We Are Their World

September 30, 2019 adopting a boy, Attachment, attachment activities, parent-to-child attachment, Sensory Processing Issues 0 Comments

We are their world and they are ours….. A few months back I wrote about the first time I rocked my son to sleep. He was four and had never let me rock him in the two years we had been home with him. It was a little thing for most moms, but a huge …Read More

The Power of Touch

August 7, 2019 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

Touch is a powerful thing. It can hurt tragically, and it can heal supernaturally. It makes neurons fire in our brain like the fourth of July. Touch is a remarkable God-given tool to build relationship and connection from the neighborly casual to the most intimate. And, it’s something our children who have had hard starts often have …Read More

Treasuring Small Firsts

February 26, 2019 Attachment, attachment activities, co-sleeping, night terrors, parent-to-child attachment, Sensory Processing Issues, Sleep issues, speech delay 3 Comments

Tonight I rocked my baby to sleep for the first time. Ever. Yes, he may be four and he may weigh 43 pounds, but I rocked him to sleep in my arms. To most moms this is usual occurrence. However, to an adoptive mom, this can be far from usual. In fact, it can be …Read More

Thank You is a Powerful Message

November 29, 2018 Attachment, discipline, homeschool, large families, Sharon, siblings 0 Comments

November is the month we all focus on being grateful and giving thanks. Everyone loves a thankful person. It can make or break our day. “God gave us a gift of 86,400 seconds in a day. Have you used one to say, ‘thank you’?” ~ William Ward As a mom of ten children, I need …Read More

Six Guiding Principles for Celebrating this Season

October 30, 2018 Attachment, attachment challenges, holidays, October 2018 Feature - Trauma and the Holidays, Trust Based Parenting, vacation 0 Comments

Holidays can be beautiful times of family togetherness, traditions, and celebrations – but they can also be times of disrupted routines, sensory overload, and expectations that don’t quite line up with reality. As parents, we need to prepare ourselves to walk our children through these times – and the first step in doing so is …Read More

Trauma and the Holidays: The Opposite of Indiscriminate Affection

October 27, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, October 2018 Feature - Trauma and the Holidays 3 Comments

We met our daughter in a hotel room in July 2017. She was 20 months old. She clung to the orphanage ayi as she said hello to her new Mama and Baba in the meekest voice we’d ever heard. She waved and smiled and appeared happy to see us but, when her ayi tried to …Read More

Please Just Be My Sunshine Today: Down Syndrome Adoption and the Attachment Dance

October 25, 2018 Attachment, attachment challenges, congenital blindness, developmental delays, Developmental System, disruption, Down syndrome, Family Stories, October 2018 Feature - Developmental, parent-to-child attachment, profound deafness, rejects mom, TBRI-based therapy, therapy, Trust Based Parenting, undiagnosed SN 2 Comments

The first photo I ever saw of Winnie was so ridiculously cute. She is dressed from head to toe in a hot pink puffy coat with matching pants and black boots. Her edibly adorable face was framed by such a tragically terrible haircut that made me laugh and cry at the same time. She and …Read More

Finding A Place For Her: Parenting A Child With Delays

October 18, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, cocooning, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Education, Family Stories, homeschool, IEP, non-verbal, October 2018 Feature - Developmental, oral-motor delays, public school, SPED class, speech delay, speech therapy, trauma 1 Comments

When we brought our daughter home in the fall of of 2013 we knew she likely had significant, lifelong developmental delays. A mystery girl is how she was described to us. And still, almost five years later, she is a mystery. No real clear cut diagnoses except developmental delays and an MRI thats shows a …Read More

Trauma and the Holidays: Tips for Navigating the Holidays Well

October 15, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, first year home, holidays, Newly Home, October 2018 Feature - Trauma and the Holidays, parent-to-child attachment, Realities, trauma 1 Comments

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, right? But with a child who has experienced trauma, the holidays can be everything except wonderful. This month we are focusing on the impact of trauma and how it can be exacerbated by the chaos and busyness of the holiday season. It is our hope …Read More

Fully Known, Completely Loved

October 13, 2018 Attachment, cocooning, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, feeding/swallowing therapy, October 2018 Feature - Developmental, oral aversion, refusing food, speech delay 1 Comments

