We are in unprecedented and uncharted territory with the Coronavirus outbreak. In fact, the landscape of life is changing quickly because of it. How do we help our children navigate the anxiety, stress, and added trauma of all of this?
If you’re anything like us, it’s been a week. We’ve all mostly stayed at home, helplessly standing by while school gets cancelled, spring sports get postponed, church services cease, and life as we know it changes day by day. And, it may be far from over. In the middle of this added stress, is the added fear and anxiety that children, who have a trauma history, are experiencing. How do we help them navigate through this? How do we, as caregivers cope? In this special episode, Mike offers some advice. Listen now…
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.
Fear is a powerful emotion. We know what it feels like to be afraid of something, but we often gloss over the way fear controls our lives and most importantly, our children’s lives.
Everyone said it would happen. I didn’t believe them. Not that I would be gone too soon or anything. Just thought I’d have a life-long hover between my 20s and 30s. Yet surprise, surprise, I hit the 40s. And what they said would happen…did.
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.
Will it disrupt their lives? What about birth order? Will it take away from time our kids are owed by us? Is this going to make our kids feel pushed to the side? If you have had these, or other concerns, for your biological kids when it comes to stepping into foster care, you are not alone!
This week we are wrapping up Season 9 of The Honestly Adoption Podcast. Be sure to listen in as Mike talks with Jason Johnson, author of Reframing Foster Care: Filtering Your Foster Parenting Journey through the Lens of the Gospel. Jason shares honestly about the fears, and will encourage you to reframe how you think about how foster care might affect your biological children.
Have you ever wished you had a children’s book series that reflects your unique family? Wish no more! The “Who Loves” Series children’s books by Jami Kaeb from The Forgotten Initiative are just what every foster and adoptive family needs to have in their personal library.
The “Who Loves Series” tells the first person story of a child in foster care. All children will relate to these books as they tell a positive story of a child who is loved by many people. The “Who Loves Series” consists of three books. Who Loves Baby? is written for children ages 0-3. Who Loves Me? is for children ages 3-7 and I am Loved is perfect for children age 7-10.
When you’re in the thick of dealing with tantrums, meltdowns, outbursts, or aggression, it’s hard to see the heart of your child. But look deeper and your perspective, and own heart, may change…
I sit in the bland, cold waiting room of the latest residential treatment facility my child is a resident in. Clutching my legs just above my knees tightly, I listen to other residents and their parents receive instructions on a pending off-campus visit, in the waiting area next to where I sit. “Make sure he doesn’t have access to a cell phone, or social media, or email. You need to be back by 4pm sharp, no exceptions. Please stay within 10 miles of the facility. Absolutely no visits to home. If he tries to run here is the number you call. Have a nice visit!”
Many of our children have come from significant trauma and that often prevents them from logical thinking. This can be frustrating, even maddening at times. Our temptation is to shame or lecture. But there’s a better way…
My kid had been caught red-handed. On camera, but also by the evidence spilling out of his bedroom. Literally…spilling out of his bedroom. If someone had rounded the corner and punched us square in the face, we would have been less shocked. And you better believe we saw red. Not only were we angry, but embarrassed, ashamed, and bewildered. This was not acceptable at all.