Kristin will be speaking at the Woven By Love foster and adoptive mom’s retreat on January 20, 2018. To learn more about Woven By Love, click here.

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Date: January 20, 2018
Event: Woven By Love Retreat
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

7 Things You Should Never Say To Foster Or Adoptive Dads On Father’s Day.

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. While most of the comments we foster and adoptive dads receive are cordial, and respectful, there are always a handful that are not. Here’s a little insight into things you shouldn’t say to foster and adoptive dads on this special day (written, of course, for you to “share” with the people in your life who really don’t get it!)

Man performing stop gesture with hand

My brother-in-law’s heart probably drained from his chest like melted wax. Had his breath not been taken away by the off-handed comment, he would have found the words to speak, I’m sure. It was his first Father’s Day when someone in his church crushed his spirit and left him bewildered. “Happy Father’s Day. I mean, you’re like a pseudo-father right? So, Happy pseudo-Father’s Day!” the person uttered. If someone would have walked around the corner and dumped cold water over my brother-in-law’s head, he would have been less shocked.

How Do You Get Through To A Child Who Doesn’t Think Logically?

We used to think that carrying a piece of drywall around with us so we could bang our head into it every time we had to re-explain something to our kid, or try to reason with him, was the ticket. And then, we discovered a better way to connect.

woman slapping hand on head to say duh made mistake

A friend and I were recently talking about our kids when he said something I totally identified with- “Mike, he just doesn’t think. It’s like there’s no ability to think logically. I tell him to not do something and he does it anyway, even though he knows he’ll be in trouble!” I nodded and repeatedly said, “Yep, I know. Right there with you.” If I had a dollar for every time I was in this position…..retirement come early!

5 True Confessions From The Adoption Journey.

Smack dab in the title of this blog is the word Confession. So, obviously we’re true to that by sharing honest and raw stories from this journey. But, we’ve also discovered a few other realities that I must confess here and now:

Empty Chair in an Interrogation Room

I couldn’t have scripted this any better. As I stand and peer back over the last 18 years (Kristin and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage in 2 months), I’m amazed by our journey. No, scratch that…I’m BEYOND amazed. I’m overwhelmed. Is there another word for overwhelmed that’s more powerful? If so, send it to me, or leave it in the comments below. I’m finding that words really don’t do any of this justice. So, I’ll stick to overwhelmed for now.

How To Navigate Summer Vacation With Children Who Need Structure.

Season 5, Episode 48- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

For millions of families, summer break is all about staying up late, sleeping in, and hanging out by the pool, when they want, for as long as they want to. But for those of us parenting children with special needs, summer break can spell disaster due to lack of structure. How do you successfully navigate this season with children who thrive in structure and routine?

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We would have drained our bank account to register our kids for every summer camp on the planet last year. We nearly did. Parents of normal functioning children may raise an eyebrow, or two, at that statement; even call us bad parents. But, unless you are in the trenches of parenting children from trauma, with attachment issues, or disorders like FASD, you don’t understand the enormous need for structure and routine.

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7 Books Every Foster, Adoptive, And Special-Needs Parent Should Read.

One of our greatest passions is equipping foster, adoptive, and special needs parents with the best resources available. Recently, I compiled a list of the top 7 books every foster, adoptive, and special needs parents should read.

Woman reads book near fireplace

If any of my middle or high school teachers, or college professors came across this post, they would laugh. That’s because I barely read a book through my school days (if you call cramming an hour before a class reading… :-)). Can’t recall one time I read an entire book, cover-to-cover throughout my childhood or college career. So, the fact that I later became an author and blogger, and now sharing a post on book recommendations, is irony in it’s finest form. Seriously though, in my adult years (the past 10 to be exact), I’ve found incredible value in reading books, especially in my continuing education as a parent. There are a few titles I believe to be critical-consumption as it relates to our unique journey.

How To Form Healthy Partnerships With Your Child’s School.

Season 5, Episode 47- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

One of the biggest struggles foster and adoptive parents have, is formulating a healthy partnership with their child’s school. Usually this has to do with IEP meetings. In this episode, however, we are looking at a different angle.

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In the past we’ve discussed, in-depth, IEP meetings, how to advocate for your child, what to say and not say, do and not do, and which important details you need to disclose to better advocate for your child, and his or her special need. But what about your child who doesn’t have an IEP, or need one? Educationally, they are on track, but they’ve still come from a place of trauma. How do you effectively communicate these details to better equip the school, and ensure the best possible school year for teacher and student alike? Today, we share valuable keys you can utilize as you and your child’s school prepare for the upcoming school year…

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3 Reasons Traditional Parenting Doesn’t Work With Kids From Trauma.

If you’ve parented a child from a traumatic past for any length of time, you already know that traditional parenting techniques do not work. But, have you ever stopped to consider why, or what you could do differently?

Sad little girl sitting in a corner

Kristin and I both grew up in traditional households, with parents who used traditional techniques in raising us both. There were rules and restrictions, guidelines and boundaries. And if said rules, restrictions, guidelines and boundaries were crossed, BAM, consequences were enforced. No questions asked. From all accounts, these techniques worked. We both grew up to be responsible adults who knew the difference between right and wrong. But, we also never endured significant trauma as children.