This was supposed to be a post from Kristin about taking better care of yourself while caring for children from hard places. But then I read the story of the recent suicide of California Pastor Andrew Stoecklein, after battling with depression. So I decided to talk openly and honestly about the struggle of being a pastor.
I’ve been there.
This thought bounced around in my mind in the early morning hours, like words echoing off of canyon walls, as I read the heart-crushing story of how Pastor Andrew Stoecklein’s life ended this past weekend. In the darkness of my bedroom, I wiped tears from my eyes as I thought about his wife and young sons now trying to figure out how to live life without their husband and daddy. I read how he struggled with depression, and anxiety and I identified perfectly.
On this week’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we’re kicking off a brand new season entitled “I Have A Question.” We asked you to send us your biggest questions and we received a ton of great feedback. Today Mike and Kristin begin with “How Do I Help My Child Who Doesn’t Have Services?”
Communicate, communicate, communicate! That’s really what it comes down to when you’re talking about a child you’re caring for who doesn’t need, or have, special services like an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), therapy, special medical services, a behavior plan, or more.
Your job as a parent is to make sure your children receive the best possible services. Whether this is within your school system, your pediatricians office, or your family therapist’s office. You do this because you care. But what do you do when you feel like you can’t adequately communicate the needs of your child?
You’ve probably experienced something like this when speaking to a professional:
“It doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with him?”
“I understand you believe she has a special need, but she is a great student, well-liked, and makes good grades. We are not sure she needs any services.”
It’s not always the case, but often, men can be the toughest nut to crack when it comes to the adoption journey. I know from personal experience. There are a few reasons why this happens, and some key steps you can take to eventually arrive at the same place with him on this journey.
Back in the day, before we got married, I said no to just about everything. In fact, if shaking my head was an Olympic sport, I would have taken the gold. I was such a difficult person to get along with in those days. One of the biggest topics Kristin and I disagreed over was parenting. Sitting in my metallic blue Pontiac Firebird one cold November night, in the fall of 1998, we had a
discussion fight over parenting. Kristin wanted to adopt. I did not. At all. Period. Case closed. End of discussion. Or, so I thought.
I used to believe that my child was just being bad. I was convinced that he was a bad kid who just wanted to make our lives hell. But then I discovered some truth that totally transformed everything I thought, and most importantly, the way I reacted!
There are stories throughout history of people coming into the light of understanding. Call it transformation, if you will. These moments were life-altering for not only the person who experienced it, but those who were close to them as well. The Apostle Paul hated Christians and was actually responsible for killing many because he believed in an ideal, or a narrative playing out in his mind. And then he came face to face with the truth. He stepped into the light, and it transformed him.
Often times, when our children are acting out, misbehaving, or out of control, we can fall into the mode of thinking they are just being bad. But there’s way more happening with them than we often understand. How do you gain the right perspective in those heated moments?
I know how this goes for most of you. You’re parenting a child who routinely acts out and sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason (or so it seems). They act like they have no control of their little bodies in public places. They’re aggressive toward other siblings (and it’s usually when you’re driving 75 miles an hour down an expressway). They meltdown over, what seems to be, meaningless things. They pester others in your household until everyone is out of control and severely dis-regulated. You name it!
Over the past 2 weeks we have had a lot of people in our audience reach out and ask us what our response is to the crisis at the border, where people are attempting to enter the U.S. from Mexico and being separated (mothers from children in particular) and not reunited. We have watched and processed for the past few weeks and can’t really wrap our heads and hearts around what has happened to these human beings. But, here’s what we have to say…
We are well into summer vacation now and for many parents, the struggle is real. Because of this, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some helpful tips when it comes to success with your kids.
I don’t have to tell you! You get it! Because this is your life! Anytime there’s a change in schedule, structure, or routine with kiddos from trauma, there are issues. Major issues, in fact. Can you say “Dysregulation City?” And summer break is the biggest culprit. While traditional families are planning all-day trips to the pool, staying up late in the backyard, and lounging around the house all day the following day, you’re banging your head against the wall trying to figure out how to make each day work, while fighting your own exhaustion.