddaughters, helping them with their English. They actually listen to me right now at their ages! We read together, we color together, we do puzzles together, we journal together, we eat together, we connect.



I know I am helping their parents by loving on their girls, plus I love doing it! I also love doing the ordinary, unexciting, mundane job of dishes and laundry and if it gives both Marie and Christian a break then I’m thankful! You see, on the other visits I did many of these mundane things, but I always tried to weigh it against the cost and came up what appeared unbalanced.


That is how things are in God’s economy. What I see as small, He values. I see through a glass darkly, but one day I shall see face to face. Until then I’m just your average lover of Jesus who happens to also be a late-bloomer!


Are You a Nester or a Wanderer?

Are you a nester or a wanderer? This journey of trying to sell our home and move has been rough on me, for I am a nester. Like a bird, gathering items from my travels, I bring them home with the sole intent to line the nest with them. I think I am married to a wanderer. He loves to travel and if possible drags (oops, invites) me along. I’m pretty agreeable as long as I have a firm date to return to the nest.


Last night my wanderer challenged me that I need to stop looking at possible new homes until our current home is firmly in escrow. He thinks it is making me anxious. The idea of having no idea where our next nest is doesn’t bother him at all. He has faith that God will provide. I do too! However, I don’t seem to be able to relax like he does. I lay there in bed beside him and prayed, “Lord help me understand what he is trying to tell me.”

I knew that looking at houses didn’t make me anxious, in fact it actually helps me relax somewhat – “Oh this could be my new nest!” “We could afford this little nest!” What was my wanderer trying to get across to me? I wasn’t getting it. He knows me better than anyone on this earth. Then my silent prayer was answered and I understood. I have been reverting to my childhood ways….

When I was a child and Christmas season came, my mother wrapped beautiful gifts and arranged them perfectly under the tree. It looked like a magazine. Daily I would sneak in there and lift each one carefully out and analyze it. I would turn it and listen, gently shake. What was it? Did I ask for it? Could it be such and such that cost so much? What if it was that thing I didn’t really want?


When I went to bed last night I thought, (spoiler alert – this  might offend some) “Is God like Santa Claus?”. Does my heavenly father have a good gift for me and can I trust him to bring me what I need and want? A new nest to enjoy and keep ready for when my wanderer returns from his sales trips? Do I need to tell Him what I need or want, like writing a letter to Santa?

We raised our children without writing lists to Santa, but rather writing lists of how they would give to others. We never had wrapped gifts under the tree but rather the nativity, to help them focus on the real meaning of Christmas. The gifts were there under the tree when they awakened on Christmas morning.

We were trying to encourage their focus. I think that is what my husband was trying to help me with when he was talking to me last night. My focus. Quit shaking and analyzing the real estate market. Quit trying to figure out where my new nest is. I hadn’t even wanted that nest, but maybe this is it! Quit being scared my new nest is something I didn’t want or need.

This morning one of my favorite songs, “Good, Good Father” came on and it was a lovely confirmation to me.

Oh and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers only you can provide
’cause you know just what we need before we say a word

You’re a good good father-
It’s who you are, It’s who you are, It’s who you are.
And I’m loved by you- It’s who I am, It’s who I am, It’s who I am.

So like an old fashioned Klein Family Christmas, I am going to focus on the now and the gifts He has given me today…my life, full with family and friends and His love and grace….and Watson.

And when that gift of a new nest comes, I’m going to just love it! I know I will, because He’s a good, good Father, it’s who He is.





The loss of another child…

My life took an abrupt change in 2012. In January, my oldest daughter and family moved to Eastern Europe to work with unwanted children. In February, my mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s came to live with me. God used both of those events as a catalyst for change in my life. Part of that change has been to embrace how I feel and to be perfectly honest, I feel very deeply, so this is hard for me. I have had a lifetime of denying feelings, so it’s always hard to choose to embrace and move through them.

sadness  sadnessquote

Right now I am feeling very sad. Our family is experiencing child loss again. It’s only been 13 months since we lost Eisley. This time it is a failed adoption, because the family that begged so desperately for our help to readopt this child has now changed their mind and refuses to sign the relinquishment papers. It’s a situation ripe for bitterness.

noelan and pops  dress up

Our family has spent countless sacrificial hours and monies on behalf of this sweet little boy, only to be led on and used. Sarah and Tanner, Danny and I all together did emergency respite for eleven days. Marie and Christian hurriedly came to the states to come and start the expensive adoption process. Some would think them trusting and foolish, however this couple asking for their help were their close trusted friends. It’s a situation ripe for bitterness.

