The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe and changed life as we know it. For our families, it has brought about a deep sense of grief, and added trauma. How do we navigate this with our children? In this new 3-part series, we discuss the pandemic openly, but also share some practical ways to move forward in this new normal.
Hanging out with friends in the neighborhood, graduation ceremonies, birthday parties, going to the mall, attending sporting events, spring break, being able to leave your house when you want to, the list goes on and on! COVID-19 has changed the scope of human life, potentially forever. For our families, it’s brought about deep feelings of loss, anxiety, and grief. We are grieving the loss of what was, and even the loss of what’s to come. For our children, it means a resurgence of grief from everything they’ve already lost in their lives. How do we navigate this with them? How do we handle our own grief as we help them process? In today’s Part 1 episode, we discuss openly. Listen to the episode:
Perhaps this post is timely given the current, and rapid moving, changes our children are navigating through right now. The fact is, our children carry a lot of loss with them. How do we empower them to grieve this?
Our children often hesitate to show and share emotion because they have not had a safe place to do that in the past. They may keep hard parts of their story from us because they are afraid we will think less of them, that we will think less of their first family, or that we will not be able to handle the knowledge of the sad things.
This Movie Review was written by Mike (adoptive dad) with insight from André (teen adoptee).
Disney’s live action take on the classic Dumbo soared across screens nationwide on March 29th, and I’m answering some big questions on how appropriate the film is for children who are in foster care or adopted.
As a kid, I watched the animated version of Dumbo over and over. I loved it. Even as a youngster, I stood up and cheered when Dumbo finally silenced his critics and took a leap off of that platform, spread his ears wide, and soared over the crowd. What a triumph! What a silencer of the haters! For this insecure, awkward, often picked-on little boy, Dumbo was my hero.
Paramount Pictures has finally released the brand new film Instant Family, into theaters nationwide, and I had the chance to pre-screen it just before it debuted. In this post, I provide my full perspective on the film.
I’ve never really been a big fan of adoption or foster care-related movies. Mostly because they often miss the mark in portraying the honest and raw emotions that come from this journey (and you know how much we love honesty..:-) ). There have been a few exceptions to this. Who can forget the moment that Leigh Anne made Sean stop the car in The Blind Side when they saw Big Mike walking alone in the cold and then invited him home with them? Tears every time I watch that scene! And the moment when Annie’s supposed birth parents show up to Mr. Stack’s apartment to pick her up is heart-wrenching in the 2014 Annie remake.
Bring on the Holidays! It’s opening week for Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and we are your central hub for all things Nutcracker, including a short review of the film, and a family fun page with coloring pages, movie clips, and more!
Photograph courtesy of Disney Studios
If you follow us on social media you may know that we just recently recorded a mini documentary about how our family celebrates the holidays. The documentary was filmed in connection with a home goods store. (We can’t wait to share the finished product with our readers soon!!!) Consequently our house has been decorated for Christmas since mid October.
We are all on a journey to understanding. Rarely does a person step into this journey fully equipped with the knowledge they need to help their kiddos the most. That’s why we grow and learn. But there is one element of understanding that opens up a whole new world when you finally see the full picture.
I will never forget the moment my mind was fully opened to the reality of what our kiddos have gone through and why they do and say the things they do at times.
It was Christmastime, fours years ago. On a cold December night my oldest son, who is diagnosed with Alcohol-Related-Neuro-developmental-Disorder (commonly called ARND, a diagnosis of FASD), was triggered by something. We were popping popcorn, pulling out blankets, and settling down in our family room for a family movie night. For reasons that still remain a mystery, he wasn’t having it. Any of it!
“One of the reasons Christmas is hard is because of our own personal grief and loss issues.”
Coupled with the losses and grief our children may be experiencing, foster and adoptive families can quickly find themselves wondering just how they will survive this season between Halloween and New Year’s Day!
Today we will be kicking off our new podcast series: Holiday Survival Tips and Tricks! We will spend the next four weeks interviewing amazing therapists about how we can navigate the big emotions and hard moments, with our kids, that tend to rise up during the holiday season. Mike and Kristin are excited to kick off this series with therapist and adoptive dad, Lynn Owens, as they discuss how we can help our children process disappointment and loss.
Loss. Pain. Sorrow. Grief. These are no strangers to those of us on this adoption and foster care journey. How do we deal with these losses and all of this pain? What do we do when our heartache is more than we can bear? Is it actually possible we could learn to see grief as a gift?
Join us on this episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, as Mike and Kristin interview our good friend, and fellow blogger, Natalie Brenner, and how she learned to see grief as a gift.