What Do You Do When You’re Forced To Wait?

This is a guest post by our friend Alison England,LMSW. She is an adoptive mom and the award-winning author of the devotional Tandem. Alison and her husband, Joel, have been together since college and have three children. She cofounded Momentum Adoptions, a licensed adoption agency and is a professor at Arizona State University. Alison brings more than 15 years of professional experience in social work to the pages of Tandem. She now volunteers as the President of the west coast chapter of the non-profit organization, Families for Private Adoption (FFPA.org)

How many times have you let your past or incessant focus on the future impede your right now? Maybe your right now is a snapshot of you and your hubby. Maybe your right now is a quest to build your family through adoption. In the midst of planning for your tomorrow, it is important to make space to experience joy in the moment-in the right now.

It is a hard task to incorporate our life challenges-like infertility, or loss, or illness-into our life story, and still experience joy and celebrate life in the present. Life circumstances might dictate the season you are walking through, but you choose how you spend your time in the right now.

When Faith Requires You To Do Something Scary

This is a post by our good friend Lisa Qualls. Lisa is the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a resource site for adoptive and foster moms, where she provides courses, The Adoption Connection Podcast, and coaching. She is also the creator of One Thankful Mom where she mentors adoptive and foster moms through her writing. Lisa is the mom of twelve kids by birth and adoption (and sometimes more through foster care). She and her husband, Russ, celebrated their 32nd anniversary by becoming foster parents. Lisa’s adoption journey has been marked by joy as well as challenges of trauma and attachment. She earnestly believes there is hope for every family.

The adoption and foster care journey are filled with moments where a leap of faith is more than needed. It’s necessary. That’s why we love the following words on faith. May this encourage you as you step into the New Year…

Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith and jump in over our heads simply because God asks us to.

I’m not talking about being completely foolish, rejecting wise counsel, or doing something in opposition to our spouse. I’m also not talking about putting your children in danger. I’m talking about doing something that scares you or you’re not sure you can handle.

How To Create Structure During The Chaos Of The Holidays

The Honestly Adoption Podcast- Encore Episode- Season 11, Episode 98

The holiday season, specifically Christmas break, is often a dreaded time for foster and adoptive parents because it means a lack of normal structure for their kiddos. How do you navigate through this time successfully?

In this special Encore episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin discuss tips and tricks for maintaining a level of regulation during the chaos of the Holiday season with Licensed Mental Health Counselor and therapist, Ruth Graham. This was part of our 2017 special Holiday Podcast Series called “Holiday Survival Tips and Tricks.” Listen now…

At The End Of The Day, It’s All About Relationship.

This is a guest post by author and therapist Ron Nydam (PhD). Ron specializes in helping adoptive family’s develop and connect in a healthy, positive way. His latest book, Wise Adoptive Parenting, helps families better connect to their children, and adoptees feel heard and understood. You can pick up your very own copy by clicking here.

Through all of the trauma education, and attachment strategies we can learn (and certainly benefit from), our connection with our children still comes down to one factor: relationship!

Many parents who are new to the adoption journey wonder what it takes to make good things happen in the development of their children. They may wonder day after day how to find a way to be effective with their children who frustrate their first attempts at helping them manage his or her behavior. Parenting quickly becomes a guessing game as to what might work and might not work when a child’s behavior is out of control, or over the rails in terms of everyday family life. 

What Do You Do When You Feel Like You Just Don’t Belong?

On Foster Care, Biracial Identity And More!

This is a guest post by our good friend, Natalie Brenner, who has also been a guest on our podcast, The Honestly Adoption Podcast. She is an adoptive and biological mother, as well as a blogger, and the author of the book This Undeserved Life. Make sure you check out her blog by clicking here.

We love stories that move our heart and challenge us to see the world around us in a brighter light. This story, originally appearing on Natalie’s blog, does both. May it move your heart as well…

You know. I often feel like I am the luckiest in the world, to have the friends that I do. When we moved to Portland, we had no idea the community that was in store for us. We had no idea the friends we would make, the relationships we would have for us and our kids.

I am humbled and blown away to be the one to share with you a sacred piece of my friend Christina’s story.

What Every Foster Parent Wants To Tell You (But Probably Never Will)

This is a guest post by our good friend, Rachel Lewis. She is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. After a 5-year battle with secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, she now has three children in her arms and a foster son in her heart. She is passionate about helping women feel heard and understood when building their family gets a little bit complicated. You can read her wonderful blog at The Lewis Note. She also offers a free resource, ‘Your BFF Guide to Miscarriage: 5 Ways to Comfort a Friend Through Pregnancy Loss’ here. Connect with Rachel on Facebook, or join her private Facebook group Brave Mamas — a support group for anyone who had to struggle to build their family. 

Ever find yourself banging your head against the wall as you try to gain understanding from outsiders? Ever wish someone could put into words everything you’re thinking as a foster parent? Thankfully, this post does just that.

For starters, we’re pretty tight-lipped. And not always by choice.

Foster parents have ALL the responsibility of being a “real” parent (hello 2 am feedings!) without any of the rights. And that includes the right to share our child’s story.

This particular limitation is to protect the privacy of our foster child. Which I absolutely understand. But it also means foster parents bear the brunt of our children’s stories, and have few people we can share them with. Are we freaked out about a visit because we *happen* to know that dad has a history of violent behavior? Probably. But all we can say is, “I’m nervous” and we can’t always share why. Are we dealing with the repercussions of a child who experienced starvation and neglect and are struggling to manage ALL the issues that come with food? Yep. And you might look at us and wonder why we are being so hypervigilant on the issue. Trust me, we wish we could tell you.

“Dear Child: I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You!”

This is a guest post by our good friend, Natalie Brenner, who has also been a guest on our podcast, The Honestly Adoption Podcast. She is an adoptive and biological mother, as well as a blogger, and the author of the book This Undeserved Life. Make sure you check out her blog by clicking here.

Many adoptive parents are also the parents of biological children. But there is no difference, or degree, in the love they have for all of their children, adopted or bio. Here’s why…

“I just have to ask… do you love Sage as much as you love Ira? I mean, I know you say that you do…but I’m just so curious if it’s true.”

We sat on my living room floor when she asked me this. With a world of confidence and pride in my chest I was able to nod, and beam, and let her know that I absolutely love Sage as much as I love Ira.

The Chores And Emotions Of The Final Day Of A Foster Placement.

This is a guest post by our good friend Jamie Finn. She is an author, blogger, public speaker and the creator of the blog Foster The Family. You can connect with her, and read more, by visiting her Facebook page.

The foster care journey is an emotional roller coaster. This is especially true when you have to say goodbye to a child in your care. It’s part of the process but it’s hard. You’re attached. You’re in love with this child. But now you must let go. How? Here are some thoughts…

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 10.52.42 AM

Three months ago baby girl joined our family. I “live posted” the first day to give a window into what the day of a new placement is like for a foster family. Today, our sweet little girl was reunited with her parents. Many of you shared how helpful it was to have a window into the first day of placement, so I decided to invite you along for the last day as well. Now for all of the projects and chores and emotions of the final day of a placement…