Dear World: Please Stop Referring To My Children As Orphans!

Chances are you’ve either been asked, or have heard, some doozies in your time on the adoptive journey. You know what I’m talking about. The crazy-innapropriate questions or references to your children. There’s one comment, however, that has pushed me to the edge!

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I’m used to inappropriate comments. In the 15 years we’ve been adoptive parents, both of us have heard them all. They never cease to amaze us…

How To Handle A DCS Investigation.

Season 4, Episode 35- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast.

It’s a reality that most foster parents will face on the journey- an accusation, report, or full-blown investigation from the department of child services. While it’s scary, there are a few key ways to navigate these tricky waters.

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We’ve been through this a few times and it’s always uncomfortable and downright sickening. In fact, some would say terrifying. But, believe it or not, it’s not the end of the world. You can, and will, survive if you follow some key steps, show respect to the investigators, and handle yourself well. We outline all of this in today’s episode…

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When You Understand Trauma, You Understand A Whole New World.

It took us a while to get there, but after years of parenting children from traumatic places, we finally had our eyes opened up. It became a game-changer for us, and our parenting.

Light at End of Tunnel

There are only 3 things I would go back in time and change if I had the power to do so. The first was field day in 6th grade. The event was cancelled due to rain and all students who decided not to come to school were excused. But I didn’t know this so I got on the bus anyways. Fail! The second was when I began my first real job after college. I wish I could go back and tell my young self to save as much money as possible. The third was in 2004 when we first began the foster care journey. If only I could go back in time and tell myself everything I know now about parenting children from trauma.

The Role Of Community In Discovering Identity.

Over the years, we’ve been asked how our children feel about being a part of a multi-racial family, and how they’ve adjusted. Our conversation always points back to the importance of your community.

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When we became a multi-racial family, we considered the toll it might take on our children and on us. We weighed the scenarios as did our children’s birth parents. In the end, we partnered with our children’s birth parents in making the best decision we could. Our children needed a family and we already deeply loved and cared for one another. We did not ignore the color of their skin but we also didn’t make skin color the ultimate identifier of our family.

How Do I Find Support On This Journey?

Season 4, Episode 34- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

If you’ve spent any time on the journey of foster care or adoption you know it’s amazing and beautiful, but also exhausting and isolating at times. The best way to navigate the ups and downs is through a support system. But how do you find one?

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We’ve been through more highs and lows on this journey than we could recount. Sometimes it’s filled us so full we feel like our hearts are going to burst open. Other times, it’s taken the life out of us and left us defeated and searching. The only way we’ve made it for more than 15 years is our amazing, grace-giving support system. We believe in the power of this. We believe everyone on the journey needs one. But how do you go about finding the right people for your inner circle of support?

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Why Shaming Your Children For Bad Behavior Isn’t Working!

Chances are, you already know this. So do we. But for some reason, we continue to resort to shaming, thinking we’ll see different results. We won’t. More importantly, we’re causing deeper damage when we do so.

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I get it. I fully understand how we can promise not to anymore, only to slip back into it when our kiddo blows it, and doesn’t seem to care or show emotion. Can I just put your mind at ease with that? I personally struggle with this too. You’re not alone. If nothing else, let the “Me too” of what I just said wash over you like warm water. Considering the fact that you and I are often pushed to the absolute edge (or beyond) by our children’s disorders, attachment issues, severe trauma, or impulsive choices, it makes sense why we would resort to shaming.

We Are More Than Our Adoption.

Our society prides itself on titles, positions, rankings, and statistics. It’s how we identify pro-atheletes, leaders of major corporations, and our favorite sports teams. Often, it’s how we identify ourselves. But we have learned that, in our family, we are much more than a title.

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Ok, Ok I understand our blog is called Confessions of an Adoptive Parent. It’s easy to think that we eat sleep and breathe adoption. Our title is a brand but it isn’t all that we are. Adoption, to us, is more like a surname. A last name is an identifier but it isn’t a person’s sole identity.

How To Navigate Christmas With Children Who Have Special Needs.

It’s a question we face every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas: How can we navigate the sensory overload of this season with our children? We’ve discovered a few keys…

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The malls are decorated with garland, bows, and lighted wreaths suspended in mid-air between stores and shops. Display windows have followed suit with decorative frosting in the corners and mannequins dressed in cold-weather attire. Starbucks debuted their red holiday cups, and radio stations are beginning to play Christmas music on loop. There’s no doubt about it — the holidays are here.