To The Person Who Thinks My Son Should Be Institutionalized.

As foster and adoptive parents, we’ve overheard all kinds of awful things spoken about our children, even to our children. Recently, I heard something that caused my blood to boil, and my heart to break…

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As I type these words, I go back in my mind to the moment you said those horrible words- “Well, if he has brain damage, he should be in an institution.” I’m sitting here trying to convince myself that you didn’t mean them…that your words were misheard by me…that you don’t really feel that way. But, I’m not sure if that’s the case.

Why I’m Not Hiding The Fact That My Child Has HIV.

*Editors Note- This is a guest post from our good friend Michelle McKinney. She is an adoptive mother and blogger. She describes herself as an imperfect wife and an even more imperfect mom who decided long ago, “Why bring more kids into the world when there are so many here already who need forever homes?” She believes ALL KIDS deserve a family. Every single one. You can read her work with HIV advocacy by visiting thoughtsfrommichelleskitchen.com.

It’s a disease that comes with lots of stigmas and judgement: HIV. Even parents who’ve chosen to adopt children who are positive receive raised eyebrows. But the stigmas and judgement could not be further from the truth.

Man stands inside of old dark tunnel with shining sun

This month, my husband and I celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. This month also marks the 35th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS in our country. I never in a million years thought I would care 17 years ago. But I do.

Parenting Is Hard, But The Story Isn’t Over Yet.

In the trenches of parenting, it’s often easy to see only your trials, or current difficult circumstances. You feel like giving up, throwing in the towel, and calling it quits quite often. But your story, and your child’s, isn’t over yet…

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My family loves antique stores. I mean LOVES them! Our local antique store is a compilation of three large barns connected through walkways. We could spend all day wandering through the booths. To watch our family on a typical day you might mistake us for an ADHD medication advertisement. We are active, impulsive and a little unfocused. That’s just us parents!

Happy Father’s Day From Confessions Of An Adoptive Parent

It’s Father’s Day weekend, 2016, and we thought we’d bring a smile to your face by sharing this hilarious video from The Holderness Family (one of our favorite families in the world)…

We don’t know about you, but we’re laughing because this video is freakishly spot on to the life of a dad. Men, have a fun and safe Father’s Day weekend, and be cautious when lighting your grills….or your farts!

Question: What’s your best Father’s Day memory? Share with us in the comment section below… You can leave a comment by clicking here.

How To Handle The Grief You Feel For Your Child.

You’ve probably been down this road before: your child suffers from extreme depression, hurts others, or makes decisions that are against everything your family holds true. It causes unimaginable grief. How do you handle the extreme emotions you feel, while making sure your children are taken care of?

Single woman alone swinging on the beach

I stand in my kitchen, early on a Monday morning, coffee in hand, feeling sad. The sun has begun making its ascent over the tops of the trees, spreading tiny rays of light across our yard. The dew-soaked blades of grass shimmer in the fresh morning light. In the past, I’d step outside, breath in deep, and take in the new day. Now, I feel restriction when I so much as inhale normal.

8 Ways To Help A Struggling Family.

*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.

Even through our own difficult life circumstances, we often have the ability to help others who are struggling on this journey. But where do you begin, and how do you know what to do for someone in great need?

Female medicine doctor reassuring her patient

Last week I heard from a woman whose friend adopted a child and the family is struggling. Her heartfelt note asked what she could do to help. She wrote, “The mom looks sad and frustrated all of the time.”

She closed her email with, “What can I do to help? What can our church family do to help?”Let me offer a few thoughts…

Secondary Trauma: How Your Child’s Special Needs May Be Affecting You.

We know that children who have come from difficult places experience trauma, but what about you and I as parents? How do we handle the secondary trauma we experience as a result of the day in and day out battle of parenting them?

Missing family in new flat

“Listen, you’re blood pressure is just too high. You need to lose some weight, eat healthier and get some exercise. Getting out for a workout will lower your stress level too. I know you can find just a few minutes in your day. On your way out, stop by the front desk and schedule an appointment for 6 weeks. I don’t want to scare you but we really need to keep an eye on this.” The doctor shut the door as my friend pulled her gown a little tighter around her hoping to hide how exposed she was feeling from the inside out. She quickly dressed and told the front desk she would have to check her schedule and call back about the appointment.

How To Respond To Well-Meaning People Who May Not Mean Well.

On the road of foster care and adoption, you and I will encounter many well-meaning people who may not be so well-meaning. How do you respond to people whose words or actions are highly offensive to you?

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For years I have allowed others a free pass when they have overstepped into our adoptive and foster family. I’ve given grace and gritted my teeth while people say passive aggressive things. I have dismissed inappropriate comments as ignorant. I’ve even herded my children away and given them extra hugs, kisses and explanations for another’s rude behavior. In an effort not to embarrass the offender, I have allowed my children to feel shame and uncertainty about who they are and who we are as a family.