How Parenting Children From Hard Places Can Be Blessings In Disguise.

*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 Thankful Moms, 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.

Holidays are wonderful family times, but holidays can also be are hard – especially for families with kids from “hard places.” The pressure of special events, increased anxiety, and disruption of schedules due to school vacations, can sometimes bring about true crisis.

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Four years ago, I wrote a post to my readers on Christmas Eve. It was early in the morning; my family was sleeping and snow was falling outside the windows in the pre-dawn hour. I’d been silent, unable to write for several days as I tried to make sense of the crisis we found ourselves in.

How The Foster Care Movement Is Changing The Game For At-Risk Kids.

Season 4, Episode 36- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

In spite of a world that vastly misunderstands foster care, or it’s profound impact on the lives of vulnerable children, the movement is changing lives and reshaping the future landscape of humanity.

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Jason Weber is one person who is leading this charge. He is the national director of foster care initiatives for CAFO (Christian Alliance For Orphans), and a recently published children’s book author. His recent book, Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn is a fantastic true story of the impact many people can make when they come together and work for the common good. On today’s episode, Jason and I discuss this.

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Discovering ‘A Different Beautiful’ On The Parenting Journey.

*Editor’s Note- This is a guest post from our good friend Courtney Westlake. She is the author of the newly released book A Different Beautiful. She lives in Illinois with her husband Evan and two children, Connor and Brenna. After Brenna was born with a severe skin disorder, Courtney began chronicling family life and experiences raising a child with physical differences and special needs on her blog. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Sometimes the life we dreamed of having when we first started out on the parenting journey doesn’t turn out the way we envisioned it. In the midst of this, there’s an opportunity to discover a different beautiful.

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When my husband, Evan, and I found out we were expecting a little girl, joining her big brother Connor in our family, we had a vision of pigtails. We pictured a little girl chasing her brother around the house, with blond pigtails bouncing on the sides of her head.

Dear World: Please Stop Referring To My Children As Orphans!

Chances are you’ve either been asked, or have heard, some doozies in your time on the adoptive journey. You know what I’m talking about. The crazy-innapropriate questions or references to your children. There’s one comment, however, that has pushed me to the edge!

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I’m used to inappropriate comments. In the 15 years we’ve been adoptive parents, both of us have heard them all. They never cease to amaze us…

How To Handle A DCS Investigation.

Season 4, Episode 35- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast.

It’s a reality that most foster parents will face on the journey- an accusation, report, or full-blown investigation from the department of child services. While it’s scary, there are a few key ways to navigate these tricky waters.

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We’ve been through this a few times and it’s always uncomfortable and downright sickening. In fact, some would say terrifying. But, believe it or not, it’s not the end of the world. You can, and will, survive if you follow some key steps, show respect to the investigators, and handle yourself well. We outline all of this in today’s episode…

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When You Understand Trauma, You Understand A Whole New World.

It took us a while to get there, but after years of parenting children from traumatic places, we finally had our eyes opened up. It became a game-changer for us, and our parenting.

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There are only 3 things I would go back in time and change if I had the power to do so. The first was field day in 6th grade. The event was cancelled due to rain and all students who decided not to come to school were excused. But I didn’t know this so I got on the bus anyways. Fail! The second was when I began my first real job after college. I wish I could go back and tell my young self to save as much money as possible. The third was in 2004 when we first began the foster care journey. If only I could go back in time and tell myself everything I know now about parenting children from trauma.

The Role Of Community In Discovering Identity.

Over the years, we’ve been asked how our children feel about being a part of a multi-racial family, and how they’ve adjusted. Our conversation always points back to the importance of your community.

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When we became a multi-racial family, we considered the toll it might take on our children and on us. We weighed the scenarios as did our children’s birth parents. In the end, we partnered with our children’s birth parents in making the best decision we could. Our children needed a family and we already deeply loved and cared for one another. We did not ignore the color of their skin but we also didn’t make skin color the ultimate identifier of our family.

How Do I Find Support On This Journey?

Season 4, Episode 34- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

If you’ve spent any time on the journey of foster care or adoption you know it’s amazing and beautiful, but also exhausting and isolating at times. The best way to navigate the ups and downs is through a support system. But how do you find one?

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We’ve been through more highs and lows on this journey than we could recount. Sometimes it’s filled us so full we feel like our hearts are going to burst open. Other times, it’s taken the life out of us and left us defeated and searching. The only way we’ve made it for more than 15 years is our amazing, grace-giving support system. We believe in the power of this. We believe everyone on the journey needs one. But how do you go about finding the right people for your inner circle of support?

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