First Impressions

November 15th, 2013

5787631086_26bf7a9fba[1]Do you remember when you made your very first impression on a job, or with a friend, or maybe even meeting your significant other? I remember when I was seven my family moved and I had to go to a new school. My mom pulled up to the school and it seemed so much larger than my last school that I attended. The halls seemed wider and it felt like there were more classes. I walked into my new classroom and there was a new teacher that I had to get use to along with 30 new kids staring back at me. I wasn’t so much concerned about making friends as I was always the type of kid that was shy… [more]

Advocating

October 17th, 2013
Categories: Adoptive Families

5986540225_a7fb61a4dbI received a call from the agency that I went through to adopt my child asking me if I would like to share my story with a group of ladies that were finishing their IMPACT training and are hoping to adopt.  IMPACT training is requirement of Georgia in order to adopt a child from foster care. The training consists of nine weeks of classes and speaks on the different types of adoption, type of kids, process, and situations that you may encounter while adopting. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to speak and to tell my story. When I got there, the director of the class had another gentleman there along with his daughter that he adopted from foster care. His… [more]

It’s More Than Just Clothes!

September 12th, 2013

ClothesWhen my daughter moved in with us last year school was already started.  Not only did she have to get used to being with the new family, she also had to get used to being at a new school.  She had quite a few clothes that she could still wear, so we didn’t have to purchase many things for her. She grew like a weed right before our eyes during the summer and of course it was time for new clothes. She struggled with the idea of giving up her old clothes.  She knew they were too small for her, but they were hers and no one else’s.  I had taken a class once before she moved in and it talked… [more]

The Mis-Labeled Child

August 15th, 2013

Labels Who would have thought me a parent of an 11 year old with a style, attitude, mind, and personality all of her own very own. It’s amazing as I reflect on just how wonderfully unexpected it was for my husband and I to adopt an older child from foster care. I myself had joined every forum, read every book, and researched every webpage I could on adopting from foster care and after that was dead set on adopting a child between the ages of five no older than seven. We thought if we adopt too old of a child they wouldn’t be as teachable. We thought they wouldn’t want to be walked to class or hold our hands in public. They… [more]

Why Don’t They Learn?

April 22nd, 2013

hot stoveI am so very frustrated with my seventeen-year-old son. Ever since we adopted him nine years ago, he pulls the same stunt a dozen times a school year. He lies, says he doesn't have homework, ends up with multiple missing assignments which he must then make up, and digs himself a deep dark hole of no TV, no Playstation, and no friends while he catches up. In nine years, he has had only two or three real holiday breaks from school because he usually has to spend all that time catching up. We've tried counseling, heavy structure, essays to help him connect with the feelings that drive this behavior, meetings with teachers, positive rewards when he stays caught up, and negative consequences… [more]

How Strong is the Adoption Bond?

April 3rd, 2013
Categories: Uncategorized

mother daughterI'm a little late posting this week because we had a tragic death of a thirteen-year-old girl in our neighborhood, a friend of my daughter's. We won't know what happened until they finish investigating, but her parents found  her dead in the bathtub last Monday  morning. Our close-knit community folded in around the family who still has one adopted and four biological siblings. I had the honor of sitting with the mother two days after her daughter's death, the day she went into her daughter's bedroom for the first time since the drowning. I say it was an honor because it felt like a sacred space to be there as she unleashed her agony and to be able to hold some of… [more]

More Bullies Hit the Dust

February 9th, 2013
Categories: Uncategorized

eagleMy daughter is on fire. First she punched the boy that was kicking her. Now she's handled two girls that keep trying to get her in trouble. Kaylyn has stars in her eyes, she's so proud of herself. I'm pretty proud of her myself. Two girls--who claim to love Kaylyn and be her best friends--are forever trying to get her in trouble just for fun. Until recently, Kaylyn fell for it every time. On Monday, they tried it again. This time, Kaylyn was ready. She used humor in a way we had role-played and came home higher than a kite because it worked! The girls left her alone! We spent half an hour in girl-talk on my bed enjoying her triumph. I had… [more]

We Have Punching

February 2nd, 2013
Categories: Uncategorized

girl punchingKaylyn did it! She told the boy that her mom gave her permission to punch him in the stomach if he kicked her again. First he told her that her mom was mean (I take that as a compliment). Then he kicked her. So...dear, sweet, no-longer-a-wounded-deer Kaylyn hauled off and punched him as hard as she could in the stomach. Do you know what happened? He quit kicking her. Now he just gives her dirty looks in the hallway, but he doesn't bully her anymore. I asked Kaylyn how she felt, and she said, "triumphant." I am so proud of her for protecting herself. This is a huge turning point for her. Now if we could only teach her to stand up… [more]

I’ll Take You to Lunch if You Punch Him in the Stomach

January 26th, 2013
Categories: Uncategorized

bullyDoes that sound like bad parenting advice? Don't write me if it does. It might be, but my husband and I already agree that in this case, we stand behind it. Let me set the stage. My sweet, delicate, passive, fourteen-year-old daughter is being bullied at school. A fourteen-year-old boy is kicking the backs of her feet and legs as she walks down the hall. I asked her if she had told any adults and she said, "Yes, Mr. T talked to him but it didn't stop." So being something of a tiger personality myself, and recognizing that my daughter is more a wounded deer personality (most of which is not her fault but comes from her early life), I know that… [more]

Finding a Place to Belong

October 16th, 2012

yellow_house_2I’ve mostly seen adoption from the other side--from the perspective of the child. I’ll never forget the look in Boipelo’s eye when we told her. Boipelo, who had waited so long and so patiently. Boipelo who had asked almost every day for a year when she was getting her “new” family. Boipelo who dreamed about the princess bedroom her new parents would prepare for her. Boipelo, seven going on eight, who was classified as mentally retarded with no clear diagnosis. Boipelo who had seen her other children adopted into families before her. Boipelo who was deemed by almost everyone as “unadoptable.” Boipelo who waited. Amy laid a book before her. A book with wonderful pictures inside and a little story her adoptive family had… [more]