Tag Archives: Adoption

What do YOU want to know about Fostering, or Adoption?

Somehow, over the last day or so, I was reminded of what I needed as a new, or even seasoned, foster parent.

I guess it was the training at my church.

Brought back so many memories but so many questions as well.

I knew nothing back then.

I just had a big desire in my heart to help a child in need.

My desire overcame my fear.

I’m sure you relate.

It’s pretty scary to take that first step.

But, when that desire to be a foster, or a foster to adopt parent is in your heart, your desire dial is about a ten.

Being truthful, my fear was so nearly greater than my desire to help a child.

I deliberated, or contemplated adopting, never fostering, for some six or seven years.

Fear dial vs desire dial.

Ok dial?

Like fear 1-10.  Desire 1-10.

Your desire will  overcome your fear if you let it.

So many let fear rule.

I nearly did.  In fact right up to the day I fostered my first two kids, I let fear rule.

Why did I change my mind?

Well, it came down to what was in my heart..

I wanted to help “lost” children.

Those nobody even knew about, let alone cared about.

I thought I was in this for the ethnic kids who had trouble being placed or adopted.

God changed my mind.

It’s not about ethnicity, it’s about the child, or in my case children.

I was so caught up in no-one wanted the ethnic kids, I could have missed the children God ordained for me.

Funny thing?  I have kids of all ethenticities.

I just didn’t focus on that.

I focused on the need.

I ended up with three sets of twins.

Well, that was a need not able to be fulfilled by many.

If you continue to have fear over so many issues regarding fostering, or foster to adopt, your fear dial  is overwhelming your desire dial.

Your fear is dialing on a scale of 1-10 more than your desire is dialing on a scale of 1-10.

Where do you want to be?

Fear comes from the unknown.

I can help you with that.

Do you need to talk to someone who has been here done that?

Well, I can help you with that,

Go here, if you would like to talk.

Catch you next time!

 

 

A Walk Down Memory Lane

This past week-end we had a Foster Parent training at our church.

As I was setting up snacks etc, those first words that were part of my training were hanging in the air again.

Each time I came back into the room to check all was well, there would be more familiar words that I recalled, word for word.

Fostering is not easy.

It can be complicated.

You have to have patience, along with love and kindness.

Tolerance doesn’t hurt either.

After twenty years you would think that the original training I had was nearly forgotten.

But, when I thought about it, it was remembered because every aspect of it was needed.

Every training I went to over the years was beneficial and informative.

Every foster parent had a question, a situation, a need that was put out on the table and given attention.

We hear a lot of “bad” reports on fostering, but, there are so many good reports that get lost.

Sometimes the question of whether to be a foster parent and what that looks like, simmers in our thoughts for a long time before we take any action at all.

I always thought we made a quick decision, when in fact, the thought of adoption, or fostering to adopt, was in my thoughts for about seven years before, it seemed like, suddenly, overnight, we were doing our foster parent training.

Is that you?

Do you think about being a foster parent?

Is something holding you back?

Go here and I would love to help you through your thoughts.

If you would like to read my new book before it is released go here.

It is titled “Ten Slices of Swiss Cheese or Ten Tools For Foster Adoptive Parents.”

Remember, “It is always better to build a child, than fix an adult,” Dave Thomas.

The Endless Seizure Disorder

I reposted about Epileptic seizures, cause now I have four kids, four different seizure disorders.  WOW!

We have Multi Focal, the most scary, Generalized, Tonic and Absence seizures.

And yet?  Life goes on.

Life is not filled with doubt, worry, or anxiety about someone having a seizure, as I know some other parents, and, epileptics are.

Epilepsy does not rule our household in any way, shape or form.

I could say that Autism tries to rule, but we believe we are the parents, even though sometimes, I want to go sit and cry in a corner.

When I became a foster parent, I did not want to foster anyone with anything like this, but, just as your own biological kids, sometimes they come with hidden stuff that shows up later.

