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]

Temporary Attachment Parenting

January 23rd, 2013
Categories: Bonding, Caretaking

babay carrierMy husband and I parented our foster daughter VV for 10 months, from the age of 6-16 months.  During this time, we had ongoing contact with VV’s family, especially her young mother.  It wasn’t clear whether or not we’d be able to adopt VV at first.  We assumed that we would until proven otherwise.  So in the meantime, we did what we could to form a proper attachment with our little girl. We were obligated to have VV in daycare during the week, but in the evenings and on the weekends, she was all ours.  Before she became too heavy, I loved to carry her in a baby carrier, especially when walking our two dogs.  It was like a never ending hug… [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 Less Than Stellar Performance

October 10th, 2011

redI am well aware of the intricacies of sibling rivalry. I grew up in a very large family with eleven siblings of my own. I know that siblings can love each other one minute, hate each other the next and then love again. My youngest, and my next to youngest, have been engaged in an on going tug of war of anger, jealousy and love. Days of shoving, arguing, tattling mixed with times of love, playing and laughter. A true microcosm of the larger human word and all of our interactions with each other, person to person, culture to culture, country to country. I suppose it should come as no surprise really. It was bound to happen at some point. Kids are kids, they… [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]

Celebrating Family

July 6th, 2011

paper_family_ii-I love the word family and how it has evolved. 50 years ago, if we would have asked a group of people what a family was it would have been such a boring answer. "A dad, a Mom, and 2.5 children." Maybe they would have gotten really crazy and added a pet. I love the fact that we are living in a generation where all families can be accepted. I was a young mom. I had my first son at 19 and decided to become a solo parent. His biological father was not the kind of person that I wanted to influence my child so I figured that me alone was better than us together. It was the best decision that I… [more]

Keep Your Children Healthy & Active

January 27th, 2010

1187576_playful_spring_time_1A healthy lifestyle is beneficial when learned early in life. Longer life span, more energy, and happiness and contentment all accompany good health. And what more could you want for your children? But for some families maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle isn't easy. It takes effort. It takes work. But it is worth it in the end. Set an Example: One of the easiest and most effective ways to teach your child about healthy living is to live healthily yourself. As you know, children watch the actions and habits of their parents. You can show them that healthy living is fun and rewarding. Along with your example, talk to your child or children about how to make healthy choices and ways to… [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 Memories and “Firsts”…

August 22nd, 2009

It’s Saturday morning, and we have a full day of “home-based” activities on the horizon. We’re baking banana bread (with a hint of lime as I’ve found to be customary in many of my readings about Guatemalan recipes), we have crafts lined up (the kids are really into creations made with construction paper cut-outs of their hands right now), we plan on giving the dog a bath (insert groan here)—a full, nice day. Throw in clean up, most likely bath time, hopefully a nap, and meals, and our day is set. But the weather outside is not typical of August in Chicago; it’s cooler, very autumn-like, and it has me a quite a bit nostalgic. Memories are amazing, sometimes funny, and often beautiful things. I… [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]