The things that tug at us

Volunteering at Rubye's Kids annual holiday party is one of the most rewarding experiences of unconditional love I've known.My dear friend (pictured here at a Rubyes Kids event she volunteers at annually), the sister I got to choose, and I have had many conversations about the things that tug at us. Those things that just won’t let go; the things that push, and push, nag and nag refusing to let us let them go.

When she returned this summer to Tanzania, to an orphanage she first entered two years ago, the tug quieted, but just until the day of her departure grew too quickly near. As the hours moved from the future into the past she felt the ache of the tug returning.

You see she had felt the tug to Africa for years and years before she finally came to the place in her life where the tug was ready to be followed, and not to where she originally thought she’d be going. Once however she held those precious children, her children as she now calls them, in her arms she knew that all of the pulling in her heart was bringing her home to them, and them to her. This place is where her soul was always moving toward, and until whatever is to be done there is done, the tug will continue to pull her back. You can read more about her journey at:

I too have felt the tug. I felt the tug from childhood when I often thought that I would adopt a child. There was no rationale to it, no logical explanation; I just felt it tugging me. I felt the tug through infertility, through the disrupted adoption of our first daughter, through the next placement that fell through and all of the way until our forever daughter rested in my arms. That tug would not let me go, it wouldn’t let me stop moving toward where I was suppose to be.

I still feel that tug today. It’s not as defined as it once way, yet it of course was also not defined when I was young and drawn toward adoption. I can’t yet clear out all of the baby gear and clothes from our home, despite knowing that another adoption is not likely in our future. My mind doesn’t know why, yet my heart knows to just trust and follow the feeling.

It’s in this undefined place where many of us spend years of our lives, feeling tugged and torn, and not understanding why we’re being pulled, nor often where the pull is taking us. We live in the middle of the unknown, adrift in an ocean with big waves and unable to see the compass; we must trust that the boat is taking us to where we need to be.

We often spend much more time adrift in this uncomfortable ocean than we do in the connection of our ship to the tugboat taking us to shore. It’s a hard place to be. A place where we can feel unsettled, almost as though the adrenaline of movement is building up and up and we’re pacing trying to figure out where it’s suppose to go.

So if you’re feeling a bit adrift, if the tug feels at times like it’s tearing you to pieces from the inside out, take a deep breath, exhale and look to the left and right because you’re not lost at sea alone. There are many of us out here, bobbing up and down in the waves. And until we reach our shores we can find comfort in the smiles of our oceanic companions, as we trust in the guidance of our North Star.

Your tugboat in on its way, I promise.



  1. It’s tough, it took me a long time to get rid of the baby gear and only this year the furniture although my son is five, to give up on that dream of having another child was hard. But I keep busy and distracted and that helps.

    1. It’s definitely a process. We’ve talked about fostering, however I’m not sure that’s in our future. We may also be an interim care family for mother’s considering placing their child for adoption, who need a few weeks to decide. And, we may do none of it. Just waiting for that knowing feeling. Hope you are well!

  2. And this is just one, among many reasons, why we are sisters. I think our hearts were always meant to travel together, that we were always bound to be sea-farers bobbing close on the journey. Of course, reading this, I felt the tug of my own calling and yearning even more (I’ve been thinking about Claira especially a lot this week)… and I think too of how much I’ve learned about courage and faith from you. You know so well what it’s like to sit with discomfort, restlessness, a vague and haunting certainty…”It’s in this undefined place where many of us spend years of our lives, feeling tugged and torn, and not understanding why we’re being pulled, nor often where the pull is taking us.”… and yet you trust, and tune in and as hard as it may be some days, allow the space for what will be. I’m truly honored to be beside you on this journey, my friend, my sister, my ever-comforting oceanic companion.

    1. The honor is all all mine my sister. Couldn’t imagine this sea journey without you! And I can’t wait for you to be able to hold Claira in your arms again ❤️

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