2014: Steph Timeline


Age: 10

Major Events:

  • This was the year things were hard with Jay. Remembering this, made me remember that as Jay began to heal and accept us as his forever family, Stephanie began to unravel. It was difficult for her to appreciate growth in others. (It still is.)
  • Stephanie really loved playing softball. We gave her catcher’s gear for Christmas. It was exciting for her.
  • The kids played together a lot — in the snow; in the pool; board games; imaginary games in the backyard; bike rides and lots of walks. They really loved to play Harry Potter.
  • The kids took an online quiz to find out what Houses they would be sorted into at Hogwarts. The results were:
    • Hannah — Hufflepuff
    • Jordan — Ravenclaw
    • Sam — Gryffindor
    • Stephanie — Slytherin
    • (To note, Andy and I are both Gryffindor.)
  • When I looked back in my journals, I found that Stephanie was still extremely difficult to get along with, and in 2014 I began using the word “hateful” to describe her behavior.
  • Stephanie was jealous of the other kids.

I was sure, so very sure, that the love of a family could heal anything. I was sure if I could learn to love more, that Stephanie would be able to overcome her dark start to life. We invested so much into all of the kids.

The thing about love is it doesn’t have to be received. I still believe that love can turn darkness to light, but it isn’t mine to force. There are some things that cannot be fixed by humans.

Until Stephanie learns to love herself and decides to accept love, the love of a family won’t be able to heal her.

See all of Stephanie Timeline posts here.


  1. Hi Ruth,

    We’ve only met a few times at All Write! functions. I actually saw you once in a check out line at our Columbia City Wal Mart three or four years ago. I remember thinking, “She’ll think I’m an idiot, if I say something to her.” So I stayed quiet. But I also remember thinking you looked sad. Now I understand why. There has been so much on and in your heart for sooo long. I cannot thank you enough for bearing your soul, sharing your heart with us. Please thank Andy, too. So many times since that day at Wal Mart I have wished I would have at least said hello. I think you might have needed a friendly word or two. There’s always an inside story that the outside doesn’t tell. And your timeline posts are revealing to me that maybe an idiot is exactly what someone might need. Please accept my apology, and know that if I see you in line at Wal Mart again, I will respond very differently than the first time!

    Candi Perry

  2. I just read the previous one & this, too. Sad to read, though I know you’re right, not just about Stephanie. Unless someone learns to love oneself, that hurdle cannot extend to love from others. It just must be too big a hurdle when one learned too early that one was unlovable. I saw little bits in teaching. Some students just kept doing things that felt as if they needed to prove that they were not good, students or even people. Your words are so wise, Ruth, still, I imagine they’re also hard to write. Hugs for keeping on!