In the latest episode of Tea With Teens, the girls get together to decorate Christmas Cookies, sip Hot Cocoa, and spill a whole bunch of tea…
“What is your favorite Christmas tradition?”
“Some children get dysregulated during the holidays. What advice do you have to keep them calm?”
“What advice would you give my newly adopted little girls?”
It’s officially, OFFICIALLY, the Christmas season and we are excited to see Mary Poppins Returns as our annual Christmas Day tradition. But Kristin and I had the chance to see a pre-screening of the film earlier this week, which is officially in theaters today. The question we always try to answer with our reviews is, “Is this good entertainment for foster and adoptive families?” Here’s my take…
In an era of remakes and reboots, comes a refreshing sequel with Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. You read that right…sequel. Because honestly…how do you remake the original Mary Poppins? The answer is, you don’t! Like a well-preserved bottle of wine, you allow the magic that Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke brought to the silver screen in 1964 to grow better with time. And you add a magnificent layer of magic with Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins and Jack The Leary in case you are wondering).
There are days when you struggle to believe your child is ever going to be able to function on their own, do the right thing, or make the right choices. But I believe, there is hope for more!
Can I just be honest for a second. This past Sunday I’d had it with my child. HAD it! I was beyond done. In fact, I instantly allowed myself to go to a place of complete and utter hopelessness. We had finally made it to church after weeks of not being there, and I plopped into my seat in the back row, hopeless!
Over the years we’ve learned what it means to take care of ourselves as parents. But nothing we do, in terms of self-care, happens apart from being hands on as parents. We’ve learned that simple things, in the middle of parenting demands, make a big difference…
It’s the dead of winter out on the farm we just moved to north on Indianapolis, Indiana where we live. The wind is blowing so hard it sounds we fear the gigantic oak trees in our front yard are going to come crashing through our roof at any moment. It’s early March and this should not be! But this is Indiana. I’m huddled under a blanket in our front room watching a show on Hulu with all of the kids. Even though our thermostat is set to 70, I can’t get warm…not even close. Haven’t been able to in months.
Paramount Pictures has finally released the brand new film Instant Family, into theaters nationwide, and I had the chance to pre-screen it just before it debuted. In this post, I provide my full perspective on the film.
I’ve never really been a big fan of adoption or foster care-related movies. Mostly because they often miss the mark in portraying the honest and raw emotions that come from this journey (and you know how much we love honesty..:-) ). There have been a few exceptions to this. Who can forget the moment that Leigh Anne made Sean stop the car in The Blind Side when they saw Big Mike walking alone in the cold and then invited him home with them? Tears every time I watch that scene! And the moment when Annie’s supposed birth parents show up to Mr. Stack’s apartment to pick her up is heart-wrenching in the 2014 Annie remake.
We’ve heard from hundreds of thousands of parents over the years who are completely exhausted because their child keeps them up all night long. We’ve been there. It IS exhausting. But there are some specific reasons this is happening, and some key ways to help your child.
“What’s wrong with this child?” I remember thinking this thought repeatedly in 2004 when we first began fostering. “Why won’t he sleep?” “Why does he need to be in our room, with us?” “Why does he keep coming in and waking us up?” “Why won’t a nightlight, or soft music playing, or a bunch of stuffed animals help him?” I had a lot to learn back in that day.
A common issue that children who have come from past trauma struggle with, are food insecurities. It can be frustrating, and sometimes, exhausting for parents who are ill-equipped. The big question is, how do you successfully parent a child who struggles with this?
It’s an unseasonably cold and windy late May morning in the sleepy little Southern Wisconsin town of Lake Geneva. Like something out of a storybook, the streets are lined with vintage lamps, cobblestone sidewalks, and Victorian homes. It’s almost too good to be true. The night before we piled all of our children into a rental car and made the 3 and half hour drive north from Indianapolis for Kristin to speak at a foster and adoptive moms retreat all weekend. Our stay at a comfortable hotel on the outskirts of town is made perfect by a hot (and free) breakfast before we start the day.
We are living in a world that, for the most part, drastically misunderstands the ‘why’ behind adoption. This can often bring on unwanted praise and adoration from outsiders. How do you handle this when the point of adoption is not to receive accolades?
On a sunny spring morning in April, 2002 we walked into church for the first time after bringing our firstborn daughter home from the hospital. Through sleep depravation and absolutely no clue what we were doing, we held our baby girl close as we opened the door and stepped into the foyer. You would have thought the Pope had come to town. They almost had to start the church service late because everyone had gathered around us to get a glimpse of this precious gift we held in our arms. I stood behind Kristin and she cradled our sweet girl close to her chest.