Crying, Core Memories, and Children in Care

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you and that everyone stayed safe during the storms this week. School officially began here in Knoxville, and my children have settled in quite well. We have a seventh-grader, a twelfth-grader, and a sophomore in college. Where did the time go?

Quote of the Week: “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” —Washington Irving

Movie of the Week: Before I get to the movie of the week, I must tell you a secret. (Well, it’s not really a secret.) I get extremely emotional watching movies, listening to songs, or even watching commercials on television. My daughter has often laughed at me when I wiped my tears after watching a children’s movie.

The movie I want to talk about this week is Inside Out, the 2015 Pixar film about an 11-year-old girl named Riley. I learned two fundamental truths from watching this movie. The first is that you cannot experience joy without having been sad first. Riley mourns the changes in her life and tries to deal with them as best she can. The second truth I learned from this movie is that when children from hard places forget their “core memories,” they forget a bit of themselves.

Nugget of the Wisdom: To continue with the above sentiment, let me explain what I mean. Children in custody—our bonus loves—often experience great sadness and loss when they are removed from their homes. They are placed with strangers, typically changing schools and abruptly leaving everything familiar to them. Sometimes these moves are caused by the loss of people who can care for them. Our first adopted son entered care when he was age 5, due to the death of his grandmother, who had been his caretaker. When I watched Inside Out and learned about the core memories I mentioned earlier, my heart broke into many pieces, because I had seen that firsthand with him. He has almost no conscious memories of any time before age 5. Please remember to be patient with your bonus loves and understand that it may take time for them to get into a routine.

I lost my mother-in-law two weeks ago, and my uncle passed away this week. To say that I have been sad is an understatement. But joy does come when I remember each of them and their impact on my life. I will miss them terribly, but I will remember them with a happy heart.

Recipe of the Week: For this week’s recipe, I present a caramel apple dip that will hopefully tickle your tastebuds.

What you’ll need:

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup Marzetti caramel apple dip

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly, leaving out the nuts if not wanted. Chill until the desired temperature, or eat right away. 

Shout Out of the Week: This week, I want to shout out to the people who prepare cemetery plots and maintain them for families. We had the interment ceremony for my mother-in-law on Tuesday. It was a tough day. I am thankful for the men and women who maintain these grounds so our loved ones can rest in beautiful places. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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