Epilepsy showed up with my first biological when she was about twelve or thirteen hitting puberty.  Looking back it may have been what they now call “The Alice In Wonderland Syndrome.”

Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a disorienting neuropsychological condition that affects perception. People experience size distortion such as micropsia, macropsia, pelopsia, or teleopsia. Size distortion may occur of other sensory modalities.”

That is the technical description but what my eldest daughter experienced, was distortion in my size and closeness to her, along with how loud I was speaking.  She would go from thinking I was a giant to a dwarf in these episodes, and always thought I was yelling, when, as frightened as I was, that certainly was not the case.  She seemed to outgrow it, but at forty-four says when she is tired sometimes she has a mild version of this.  Now SHE WAS SCARY!

So, after having my younger sets of twins (related by birth mom) for seventeen and fifteen years, the diagnosis of each twin helped diagnose the others.

The grand mals’ were not as we are led to believe.  Each child has different Grand Mal seizures.

The last diagnosis of absence seizures was only found because of my then sixteen year old having an “out of the blue” seizure described in my former post.

I researched, well googled, cause google knows everything, about having seizures while sleeping.   Suddenly my child who could not stop bedwetting became obvious, which led to me demanding an EEG which proved he was having absence seizures.

All this to say, you are never alone and there is always help.

I am always here to talk, help in anyway.

Your child may not have epilepsy, but, dang I can tell you that is the least of what I have overcome with fostering and adopting children.

More of that to come.

Do you have something that you are seeing or “feeling in your gut” about your foster child?

Go here.

If you would like to read my first book about how we became foster/adoptive parents go here

 

 

A Seizure in the middle of nowhere?

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So, I have a couple of kids who have epileptic seizures.

Scary, but I know who, maybe when, never where.

I have a birth mom to four who is epileptic.

Needs meds to this day.

I have two out of four that I know are epileptic.

I know they have an older sibling who is also.

So, driving down the road, when I hear ” she’s having a seizure”

I expect it to be the known two, not the unknown.

My miracle child who has beaten all odds, like not walking, not talking, not learning, a brain bleed, a leg brace supposed to be forever, is having her first seizure in the back of our airport shuttle in the middle of nowhere and I don’t know why?

I am shocked!

I have forgotten everything I know about seizures because she doesn’t do this!!

I am in full on A type personality mode of “you will come out of this” and now!!

I am not patient!  I am not thinking!  I am in panic mode!

I forget the positioning.  I forget that this is temporary, she will come out.

I forget to soothe.  I forget everything, because I am panicked.

I forget, because the overwhelming love and need to be her everything is not what she needs right now.

I forget because she hasn’t done this before.  She is sixteen.  Although she has a history, she hasn’t presented these symptoms.

I forget because I want to.  I hope and believe all the past issues have gone before me and I don’t have to deal anymore.  But, because of this, I do, and I will.

That same “A” type personality will find out why, what, when and where this could happen.  I will find out what meds are needed, and I will be there when and where every time.

I am reminded of when she was so little, so needing, so unable to even let me know what she wanted, and that is what a seizure is like. In the midst, they don’t know, they can’t tell, can’t express anything that is happening or what they are feeling.

We have more happening here than a seizure or epilepsy history, we have diagnosed Cerebral Palsy, and a brain bleed.  I don’t for one minute think we will not overcome this because knowledge is power and we sure have than on our side.

So, I am encouraging you to see the light through the darkness when all seems like it is crashing to something unexpected

I know my fighter, daughter, teenager is an overcomer.  She has proved this already, she will prove this again.  I have no doubts.

It’s me that struggles through these valleys only to see God on the mountain top, calling me, and telling me I can climb to any heights he calls me to.

If you are struggling, know, that all things are possible through God who strengthens me.

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Parenting vs Cyberspace

 

 

 

 

This week we have been on Fall break.

Four kids home from school, one at college, two working, one sleeping.

Eight at home is hard.

Two is easy,  four a bit harder.

