When faced with adversity, many of us resort to protecting ourselves. It's human instinct - to avoid pain and discomfort. Our brain is wired to send signals to the rest of our body when we experience something unpleasant - it's a signal that tell us to avoid repeating whatever caused the pain - cause and effect.
So, what do we do when the source of pain and discomfort is the trauma and behaviors of our child?
"Mom," I asked through tears, "how can I possibly do everything the experts suggest??"
For the past three months, things have been tough with one of our kiddos. Past trauma and current realities have danced in ways that leave us all pretty tired at the end of the day. I had a stack of adoption and trauma related books, a highlighter, and pen sitting out - determined to figure out what we needed to change to make things better.
Parents of children with attachment issues often need to hear this reminder: Your child's attachment issues are not a direct reflection of you, your parenting, or any type of lack or failure on your part.
In the midst of challenges, sometimes it helps to be reminded of truth. Truth that compels us. Truth that challenges us. Truth that sustains us. Truth that empowers us.
Sometimes, as foster and adoptive parents, we need to be reminded of simple truths. Not because we don't know them, but because we've been immersed in loving our people, advocating for the needs of others, and working through grief, trauma, and loss with our precious kiddos. If you find yourself in need of refreshing, this one is for you.
I trudged to the front of the group, my palms clammy and heart racing. The gym was overcrowded with sweaty kids, a typical 90’s summer day club. The promise of good times and trying new activities had become disillusioned for me quite early on. My quiet, slightly pudgy 7-year-old self had won the attention of the camp director. And since attention was neither appreciated nor desired, dread—not laughter—filled my summer days.
I wasn’t surprised I had been called to the front. Several weeks had conditioned me for what was going to happen as I approached the grown up holding the microphone.
As a board member of Mid-Atlantic Orphan Care Coalition, I am sharing some FAQs over on their page throughout this month for National Foster Care Month. Today, I'm assembling these FAQs all in one place, with the hope of helping every day families understand that becoming foster parents doesn't require perfection or super powers.
Devotion and honor. Two words we often reflect on when talking about our relationships with God and our spouse. But what about in regards to our children? In our parenting, how are we reflecting the Biblical principles of devotion and honor? This week, we're diving in to Romans 12:10.
The physical therapist looked at me and said, "Your strength is great! Your arm is really strong!"
I smiled confidently, just as he turned to the intern and matter-of-factly stated, "So, her shoulder joint is completely shredded. But, as you can see, her strength is really good!"
My heart sank. I thought, for sure, if my shoulder was strong - if my strength was enough to garner a compliment from this physical therapist who worked with shoulder injuries all the time - that great progress had been made!
But my strength - and even my ability to push through pain - did not change the condition of my shoulder joint.
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!
Last year, I wrote about how to enjoy a simple Christmas - even when it isn't by choice. I wrote about some of the hardships our family was encountering - illness, surgery, and my husband being out of work for the last six weeks of the year. I wrote about choosing joy when things are hard. I wrote about not allowing our circumstances to shift our gaze from the One who holds not only the season, but the whole world in His hands.
I had no idea that just a couple of weeks later my ability to live out those words of encouragement would be seriously challenged.
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 6! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe of little people 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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