For most people, summer break with their children is a time to head to the pool, take big family vacations, play with other children in the neighborhood, or sleep in. It takes on an entirely different form when you’re parenting children from traumatic pasts, or with major special needs.
Archive for May 2016
When you’re the parent of a child with mental illness, you understand dark places, and you find encouragement from the most unlikely people, in the most unlikely places. Strangers become friends, acquaintances become brothers and sisters, wounded parents on the same road as you, become comrades.
Parenting is one of the hardest things a human being will ever do. In a fast-paced, noisy world, it’s easy to lose our way. How do you get back on track as a parent when you discover you’ve gotten off course? We travel a lot. In fact, lately it seems we’re in a different city every other week. We love it, and wouldn’t trade it, but the flight portion of our travel becomes routine. Sometimes we just put ourselves in cruise control en route to a speaking engagement because we’re so used to flying. The other day, however, I happened to
If we had a dollar for every time someone said, “Well, he doesn’t look like he has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder,” we’d be millionaires. The truth is, our child’s disorder makes it hard to see the forest for the trees.
There are over 100,000 legal orphans in the United States foster care system. There are over 300,000 churches in the U.S. If the each congregation would step out in faith and embrace the call to care for orphans, we will end this unnecessary waiting. Every child deserves to belong to a forever family.
*Editors note- this post originally appeared on Mike’s column on Babble.com, as recognition of May being National Foster Care Month.
It’s a war that rages in every family, but especially foster and adoptive families. The war for the heart of your children. In a fast-paced, ever-changing world, how do you successfully fight and win this battle? In 2014 we went through the ringer with our children. We came face to face with the reality that they were falling apart emotionally, spiritually, even physically. Things needed to change, and fast! But how? As we surveyed the landscape of our family we discovered that we were gridlocked in a war. We faced a real and present enemy who was targeting our family, particularly our
Adoption and foster care can be lonely. Special needs parenting can be even lonelier. Our families have unique circumstances, needs and stories. Often we are so desperate to share our experience with others that we miss the warning signs that a person is not trustworthy.
We believe in foster and adoptive parents. While you may never be applauded, nor recognized, what you are doing has a profound impact on the world. It took a long time for us to believe in our story. More than a decade, in fact. We couldn’t figure out how anything good could come out of all the wounds we had sustained as parents, not to mention the trauma our children had gone through. It seemed our circumstances were never going to change. We often asked ourselves…”Is there any way to find hope in the middle of this?”