In October 2011, Kristin and I found out we were pregnant. Since we were adoptive parents already, this came as a bit of a surprise to us. We had never been down this parenting road before. However, we lost the baby the very next month. It was painful and confusing. I wrote the following words in the days that loomed after our miscarriage.
I walk out of a crowded Apple store and unwrap the plastic from my new iPhone earbuds. I’ve been needing a new pair. The original had lost their kick. Between working out and the drives to and from my office, the time had come for new ones. It had been over a year. 15 months to be exact. That’s probably 50 years in Apple years.
It’s a question we’ve been asked quite often. We’ve even asked ourselves this question a time or two when we were still fostering. The answer is, yes! And here’s why…
“I gave up being a foster parent because I couldn’t stop getting attached to the children I cared for. Every time one of them left, it hurt. Figured it was best if I just stopped putting my heart out there like that. I always ended up sad and depressed.”
Her words echoed off the concrete pillars of the bus station we were sitting in. As passengers hustled past, her face fell solemn. I could tell she didn’t really mean the words she was saying to me. I could see the heartbreak in her eyes. But out of defense for her tender heart, she held her emotional wall in place. Her graying hairline, and wrinkles under her eyes, told a story void of words. Life had been hard on her. With every ounce of sadness she swallowed, with every emotion she forbid to show itself, regret silently burned a permanent spot on her face.
*Editor’s Note- This is a guest post by our good friend Lisa Qualls. She is a writer, speaker, mom of 12, and the creator of Thankful Moms
, where she writes about motherhood, adoption, faith, and grief. Lisa is a mom by birth and adoption. Along with her husband Russ, their adoption journey has been marked by joy as well as challenges of trauma and attachment. You can visit her blog here
, and connect with her on Facebook here
Sometimes the adoption journey can leave us questioning our ability as parents. But the trials may lead to personal growth that we never thought was possible.
I was pouring a cup of coffee when my friend called. She asked if I had a minute to talk and when I answered, “Yes,” her resolve quickly faded and she began to cry. She told me about a conflict with her newly adopted son. Despite her best intentions, she was convinced she had failed to handle it well.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder brings about a myriad of struggles for those who suffer from it, and heartache for parents raising children with it. But one competition is changing the face of FASD…
I am the mother of 5 children who were exposed to alcohol before birth. My children run the full spectrum of affectedness. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong condition. Throughout their entire lives they will struggle with a range of difficulties…
We’re a multi-racial family of 10. The events of these past few weeks have shaken us to the core. They’ve prompted fear in our children and left us broken and on edge as their parents. This is what #BlackLivesMatter means to me…
I want to go back.
This picture was taken on a trip to Disney World in 2005. Our daughter was just about to turn 3. The only thing she loved more than Cinderella’s castle was her daddy. He had just raced through the streets of the theme park toward the castle with his little girls clasped in each arm. “The princesses are arriving!” He shouted. They giggled with glee and I trailed behind with our son in the stroller. I rolled my eyes at the absurdity of it but I couldn’t stop laughing. His happiness was in his daughters’ delight. He would bring them the world to make them smile. His joy poured from him and reflected in their faces.
*Editor’s note- This is a guest post from our good friend Jennie Owens. She and her husband Lynn, support foster and adoptive families through their nonprofit organization, www.foreverhomes.org
. Jennie also speaks to parenting groups and leads retreats for foster and adoptive families. She provides training and one-on-one coaching services to parents through their clinic, Canyon Lakes Family Counseling, in Kennewick, WA. You can also visit her blog here
Dealing with rejection from your child is an uphill battle. No parent wants to face this. We want to believe we can love them through their trauma. How do you successfully parent your child but deal with their rejection at the same time?
“WE had FUN with DAD,” hissed my daughter, as she met me at the door with an angry sneer. Her glare and belittling tone once again communicated, what seemed to be, sheer hatred of me. We had just returned from camping at the Lewis and Clark Trail State Park. My husband had secretly given me the choice of driving the nice, newer car with our three children or the old, Ford Escort carrying the smelly Newfoundland dog, whose rancid stench had come from playing in the river all weekend. I chose the dog.
It’s one of the worst decisions you may have to make for your child on the journey of foster care and adoption. Placing your child in a residential treatment facility is never easy. But how do you know when the time is right to do so?
We’ve been down this road 3 separate times in the past. We know exactly how it goes: Your family is on pins and needles. You cautiously move through your house on a daily basis as if you’re walking across a frozen lake that may collapse at any moment. Looking at your child the wrong way could send them into a tirade. Your spouse, and other children, have experienced so much secondary trauma you hardly know how you’ll recover as a family.
This may be the best kept secret in the FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) community. We’re pretty sure it is. The impact that one simple week of camp had on our son’s life is beyond measure. We are convinced it will have the same impact on thousands of other children just like ours.
It was a Google Search. I found this week of camp by typing in “Summer + Camp + Kids with FASD” in the search bar. I was following my own prescribed remedy for making it through the dreaded summer break with a difficult child. I was filling up my son’s summer with camps that kept his days structured and fun.