I know you're exhausted. How can you not be? You want to be the best mom, wife, and daughter of the King.
Daily, you are confronted with millions of pieces of information that address precisely "how to." Blog posts, magazine articles, news reports, pinterest pins - all telling you what you should be doing, how you should be doing it, and what you and your people should look like as you do and be all the things.
Have you been awakened from a deep (much needed!) slumber by a child crying out for you? Or maybe your kiddo is more like mine - hovering near the edge of the bed, staring until you bolt upright, heart-racing. The sad reality is, nightmares are not rare. They can be caused by the obvious: trauma, neglect, abuse. Or something as seemingly innocent as a visit to the zoo, favorite tv show with a new character, or the wonders of childhood imagination.
We have implemented a three step system to help our kids overcome fear and restlessness following a bad dream. All of our kids know the process, and the oldest have even used it on occasion, without needing to wake us up! Most times, they come and ask us to pray with them. But most importantly, they are learning the steps to restore peace and rest!
Most of us have struggled with feeling not enough. It's what compels many New Year Resolutions.
Not thin enough.
Not spiritual enough.
Not disciplined enough.
Not present enough.
Not smart enough.
The nagging fear that we don't, or won't measure up can be crippling. Many of us have sacrificed freedom for living lives where we tire ourselves striving to always - finally - hopefully - be enough. But we never are. And the truth, sweet friend, is we never will be.
During National Adoption Month, I wrote 13 guest posts regarding various adoption related topics. This is a round up of those posts - which I hope will bless and encourage you! There are posts for adoptive families, waiting families, prospective adoptive families, those who want to help orphans without adopting, and those who simply want to draw closer to Jesus!
Relationships between parents and teenage girls can be challenging. Even under the most ideal circumstances, hormones, peer influence, and growing up impact the way a teen relates to her parents. Girls naturally enter a season of questioning who they are, what they believe, why they believe it, and what they want in their life. Our society places great emphasis on choosing a future occupation while teens are still trying to survive algebra and prom date mishaps. When we factor in social media, perceived beauty concepts, and the fact that the portion of the brain responsible for logic is not fully developed until age 24, we can understand the effects of pressure on teens!
One of the most critical things to address, prior to adoption, is the prospective parents’ own healing. As parents, it is our privilege and responsibility to walk through healing with our children. To be able to do this effectively, we must first embrace God’s healing for our own hearts.
Children who come into a family through adoption have experienced great loss. Age is not an indicator, as even an infant has experienced the traumatic removal from their birth family. This loss is often coupled with trauma; whether due to abuse, neglect, or in utero exposure to substances or chronic stress. Every child who is adopted will have loss, and will need to grieve and heal.
The forwarded email arrived at the beginning of December. I was a work at home, homeschooling momma juggling a ten-month-old, two preschoolers, and two school-aged children. Our lives were full, exciting, and maybe just a tad chaotic.
“In case you’re ready…” was the only line in the email. A good friend, who I met during our first adoption from foster care, had forwarded a flier for a little guy our state was recruiting a family for. I laughed hysterically, and immediately texted her.
As followers of Christ, our goal should be to do the will of our Father! Jesus set a tremendous example for us of living a laid down life. He has asked us, through the grace of Holy Spirit, to do the same. Through His unchanging Word, He provides instruction and insight. Leading us in His good, pleasing, and perfect will. And one of the things dearest to the Father’s heart is adoption.
We began our adoption adventure when our kids were 3, 20 months, and 6 months. We had committed to opening our hearts and home to a child who needed a family, and after a lot of prayer, we knew the time had come. It was a very long 18 months before our son came home, but that period was the beginning of us learning how to help young children prepare for gaining a sibling through adoption.
When we adopted again, last year, we had five children, aged six and under. The dynamic shifted slightly, as we knew that seeing the adoption process could be challenging for our son. Our understanding of helping our children in this process grew.
November is National Adoption Month. It's a time where, as a nation, we focus on the orphan crisis and the role each of us can play in caring for orphans. This month is especially dear to our family, as we celebrate our sons, and advocate for other children.
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 7! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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