This is a guest post by Angela Tucker. She is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and is an advocate for adoptee rights. She was recently named ‘Seattle’s Smartest Global Women.’
In 2013, at the age of 26, Angela’s own story of adoption and search for her birth parents was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, CLOSURE
, which is available on Netflix, iTunes & Kweli TV. Read her blog here
, and connect with her on Facebook here
Do special needs adoptees have worth? You bet they do! While we understand the reasoning behind adoption questionnaires and preferences for an adopting couple, we also know they place unfair labels on precious children. Children who have very bright futures ahead of them.
Even though I’m hearing impaired, I am a healthy adult. Even though this wasn’t learned until my late childhood, I was a healthy child.
She didn’t always eat healthy while I grew in her belly. There were no prenatal visits or vitamins. Still I am fine and I’m healthy.
So much of the adoption journey is surrounded by trauma, loss, and grief. Many times friends, family, or church members will say things that seem to make it even worse. Is loss and trauma really “just a part of God’s plan?” Is getting over grief simply a matter of “trusting God more?”
Listen in to Natalie’s encouraging story as she and her husband listened and learned about finding wholeness and joy through some hard years of infertility, miscarriage, loss, and grief, as well as adoption, virtual twining, and special needs parenting.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: iTunes | Android |
When it comes to adopting older children there’s often a belief that, because they’ve been through so much, it’s impossible to form a healthy bond with them. We’ve discovered something different.
In our 15 years of parenting we have had the honor of participating in the lives of 23 children. Most of them returned home or went on to be adopted by their forever families, eight of them have stayed forever. Before I became a parent of an older child, I didn’t think much about bonding and attachment. I am attached to my own parents, brothers and sisters. I have not personally had reason to question my place or belonging in the world. When we adopted our first daughter at birth, we bonded quite naturally.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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!
*Editor’s Note- This is a guest post by our good friend Lisa Qualls. She is a writer, speaker, mom of 12, and the creator of One Thankful Mom
, where she writes about motherhood, adoption, faith, and grief. Lisa is a mom by birth and adoption. Along with her husband Russ, their adoption journey has been marked by joy as well as challenges of trauma and attachment. You can visit her blog here
, and connect with her on Facebook here
Out of all the twists, turns, triumphs, and defeats that are often a part of the foster care journey, there are beautiful blessings in disguise when you least expect it.
You know what surprises me most – what I would never have expected? The relationship we have with my Zoe’s* family.
Last week Zoe’s mom had one of her regular weekly visits with Zoe and her sisters, but this time it was at our house. When I arrived to pick her up, she had ingredients for a meal packed in grocery bags, ready to cook for her kids when she got here. The little girls were dropped off by their foster mom and quickly ran outside to play with my son while their mom cooked and chatted with Zoe at the kitchen island.