Over the past few months, we’ve been inundated with emails asking this question. We get it. We’ve felt it. We’ve been there. And here’s what we have to say about it.
Sometimes I nod feverishly when I read through emails from readers who pour their broken hearts out. Sometimes I forget to actually hit reply because I’m so engrossed in the pain they are sharing with me. Their son has pushed them to the edge with his behavior…held the entire family hostage…traumatized his younger brothers and sisters to the point of everyone needing therapy…disrupted any ounce of a normal life.
A little over a year ago, I had the honor of joining together with several other writers, speakers, bloggers, and influencers at Disney’s headquarters in Los Angeles, California. During our time together we were given the opportunity to speak into several projects Disney had recently released. One of those projects was the Dream Big, Princess campaign.
It’s been a week since we opened enrollment for Oasis Community and the stories we are hearing have moved us, inspired us, and often, left us in tears. Here’s a little more about Oasis..
“I can’t thank you enough for Oasis. It showed up at the perfect time. I was drowning with my kids, with my marriage, with my life! I think you guys may have just saved my life!”
Let’s not candy-coat it. It takes a lot to be a foster parent. It’s completely worth it, but it’s not a walk in the park and certainly not for the faint of heart. That’s precisely the reason I disagreed with a foster care advertisement I saw recently.
I was driving my daughter, and some of her fellow students, to school the other day in our hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana enjoying a nearly perfect spring day. My mind bounced back and forth between all that I had to accomplish in the day and the excitement that I finally felt knowing winter was over. As we drove along the beautiful street, leading straight into the heart of our city, one particular sign, out of the thousands we passed, caught my attention.
Over the past year or so, we’ve received hundreds of emails from people who have the same heart cry- “Is there anyone out there who will walk with me?”
I could feel her emotions through each word she typed in her email to me. She explained how she had adopted, with a full heart, a sibling group of 3 from foster care 7 years earlier. Everything seemed normal with both of them. The little girl, only 2 years old, was loving, and kind, and the oldest boy, while a bit rough and tumble, was starting to look like a leader among his siblings at only 6. The middle child, also a boy, was quiet, and introspective, but nothing concerned this loving mother too much. She went through with their adoption and they had found a forever home.
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?
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.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: iTunes | Android |
You never anticipate the emotions you will feel when you receive an official diagnoses for your child. You realize that a lot is going to change. But there is a way to let go of normal and accept your new reality.
No one ever starts out on their parenting journey thinking that their child will have special needs. Especially one that will make school and social interaction difficult. And yet, it happens. And we grieve. We adjust our life’s vision, and then we learn to accept our new normal. We eventually stop holding on to the ideals we had, and rather fall in love with the reality of our precious baby girl or boy. Our beautiful child who has special needs.
It’s been a month since we were in Seattle, Washington for The Refresh Conference and we are still overwhelmed by everything we experienced. Take a look at the highlight video below…
Have you ever had that feeling that you were exactly where you needed to be, at the precise moment you needed to be there, experiencing the exact thing you needed to, with the exact people you needed to experience it with? That was the thought that kept running through our hearts and minds on March 3-4 as we joined with 1600 of our fellow foster and adoptive parents in Seattle for The Refresh Conference.