Tag Archives: Parenting skills

So You Want To Foster To Adopt

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You are frustrated. You want to adopt a child, here, not overseas.

The system is difficult, long suffering, and impossible.

You decide to foster to adopt.

You expect your first child is going to be the one that stays, he/she doesn’t.

Then the second, the third, the group of three, none stay.  You are disillusioned.

You want to give up.

Why?

Maybe those children were not meant to be yours long term?

Maybe God just meant them to be there for you to nurture in the transition back to family who could parent?

What if you were their Angel unaware in their time of need?

What if you were the person who gave them their first hug, their first bedtime story, their first regular schedule, their first smile.

Does that change the way you are feeling?

Think about it.  Because God has the right child, or children in the right time.  Sometimes we just give up before the moment of miracles.

Our heart breaks with longing for the child we want to hold.  Their heart is breaking with longing for the mother or father they want to love them.

It’s sort of a catch 22.  We long for a baby, or child, they long for a family, and yet we are stuck in our own thoughts, and not allowing for the child’s.  What if you did that?  Stood in the child’s shoes?

Think of the fear they feel.  Think of the confusion; the rejection, thinking their parents have left.  Think of the lack of affection, the toys, bedtimes stories, hugs, home cooked food, pajamas, a bed of their own, all of these they do not have.

If you can give this for a week, a month, and in my case once, a year, then you have done your part of this amazing journey.  You have changed a child’s life.  You are truly a foster to adopt parent.

Your forever child will come.  At the right time, in the right circumstance, the right age (whether you asked for this or not) and the right sex.  Boy or girl doesn’t matter you know.  You get what you get when you birth them biologically.

I have two children specifically in my mind that I thought I wanted to be my forever children, but it was not to be.  In hindsight, I was right. The system was right in one case;  I painfully chose another family for the other,  but, it worked out.

Big news.  I am still in contact with them to this day because I did the job of the Foster Parent.  I so wanted them to be mine forever, but, that was not the plan, the ultimate Almighty plan.  I am blessed because I went with the plan.

Oh, and did I tell you this?  I ended up with eight adopted children, including three sets of twins.  Those that God meant to stay did, and to those children that I was meant to be their Angel unaware, I was.  To fifty or so of them.

Don’t look at the prize guys, look at the journey, and the joy on the way.  The prize is not your forever kids, it is the love, comfort and joy you give to those that are put upon your path in the journey of the Foster to Adopt parent.  Your forever kids are more than the prize, they are the virtual love of God given to you, for being able to give of your heart to “the lost children” who needed you, needed you in every hour.  Those children become “Invisible.”  They feel that way, until you pick them up, in your arms, love them, nurture them, read to them, and sometimes give them back to family who love them too.

If you want a free mini session (life coaching) go here.

If you want to list to a song that will minister about this go here.

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Somedays It Sucks!

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In everyone’s world some days just suck.  As a parent of both biological and adopted children all of them have issues on one day or another, but it sucks when more than one of them decide today is the day to just let it all out.

Now we adopted because we had four kids between us that had things like, ADHD, OCD, Epilepsy, Asthma, and mild dyslexia.  Mild stuff compared to some of the kids who came along via the foster system and even the babies we adopted who have grown up now.

I remember such a day when we had taken in a three year old, who turned out to be so damaged by his biological family, he had to go to special care.  He could not exist safely in a normal family.  Those days made me feel inadequate to say the least, and I often wondered, why, how, this could happen to a child so young.  I learned a lot along the way.  One thing being, children, all of them, need homes with loving parents and need to be nurtured and understood even if they have what I call “The Alphabet Disorder”.  A lot of capital letters associated with stuff that messes with their brains.

Now as a parent with four married with children, and eight others, including twenty-one year old twins and another six teenagers (including two other sets of twins), I understand that a parent, even one who is a Life Coach and can put up the best of arguments, can have a day that truly SUCKS!

Teenagers are a different breed!  I only had two at a time the first round, but this time it has been six at a time (and really twenty-one year old twin boys?  Doh, they are still teenagers.)  Then throw in some Bi-Polar disorder, all eight ADHD, or ADD, some OCD, a spatter of high functioning Autism, a dash of learning disorders, some physical issues like Cerebral Palsy and speech apraxia, and it really is a recipe for the occasionally day, where sometimes you’re the bug, and other times you are the windshield wiper.

