The world often looks at a child like mine, who suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), as a hopeless case. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. He is a warrior. And he is overcoming this disorder every single day!
My son sat slumped next to the front door in a defeated posture.
“What’s wrong kiddo?” I said. “We’re going to church and you won’t tie my shoe for me!” he shouted back. I jumped, surprised at his response. He hadn’t asked for help. To my knowledge, he hadn’t even been sitting there that long. I crouched down next to him. I almost yelled but remembered quickly that my son’s brain doesn’t work like other children, he has FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and his frustration level goes from 0-60 without warning. I took a breath again and asked if I could show him how to do it with one shoe and he could do it with the other shoe. “No!” he shouted again. I stood up and calmly reminded him that shouting hurts my feelings, I would be happy to help when he was ready.
We spend so much of this journey fighting for our children, and helping them fight through the trauma they’ve endured, that we rarely take time to process it ourselves. That’s why a simple question, recently asked of me, has me thinking…
This past weekend we attended a discussion group in a small coffee house in a neighboring town to ours. The topics ranged from pain, to overcoming grief, to God, to suffering in the world, to personal struggles. And then the facilitator asked us a question that we’ve rarely been asked over our 15-year adoptive journey: “How do YOU process and work through your child’s trauma?”
“Your past may explain you, but it doesn’t define you.” This last installment of our summer series, “The Stuff I Learned,” is an honest story of one family’s struggle through the dark, hard places of trauma and despair, to the places (and person) of Hope.
Don’t miss out on this amazing interview with adoptee, Sandeep Thomas, and his two special guests (you’ll have to listen to find out who!), as they share how they have found, and continue to find, hope, joy, and gratitude on the sometimes difficult journey of adoption.
Everyone of us on the adoptive journey has gone through training, seminars, and events to educate us on everything from trauma, to attachment, to crisis intervention. But education pales in comparison to our connection to others. Here’s why:
I was talking to a close friend the other day when he said something that resonated deeply with me (and spawned an entire blog post :-)). He said, “The United States is one of the most educated countries around. We have trillions of articles at the touch of a button. Yet people still languish and wallow in despair and defeat. Not for lack of information, but rather lack of community and connection.”
Self-care for adoptive and foster parents. We’ve all heard about it. We have a feeling it might be important, but, honestly, who has time?
The truth is, parental self-care is a foundational part of being able to care for our children well. While we may feel like this is one thing we just can’t get around to, it is actually the one thing that can get everything else moving in a positive direction. Listen in as Mike interviews Carrie Blake, former foster parent, adoptive parent, mama of 7, whose journey towards self-care will inspire and motivate even the most “self-care challenged” among us.
It’s a still a question we receive from time to time, from non-adoptive and pre-adoptive parents alike. How can you love a child who’s not biologically yours? We understand where this comes from, but we’ve come to a straight up conclusion.
We just….do. Honestly, I’m sitting here typing, early in the morning, with the grandiose idea of busting out some clever rhetoric to reinforce the point of this post but I’m at a loss. I can’t explain it any other way than to say, we do. Blood, biology, DNA, and all the other fixins’ have nothing to do with it.
It’s often a dreaded adventure for foster and adoptive parents: summer travel. Or any travel, for that matter. Often, we wonder, is it worth it? Maybe we’re safer just staying home? We’re here to tell you, it is worth it. And here’s why…
Living far from family means we travel occasionally. Four kids requires extra care when traveling on an airplane. Four kids with trauma and sensory issues requires extra, extra care when traveling on an airplane. Four kids, with medical needs, and trauma and sensory issues requires extra, extra, extra care when traveling on an airplane.
We are mixing it up this week on the Honestly Speaking Podcast, as Mike heads over to the other side of the microphone, where he is interviewed by Sandra Flach, from Justice for Orphans ministry, and he shares what HE and Kristin have learned from their own 16-year adoptive journey.
Mike and Kristin have 8 children ages 8-31 whom they have adopted over the past 16 years. They have adopted domestically through both private adoption and foster to adopt. Mike and Kristin have faced many struggles along the way including learning how to parent children who have FASD and having a child in residential care. You know and love them already as the founders of Confessions of an Adoptive Parent. Here’s your chance to hear how the idea for Confessions was birthed, and to find out more about Oasis Community, our monthly membership site!