How Parenting Kids From Trauma Is A Lot Like Being A Pilot.

This is a guest post from our good friend Ryan North. He is the Executive Director of Tapestry, the Adoption & Foster Care Ministry of Irving Bible Church in Dallas, Texas. As Executive Director of Tapestry, Ryan also leads Empowered to Connect. He frequently writes and speaks on connected parenting and ministry leadership. Read his blog here and connect with him on Facebook here.

Parenting is tricky in general. But parenting children from traumatic places is tricky on an entirely different level. It often leaves you exhausted and bewildered. How can you be successful when it takes so much out of you?

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I was invited to speak at the Florida Foster/Adoptive Parent Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida last weekend. It is always a special privilege to share with families who are in the trenches. I love meeting them, hearing their stories, and being able to share information and experiences that can help them on their journey of hope and healing. I find it easy to be vulnerable with like minded people. I feel like I want to open up to them, honestly, it’s very therapeutic. Perhaps that is what I ultimately like about having the opportunity to speak at events like this one.

The Stuff I Learned From My Time As A Case Manager.

Season 6, Episode 51- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

Have you ever found yourself frustrated with your child’s case-manager?  Sometimes it can seem like we are on totally different planets from case-managers when it comes to the many decisions being made about children in our care.  What are they thinking?  Where are they coming from?
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This week, we welcome our good friend, Megan Stroup, Founder and Director of Helen’s House in Marian, Indiana, which specializes in supervised visitations and case management.  Before founding Helen’s House, Megan worked in the Department of Child Services for 11 years.  Megan is also an adoptee and mom of three. Megan shares with us today about her own experiences as a case manager.*  In listening to and understanding another’s perspective, we can all learn to build more positive, healthy relationships with those involved in our children’s lives.

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How To Set Expectations For A Teen Who’s Never Had Any.

You get the call from a case manager asking you to take in a teenager recently placed in foster care. Or you’ve chosen to adopt a pre-teen. Now what? How do you successfully set boundaries for them? How do you ensure you and the child are on the same page when it comes to respect, guidelines, and family values?

Taking decisions for the future

We didn’t wade into the shallow end of a heated pool, so-to-speak, when we began our foster care journey. We were pretty much tossed into the deep end. Our license was completed in a very short 4 weeks and the calls started rolling in. We were often unprepared, which is to be expected. This was also very much the case when we took in our first teenager. While we had served as youth pastors for nearly a decade before our first teen arrived, everything we thought we knew about them went right out of the window when we were suddenly parenting one!

Is A Special Needs Adoptee Incapable Of Success?

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.

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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.

“The Stuff I Learned About Loss And New Beginnings.”

Season 6, Episode 49- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

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?”

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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.

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Why “I’d Get Too Attached To Be A Foster Parent” Just Doesn’t Cut It!

*Editor’s Note- This is a guest post from our good friend Rachel Lewis. She is a foster mom, biological mom and adoptive mom. She started her fostering journey before enduring recurrent loss and infertility, and shares transparently about her journey to creating a family on her blog The Lewis Note. Connect with Rachel on Facebook and Instagram.

There’s often an inclination, when a person enters the foster care journey, to not allow themselves to get attached to the children they’re caring for. They call it a safeguard for when they have to say goodbye. But, this defies the human wiring we have to love, and really doesn’t cut it. Here’s why…

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“I can never be a foster parent. I’d get too attached.”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this. In fact, I hear it almost every single time me being a foster parent comes up. So, I want to clarify a few things…

7 Things You Should Never Say To Foster Or Adoptive Dads On Father’s Day.

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. While most of the comments we foster and adoptive dads receive are cordial, and respectful, there are always a handful that are not. Here’s a little insight into things you shouldn’t say to foster and adoptive dads on this special day (written, of course, for you to “share” with the people in your life who really don’t get it!)

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My brother-in-law’s heart probably drained from his chest like melted wax. Had his breath not been taken away by the off-handed comment, he would have found the words to speak, I’m sure. It was his first Father’s Day when someone in his church crushed his spirit and left him bewildered. “Happy Father’s Day. I mean, you’re like a pseudo-father right? So, Happy pseudo-Father’s Day!” the person uttered. If someone would have walked around the corner and dumped cold water over my brother-in-law’s head, he would have been less shocked.

How To Safeguard Your Marriage While Raising Children With Special Needs.

Often, when you’re in the trenches of parenting children with major special needs, the most important relationship you have begins to suffer. How do you keep your marriage healthy in the midst of very difficult circumstances with your children?

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I met my husband 20 years ago this winter. I saw him across the lobby of the student center at our college campus. I hoped he would notice me and when he did I shook his hand and smiled the warmest smile I could muster on that cold January evening. He asked me out a few weeks later and I was excited to get to know him. From that moment on, we enjoyed spending as much time together as possible. We studied at the library, took walks around campus, visited the art museum where admission was free. We didn’t need to do anything fancy. Time together was all we wanted.