Library day  Processed with MOLDIV

We will have a long road to healing. Betrayal begets hatred and cynicism. We will have to go through the pain of watching Addy and Mercy devastated when on Sunday they are told that their little shadow affectionately called “bro bro” will be leaving for good on Monday. When someone hurts your children or your grandchildren it’s hard to think straight, the anger is so intense. It’s a situation ripe for bitterness.

uncle Aaron  tim and tia

Probably what hurts the most though, is what this selfish choice will do to a little boy whom I have come to love and call my grandson. In late January he came to this country from Africa, from a secure foster parent situation, into an unstable home, where after two weeks they demanded for him to be removed from the home.

with Cacey and Tanner welcoming teddy

So we took him and loved him and he has thrived. He loved being the youngest with sisters Mercy and Addy doting on him. Marie and Christian were loving, sacrificial parents to him and he has indeed attached to them. We know this by his desire to be close to them and his interaction with them. Whenever one is gone he is asking- “Where’s mama?” or “Where’s daddy?” I can’t think too much about how it will affect him, my righteous anger quickly morphs into losing it. It’s a situation ripe for bitterness.

uncle andrew  train ride

This morning I wrote in my grateful journal – “I am grateful that God’s power and willingness to answer prayer doesn’t depend on me in my weakness.” This recent journey has been an emotional roller coaster of being led along and lied to and to be perfectly honest I’m exhausted. I believe in miracles, but I also believe that God has given mankind a free will on this earth for a season. So sometimes we see horrific things happen to children because of mentally unstable people consumed by their own selfish desires.

Noelan and Taylor

This doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the sovereignty of God, I do. However, God is not the author of evil as so many try to make Him out to be. He is the one who brings beauty out of ashes…He is also the one who will rightly judge each one. In this I will choose to rest. Each day, as I wade through my sadness and bitterness I will also cling to the words of the Lord Jesus in Luke 6:36 where He tells me, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Frozen yogurt   snuggles with Doh

I also will pray that God would have special grace and mercy upon Nolean Truth Klein Burtt, my sweet grandson for three whole months. Please join me in that prayer when you think of him.

Walking WatsonProcessed with MOLDIV




Dear God, I’ve become my mother…

Why is it that women fear we will become like our mothers? I’m not exactly sure why. Perhaps it is the struggle for identity as we are growing up that we try so hard to be different.

We look at things we missed in childhood and desperately try to make sure we give our children these same things we feel we lacked…yet we don’t realize the things we had.

mama wedding

I feel like I’ve taken a lifetime to grow up… Or perhaps it is better to say a lifetime to shed my cocoon. And in shedding it I’ve discovered my mother in me.

At first I was appalled and now I’m delighted. I always thought I looked like my dad. I did get his nose and larger frame but as I’ve aged I look in the mirror and at pictures and I see my mother. I have her eyes, both shape and color. Her best friend saw this photo of me helping Spencer drive our boat and commented, “I see Bethany there.”

mama driving boat

Not only do I also see her, but I hear her too. Words come out of my mouth that I swore I’d never say. Thoughts go through my head that I remember her voicing when she was sixty. Its just plain weird. So on the brink of my sixtieth birthday I’ve decided to embrace it because my mom is a part of me, a very good part of me.

I’m grateful for her instilling in me diligent hard work. I’m grateful for her smile and ability to laugh, even at herself. My silly sense of humor comes from my mom. I’m grateful for her example of devotion to her family and friends when they were sick or hurting. She gave me that and people admire it in me. I learned it from my mom.

mama and me

However, she also gave me her moaning gene. I think it came from her mom. I think one of my daughters got it. Every time I moan, I think, “Oh my goodness! I swore I would never do that like her!” My mother also taught me to be a strong woman, and I in turn raised strong daughters.

One of my favorite adult movies is Spanglish with Tea Leoni, Paz Vega and Cloris Leachman. The main reason I like it so much is the mother/daughter dynamics throughout it. They are so complex and it shows how these dynamics can be so confusing.

The movie ends with an adult daughter writing on her university application essay about a crisis moment with her mother when she was young. Her mother said she had to ask her a very difficult question even though the daughter was such a young age. The question was this – .

“Is what you want for yourself is to become someone very different than me?”

mama spanglish

In hindsight, I realize that for most of my life I did want to be very different than my mother. We had a hard time connecting for a variety of reasons, one being my lack of understanding of who God created me uniquely to be.

At the end of the movie Spanglish, the daughter concludes on her university application essay that she hopes she is accepted but regardless of acceptance or rejection she knows this one thing- “My identity rests firmly and happily on one fact, I am my mother’s daughter.”

I get this now. I still miss my mother, I have days that I ache for her. Next month will be two years since she left this earth. I feel like I understand her better each day. She told me I would understand her when I’m older. She had made the same discovery with her own mother.


I’m thankful for the thought of a future opportunity to really get to know my mother better and to listen to her without any of these earthly struggles. I’m thinking that we will have a chance like never before to connect and understand each other.

All things will be made right, because that’s the promise of heaven.

And because I am my mother’s daughter.

mama quote

The Dance of Grief

Eisley eyes opened

oh the dance of grief

it’s music washes over me like a wave from nowhere

i am compelled to dance or die within

i’m scared i’ll forget you sweet baby

as much as i’m scared of being forgotten.

i dance alone, as those i love hear their music at different times.

it is a solo dance.

i look at your picture, sweet eyes open

and realize i missed this

as I was on waves of another kind…

dancing another type of grief

of missing your first moments,

moments like this, eyes opened peeking

at the unknown world beyond your mama’s womb.