Recently there have been more than the occasional day where I definitely felt like a bug on the windshield of my car.  Autism coupled with Bi-Polar was a pretty powerful windshield wiper that tried to wipe me off, like in one of those car washes where the big brushes come down to get you.  But, in all of my difficulty in staying calm, understanding talking to a disorder is just that, and will not be a rational conversation.  We, child and parent have survived.  Not through anything but hard parenting, being consistent, sobbing my heart out when nobody could hear, and coaching myself crazy.

I cannot say I was successful in every episode, but overall?  Without the training as a Life Coach, and coaching from my colleagues, I would not have made it out the other side.

I do not regret one child that came through our home, or one adoption, all were meant to be.  All have been shaped, and have shaped me.  Nothing has gone wrong at all, in fact a lot has gone right.  Some of the best years of my life, some twenty of them, have been given to children who I did not birth, but were birthed in my heart.  Some did not stay, some moved on, some have re-connected, and some I call my child.  The titles do not matter, it is what is in your heart.  I am lucky and blessed to have older kids who felt the same and have joined our journey through this horrible system that children have to endure because their parents make bad choices.

I don’t know who is reading this, but if you are a foster parent, or a parent who has adopted and has a child or children born of your heart not your womb, and you are going through stuff, contact me.

I understand, I have been there fostering, I am there as an adoptive parent, I get it.  I get there is a fight sometimes between nature and nurture.  I believe nurture and God wins.

I would love to give you a free coaching session and help you on your journey or your decision making process in this journey.  Just sign up on my email list (on the right)  and I will contact you.  You can leave a message, but unfortunately, there is so much spam these days I might miss you and mistake you for being just that.

So, if you are being more of the bug and not the windscreen wipers, and there are too many days that are sucking, you know who to contact.

Go here to get your free mini-session!

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Help! Turn Up The Volume!

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I was out on my usual hike with amazing hubby this morning.

I could hear a voice calling out in the distance.

It seemed to be calling for help, but I wasn’t quite sure.

We stopped for a minute and listened carefully.

Yup, sounded something like “help!”

Some hikers passed us at that point, and I turned and asked them, “Can you year that?  Does it sound like someone calling for help?”

They looked at us and replied, “Yes, it sounds like that.”

Then they turned back to their conversation and walked on!

We were shocked to say the least, at how casual someone could ignore what really sounded like a cry for help.

Well, our hike took a slightly different turn and we followed the voice until we came upon a gentleman, who was not needing help, but trying to find his dog!  His dog’s name sure sounded like “help.”

We took a different path back, still wondering why no-one else on the trail went to find out if he needed assistance.  It stuck with me.

Different thoughts rolled around in my mind, and came back to the realization that most people just don’t like to get involved.  In fact, they prefer to pretend they didn’t see, or hear that someone might need help.

My thoughts immediately took me back to all of the “lost” children out there.  Some in group homes, some in orphanages, some around the corner, and some across the world.  All with a very small voice that is trying to be heard.  “I want a family;  I want a mom and dad.”

The statistics are shocking.  There are so many children, our next and future generations that do not have any home, let alone a stable, loving family.

So, maybe it’s time to shake it up.  Grow awareness.  If you relate, know about this issue and are involved, I would love to hear your thoughts.

So I don’t only think, but I know I need to “Turn Up The Volume!”  

Be heard!

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Miracles Do HAPPEN!!!!!

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I believe in miracles go here and  listen to this amazing song about ordinary miracles.

In my family ordinary, everyday miracles happen, because I believe.

I don’t even think about it, I just believe.

I could not have done that some seventeen years ago, but my life changed.

I had, HAD to, believe in ordinary, everyday miracles.  For my kids.

I am in Nashville right now.  I have a child, that is legally mine, who is a walking miracle.

I read up on google, who is your friend, today about his diagnosis.

He should not be alive, let alone, be walking or talking or being anything other than maybe in a vegetative state, or a slow, long, painful recovery of a very severely traumatized brain.

