Love Language

October 22nd, 2013

4343621338_394f7baa33_oHave you ever heard of the five love languages? I was having a conversation with one of my friends the other day and I was talking to her about how my daughter is overly affectionate.  Now, seeing how my daughter came from foster care and she was probably not given that attention and love I think she craves it a lot more. She does know proper boundaries with other people outside of her family because we have worked on that with her, but she does like alot of affection from her dad and me.  Okay now back to the conversation with my friend. She told me about this website that tells you how you express your love and I decided that… [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 Single Parent Household

April 21st, 2011

love_u_mammaThe other day I wrote a post about single parenthood, a fact of life for many adoptive families.  A lot of people (mostly women, but not all) choose to parent on their own, while others, like mine, become single parent homes after the children arrive.  The other day I mentioned a recent study by the Pew Research Center which indicates that there is a bias when it comes to single parents and that about 2/3 of Americans believe that families headed by single mothers are actually bad for society.  An attitude that definitely  hurts my feelings! I come to this issue from two perspectives: First, I grew up in a single parent household, and now I am experiencing it firsthand as a single… [more]

The Motherhood Experience

March 9th, 2010

The Motherhood ExperienceI recently had a conversation with a good friend, someone I respect and appreciate very much. The long and short of it is that our conversation centered on motherhood--by means of either biology or adoption. While she's always been completely open to adoption and doesn't personally view it as "the absolute last resort", she did state that it is her belief that the true motherhood experience begins at conception. I disagreed, stomped my foot, and pouted. But a few hours later, I realized she was so right on. While pregnant with Bear, I felt every kick, every nudge, every stretch. I felt horrid for the first three months; I cried out of misery almost every night for two weeks prior to his birth… [more]

Focusing on Flexibility

January 6th, 2010

The Need for Flexibility - Adoptive ParentingBeing that I'm what some would consider an acquired taste for many different reasons, I've always been a bit of the proverbial "black sheep" in my family. One way in which this most frequently comes to light (at least in recent years) is in my parenting. Don't get me wrong: I'm a pretty normal--if a tiny bit crunchy at times (i.e., leaning toward natural/attachment parenting, but that's a topic for another post entirely!)--happy-go-lucky mom and we lead a pretty ordinary, wonderful life. We spend a lot of time together as a family, and with my husband's rotating schedule, day trips and endless quality time with both daddy and mommy is very much a regular option/experience. However… [more]

The Stability of Schedules

December 22nd, 2009

The Stability of SchedulesI've been reading over the journal I kept to document our journey of adopting Beauty, and let me tell's pretty intense. I can still conjure up so many of those feelings as I read over the entries: the nervousness, the excitement, the longing, the love. This time of year is so emotional for me as we celebrate another year of our life as a family of four. I love reading those seemingly mundane updates of plowing through paperwork, but the words written once she finally arrived home? Those memories are priceless to me. Lately, I've been reading over the entries with an eye out for "lessons learned". Not necessarily in the process, but more so after Beauty arrived home… [more]

Toddler Tantrums: Beauty’s Acting Beastly

September 16th, 2009

Beauty's Pumpkin Patch TantrumI’ll admit it: my daughter, Beauty, has a Case of the Terrible Two’s. I say it with both relief and regret—relief that’s she’s developed into a two year old whose lust for independence has led her to push her limits, and regret because, well, a day without tantrums in this house has been a rarity as of late. And let’s face it, a house loaded with tantrums is not a pleasant place to be, even if it is a part of growing up and learning to stretch her wings of independence. Let me stop to clarify for a minute: tantrums, in certain forms, are completely acceptable in our home. It’s all a part of a child’s process of growing up… [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]

Temper Tantrums

February 17th, 2009

Our son Z is nine years old but really, emotionally, he is four. Confusing I know, but it is reality of raising a child who has been emotionally stunted by his past. Z can throw a tantrum unlike any child I have ever seen. In fact, I hope I never see another child throw a "Z Tantrum". Nothing about his behavior would indicate that he has graced the earth with his presence for a solid nine years. Z has thrown these fits since the beginning. Unlike T, Z never had a honeymoon period. His behaviors cropped up on his very first overnight visit. I have seen him throw tantrum after tantrum but nothing quite like his fit last weekend. Our family decided we would head… [more]

Discipline and Bonding

November 19th, 2008

I wrote in a recent post about how I’d been looking over old e-mails to our children’s social worker, just as we were beginning to explore adoption. One of those early e-mails warned that the kids were sometimes too cute for their own good, in that people were tempted to overlook a great deal that they ought not to, in light of the severe behavioral issues they had at the time. It’s still been a struggle to figure out exactly what methods work best with each little personality. My daughter tends to cycle: she’ll be fine for a couple of months, then she’s back to lying…or stealing…or wetting/soiling herself. She will resist every bit of schooling for home school. And will look at you the most… [more]