How to make a person cry in Hobby Lobby

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been plagued with worry ever since our Kidsave child Rita got here that she’s not having a good time; she’s a bit withdrawn and when we have mornings like we did today, where three of my children greeted the day by screaming at the top of their lungs for about 30 minutes, I become convinced that she’s having a miserable summer. All day yesterday and today I’ve been praying for God’s guidance, just wanting to know if she’s doing OK, if our efforts to make her feel loved and welcomed have borne any fruit at all.

This morning, while my babysitter was here, Rita and I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up some artsy craftsy stuff for her to do during the kids’ naptimes. We meandered through the aisles, and when we got to the jewelry section I could tell from the shy smile on her face that making necklaces was something she’d like to do. Everything in the aisle was 50% off, so I told her to get whatever she wanted.

After picking out a couple of chains she spent a long time carefully scanning up and down the aisle, which was packed with every kind of necklace charm imaginable. She got on her toes to inspect the ones at the top, then knelt down to slowly peruse the sparkly selections at the bottom. Then, finally, out of the hundreds available, she chose this:

A two-piece “best friends” charm. One for her, one for me.

God is good.

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  1. Lauren says

    What a beautiful and touching story. Thank you for sharing it- and your experience with this. It sounds like a great program.

  2. Lady Lovas says

    Awwww….Jenifer, that's so beautiful.
    And let me tell you, as someone who was born and raised in rural Mexico, just being able to be in the USA and enjoy a little bit of the american lifestyle is an experience in its own.

    Keep loving her. I know she will remember you forever.

  3. Scarlett says

    For the record, that also comes very close to being how to make a person cry at home in her bedroom reading blogs before work. What a precious girl!

  4. Rosita says

    Just being there is so important. Growing up, I could never understand why all our friends wanted to come to our house. They had cable, video games, and their parents paid for all sorts of fun activities. Where at our house we had to weed the garden and clean and then had to find ways to amuse ourselves. It is only now that I have grown up that I realise it was because my parents gave them the personal attention they were so in need of. It is not about things, it is time shared that children crave. Which you are doing for Rita. That is what she will remember.

  5. Heather says

    Oh, that's so sweet! I've been thinking about y'all and praying that all goes well.

  6. Jen Raiche says

    I am in agreement with some other commenters here. When you doubt about the fact that she isn't busy with wall-to-wall activities, ask yourself is that's really what you're trying to show her anyway. God is love. Show her love, show her God. That is a gift she'll remember for life.

  7. Eliz says

    I'm crying. What a sweet girl. (Would it be appropriate for me to say I think I know how this story might end?)

  8. Kingdom Mama says

    Oh. My. Gosh. Jen! Amazing! What a wonderful story, I just BURST into tears!

  9. Anonymous says

    I accidentally commented on your original KidSave post, but it was because I read this post and followed your link to the program.



  10. Josephene says

    Oh my dear Jennifer, this is indeed beyond description, what Rita's little heart is expressing.
    God is indeed Good. Rita just wants to be loved, and feel special. God bless you for being there for her.
    WOW. I need a kleenex, and a rosary.

  11. Amy says

    That is so sweet it makes me want to cry too!

    I'm really enjoying your blog. So glad I found you.

  12. T with Honey says

    And reading this is how to make a person cry in their office. That is very sweet!

  13. JAne says

    You are not entertaining her or keeping her busy. You are being with her.

    Jesus didn't say, "I will entertain you", "I will make sure you have activities to do". No, he said, "I am with you always…"

  14. Carly says

    Oh, how lovely. God is so good at answering our prayers, even the seemingly small ones we offer up in the midst of "everyday" life.

    Thank you for sharing – you brought tears to my eyes.

  15. Megan says

    I'm not supposed to cry at work! But seriously, sweet story. I needed to read something like this today.

  16. Martina says

    How creative! And a wonderful gift to give her – you know she's going to keep that forever! 🙂

  17. nicole says

    Oh my gosh I am tearing up over here. What a beautiful confirmation of answered prayers. Almost makes me want to do something like this. Almost.

  18. Anne Marie says

    Rosita’s comment is so on point. It’s the shared experiences and the relational part of her being with your family that with impact Rita’s life. If she’s a bit withdrawn my guess would be simply that she’s just trying to get her bearings. Things have changed a bit for her in the last couple of weeks after all. It’s a lot for a kid to take in, especially for a kid with a chaotic past.