Anything over that?

You need your radar to be very accurate.

We live in a culture that would like to think we don’t have responsibility for kids after they turn eighteen.

That is exactly how it is in the foster system.

That is how we are programmed in this country.

Why?

Because all kids go to college at eighteen don’t they?

I hate to disillusion  you but that is just not quite correct.

Not only in the foster child system, but in many families.

What happens to the learning disabled child who doesn’t get through the education requirements?

What happens to the kid with a mental disease that has trouble coping in those teenage years?

What happens to just a normal kid who doesn’t make the grade?

I have seen cyber space interfere with my kids in this generation.

Social media reigns.

Celebrity reality shows are influential and quite frankly not reality.

Snap Chat and Instagram need your parental watch at all time.

FaceBook?  Wow!  Dang!  Watch who is asking to friend your sweet teenager, girl or boy.

Get a grip.  Know their passwords.  Insist on their phones being checked randomly if they have them. Um…… yes I succumbed to the phone pressure, but am happy now to take that phone, tablet, whatever and hide it.

We hear all of this on the news programs and think it will not be my child.  Wrong!

How do I know?

It happened to my child.  My sweet slightly disabled child who thought all of these “friend requests” were innocent and pure.

Not.

I am lucky because I am vigilant.  More than my kids want me to be.  But guess what?

Suck it up kids!  I’m the parent here no matter what age you are living in my house.

If you live in my house, you live by my rules.

Trust me, it works.

This is an age of entitlement and our kids are being taught this through social media, and social contacts at school.

Disney isn’t Disney anymore.  At least not on Television.

Watch what your children watch.  Listen to what your children listen to.

You decide.  You are the parent after all.

If you struggle with this and would like to talk about it go here.  My gift to you.

I am not only a foster parent to about fifty children, I have adopted eight.  I also am actively involved with a foster parent agency in my church.

What do you struggle with?  Want to talk?  Just click here.

Keep parenting, keep fostering, keep adopting.

 

The Struggle Is Real!

When you are a Foster Parent the struggle is REAL!

There are days when you feel immensely alone.

When you think you should give up.

When you think nothing is working with this particular child.

The thoughts of failure and wondering where to turn next, are real.

I remember when my first foster children came.  Twin boys, for the weekend.

They had clothes on that were too small, and held on tightly to their bottles, which looked grimy.

The stared almost vacantly at me as I pasted a smile on my face through the tears I was trying to hide.

They screamed every time I put them in a car seat, every time I put them in a bath, every time I went to change their diaper.

It was exhausting, and frustrating for all of us.

But even though it was hard work, those boys turned twenty-two last week.  Handsome young men.  It sure was a long week-end.

As a foster parent, or a foster to adopt parent, there will be struggles, but there will also be immense rewards.

I had a conversation with a client the other day, a foster parent, who was really doubting herself, but she had no need to do so.

Did she have a difficult child!  Yes, the struggle here was real!

Was she doing all the right things even though the child was protesting?

Absolutely!  She needed to be re-assured.  She needed to hear affirmation that “going with her gut” and being consistent in her parenting, really was working.

There are so many stories that are heartbreaking, yet end up be a joyful testimony to yet another young life turned around.

When children remain in the foster care system for years, or get bounced around from home to home, the statistics of failure for these children is very high.

Dave Thomas said, “it is better to build a child, than fix an adult.”

He was right.

Cycles of abuse and neglect can be broken.

Love can be restored, and build a child up instead of tearing that same child down.

Are you a foster parent?

Or are you thinking you might like to know more about foster parenting or foster to adopt a child?

I would love to give you a complimentary coaching session and answer some of your questions.  Go here!

Let’s continue to seek out and find the “lost children” in our world.

See you next blog!

When Fear Overcomes Your Desire To Foster/Adopt

This photo is of me on my front porch.

I’ve been on that front porch with more than one therapist.

Someone who is helping me and my child.

You see, there is help.  Help in all situations when you foster/adopt.

