No, You Don’t Have To Live In Isolation Anymore!

I know what you want to do, and what feels natural, when all hell breaks loose with your child. But I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to do that anymore.

Early morning shower of light

You are not alone.

If I had a dollar for every time those words left my lips and crossed the space between me and the person I was standing in front of? Let’s just say…beach house in Malibu. Or better fitting…1000 acre farm at the foot of a ginormous mountain in rural Montana where my kids could run wild and free, and any outbursts, meltdowns, glass-breaking, dish-smashing tirade, brought on by trauma (or that simmer we always talk about), wouldn’t be heard by a living soul for miles. Foster and adoptive parent: you feeling me on this one? 

What About Anger Toward My Child’s Birth Parent?

We talk often about forming positive relationships with birth families. But what do you do when you can’t get past the anger you feel toward them?

Bad news over the phone

If you know us, you know we are strong advocates for open adoption. We often write and speak in favor of open relationships with a child’s birth family. In our own family we have regular contact with biological parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even brothers and sisters. We feel that if it is possible and safe to have an open relationship with a child’s birth family, you should.

How Can The Church Support Foster And Adoptive Families?

Season 5, Episode 42- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

It’s a big question we receive often, from church leaders and families in the trenches: how can the church better support foster and adoptive families?

S5-E42 Art.001

Unfortunately, over the past 15 years we’ve been on this journey, we’ve seen a few churches get this extremely right, but many get it extremely wrong. Personally, our family has walked through a few situations where the church was no support at all. But, we believe in the church and the impact it can have in this world, and for foster and adoptive families.

Play

Your Child’s Behavior Is Not An Attack On You (But It Sure Does Feel Like It)!

It’s really hard to not take your child’s meltdowns, outbursts, or aggression personally. In the heat of the moment how do you differentiate between trauma and a personal attack on you?

mother and her daughter

For years I misunderstood my child’s behavior. The aggression, words, and defiance were all an attack on me! Or so I thought. I’d shake my fists at the heavens and beg for a better behaved child, or at least a “fix-it” solution. I even tried to parent the way I was parented, growing up. I’d set up the boundaries, I’d reinforce the rules, and if said boundaries or rules were crossed, BAM… consequences enforced. If you acted like a little jerk to me in front of my friends, or at church, GROUNDED! If you acted out, stole something, hid food under your bed, BUSTED! And to be quite honest, for years I felt as though we were running in a hamster wheel. Not only did I see zero traction, but I didn’t like the way my disciplinarian style was making me (or my child) feel. Bottom line: it wasn’t working.

There’s A Reason The Foster And Adoptive Journey Isn’t Perfect.

As much as we wish we were called into a journey that was easy, problem free, and had a lot less pit falls, we’re just not. It’s far from perfect and there’s a reason for this.

broken cup on wooden background

I’m typing this from 30,000 feet above the earth as I fly to Denver, Colorado for a one-day conference for foster and adoptive parents, called Spotlight. I was there last year, and it was amazing. Such beautiful people with hearts for the vulnerable children in their city. It’s quite amazing to see. I should say that I’m a bit on cloud 9 after last weekend at The Refresh Conference in Seattle. It’s been a week, and I can’t stop thinking about all we experienced. We absolutely loved our time in the Pacific Northwest with all of the amazing people we call friends and family. We feel this way every year after the conference ends. Yes, it’s that amazing.

How To Keep Your Marriage Healthy Through The Trials Of Foster Care and Adoption.

Season 5, Episode 41- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

One of the biggest areas of our life that pays the price when the journey becomes difficult, is our marriage. How do you maintain health when you’re constantly on overload and maxed out?

Season 5-Episode 41 art.001

We weren’t prepared for the toll that foster care would take on our marriage when we first began the journey 13 years ago. There we sat, in our empty living room, looking at one another as if we were acquaintances and not life partners. We were tired, defeated, frustrated, and drained of all energy. We weren’t prepared for some of the special needs that some of our children had. Because we loved them deeply, we were pouring every ounce of emotional and spiritual energy we had into them.

Play

Attachment Disorder: What Do You Do When A Child Attaches Too Quickly?

We often talk about attachment disorder from the perspective of the long awaited real hug, or genuine “I love you.” But what do you do when your child attaches too quickly?

Mother and child hugging

February in the Midwest is guaranteed to be bitter cold and filled with snow… well at least until this year. For the last three weeks we have had temperatures in the 70s and sunshine almost every day. Consequently, the grass is turning green and bulbs which should be dormant for another month are pushing through the soft earth and blooming just a bit too early. I have enjoyed these last few weeks of stolen Spring. My children hauled their bikes out of storage, we grilled out and even had a campfire. As I was driving to work the other day the sight of crocuses in bloom made my heart skip a beat. I felt myself begin to grin, then quickly remembered the weekend forecast. Snow. The beautiful crocuses had bloomed too early. I found myself wondering if they would survive the weekend.

The Story Isn’t Over For Your Child.

If you’ve wondered this as you’ve battled your child for days upon days, or found yourself so frustrated you could scream, you’re not alone. But there’s a truth you need to know.

Book opened in library on wooden shelf. Education background with

I know you. I see you. I am you.

I know what’s going through your mind on any given day. I know what you whisper as you recover from an 8-hour battle with your kid, or walk out of an IEP meeting defeated because there’s no sign of progress. Trust me. I know. If you looked at an X-ray of my heart it wouldn’t look like the perfectly formed plastic model you’d see on the corner of a doctor’s desk. It’s been broken so many times over my child, it’s deformed and morphed, like lava flow into ocean waters morphing into new land.