Often over the last several years, we’ve been asked if adoption and foster care is really worth it. Granted, this question usually comes from people outside of the journey, who are peering into our lives wondering. Our answer is a solid. YES! Here’s why…
It was one of those long days, yesterday, where you’re doing a million things but not really getting anything done. Ever had a day like that? No margin, no time to take a breath, just running, and running, and running. By the time I finally made it home last night with my teenagers, around 6pm, I was completely exhausted. So exhausted, in fact, that I had been thinking about my bed, and the the 3-inch memory foam on it, since I had crawled out of it at 5am early that morning!
As we continue to produce new content for Honestly Adoption, we wanted to share another Encore Podcast episode from Season 2. In this episode we discuss practical insights to parenting children who constantly push you away.
That first real hug. Hearing “I love you mom,” and knowing she means it. Watching him participate peacefully with the rest of your family. Having her not melt down when dad puts a gentle hand on her shoulder to guide her on an afternoon walk through the neighborhood.
Listen to the podcast.
For millions of families, summer break is all about staying up late, sleeping in, and hanging out by the pool, when they want, for as long as they want to. But for those of us parenting children with special needs, summer break can spell disaster due to lack of structure. How do you successfully navigate this season with children who thrive in structure and routine?
We would have drained our bank account to register our kids for every summer camp on the planet last year. We nearly did. Parents of normal functioning children may raise an eyebrow, or two, at that statement; even call us bad parents. But, unless you are in the trenches of parenting children from trauma, with attachment issues, or disorders like FASD, you don’t understand the enormous need for structure and routine.
It’s been a difficult 13 years with our oldest son. Some would have told us to give up a long time ago. On paper he seems like a hopeless cause. But we’ve found hope. And we refuse to believe his story is over.
It’s not what we pictured when we became parents 15 years ago. We wouldn’t have looked at you and told you we hoped to raise a child with permanent brain damage. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Once we discovered the reality of his disorder we struggled. We’ve been to the darkest places of anger, frustration, and the finally, into the glorious light of forgiveness and redemption. We’ve battled tooth and nail against our son, with our son, and for our son. We’ve almost given up a few times….almost.
We often talk about attachment disorder from the perspective of the long awaited real hug, or genuine “I love you.” But what do you do when your child attaches too quickly?
February in the Midwest is guaranteed to be bitter cold and filled with snow… well at least until this year. For the last three weeks we have had temperatures in the 70s and sunshine almost every day. Consequently, the grass is turning green and bulbs which should be dormant for another month are pushing through the soft earth and blooming just a bit too early. I have enjoyed these last few weeks of stolen Spring. My children hauled their bikes out of storage, we grilled out and even had a campfire. As I was driving to work the other day the sight of crocuses in bloom made my heart skip a beat. I felt myself begin to grin, then quickly remembered the weekend forecast. Snow. The beautiful crocuses had bloomed too early. I found myself wondering if they would survive the weekend.
*Editor’s note- This is a guest post from our good friend Jennie Owens. She and her husband Lynn, support foster and adoptive families through their nonprofit organization, www.foreverhomes.org
. Jennie also speaks to parenting groups and leads retreats for foster and adoptive families. She provides training and one-on-one coaching services to parents through their clinic, Canyon Lakes Family Counseling, in Kennewick, WA. You can also visit her blog here
Dealing with rejection from your child is an uphill battle. No parent wants to face this. We want to believe we can love them through their trauma. How do you successfully parent your child but deal with their rejection at the same time?
“WE had FUN with DAD,” hissed my daughter, as she met me at the door with an angry sneer. Her glare and belittling tone once again communicated, what seemed to be, sheer hatred of me. We had just returned from camping at the Lewis and Clark Trail State Park. My husband had secretly given me the choice of driving the nice, newer car with our three children or the old, Ford Escort carrying the smelly Newfoundland dog, whose rancid stench had come from playing in the river all weekend. I chose the dog.