But there is also fear.

Fear that there will be no help, nobody to support you.

Fear that overcomes you to the point that the desire you have to foster/adopt is overcome by it.

I have heard so many stories where foster parents give up.

Why?  Their heart is broken or their expectation is not met.

Yet, there are still children out there needing foster parents.

Their hearts are already broken, sometimes even shattered.

Our hearts mend.  We are adults.  We can overcome.

But, can they?  Overcome?  Live without a parent?

There are 700,000 children that pass through the foster system in this country every year.

400,000 end up in a foster situation where there are not enough homes, or families to step up.

In any county on any day, at least in Georgia, there are 500 kids in foster care with only 100 foster families.

What happens to the others?

Go back in time, to when you were a kid.  What if you were put in foster care?

What would that have felt like?

Who would you have wanted to be there for you?

You see, I had four biological kids, all who had some sort of issue.

So, what if amazing hubby and I had died in an accident, who would have taken them?

That’s the thought that led me to be a foster/adoptive parent.

Do you have fears around the desire to be a foster/adoptive parent?

Do you want to overcome that and maybe have the most rewarding experience in your life?

Then go here.  I would love to talk to YOU!

My Amazing Family through birth, adoption, rescue, and foster.


The Joys and Challenges of The Foster/Adoptive Parent

Adopting eight kids is a joy!

Adopting eight kids is a challenge!

One set of twins is a joyful surprise!

Three sets of twins is a challenge!

But, do not get me wrong, all children bring joy!

All children bring challenges.

Adopted, fostered or biological.

My journey brought much joy and restoration to my life.

You see I lost an identical twin with my second pregnancy.

I was blessed with one of them, but was sad that I never conceived another set of twins.

I knew I was a twin mum.   So did God!  He sent three sets!

Often when there is an adoption through a private agency that turns out to be twins, it becomes a little unstable.

It is much harder to make the decision to adopt out two babies, over one, but, that is not always the case.

You see, my extended adopted family, was in exactly that position.

I did not know them at the time of the adoption, but, they were about to adopt twins from the same birth mother that two sets of my twins came from.  Whew, complicated.

What birth mum has three sets of twins!  Well, this one did.  Her first two sets came into foster care, where I became first their foster parent, and then their adoptive parent.  The second set are two and a half years younger than their older sisters, but, came to us because in the Foster system, they really do try to keep siblings together.

We were and are totally blessed.  Of course they are all now teenagers, and that, is another challenge, and story for another day.

The third set came along about eight years after my youngest.  By a miracle, and I do believe in miracles, we were connected with the new adoptive parents of these amazing little ones.  Birth mum had gone through an agency, and the parents were in an open adoption with her.

We all had this immediate extended family connection.  I will never forget our first adoptive mum to mom conversation.  It lasted for hours.  Today, we all keep in contact, have visited, and are overdue for a visit.  Hoping to correct that in the very near future.

Fostering is not for the feint of heart, but the joy is so rewarding.  And, if I had not fostered, I would not have my two singletons, and my three sets of twins.  All came through foster care, as infants.

All were new borns except my eldest boys who were twenty months old.

Don’t be afraid of fostering, your heart will mend, theirs will not; unless they find YOU, the home and mother they are meant to go to.

And last thing, do not put limits on God’s gifts to you.  You may want two children like I did, and He may call you to more.

Please accept my complimentary gift of a free coaching session here.

And please accept this gift of our Ten Layers Of Swiss Cheese orTen Tools For Foster/Adoptive Parents here.

You may have questions.  Please go here for my story in the book “Is Eight Enough.”

See you on the call!

My child I fostered from a broken adoption that put him on the streets of Liberia with no family, no home, no love and no comfort.  If you want to read his story go here.

ps.  He had the most horrific accident just about a year ago.

pps.  He fully recovered miraculously.

ppps.  God saved him twice from the jungle of Africa, He didn’t give up.  He saved him again.  Go here for his story.

