We desire to hide our deepest wounds. And rightfully so. We’ve been taught that wounds equal failure. As parents we fear the words “I told you so,” if we revealed our struggles on this journey. But what if our wounds didn’t equal failure? What if they did something bigger than we could imagine?
I know what you want to do, dear parent.
I know because I’ve sustained the same cold blows from this journey.
You want to hide.
One of the biggest places we’ve felt the least amount of support and understanding is the church. But this needs to change. It begins by honestly communicating the reality of our “church” experience…
I hate going to church. I’m not one to beat around the bush. So yes, I hate it! It sounds shocking, I know. Especially since my husband’s a pastor. Not just the Sunday morning kind of church either. I hate all church functions. Bible studies. Small groups. That kind of church.
Let’s uncover some untrue and unfair stigmas about adopting and parenting children with HIV. Many people are still terrified of this disease but at the same time remain uneducated. Even if you think this disease does not affect you, chances are, both you and your children interact daily with other children or adults with HIV who are dealing with feelings of isolation or depression that come from living with the stigmas of this disease. This is something we all need to think about.
Listen in as Mike interviews Michelle McKinney: blogger, wife, adoptive mom of 4, and one of our amazing Care Team Members from Oasis Community. Michelle shares what she has learned about HIV as she and her husband, Mark, have moved through their adoption and parenting journey.
The glares, stares, and judgmental glances. We’ve seen it all in our 15 years on the adoptive and foster care journey. Particularly as we’ve worked hard to parent children with major special needs. While we owe no one an explanation, we have some solid reasons for parenting our children the way we do.
It’s a mild September afternoon in Central Indiana where we live. My family and I have spent the past hour watching my oldest son play football for his 7th grade team. Another game, another victory. This team is so good it’s scary. As the clock tics down to the final seconds, we make our way down to the sideline to say hello to our sweaty, dirty mess of a child. He loves the game. Especially the hard-hitting aspect of it. The sun has gone down and it’s nearing 8 PM. He sees us waiting by the track and excitedly jogs over to us.
As foster and adoptive parents, we’ve overheard all kinds of awful things spoken about our children, even to our children. Recently, I heard something that caused my blood to boil, and my heart to break…
As I type these words, I go back in my mind to the moment you said those horrible words- “Well, if he has brain damage, he should be in an institution.” I’m sitting here trying to convince myself that you didn’t mean them…that your words were misheard by me…that you don’t really feel that way. But, I’m not sure if that’s the case.
We see it in the eyes of fellow foster and adoptive parents often. Desperation, and shame. If you were offered a spot on a private island, where you could hide from the world, you would take it. We understand because we’ve been there.
I decided to wait an extra hour before making the 20 minute drive home from my office. That way, it would be dark when I pulled into my garage. None of my neighbors would see me. They would all be settled in for the night. I had a reason for this. Earlier that day the police had been to my house and escorted one of my children away in handcuffs. Handcuffs.
There’s often an assumption that since our children are adopted, or have been adopted from the foster care system, their birth mothers must be bad people, or have done some really bad stuff. The truth is, this is an unfair assumption to make about a human being.
We’ve often wondered how someone, who knows very little about our children, their story, or their birth mother’s story, can point a finger and judge. It’s not in our DNA to do this to any human being. Certainly not the person who gave our children life. We believe birth mom’s should never be vilified. Here are some big reasons why..
Due to technical difficulties we will not be posting a new podcast today. Click here
to listen to recent episodes. We apologize for this inconvenience. We are pleased to share a recent post that Mike did for Disney’s Babble.com
on some of the myths of foster parenting. You can follow his work with Babble by clicking here
Over the years we’ve been asked all kinds of questions, and faced some unfair judgement, regarding foster care. We’ve learned to deal with the off-handed, even offensive, assumptions or questions. In this post I’m setting the record straight.
“Was he a crack baby?” “Is her mom in jail?” “You get a lot of money for doing this, right?” “But aren’t you worried about something bad happening to your family?” Sounds harsh. But the fact is, we’ve had these questions, and more, asked of us over the years.
For decades, the foster care system, and foster parenting, have both carried a stigma. Several, to be accurate. The vast majority of the world just doesn’t get it, nor do they comprehend why a person would take a child into their home who isn’t biologically theirs. Foster parents have been criticized, accused, labeled, even judged.