What I read.  An aneurism, a blood clot, a stroke, a trauma to his grey/white matter in his brain.  Top that off with a spleen trauma, deep lacerations to his left face, ear, hand, arm, and five different fractures to his back.

This is a walking miracle.  Four weeks later, he is talking, standing, walking, still a little scrambled in his memories vs his aspirations, but heck, even the hospital staff and doctors don’t get this.  He is God’s Miracle.

This child, or young man really, I just think of him as a child, came to me seven years ago because of another miracle in his life.

You see, he was adopted, but the adoption went sour, and south, in a very bad way.  The end result was he was the kid who escaped the authorities in both countries, Liberia and USA, and ended up in the interior of Rivercess.  He was westernized.  He couldn’t catch fish with his bare hands, or climb a coconut tree.  He suffered beyond what a child should.  He thought he deserved this.

I didn’t.  My amazing hubby didn’t either.  And we found him and brought him back. An amazing miracle.  How do you find a kid in the jungle in less than a day?  God.    This is the young man who has yet again suffered physically, and mentally.

When I heard the news, I never doubted he would be healed, fully, back to total mental and physical health.  I am watching that happen.

He will survive.  He will be full restored cognitively and physically.  He will have all of his memories, and full capacity of his abilities.

You see, our God reigns.  Supremely, undoubtedly, truthfully, justly, righteously, kindly, and knows everything.  Yup, everything.  He guides us, forgives us, loves us, and heals.  Mind, body, soul and spirit.  He is our creator of everything including life and death.  He decides, we don’t.  We only think we do.

Challenges are God breathed.  They are there for us to meet, rise up and move forward.a must place to visit while you're on-2
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Is Your Desire Enough?

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Ok, am diving in deep fast.

I totally believe in God and all that goes with it.

I have faith, sometimes smaller than a mustard seed.

I have trust, trust that God loves me, and lives inside of me.

Spirit.  Totally know about that.  Feel it, know it, love it.

Soul.  Understand that as well.  (will explain if you don’t)

But where is my belief that miracles happen?

Where is my faith that my desires will come true?

Where do they all connect and what impact does that have?

Ok, I’m gonna explain something here that sort of doesn’t get explained.  We all have desires of the heart.  Ok, another word for dreams, dreams we have in our earthly world that we really hope will come true.

We all believe to some extent.  What is that extent?  All in, half in, maybe in?  What are we believing in?  Great question.

God says he will grant the desires of our heart, but those desires have been planted by him.  So, being a foster adoptive parent, the desire to do this has been planted by God.

Faith.  The faith to do this.  Smaller than even you can see, feel or believe, but there is faith and God honors faith.  Unless you don’t take action.  You see faith is nothing without action.

Example.  Our child Isaiah, not the child we asked for, or even saw fitting in our family, but one God asked us to rescue and embrace.  Only thing we had here to cling onto was faith.  Faith that God would provide answers, protection for our kids, and provision for Isaiah.  Well He, God, did all of that, but not without our action.

Belief.  The biggie guys.  It is so hard to believe in what seems impossible, but I can testify about healed hearts, healed speech, healed legs to walk and more than that right now with Isaiah being healed from certain death.

So, the three things that we need are desire to do, faith to believe, and Belief to really believe.  But the fourth, is the necessity.  Take action on all of these. Faith, Belief,  and Desire.

How do we get it?  Ok, we are taught faith, and we are taught to believe, but what is the desire factor and how does it impact us?

Simple.  We can talk all sorts of things in our heads, we can even believe we are meant to do something, but, whether it is adoption, or fostering, or a personal issue, like weight,  you need your desire to be the same level as your belief and your faith.  Then, nothing is impossible, unless you choose to never take action.

Yup, I know this is radical, but it is true.  Your mind is the bearer of all bad thoughts, your heart tries to overcome and intervene, and your faith is struggling between the two.

Faith + belief + desire + action, the recipe for overcoming all odds.  So how do you find it?  I  found it.  It took a lot of time and years, but, I found it.

I learned to believe above all odds, have faith in that, and combine my desire for any situation with both belief and faith.  And then?  Take Action!!!!!  Magic combination.

