Tag Archives: gratitude

That Time I Got Hurt and it Changed Me

My book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption, turns 3 this week. It came out originally in hardcover, followed by a paperback version last year, and, per my publisher, will soon be available as an audiobook. My little creation spread its wings and is still flying.

If I trace it back, my book has its roots in being publicly ridiculed. I explained in a recent interview on MileHighMamas.com, excerpted below.

got hurt


MileHighMamas: The topic of Adoption can be pretty contentious. There are pro-adoption people and anti-adoption people and loaded words and entrenched beliefs. You said in a radio interview that you “got spanked” early on. How did that experience shape your views?

Back when I was new to the online adoption world I had posted something (obnoxious, as it turned out) rooted in the idea that “Adoption is Awesome!” — and an adopted person called me out in her space. She wasn’t talking TO me but ABOUT me.

Her comment section blew up with full force of people who had endured adoption loss, primarily adoptees and birth mothers. Their words stung. Stung badly. I wanted to lash out and meet their hurt with my hurt. Did they know nothing about the pain of infertility? How dare they ridicule me. They didn’t even know me.

For a couple of days I seethed and licked my wounds, staying away from the site — after I printed the post and comments and tucked the pages away. Eventually I was able to read the paper version (visiting the site was too scary) and try to figure out where these people were coming from. It required that I put the hurt aside and just read. Just open up to understanding their experiences with adoption, which were different from mine.

It was transforming. And it completely changed not only the way I view adoption, but also how I navigate conflict online. I am grateful to each person who took part in that skewering for their part in my evolution.

Have you experienced something that seemed like a curse at first but turned out to be a blessing?

Lori Holden's book cover

Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a teen daughter, blogs from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute.

Perfect Moment Monday: Reed guest posts

Not to be left out, Reed asked to follow in the footsteps of his sister and today he makes his writing debut on this blog. As so often happens within loving relationships, one person’s perfect moment leads to another’s.

Reed says:

My perfect moment this month was when I was picking out a present for my mom in Keystone. I wanted to find a gift that she would love and would make her feel good — no, great! I thought to myself, I want something that says “Mom.”

Then I looked to left and there it was! Guess what? It said “Mom.” Literally.

I started asking — no, not asking but BEGGING my Grandma to get it and then finally she said YES!

When we get back to the lodge I turn on the TV to give Grandma and Grandpa a break while my parents worked at a conference. A couple hours later my mom walks in the door looking wiped out. I dash up to her and give her a hug. I have the box hidden in my hand and I reach up and say, Mom, something is coming out of your ear!

…and then I give her box with the necklace. I felt joy when I saw the expiration on her face because I knew she loved it. I felt great knowing she loved it.

She picked me up and held me tight. When she does that I call her Mommy and hold her tight right back.

It had been an emotional few days. The annual conference I’d run at the mountain resort for the last 7 years was always a grueling few days, but in addition this month I was dealing with the fact that it was my last time. My job would end when the conference ended.

I schlepped my tired self up the hill to enter our mountain condo and unslung the laptop from my shoulder. My parents were having snacks on the deck and the kids were watching some inane show with a too-loud soundtrack. Uncharacteristically, Reed jumped up from his divot on the couch, stopping when he got into my space.

“Bend down, Mom,” he commanded, also uncharacteristically.

I lowered myself for a perfunctory hug (this perfect moment sneaked up on me) and he got an impish look on his face. Instead of hugging my midsection, his arms aimed higher, near my head.

“Mom! You have something in your ear! What could it be? Oh, look!”

jewelry from my son

He beamed as he handed it to me.

My heart swelled as I opened it.

He jumped in to my arms and I had a huge moment of gratitude that I get to live with this boy’s generous, loving, playful heart. I squeezed him long and hard.


A happy moment, Lori, will seed ten thousand more.Notes from the Universe.

This was a message in my emailbox a few weeks ago. And it explains why it’s in my interest (and yours) to notice perfect moments.


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  • Follow LavenderLuz.com.
  • Write up your own Perfect Moment and post it on your blog (or other site).
  • Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or blog name), the URL of your Perfect Moment post, and a thumbnail image if desired. (You can now put LinkyTools on your own Perfect Moment Monday post. Just click Get the Code Here and add the code to your own post. All the linkies will show up on your blog, too.)
  • Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

With your Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog (in the post, on the sidebar, or both).What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of?