  19. Roxane B. Salonen says

    Yeah, that would do it for me, too. I don't think you have any idea of the impact you've had on Rita, well before the two of you even met. Look at it from her perspective. You've opened your doors to her. You need not achieve angelic perfection to have become her heroine. You're doing well, and now you've received the confirmation from God that it is so. 🙂

  20. SteveK says

    Thought I'd give you a man's perspective on this…. yeah, this made me tear up too. Beautiful.

  21. Courtney says

    Okay, I'm totally crying…that is so sweet and God is so good ;)May your time with her be blessed.

  22. Megan@SortaCrunchy says

    I am ABSOLUTELY in tears.

    I totally agree with other commenters – just loving on her, delighting in her, and accepting her as she is is all you need to focus on. Can you imagine how overwhelming it would be to come to the States from a totally different culture and be thrown into a hundred and one different activities with people you don't know in a culture you don't understand? It kind of makes me want to freak out thinking about it.

    You guys are doing EXACTLY the right thing.

    As if you needed any more confirmation of that. I think the charm says it all.

  23. heatnhumidity says

    I knew this little girl would enjoy being with you and your family. What a gift she is to you. Yes God is so good!

  24. MaryLouise says

    Jen, there is a lot of good true advice from your other readers.

    Other valuable things you can do:

    BEing with her, not dropping her off, not even for those "great" activities

    Being available to others as they present their needs, and yes that includes your little ones, while she watches you respond. This shows you will be available for her.

    Being love, being an example of Christ, (we all grow in our ability to do this.)

    LOTS of listening, even if it's listening to the others around you while she watches, again this is how she will be able to trust you will listen to her.

    Some people are slow to warm up, some people are not all that articulate, some people need time to get their bearings and many people have years of disappointments between them and the world arouund them.
    I bet some of this discribes her

    Many learn by watching, drinking in what they see
    this is why it is so important to be the USUAL genuine you, being you, mother, wife, blogger, introvert, writer, Catholic Christian, friend to Jesus, friend to Rita
    remember the power of truth.
    Never has Rita been with such loving caring sincere people.

    This is your gift to her.


    And know, even if you never see the depth of the wonderful growth, you are fertilizing and seed (Rita) which will grow. WE all do the partGod has given us to do.

  25. says

    Reading your posts on Kidsave experience and seeing that you always question if Rita is happy with you, I wonder, way don't you ask her about this? What dose your counselor friend says? But I see now that Rita talks to you with this wonderful "best friends" gesture. God bless!

    Divine Office Podcast

  26. Thomas says

    Such a wonderful post, its stories like these that keep a smile on my face day after day.

    God Bless,


  27. 'Becca says

    Ohhh, that's wonderful!!

    I wonder if your feelings of inadequacy indicate some need to work on accepting your vocation. I mean, if Rita was your biological daughter, as a stay-at-home mom with many young children you probably wouldn't have her spending a lot of time (and money) at activities; you'd have her home during the summer entertaining herself and helping you. Don't compare yourself to the other Kidsave moms; they have different vocations, and their Kidsave children's schedules are set up to be compatible with THEIR families' lifestyles, not yours. If your family were inferior to an "all-day structured activities while parents work" family for a Kidsave child, wouldn't it also be so for a biological child? But you believe having a SAHM is good for your kids, right? And I think you can see it's good for Rita, too!

    I had to giggle at the "choking hazard" warning partly visible on the charm packaging. Recently my son found a trinket on a playground (which he didn't keep) with a sticker covering its entire back that said, all in the same font, "Choking Hazard Made In China", and since then that phrase has been rattling around my mind as sort of symbolic of everything that's wrong with consumer goods these days….

  28. Diane L. Harris says

    Mysteriously, the method of making someone cry that works in Hobby Lobby may have a similar effect on your average blog reader. Rita is having a wonderful summer after all, even if she never says so. God bless you both.

  29. Melanie B says

    I've been thinking about this post the last few days and you know the one thought that keeps coming to me is that as an introvert if I were one of the Kid Save kids I'd so infinitely prefer to be at your low-key house than at any of the hyper-scheduled ones. I would be far too overwhelmed with all that socializing, it sounds so exhausting. My favorite kind of vacation is hanging out at someone's home with just a few outings. Of course, I don't know what Rita is, introvert or extrovert, but I thought I'd just throw that out there. She's having quite a few new experiences already, maybe not piling too many of them on is a good thing?

    Plus, to me spending a few weeks hanging out with you and your family sounds like an awesome time.

  30. Agnes Regina says

    How lovely! See… no need to worry about having the perfectly behaved storybook family (that would probably drive me nuts if I had it.) You are obviously perfect for Rita, and this was her way to show you and thank you. God bless.

  31. jennifer says

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.