If you need to know more please contact me.  I will always be there to answer your questions.

I am a foster/adoptive parent of special needs children, and rescued overseas children in danger.  I believe, have faith, have desire and I always take action.

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Stronger!

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You see that word there?  Islands.

We cannot be islands, but there are times when we need to be.

My son, Isaiah, or his real name Friday, has at many times needed in his mind to be just that.  He is the one third from the left, front row,  in the photo.

An Island.

Why?

Because too many people had failed him.  Let him down.

He felt abandoned.  Alone.  Unloved, Rejected. But strong.

You see through his trials, losing his mother, losing his father when he could not provide for him anymore, losing his first adoptive family because they were too young and made mistakes, being sent back, yes “back” to Africa, being in the “interior” a nice name for jungle and suffering to the point of death at a very young age.

Starving, not knowing how to catch fish with his bare hands, not knowing how to climb a coconut tree.  These were the issues a westernized, thirteen year old faced going back to the Interior, south of Monrovia,  Liberia.

Did it make him STRONG?  You bet.  There is a song out there called “Stronger” and the words pale into insignificance compared to my sweet boy’s journey.

Strong is now being applied in a different way.  A car crash.  Terrible.  No one even knows how he was alive when they found him.  Two hours after, and two rescue units to cut him out.  An ear cut off, a spleen damaged, three fractures of his spine, but the worst?  A life threatening head injury.  Trauma to his brain.  Swelling, fluid that causes life and death issues, not only with the brain, but with the lungs filling with fluid.

He IS a MIRACLE!!!

Dang, another one?

You see when you become part of my family, a miracle is expected.

I never doubted his recovery from first knowledge.  I just prayed.  I interceded in the heavenlys, I sent healing to him through prayers and intercession, holding a space for him to recover.  He has, and will have a full recovery.  Why, because my desire for this meets my belief it will happen.

Ok, sink that in.  When you believe as much as you desire, then God makes it happen.  I could tell you more miracles that have happened  because my dog determined belief plus desire made it happen.

That’s another blog.  But, my sweet boy, is going to be ok.  It will take time, but not the time they think, because once again, he is STRONG, and my belief/desire is STRONG!

I am in awe of the power of God, the healing powers, but also the gifts he gives of discernment to hear when his children are hurting and the gift of intercession.

The other miracle here is, there is not a mark on his face.  He has stitches for cuts on his left arm, and it was his left ear, all of course on the drivers side, but, not a mark on his sweet, beautiful face.  Not a stitch, nothing.  God is good all of the time.

Now, I am going to challenge you on something.  You see I don’t look at the negative, which means I walk in abundance.  This took me a while to discern, but I believe always in the healing, the restoration, never the opposite.

Thoughts for you to ponder on.  Don’t always go to the negative, always desire and believe.  All things are possible, everything is possible if you BELIEVE!


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This really did work for me!

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I’ve been writing, writing a very important book.

It’s about how I took the foster/parent training and made it work.

If you are a foster/adoptive parent then you know what I am saying.

The things that matter.  Bonds, families, siblings, discipline and love.

I did drink a lot of coffee, but I love what this book says.

You see, if you are not a foster parent, but have thought about it, you need to read this.

I will explain why, right now.

Years ago, some nearly twenty years, I made a decision that changed my life.  I became a foster parent.  I didn’t dream this, I didn’t crave this, it was not my biggest desire, but, I knew I was called to do this.

At my heart, my greatest desire is to write.  Music, books,  poems, anything that matters and can make a difference.  Foster parents make a difference.

The problem has escalated way beyond twenty years ago.

Drug abuse is at an all time high.  So is terrorism.

These two things alone put children in a place without parents.

So, in comes the foster parent.

Or so you would hope.

But there are not enough foster parents to go around.

Children are in group homes, a pretty name for an orphanage.

Here in the United States and other western countries.

Ok, I know not all of you reading this are called to be foster parents.

But, can you be aware?  Can you step up to help another foster parent?

There’s a lot of talk right now about “being a village.”

But no talk of the countless numbers of foster children in our country.

We need to be their village.

The kids need us.

