How To Navigate Summer Vacation With Children Who Need Structure.

Season 5, Episode 48- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

For millions of families, summer break is all about staying up late, sleeping in, and hanging out by the pool, when they want, for as long as they want to. But for those of us parenting children with special needs, summer break can spell disaster due to lack of structure. How do you successfully navigate this season with children who thrive in structure and routine?

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We would have drained our bank account to register our kids for every summer camp on the planet last year. We nearly did. Parents of normal functioning children may raise an eyebrow, or two, at that statement; even call us bad parents. But, unless you are in the trenches of parenting children from trauma, with attachment issues, or disorders like FASD, you don’t understand the enormous need for structure and routine.

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How To Form Healthy Partnerships With Your Child’s School.

Season 5, Episode 47- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

One of the biggest struggles foster and adoptive parents have, is formulating a healthy partnership with their child’s school. Usually this has to do with IEP meetings. In this episode, however, we are looking at a different angle.

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In the past we’ve discussed, in-depth, IEP meetings, how to advocate for your child, what to say and not say, do and not do, and which important details you need to disclose to better advocate for your child, and his or her special need. But what about your child who doesn’t have an IEP, or need one? Educationally, they are on track, but they’ve still come from a place of trauma. How do you effectively communicate these details to better equip the school, and ensure the best possible school year for teacher and student alike? Today, we share valuable keys you can utilize as you and your child’s school prepare for the upcoming school year…

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How To Raise A Multi-Racial Family In A Not-So-Multi-Racial World.

Season 5, Episode 46- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

A vast majority of foster and adoptive families are multi-racial. But, in this day and age, our culture still has many divides when it comes to race. How do you raise a multi-racial family in the middle of it?

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In 2002 we were thrust into parenthood, seemingly overnight. We knew our daughter was on the way, we just didn’t know when. Then suddenly, poof…she was here. While we didn’t receive massively offensive comments for being two white people, in white suburbia, with a black daughter, we did have well-meaning people say things that were not-so-well-meaning (at least it seemed this way). We feared the future. We questioned, “How can we raise our baby in a world that is so misunderstanding and divided?”

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How Do I Maintain Respect For A Birthparent When Their Choices Are So Bad?

Season 5, Episode 45- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

On this episode of Honestly Speaking, Matt, Mike, Nicole and Kristin discuss one of the biggest questions foster and adoptive parents have when it comes to birth parents: How can I respect a person who’s made so many bad choices?

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We’ve spoken at conferences where people have nearly come out of their seats they were so angry when we talk about the importance of respecting birth parents. I’m not kidding. Birth parent relationships are an extremely sensitive topic among foster and adoptive parents. Some prefer to keep them at a distance while others genuinely want to know how to maintain a healthy, respectful relationship with them. Today’s episode provides some practical advice.

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4 Practical Tips For Re-Entering The Foster Care System.

Season 5, Episode 44- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

Through this blog, and on our podcast, we have given hundreds, if not thousands, of tips on entering the foster care system for the first time. But what about when you are planning to re-enter after being away for a while?

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Re-entry is rarely something folks consider when they’re on the foster care journey. Mostly because, the statistics of families who stop fostering, or suspend their license, and never return are greater than those who take a break and then jump back in later on. But how do you successfully re-enter the system when you’ve been away from it for a while? That’s what we’re covering on today’s episode of the podcast.

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To Medicate Or Not To Medicate? That Is The Question!

Season 5, Episode 43- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

It’s a hot topic question in the foster and adoptive community right now. Should I medicate my child? And if so, what medications are right? We’re discussing this on today’s podcast episode.

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We’ve all been down the medication route. Several times, in fact. We’ve learned what works, what doesn’t work, and what should be avoided altogether. Beyond that, we’ve also found helpful alternatives to medication. We fully understand this is a gray area in the foster and adoptive community, but on today’s episode of Honestly Speaking, we’re talking openly from all sides of this discussion.

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How Can The Church Support Foster And Adoptive Families?

Season 5, Episode 42- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

It’s a big question we receive often, from church leaders and families in the trenches: how can the church better support foster and adoptive families?

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Unfortunately, over the past 15 years we’ve been on this journey, we’ve seen a few churches get this extremely right, but many get it extremely wrong. Personally, our family has walked through a few situations where the church was no support at all. But, we believe in the church and the impact it can have in this world, and for foster and adoptive families.

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How To Keep Your Marriage Healthy Through The Trials Of Foster Care and Adoption.

Season 5, Episode 41- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

One of the biggest areas of our life that pays the price when the journey becomes difficult, is our marriage. How do you maintain health when you’re constantly on overload and maxed out?

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We weren’t prepared for the toll that foster care would take on our marriage when we first began the journey 13 years ago. There we sat, in our empty living room, looking at one another as if we were acquaintances and not life partners. We were tired, defeated, frustrated, and drained of all energy. We weren’t prepared for some of the special needs that some of our children had. Because we loved them deeply, we were pouring every ounce of emotional and spiritual energy we had into them.

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