To The Parent Ready To Give Up: “I See You!”

This is a guest post by Jennie Owens. Jennie and her husband, Lynn, have parented over 100 children and worked with thousands of families. Together, they founded Forever Homes, a non-profit organization that seeks to support, encourage, and empower foster and adoptive families. Jennie has an MA in Education and extensive training in trauma-informed care and therapeutic parenting. She provides trainings at conferences, schools, retreats, and workshops.

This journey is hard at times. We fight for our children, but often feel alone, wondering if there’s anyone who understands the needs our children have. As we step into this New Year, we want you to know….you are not alone!

You started out this journey into foster care and adoption full of hope and determination. Now you’re not even sure you can make it to the next day.

I’ve been there. I see you. You are not alone.

How To Manage Downtime During The Holidays

The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Season 15, Episode 124

It’s Part 4 of our Holiday How-To Guide, and in this episode we’re giving you practical strategies for managing the (often) dreaded downtime during Christmas!

You know how this goes. It’s the school year, and it it certainly has its own struggles. The constant on-the-go of Monday through Friday, and then sports, church, and get-togethers sprinkled in makes the grind a bit exhausting. But it’s structured. It’s routine. What do you do when that changes and you’re suddenly in the middle of Christmas break, with little to no routine, and the meltdowns are starting to arise? On today’s episode we’re answering that very question. Listen in now…

How To Manage Family Gatherings During The Holidays

The Honestly Adoption Podcast- Season 15, Episode 123

Christmas is less than a week away and we’re continuing our podcast series called The Holiday How-To Guide. Have you ever wondered how to successfully navigate those sometimes difficult extended family gatherings? In this episode we’re giving you some practical strategies to do just that!

Maybe you’ve been in this situation. You’re gearing up for the annual Christmas feast at Great Grandma’s house but all you feel is dread. You’re fearful that your extended family won’t understand your family make up, or be very accommodating when it comes to your child’s special needs. How do you successfully navigate family gatherings? How do you manage your children’s behaviors, or anxiety, in potentially high stressful environments? Listen in now to discover some helpful strategies…

How To Manage Your Child’s Food Insecurity

We are in the middle of the Holiday season which means Christmas parties, family gatherings, presents, and food. Lots of it. This may be a trigger for your child if he or she has a history of hunger or malnourishment. How do you successfully navigate this with your child?

The most important thing to start with here is remembrance. We must remember that behind the behavior we see externally there may be a cocktail of deep loss, deep fear, or deep insecurity swirling around in your child, that he or she may not fully understand. But it’s inside of them, and it’s a constant voice prompting them to fight. It’s a survival strategy they learned to utilize a long time ago, even before they may have been cognitively able to understand what was happening to them.

How To Recognize Triggers During The Holidays

The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Season 15, Episode 122

The Holiday season can bring up lots of memories, feelings of loss, or anxiety for our children. Those emotions can quickly lead to triggered behavior. But how do you recognize the triggers and respond to them appropriately?

We can mark our calendars every year. October 31st until January 2nd are going to be…interesting, to say the least. Lots of overstimulation, mixed with anxiety, mixed with big expectations, mixed with let down, and memories of loss. It’s a massive cocktail stirring within our children. In our latest podcast episode we discuss strategies you can use to not only recognize the triggers before they go off, but respond in a way that brings healing and connection this holiday season. Listen to the episode now…

Before You React, Remember Their Loss

The Holiday season can bring up a lot of mixed emotions with our children. Often, it’s easy to mistake their extreme behaviors for just “bad behavior.” But there’s so much more happening. And simply remembering a few truths about this time of year and your children can make all the difference.

This mom was frustrated. Frustrated with a Capital F! She stood in front of me at our resource table, after a full day of training, and poured her heart out. “She just wants to make everything about her!” she lamented about her daughter. “And now, it’s the Holidays and she’s going to do her same old controlling and manipulative behavior the she always does. I can’t handle it!”

How To Connect With First Families During The Holidays

The Honestly Adoption Podcast- Season 15, Episode 121

We’ve officially entered into the holiday season. That means Christmas parties, twinkling lights, frosty window panes, and potentially high emotions for some of our children. In this brand new podcast series, we’re walking you through key how-to’s when it comes to successfully navigating the holiday season.

Our children will always have two families. It’s something we need to accept. And the holiday season can bring up feelings of deep loss and separation. As far as it depends on us, we must work to preserve the connection between our children and their first families, especially during this season. But how? In this episode, we explore some key steps to building healthy connections with first families. Listen to the episode…

Is Frozen II A Win For Your Family?

A Full Review (WARNING: *SPOILERS*)

Brand new sing-a-long ballads, funny one-liners, a heart-warming love story, and another heart palpitating adventure make up the highlights of my review of Disney Frozen II.

You knew it…I knew it…we ALL knew it. The pre-screening was 2 days ago and I’m still humming anthems from the film! How does Disney do that?! In a true follow-up to the 2013 wild success of Frozen, the encore of Frozen II is a hit. From visually stunning effects (seriously…they were magical), to memorable character moments (I’m going to share a few in moment), to a story of sisterhood that transcends time and space, Frozen II had my heart from the opening credits.