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?
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.
A vast majority of foster and adoptive families are multi-racial. But, in this day and age, our culture still has many divides when it comes to race. How do you raise a multi-racial family in the middle of it?
In 2002 we were thrust into parenthood, seemingly overnight. We knew our daughter was on the way, we just didn’t know when. Then suddenly, poof…she was here. While we didn’t receive massively offensive comments for being two white people, in white suburbia, with a black daughter, we did have well-meaning people say things that were not-so-well-meaning (at least it seemed this way). We feared the future. We questioned, “How can we raise our baby in a world that is so misunderstanding and divided?”
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: iTunes | Android |
Foster care has gained a global spotlight over the past few years thanks, in part, to movies and media coverage. Many people are choosing this path. But, there’s a right reason and a wrong reason to choose this journey.
“I wish we could do away with the term foster-t0-adopt,” my friend said, as we chatted briefly during a conference a few days ago. “It communicates the wrong message to people who are entering the process. We should call it, foster-to-reunify.” She was referring to the underlying intention some have in entering the journey, to build a family by fostering. Not specifically the program of fostering-to-adopt. I nodded as I listened. She was completely right. Foster to adopt IS misleading at times!!
Sometimes you feel that you owe the world an explanation. You don’t! You feel your child’s choices, behavior, or lack of social interaction, warrant a full-blown summary. They don’t. Here’s why…
I’m going to do my best to give you, foster and adoptive parent who feels isolated, a voice right now. You who’ve grown tired of fielding question after question after question about your child’s special need, recent public outburst, suspension, arrest or social shortcomings. I’m going to do everything in my power to walk in your shoes and let you know you are not alone. I want you to know, as we begin, that your family’s business is nobody else’s business on the face of God’s green earth!
Over the past few months, we’ve been inundated with emails asking this question. We get it. We’ve felt it. We’ve been there. And here’s what we have to say about it.
Sometimes I nod feverishly when I read through emails from readers who pour their broken hearts out. Sometimes I forget to actually hit reply because I’m so engrossed in the pain they are sharing with me. Their son has pushed them to the edge with his behavior…held the entire family hostage…traumatized his younger brothers and sisters to the point of everyone needing therapy…disrupted any ounce of a normal life.
A little over a year ago, I had the honor of joining together with several other writers, speakers, bloggers, and influencers at Disney’s headquarters in Los Angeles, California. During our time together we were given the opportunity to speak into several projects Disney had recently released. One of those projects was the Dream Big, Princess campaign.
It’s been a week since we opened enrollment for Oasis Community and the stories we are hearing have moved us, inspired us, and often, left us in tears. Here’s a little more about Oasis..
“I can’t thank you enough for Oasis. It showed up at the perfect time. I was drowning with my kids, with my marriage, with my life! I think you guys may have just saved my life!”
Let’s not candy-coat it. It takes a lot to be a foster parent. It’s completely worth it, but it’s not a walk in the park and certainly not for the faint of heart. That’s precisely the reason I disagreed with a foster care advertisement I saw recently.
I was driving my daughter, and some of her fellow students, to school the other day in our hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana enjoying a nearly perfect spring day. My mind bounced back and forth between all that I had to accomplish in the day and the excitement that I finally felt knowing winter was over. As we drove along the beautiful street, leading straight into the heart of our city, one particular sign, out of the thousands we passed, caught my attention.