In the unfortunate situation that your child has to live away from your home in a residential treatment facility, there will likely be a time when he or she transitions back home. But how do you do this as smooth as possible? We’ve walked this road a few times. Here’s what we’ve learned.
It’s important to note, right here from the start, that we believe in the preservation of family. And we believe in permanency. Children need forever homes. If that’s not with biological families, then it’s with healthy foster or adoptive families. Children need permanency in order to form healthy attachments and bonds that will last a lifetime. With that said, we never advocate that a child go into residential treatment unless their behavior or choices have reached a point of being unsafe for them or unsafe for you and the rest of your family.
There are aspects of this journey that take your breath away and cause you to grieve deeply. One of those aspects is helping your child process the hard parts of their story.
On an unseasonably warm night in February, we sit on our front porch with our children gathered around. Our objective is to assemble a new wagon we’ve just bought for our new farm (yes, we bought a farm!). There’s excitement in the air as this wagon will fit all of their toys, plus some of the pets, the neighborhood friends, and a few of their odd inventions.
There’s so much debate and fighting going on over Walking Out versus Walking Up. And, there are many who feel that high school students who walk out of class in silent protest and support for the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting, are wrong for doing so. Here’s what we think…
We’re proud of our daughter for standing up, and walking out with her classmates this past Wednesday.
We’re proud that she didn’t hesitate to do what we’ve raised her to do: stand for a worthy cause. Stand for injustice. Stand to make a difference in this world. Stand for something that directly impacts her and the world around her.
She walked out to take a stand for a worthy cause.
Kristin will be co-presenting a workshop entitled “Engaging Foster and Adoptive Families” to school administrators at the Superhero For Kids Professional Conference in 2018.
On our adoptive and foster parenting journey, we’ve had lots of dark days. Sometimes many more than days of light. The amount of times we’ve felt like giving up and laying down are simply uncountable. But we’ve found unending hope…
“Your son has FASD!”
“This hearing is continued. And we’re reinstating visitations.”
“Hi, I’m your son’s principal. Just wanted you to know that he’s in the office again for punching another student and cussing out the teacher.”
“Ma’am, we caught your daughter stealing again. We have no choice but to press charges.”
Adoption and foster care can be filled with loneliness, desperation, and defeat. We know you love your kids, but it’s hard when you have to walk through your child’s past trauma with them. Can you really find hope in-spite of this? The answer is, yes. It starts by understanding something powerful and true.
“I don’t think I can take one more day of this,” I said, glaring at the table, with a clinched fist and gritting teeth. My friend agreed. Many colorful words were exchanged between us, that morning, as we sat talking in a restaurant. The steam from our coffee snaked and twisted through the air, disappearing, as if hope was slowly disappearing with it. We shared similar wounds. Both of us had children adopted from foster care and both of us were in very dark and desperate situations. We both loved our kids deeply, but recognized that, out of their trauma, they behaved in certain ways and it caused our exhaustion to abound.
Mike and Kristin will be the Keynote Speakers at the 2018 Annual Foster Care And Adoption Conference happening May 10-12, 2018.
When you’re in the thick of dealing with tantrums, meltdowns, outbursts, or aggression, it’s hard to see the heart of your child. But look deeper and your perspective, and own heart, may change…
I sit in the bland, cold waiting room of the latest residential treatment facility my child is a resident in. Clutching my legs just above my knees tightly, I listen to other residents and their parents receive instructions on a pending off-campus visit, in the waiting area next to where I sit. “Make sure he doesn’t have access to a cell phone, or social media, or email. You need to be back by 4pm sharp, no exceptions. Please stay within 10 miles of the facility. Absolutely no visits to home. If he tries to run here is the number you call. Have a nice visit!”