Is This Messy Journey Really Worth It?

Jen says, "No, not today..."

This is a debut post by Jennifer Summers, who serves as Content Creator for The Honestly Adoption Podcast and Oasis Community within Confessions Of An Adoptive Parent. We are thrilled to share this post with you.

It’s a question all of us, on the foster or adoptive journey, have asked a time or two. Especially when things are tough at home, and our kiddos are struggling. But the real answer to this question may surprise you.

It depends on what you’re really asking. Are you asking if I feel like it is worth it or if I KNOW it is worth it?

Do you want the raw and honest truth?  You’d be scared if you saw it.  If you saw the actual mess.  Not the “oh, this messy journey…hahaha, (insert winky emoticon) mess.” I’m talking about the actual, nasty mess that this journey often is:  The mess I know all about, from living it for the last 10, long years.  The mess I hear all about, when other adoptive mamas feel safe enough to share with me the reality of what hell they are going through.

How To Help Your Child Cope With Unmet Expectations At Christmas

The Honestly Adoption Podcast: Season 8, Episode 70

The holiday season can be full of magic and wonder, expectations and fantasies.  What can a parent do to help their child, who struggles during this season, to make sense of how their own story fits in?

Join us this week as we welcome Brooke Randolph (LMHC) to our show for part 3 of our 4 part series, “Holiday Survival Tips and Tricks.” Mike, Kristin, and Brooke will discuss how we can support our children through this holiday season.

Forming New Family Traditions With Older Children

Traditions are a part of what solidifies the culture of each unique family. As foster and adoptive families, we have the important challenge of blending many different customs in to one new family unit. This holiday season, we’ve been asking ourselves and our children how we can honor our individuality while celebrating together.

When I was growing up, Holidays were full of family traditions. On Thanksgiving Day we traveled to my grandma’s house for dinner. We cleaned up together and then went for a walk around our little town. Even if it was freezing, you could count on a gaggle of Schultzes quite loudly making our way through the neighborhood. That evening my family would buckle into the Caprice Classic and only then, begin the non-stop Christmas music that would fill my ears until New Year’s Day. The next day, we would venture out to cut down the perfect Christmas tree. We didn’t start decorating until all family members were present and accounted for, Nat King Cole Christmas was on the record player and egg nog was properly chilled and poured into 6 decorative mugs.

The Top 5 Can’t-Miss Adoption & Foster Podcasts Of The Year

We love podcasts. This mostly has to do with the fact that, in 2015, we launched our very own. But it’s also because we love the powerful communication piece that podcasts have become. Today, we’re sharing, what we believe, are the top 5 of the year as they relate to the foster and adoptive community.

We live in a powerful age of technology and mass-communication. Never before has mankind been able to connect with hundreds of millions of people with the touch of a screen or the swipe of a thumb. It truly is magnificent. But this means that adoptive and foster parents and their support community also have access to mass communication and resources to help them in everyday life.

How To Shift From Traditional Methods, When Parenting Children From Trauma

The Honestly Adoption Podcast-Season 7, Episode 63

Why don’t traditional parenting methods work with children who have experienced trauma?  Have you ever used physical punishment, verbal reprimand, loss of privilege, or isolation with your children? Don’t worry, we have too!  Many of us grew up with these “traditional” methods and it can be a struggle to adjust the deeply ingrained patterns of thinking, and give up this type of parenting.

This week on The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we are excited to share with you one of our exclusive “Backstage Pass” interviews from Oasis Community, our support and resource site for adoptive and foster parents.  In this interview, Mike gets honest with Ryan North as they discuss parenting methods better suited for children from trauma. Believe us, you will not want to miss this interview!

How To Correct Your Child Without Shaming

Many of our children have come from significant trauma and that often prevents them from logical thinking. This can be frustrating, even maddening at times. Our temptation is to shame or lecture. But there’s a better way…

My kid had been caught red-handed. On camera, but also by the evidence spilling out of his bedroom. Literally…spilling out of his bedroom. If someone had rounded the corner and punched us square in the face, we would have been less shocked. And you better believe we saw red. Not only were we angry, but embarrassed, ashamed, and bewildered. This was not acceptable at all.

How To See Grief As A Gift.

Season 7, Episode 61- The Honestly Adoption Podcast

Loss.  Pain.  Sorrow.  Grief.    These are no strangers to those of us on this adoption and foster care journey.  How do we deal with these losses and all of this pain?  What do we do when our heartache is more than we can bear?  Is it actually possible we could learn to see grief as a gift?


Join us on this episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, as Mike and Kristin interview our good friend, and fellow blogger, Natalie Brenner, and how she learned to see grief as a gift.

How To Make Sense Of Attachment Issues In Children From Trauma.

Season 7, Episode 60- The Honestly Adoption Podcast

“What are some common signs that my child may have attachment issues?”  “What can I do to build healthy attachments with my child?”  “Why do I feel like my child is always trying to manipulate me?”  Have you ever struggled with any of these questions?  Be sure not to miss out this week on:

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In this episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin interview the ever-so-popular Deborah Gray (LCSW) on how to make sense of attachment issues in children from trauma.