“I’m fully known and loved by You You won’t let go no matter what I do And it’s not one or the other It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace To be known fully known and loved by You I’m fully known and loved by You” Known by Tauern Wells /// There’s a popular song that’s …Read More

The Beauty of Owning Their Own Story

October 7, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, discipline, embracing their story, homeschool, large families, questions from strangers, Sharon, siblings, telling their life story, vacation 1 Comments

Our family just enjoyed another week at the beach, and it was glorious. The gift of time since coming home for each of our children truly has made a difference in so many ways. We are able to help them feel safe in a vacation home and enjoy new experiences together. This particular trip gave …Read More

Trauma and the Holidays: Have No Expectations

October 3, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, first year home, holidays, Newly Home, October 2018 Feature - Trauma and the Holidays, Realities, trauma 3 Comments

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, right? But with a child who has experienced trauma, the holidays can be everything except wonderful. This month we are focusing on the impact of trauma and how it can be exacerbated by the chaos and busyness of the holiday season. It is our hope …Read More

A Heart to Heart: Explaining Attachment to a Teenager

September 25, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Kelly, orphanage realities, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 5 Comments

A similar post about explaining attachment to a younger child can be found here. Parents talk about a lot of things with other parents. You know that already. Some kids might feel a little annoyed at all the talking. That makes sense to me. If kids think their parents are talking all about them and …Read More

Beauty from Ashes

September 17, 2018 adoption realities, attachment challenges, disruption, first weeks home, mobility issues, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment, rages, trauma, wheelchair user 5 Comments

This is a story of trauma and beauty and tears and hopelessness and hope. This is a story of my darkest moments, my greatest growth and the resulting joy. I cannot say that this will be everyone’s story, but I’m praying that you can see the hope in this story even in the darkness. Adoption …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: Just an “Ordinary” Family

September 3, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, baby-wearing, bottle feeding, cocooning 1 Comments

It’s been four and a half years since we first met our son in China. Sometimes that feels like a split-second ago. I freshly recall the nervous, excited electricity passing between four interlocked sets of hands. Silently waiting, reminding ourselves to breathe as we filed into an unremarkable government building amid a foreign grid of …Read More

When Attachment Is Not What You Expected

August 30, 2018 Andrea Y., Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, parent-to-child attachment 5 Comments

Send. I remember exhaling after I completed his five year home post-placement report and sent it to our adoption agency. Five years — and the last of seven post adoption reports – was done. Barely in time… because you know how life gets. You get the reminder it is due and suddenly you find yourself …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: 7 Years Home

August 29, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Contributor Q and A, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Nicole, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 0 Comments

Attachment. It’s a word that, at some point of the adoption journey, will bring every parent to their knees – either in frustration over all that seems to be lacking or gratitude for heart-shaped milestones reached. This month we are focusing on attachment over the long(er) term… not weeks or months home. But years down …Read More

The Beautiful Hard Work of Bonding

August 27, 2018 adopting later in life, adopting out of birth order, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, baby-wearing, large families, Lifelong needs, Linny, older child adoption, rejects mom 2 Comments

Growing up in the 1960s the only adoptions I had heard of were people who attempted to “match” their own ethnicity with that of a potential adoptive child. I knew of no one who had adopted internationally. Yet for some reason the only desire in my little-girl-go-against-the-flow heart was to one day adopt from both …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: Choosing to Love

August 21, 2018 adopting again, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

In the middle of August in West Virginia the weather is hot, steamy, and muggy. The mosquitoes have been bad this year, but stepping outside in the heat reminds me of Guangzhou. This beautiful, tropical city is the third largest in China. It was China’s capital three previous times and today is a strategic port …Read More

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

August 19, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Megan V., parent-to-child attachment 0 Comments

I thought bonding would be so natural. When I became a mom, they laid that freshly born boy in my arms and it was magic. The love had been growing for nine months. As sinews and tendons were knitted together to become our son, my heart was expanding to make room for the love that …Read More

A Grand Canyon Kind Of Beauty

August 11, 2018 attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, first year home, indiscriminate affection, Newly Home, Whitney 0 Comments