My family!  Blessed!

 

Is Being a Foster Parent Right For Me?

What is being a foster parent like?

I asked the same question.

How can you know though without trying?

You can’t.  (Keep reading for the special offer!)

You find you have this desire or passion but are wary about acting on it.

I did too.

I was positive I was not going to foster.  I was only going to adopt.

I would have missed out on a world of surprises and deep gratification.

But I didn’t have any clue about what it was really like going through the classes.

Oh, I knew enough, but not enough to make me step up.

I only stepped up because of an urgent phone call late on a Friday afternoon, when the “yes” came out of my mouth before I knew it.

But, those identical twin boys turned twenty one last birthday.  If I had not fostered them, they would not be my sons today.

In fact all eight of my adopted children came as foster children.  I would have none of them if I had not been a foster parent.  And, maybe, their siblings would not have had the opportunity to be adopted into the same family.   Not everyone wants to adopt eight kids, but if you cannot afford enormous adoption fees, fostering to adopt is a wonderful experience.

Even though I sort of stumbled into fostering, I loved every minute.  I would love to share my story with you.

If you are interested, or feel fostering to adopt is something you would like to explore get a free copy of my book, ” Is Eight Enough” here!
Would love your feedback.  Feel free to contact me on FB here!

Cheers!

When you are burned and want to give up……..

You finally got a child, a foster child.

You’ve never had a child of your own, or, your passion to have one is intense.

It’s a small, helpless child.

You got all the information and your head is reeling.

This child needs a home and ours has been chosen.

You love unconditionally.

You let down all your barriers.

Your heart is ruling your head.

And, bam.  There comes a relative, mom or dad.  From nowhere.  One who you think is not fit.

In your heart, this child is yours.

You cannot think of any good qualities this relative may have.

You can only see what you can give.

Familiar?

There are so many more scenarios of this same outcome, but all end in the same way.  The child goes to a relative that you, in YOUR heart, deem to be less than what you can give.

In my case, it was another home that was willing to take four children who I deemed not yet ready to be re-united.  Was I right?  Was I wrong?  I don’t know.  I do know that child contacted me years later and I am still in contact.  Should I have raised her?  The jury is out on that one, because, if she had stayed I would not have the kids I do have.

But, I know of, have known, and do know, foster parents who wanted to adopt and gave up because their hearts were “broken”.”

If this relates to you, I have a word of wisdom for you.

If you truly want to be a parent, and adoptive parent, and want to foster to adopt, the road is rocky at least.

But IT IS WORTH IT!

I would like to encourage you to not give up.  I am blessed beyond measure, but it was not an easy, smooth road without obstacles, worries or doubts.  It was a rocky road.  A rocky road that lead to  blessing for all of us.

We came so close to not having our wonderful sixteen year old twins, but we believed beyond measure, and they stayed.  They brought their half twin sister and brother.  Unmeasurable joy, but not without the fight, the prayers, the belief, and the staying power.

I wish I had someone back then who could have helped me, understood, listened, encouraged, and led me to make better decisions for myself, and my family.

If this tugs at your heart, then I have another alternative.

Once upon a time we all went back in time, but, if you want to go forward, are ready to go forward, leave behind the stuff and are truly ready to explore your options about adopting from being a foster parent, or just leaping out to foster a child, then I have a great offer for you.

You see, I was you once.  But now, I am a double certified life coach, a foster mum of about fifty odd kids, and an adoptive mum of eight, including three sets of twin, with all eight being special needs.

I want to be your HELP in times of doubt, struggle and trouble.

If you need to talk, well you can for free.  I will give you as much time as you need to see if we are a fit, a match, and if I can help help you in your journey.

Just go here, click, sign up on your email and I will respond.  No questions, no commitments.  Just a free talk with someone who has been in your shoes, and has weathered the system.

I so look forward to helping you on this amazing journey, one I know is worth the rocks and hard places to get where you belong.  With your child.