Self-care for adoptive and foster parents. We’ve all heard about it. We have a feeling it might be important, but, honestly, who has time?
The truth is, parental self-care is a foundational part of being able to care for our children well. While we may feel like this is one thing we just can’t get around to, it is actually the one thing that can get everything else moving in a positive direction. Listen in as Mike interviews Carrie Blake, former foster parent, adoptive parent, mama of 7, whose journey towards self-care will inspire and motivate even the most “self-care challenged” among us.
It’s been a month since we were in Seattle, Washington for The Refresh Conference and we are still overwhelmed by everything we experienced. Take a look at the highlight video below…
Have you ever had that feeling that you were exactly where you needed to be, at the precise moment you needed to be there, experiencing the exact thing you needed to, with the exact people you needed to experience it with? That was the thought that kept running through our hearts and minds on March 3-4 as we joined with 1600 of our fellow foster and adoptive parents in Seattle for The Refresh Conference.
The journey started off on a good note, only to come crashing down on you a few months later. When you find yourself whispering, “I didn’t sign up for this,” where do you go next?
Let me begin this post by first saying, I know. I know, I know, I know, I know and I know! Sister, I’ve been there. Brother, I’ve walked in your shoes. No one told you about the way trauma rears its ugly head. No one told you about the real story behind his bed wetting, or her rage, or his impulsiveness. You jumped into this journey with two passionate feet and a heart to bring light into the darkness of a broken child’s life. And now, you’re exhausted and your kid is holding your entire family hostage.
It’s not a question of “If you’ll become tired,” it’s a question of “When you become tired.” As much as we’d like to say we have the strength to handle the trials of foster care and adoption, the reality is, it can take the life out of you. How do you take care of yourself when this happens?
Time and time again we find ourselves hitting the wall emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We love our kids so deep, it makes the deepest ocean look like a puddle. This is never a question in our mind. But, along the way, we run out of gas. There are seasons when our children’s special needs wear us thin. Or, the day in and day out battles of parenting break us. We need rest.
Yawning, yawning, and more yawning. If that describes you, we want you to know- You’re not alone! There’s a way to find rest and it’s not as difficult as you think it is.
The year was 2004 and we were the parents of a 2 year old. We had adopted her at birth, she was healthy and happy, and almost like clockwork, she began to sleep through the night at 3 months old. “This parenting gig is easy,” we thought. Boy were we in for a rude awakening (literally).
It’s not unusual for parents to find themselves in over their heads. This is especially true for foster and adoptive parents. We’re constantly on overload. But how do you know when enough is enough, and it’s time to change direction?
I remember the summer of 2008 like it was yesterday. It was one of the best summers we had ever experienced as a family. But it was also one of the worst. Hot, adventurous, muggy, defeating, joy-filled, tiring, fun and overwhelming all mixed into one. We were burning the wick at both ends. Life was beyond crazy.
It happens to the best of us- exhaustion. It’s really unavoidable because that’s just the way parenting goes. In today’s episode, we along with our co-host, Nicole Goerges, discuss some practical ways to overcome the exhaustion bug.
We’re tired. In fact, just hearing the word “exhaustion” makes us want to take a nap. We’ve often said that we’re a grand total of 14 years behind on sleep. If we added our years of parenting to John and Nicole’s 14 years, we’re a combined 28 years behind! We’re kidding, of course, but sometimes it feels that way.
It’s a brand new year which means a brand new chance to start over. Unfortunately for many, the hopelessness they experienced in the old year spills into the new. Is there anyway to really find new hope as you step into the New Year?
Two-thousand fifteen was a year of ups and downs for our family. We had an equal mix of successes and failures. Success-wise, we were invited to speak all over the country at foster, adoptive, leadership, and youth conferences. We literally logged almost 20,000 miles in travel from last February through this past November. Our blog received an amazing gift from Michael Hyatt and Platform University when we were invited down to Nashville for a platform makeover which included new professional photos, and a new look to our site. Then, in October, we flew to Colorado Springs to record a radio interview with Focus On The Family.