My family road-tripped last summer and one of the places we stopped off at was the Grand Canyon. Visiting this place has been on my bucket list for basically my whole life, and to finally see it in person was stunning. Words fail to describe the depth, the colors, the beauty or the sheer big-ness …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: Unique For All

August 9, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, parent-to-child attachment 4 Comments

Attachment and parenting go hand in hand. Right? When we consider parents and their children, we assume there is an attachment. In reality, attachment looks and develops differently for all. And attachment in adoption can be an entirely different notion. I have three biological children and I would be lying if I told you I …Read More

Healing in the Everyday

August 7, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, homeschool, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, large families, life books, parent-to-child attachment, Sharon, telling their life story 0 Comments

“The days are long, but the years are short.” Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: What I Wish I Had Known

August 5, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, first year home, Newly Home, parent-to-child attachment 6 Comments

No one said this would be easy… and it isn’t. For our family, attachment has happened, is happening and will continue to happen. The Lord is showing us how to love without expectation, regardless of feelings and it is not easy. It is blessed but it is not easy. However, in the fluidity of attachment, …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: Embracing the Adventure

August 1, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, August 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years 1 Comments

The dining hall was buzzing with campers, counselors, and parents. At first, I couldn’t locate my daughter in the crowd, but I continued moving toward the spot in which I expected to find her. I was feeling hopeful, since everyone I had encountered since parking my van in the camp parking lot had recognized my …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: 4 Years Home

July 29, 2018 adopting two at once, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Medical Momma, Newly Home, Rebecca 2 Comments

Attachment. It’s a word that, at some point of the adoption journey, will bring every parent to their knees – either in frustration over all that seems to be lacking or gratitude for heart-shaped milestones reached. This month we are focusing on attachment over the long(er) term… not weeks or months home. But years down …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: 2 Years Home

July 25, 2018 adopting a boy, adopting again, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Brandie, cocooning, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, large families, rejects mom 0 Comments

Attachment. It’s a word that, at some point of the adoption journey, will bring every parent to their knees – either in frustration over all that seems to be lacking or gratitude for heart-shaped milestones reached. This month we are focusing on attachment over the long(er) term… not weeks or months home. But years down …Read More

Attachment Through the Years: 5 Years Home

July 19, 2018 adopting a boy, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Contributor Q and A, July 2018 Feature - Attachment Through the Years, Kelley B. 4 Comments

Attachment. It’s a word that, at some point of the adoption journey, will bring every parent to their knees – either in frustration over all that seems to be lacking or gratitude for heart-shaped milestones reached. This month we are focusing on attachment over the long(er) term… not weeks or months home. But years down …Read More

Dear Daughter: Explaining Attachment to My Child

July 9, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, Kelly, parent-to-child attachment, Trust Based Parenting 7 Comments

Parents talk about a lot of things with other parents. You know that already. Talking while we drink coffee together, talking over the phone, commenting on each other’s blog posts, commenting back and forth with friends on Facebook —believe it or not, all of that can help us help each other learn how to be …Read More

The Sparkle Jar: A Simple Way to Build Connection

July 7, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, discipline, homeschool, large families, parent-to-child attachment, Sharon 3 Comments

I recently read a quote from Here We Read that said, “Give children more experiences, not things.” It got me thinking about our Sparkle Jar. I really hadn’t stop to ponder the what, why, when, where, or how because it’s something I have done in the past in my classroom and now in our home. …Read More

Our Boy Forever

June 19, 2018 adoption realities, Attachment, attachment challenges, Megan V., older child adoption, rages, trauma 1 Comments

The end of the school year can do crazy things to us. Make us do and say things we cringe about later, our brains and hearts a haze of goodbyes and remembering to bring sprinkles to the Kindergarten Memory Day. And then there are the days afterward, in which no one is getting enough sleep …Read More

Suntans, Shells, and Stories: 10 Tips for a Happier Vacation

June 7, 2018 adopting again, adopting later in life, holidays, homeschool, large families, Sharon, vacation 3 Comments

Are you going on vacation this summer? I’m sitting on the beach gazing out over the ocean relaxing in the sun as I write this. Well… actually I’m constantly counting 7 kids or helping someone find a shovel or looking at the 1000th shell they’ve found. And… I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the …Read More

