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.
The adoption journey can bring about immense blessings that you never saw coming and never expected to experience. But sometimes the blessings come in unexpected ways.
We woke up with an anxious heart.
A 15-year old boy was aging out of the system in the coming months. Aging out means he would soon be too old to be adopted. As if a 16-year old doesn’t need a family anymore! He would be on his own. Forever. Most likely to be homeless, partake in illegal activity to survive, imprisoned, be trafficked and/or succumb to an early death.
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.
We are so blessed to have our friend, Lisa Qualls, from One Thankful Mom, here today to share with us some of the hardest parts of her story. Hear what she has learned about finding Hope within the grief of losing a child, both as a birth mom and later as an adoptive mom.
Lisa has a unique and varied perspective as both a birth mom, a mom of many, and adoptive and foster mom. She has suffered and learned through many years of parenting children from hard places, including having a child in residential care for a season and has also suffered the sudden loss of a child in a tragic accident. Listen in as Lisa shares with real, raw, honesty and offers empathetic understanding for anyone experiencing great suffering.
This is a guest post by our good friend, Courtney Westlake. She is the author of A Different Beautiful
. She lives in Illinois with her husband Evan and two children, Connor and Brenna. After Brenna was born with a severe skin disorder, Courtney began chronicling family life and experiences raising a child with physical differences and special needs on her blog
. You can also follow her on Facebook
You really want to speak up, because, you’re a mama bear (or papa bear). It’s so hard to let them stand on their own when you’ve spent so much time advocating for them, defending them, and fighting for them. But there’s a time and place to stay quiet and let them stand.
I wanted to insert myself into the conversation happening a few feet away from me, to explain and to defend, but I held back. I craned my neck a bit, waiting to hear what my children would say to the little girl who had just asked about my daughter’s red, peeling skin.
We are mixing it up this week on the Honestly Speaking Podcast, as Mike heads over to the other side of the microphone, where he is interviewed by Sandra Flach, from Justice for Orphans ministry, and he shares what HE and Kristin have learned from their own 16-year adoptive journey.
Mike and Kristin have 8 children ages 8-31 whom they have adopted over the past 16 years. They have adopted domestically through both private adoption and foster to adopt. Mike and Kristin have faced many struggles along the way including learning how to parent children who have FASD and having a child in residential care. You know and love them already as the founders of Confessions of an Adoptive Parent. Here’s your chance to hear how the idea for Confessions was birthed, and to find out more about Oasis Community, our monthly membership site!
So much of the adoption journey is surrounded by trauma, loss, and grief. Many times friends, family, or church members will say things that seem to make it even worse. Is loss and trauma really “just a part of God’s plan?” Is getting over grief simply a matter of “trusting God more?”
Listen in to Natalie’s encouraging story as she and her husband listened and learned about finding wholeness and joy through some hard years of infertility, miscarriage, loss, and grief, as well as adoption, virtual twining, and special needs parenting.