They are alone, they have lost everything, and no, they are not animals that have been abused, but human beings.  Little people.

Children.

Lost in a world that doesn’t care.

I need some volunteers to give me some feed back on my book.  I would love some of you to email me and let me know if you would read it.

By the way?

I wish I had known all of this with my biological children.

Parenting one-on-one.

Email me and get a copy, let me know what you think?

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Are We All Islands?

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Just like you I’ve lived the events of the last week.

Shocking!

Terrifying!

From all sides of this, black, yellow, brown, white, the rainbow OK?

I would like to ask the controversial question, are we a whole or are we islands?

You see, I understand Islands.  I lived in one for forty years.  Australia.

An island that looks really small on the map, but is the same size as mainland USA.

What I learned from living on an Island.

You pay a heck of a lot more for everything.  It has to be imported from a long way a way.

You open your borders somewhat foolishly because you cannot populate your country with the amount of people you have.

Then, you look around and suddenly your island is populated with people you are outnumbered by.

So you start to change the rules you began with.

It can go on and on, but we cannot be just an Islands (of people) anywhere.

As a foster/adoptive parent I know that being an “island” doesn’t work.  It doesn’t benefit anyone.  The parent or the child.

I think it works the same with what is happening in our world.

We are all frightened by something, and then become an island.

Islands are not protected terrible well.  I have had children come into my care that have become their own “Island.”   They are angry, aggressive, confused, and do not want to listen to what is common sense.  They take a while to understand that while they were abused by some terrible people, those people were few, compared to many that wanted to love them, nuture them and become their families.

As an experienced foster/adoptive mum, I have knowledge of, been part of, and helped so many children who really thought that everyone in their existence was against them.  They acted out, sometimes dangerously, emotionally, and extremely stubbornly to just be heard.

I wonder if there were more trained, knowledgeable parents to foster some of our children, would so many end up in prisons, in a life of drugs, confused, and angry at society.

Did you know that as high as 98% of children who stay in foster care until released at the ripe old age of 18, end up in trouble?

Why do we want to be an island?  Does it feel safer?  Do we fear judgment from others that look different?  I don’t have the answers, but there has to be one, because the Island Of Race, or The Island Of Self,  Or the Island of country is not working.

I watched, briefly, because I really think some talk shows are just talking about themselves, a show that was making a big deal, like a first world problem, into like a major, we have to fix it now, issue.

Over food preferences in college?

What is that?

Maybe they should think past their own interests and understand how many children in this country do without food, let alone food of their “preference.”

If you are not aware, then I will put this in perspective.  Around the corner, yes, just down the road from you, like now, are kids without food.  School is out you see.  Their one meal a day is gone.  Free Lunch.

So, while we are getting on our soap boxes about this and that, and complaining about our freedoms, our children, most of them minority race, but of all colors, races, American kids folks, are going hungry, while we spend our time and money on personal interests.

We are mostly a privileged society, we have freedoms of speech etc, and use it often, like now when there is turmoil and strife.  But we are adults and have a right to that, our children don’t.  They are silenced, they are lost, lost in a world that has too much else to do.

In these times when we are focused on all sorts of terrible things, which are not right, which shouldn’t happen, can we also understand that the more we focus there, the less we focus on our children who are being left behind, being abused, not educated, left alone with not many people who are either interested or are ignorant of the growing numbers of these “lost” children in our country.

Stand up, not only for what you think are your personal issues, but STAND UP for our kids who have no-one to care for them.  The “lost” ones.  Lost in our systems, lost in our “project societies” lost in poverty in our suburbs, lost in hunger in other parts of the world, lost in orphanages, lost in a motel room surrounded by a sea of dirty diapers.  That’s where my first set of twins came from.  It’s real folks, let’s wake up.

Let’s stand up and cross the seas, eliminate the islands, become one, and whole.

I am not making this up, wish I was, but kids are going hungry that live down the road from you, while you are ordering “To Go.” Click on “to go” to hear the song I wrote that is relevant.

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DON’T KEEP YOUR HEAD IN THE CLOUDS FOLKS!

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How Often Do You Dream?

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I have been told from a very young age that my head is in the clouds.

