Connecting Together

October 6th, 2013

3832156682_3ac3f3c5da_q My husband and I adopted a child from foster care earlier this year. She has been leaving in our home for over a year now. We have all grown closer together as a family over the past year. We love our child very much but at times we do not connect. I think back to when my husband and I met 12 years ago, we had to form a connection. I remember thinking when my husband and I was dating that he was a nice person but I didn't think that I wanted anything serious with him. We both laugh as we talk about that now as we could not imagine our lives without each other but that took time and… [more]

Mercy Trails Ranch

November 15th, 2011

horsesF-E-A-R-L-E-S-S  Letters spelled out in splashes of bright paint across the soft brown sides of the little horse.   A four legged canvas for the word that she wanted to stay forefront in her mind as she thought back to her time at the Ranch.  Words attached to memories.  Memories that she tucked away like treasures to be brought out in times of struggle and darkness.  Memories that would give her the strength to break free. Those memories threatened to flood her even now, fresh on her mind, as she stepped back to admire her art.  The intimidation at the size of her partner for the week- how the little mare seemed so large that first day.  She remembered her uncertainty the first time… [more]

A Creative Solution

September 12th, 2011

1060980_wedding_ringsA good friend of mine, Jessica, adopted a child from China about ten years ago.  When Jessica's daughter was around four, she exhibited a lot of anxiety whenever Jessica left the house.  Jessica would want to pop out for a trip to the grocery store, coffee with her friends, or even a date with her husband, and her daughter would go into a rage, screaming and clinging to her mother, begging her not to leave her.  Jessica had two other children, neither of whom exhibited this behavior, and she was perplexed as to why her daughter would feel so insecure.  And why she would do it now when she hadn't been that way as an infant or toddler. She told me about the… [more]

Breast is Best, But…

January 14th, 2010

Breast is Best, But...Back story: I have a fairly large list of friends on facebook. I have received numerous adoption information requests over the past year, and I am always more than happy to share our adoption story and any information I can provide. That said, today I received a facebook message that left me a little speechless. Sender: "You know, I'm pretty sure that [Beauty's] homecoming attachment problems would've been solved if you had been breastfeeding. Just curious as to why you didn't try that! It's so much better for the baby anyway." Blink. Blink. Blink. Here's what I'm not looking to get into: the formula-feeding versus breastfeeding debate. Personally, I believe nursing is best, but I also believe that no mother should ever… [more]

Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADS)

September 1st, 2009

This is a very difficult post for me to write. I’ve felt strongly inclined to share my experiences with this topic, but at the same time, that doesn’t make it any easier for me to say the words. After Bear was born, I had a touch of what’s best defined as the “baby blues”. There were days that were rough, but for the most part, I just felt a little down. I was—and still am—blessed with a tremendous support team: my husband, my family and friends, an excellent OB and my amazing PCP. Postpartum Depression was very much a buzz word at the time of my experience with the “Baby Blues”; there was (and still is) little-to-no "shame factor" in admitting it or… [more]

On B-Days…and A-Days

August 17th, 2009

When you have kids, birthdays are suddenly a big deal. By birthdays, I mean the birthdays of your child(ren), not necessarily your own birthday. My pre-motherhood birthday celebrations usually involved going out with a bunch of my friends and my main squeeze, all dolled up for a night on the town. Once Bear came along and then Beauty, my birthdays became back seat occasions of my own choosing. But my kids’ birthdays are HUGE events in our home and in our family. It’s not to say we spend a fortune or throw amazingly lavish parties, but more so we just really celebrate our children, our family, our life. It’s incredible, and we really try to spend the day focused on the blessings we’ve received in our… [more]

On Attachment and Expectations

August 12th, 2009

When we ran the gamut of informative pre-adoption classes for prospective adoptive parents, there was a lot of discussion centered on one of the “buzz words” of adoption: attachment. Bonding, attachment, connection—you name it, we discussed it in practically every capacity. However, here’s where I admit I failed my pre-adoption prep work; I walked out of that class positively certain “attachment”—in any and all forms—would never be an issue. I mean, how could it? I dreamed of my baby girl night after night. I imagined her soft curls and toothy smiles—the same curls and smiles I admired in all the pictures we received from our agency, framed and located in almost every room of our house. Attached? I was more than attached. I was… [more]

Attachment Disordered Children Will Suck a Stay at Home Parent Dry

July 11th, 2008

Sucking the air outI would like to address a comment made on a blog that I wrote on July 2, 2008 entitled “Place Older Adopted Children With Stay at Home Parent.” In that blog, I stated that older adopted children typically come to their new family with abandonment issues. I realize there are many other issues involved, but I am addressing just abandonment for now. In the summary of the article I stated, “Try to find a way to spend those first few months with your child. Give your child time to feel safe and bond with you. It could potentially save you many problems later.” A reader commented that attachment disordered children will suck a stay at home parent (SAHP) dry emotionally. This is… [more]

What Is the Third Leading Cause of Death for Teenagers?

May 16th, 2008

What is the third leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults those from 15 to 24 years old? If you said suicide then you are correct. What causes teenagers or young adults with an unlimited future ahead of them to choose suicide over life? The number one cause of suicide in the United States is depression. If you suspect your child is suffering from depression, don’t wait. Seek medical help and therapy right away. A federal government survey released on May 13, says that over two million teenagers in the U.S. suffered from a period of serious depression over the past year. Nearly three times as many girls are affected by depression as boys. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Am I Normal? A Guide for Teenagers

March 22nd, 2008

Chapter one covers an adoptee’s fantasies and curiosity about their birth family. Throughout the book, Danea reinforces the normalcy of a teenager’s feelings, emotions, and curiosity. She makes it very plain that everyone experiences these feelings, fantasies, and emotions at some time in their lives. She validates a teenager’s rights to feelings, whatever those feelings might be, and rights to information. She encourages journaling to help teenagers work through their feelings and track their progress. Danea states in the book that it is natural for an adopted teenager to “try to close the gaps by creating images in your mind to fit your story.” She says that teenagers may “try to fill in the missing pieces by acting in ways you imagine your birthparents would… [more]