I dream too much.

I want too much.

I expect too much.

I AM TOO MUCH!!!!!

I will tell you that yup I do all of that.  I dream, I want, I expect, and I don’t doubt any of it is coming to me, because, why?

WHY?

For most people, including some of my close family and friends, I am too much, I do dream too much, I do want too much and I do expect too much.  Because, I’ve not only earned it, but I’ve dreamed it and expected it to happen.  And can I tell you it DID!  I believed.

From the beginning of my foster/adoption journey I have never, no NEVER, believed the bad report.  I have always not doubted, but expected it all to be as it should.  A healthy, functioning child.  Even when I was looking at a child that should, had, and indeed could live this bad report.  I_just_never_believed_in_the_bad_report.

Some say I was just lucky.  My bad prognosis kids all turned out to be functioning.  Luck is not an option.  Belief and prayer is.  Not giving up is.  Giving up my wants was a big part.  Paying attention, giving my time, being dedicated to their outcome?  Yup that was part of it.  Prayer?  Yup about ninety percent.  Luck, about zero percent.  Belief, oh yeah, like two hundred percent.  If you cannot believe, how can you do any of the other stuff?

Ok, now lets put this into some of your real lives.  Do you believe in what you are called to do?  Do you believe that your dreams really do come true?  Do you believe that you are the one person who can make all of this happen?  If you do, and it doesn’t then come back to your mind and your thoughts, then somewhere there in your mind is a dis-connect.  Between the belief and the non-belief

I am here to tell you if you dwell in the dis-belief, or non-belief that is what you are going to get.  When you stay down in the negative stuff which is really relevant to fostering, then you will attract that stuff.  It will consume you.  You will stop thinking about your child, and being an advocate for that needing little one, and go on a merry go round of fighting, and negativity.  Don’t DO this.  There is a better way.

Focus.  Keep your head in the clouds!!  The clouds are a representation of Heaven in our minds.  When we look up and see them we think of Heaven.  So, keep your head there.  Don’t let thoughts rule you.  Dream big dreams for your kids, both foster, adopted and biological.  Never give up, fight back, and most of all?

DREAM!!

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New territories….exciting possibilities!

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I am passionate about what I call the “Lost Children”.

These are the children that are lost in “systems”, drugs, and abuse.

When do we step up?

There is a remnant that do.

I’ve met some of you.

You are as passionate as I am.

But how do we spread the awareness of this “lost world” of children?

Well, that is what I have pondered, wondered, and explored how I could change, or implement change, about awareness of the orphans.

As little as the middle of the last century, when I was born, there were no orphans, no “lost” children, because the church took  care of these kids whose parents were gone, in jail, died etc.

We have supposedly evolved from some seventy years ago, but did we?  Because now these children who have been neglected, abandoned, abused, deserted have transitioned out of the church’s responsibility to the state and federal governments job.

This is not what I know my teaching tells me.  I’m stepping out here.  James 1.27 in the bible.  We are responsible.  We have been commissioned to take care of the orphans and the widows.

But, even the church has changed. So much so, that I believe the awareness of how many children are in need of foster care, is limited at best. We have our interests, our groups, our lots of things, but what we are not aware of is, these children have nothing, no one, no place to go.

In my state our foster children have gone from 6,500 to 13,000 in four years.  There are not enough foster parents, not enough awareness, not enough homes, not enough people interested in our next generation.

I understand.  I have given forty-four years to parenting, waiting in my mind for “my” turn.  But my turn already happened, I just didn’t understand what my turn meant, or what it was.

I thought it was about myself, but it wasn’t.  It was about what was on God’s heart, the children.  The “lost” children.  I heard the call, but, never understood the meaning of it, just thought it was a passing phase.

But, it was God’s heart.

It took me all this time to understand that.

So, although I cannot take more children at this time, I can support and make others aware.  That is my intention.  In every part of my life.

As time goes by, I will tell you more, but I am excited, afraid, anticipating, and wondering how this decision will affect my life, and my new found career as a life coach.

But, my heart, my soul is for the children, the “Lost Children”.

Where are you?  What are your thoughts?  I would love to know.

Here is a link to my songs about adoption.

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