Older Child Adoption: Teaching My Child What a Parent Is

May 19, 2018 Attachment, attachment challenges, discipline, Family Stories, older child adoption 2 Comments

It was just about a year ago when our family needed to seek out respite. Our teenage son had been home a year, and emotions were at an all time high – for everyone. On many occasions, we’d reached out to those who could help us or him, but it was time to really take …Read More

A Particularly Bad Day

May 17, 2018 adoption realities, attachment challenges, complex heart defect, food issues, hoarding, hypervigilance, Megan V., older child adoption, orphanage behaviors, trauma 1 Comments

There is a constant editing process that goes on when your adoption isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It is a dance between saying enough and not saying too much. Between protecting his privacy and helping others by sharing our experiences. We’ve just celebrated Abe’s three year Family Day this week and it’s triggered stuff in …Read More

Love Over Obedience: Part 2 {Stories from Six Friends in the Trenches}

May 7, 2018 adoption community, Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, discipline, rages, Sharon 0 Comments

Bonding is some of the most important work we will ever do with our children. Healthy bonds build the ability to create other relationships, learn to express emotions, and face difficult challenges. Sometimes when a child is pitching a fit for no apparent reason, the temptation is to focus on the fit instead of the …Read More

Meeting Our Girl With Special Eyes: Part 2

May 3, 2018 attachment activities, China trip, congenital blindness, Family Stories, Gotcha Day, micropthalmia, older child adoption, Sensory System, sign language, vision issues, vision loss 5 Comments

In July of 2017, my husband and I adopted a 7 year old girl with micropthalmia. She was born blind. In Part 1 of this series, I talked about what it was like to meet Lydia as well as some of the activities we discovered to help with early bonding. Here is more of our …Read More

Meeting Our Girl With Special Eyes: Part 1

April 19, 2018 attachment activities, congenital blindness, Family Stories, Gotcha Day, micropthalmia, older child adoption, Sensory System, vision issues, vision loss 1 Comments

Lydia is our first adopted child. She is our first girl, and we had never before parented a seven year old. We didn’t have any experience working with visually impaired or even special needs children. We never dreamed we would have a child who was blind. But our hearts changed after learning about this precious, …Read More

Say What? – Six Months Later

April 9, 2018 apraxia of speech, Brandie, early intervention, Education, hearing aids, hearing loss, sign language, speech delay, speech therapy, undiagnosed SN, velopharyngeal Insufficiency 1 Comments

Six months ago, I shared about our journey with Caston through his surprise diagnosis of hearing loss and severe speech delay. Six months! Half of a year. It seems like just yesterday that I sat down to write about our experience. Since then, I’ve seen so many parents with questions and concerns relating to speech …Read More

Love Over Obedience

April 7, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, attachment challenges, cocooning, discipline, large families, parent-to-child attachment, Sharon, siblings 0 Comments

In case it hasn’t been said lately ~ adoption is hard, messy, ugly, and hurtful at times but so worth the fight. The fight for love. The fight for hearts. The fight for value. I had a messy situation not long ago, and I thought I’d share in hopes it might help someone in the …Read More

Saying Yes to Giving Grace

April 5, 2018 adoption community, April 2018 Feature - Giving Grace, cocooning, first year home, local adoption support, local church, Newly Home, supporting adoptive families, Whitney 8 Comments

I knew when we stepped into life as a family who had experienced the gift of adoption relationships with other people would be different. I knew that some people understood the “why” behind our choice and some people didn’t. I knew that some people would understand the difficulties associated with living life with our child …Read More

Lessons Learned in Adoption

March 7, 2018 adopting again, Attachment, homeschool, large families, Sharon, virtual twinning 1 Comments

“For I know the plans I have for you,”declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 March 2018 marks 13 years of our adoption journey, and our first adopted daughter is about to be a teenager. Where have 13 years …Read More

When the Days are Long… And We Forget What He Has Done

March 6, 2018 Andrea Y., Attachment, attachment challenges, TBRI-based therapy, Trust Based Parenting 2 Comments

There is nothing more exciting than those first years of just about anything. First years dating… first years of marriage… and your first years of parenthood. As I think back to some of the first years of the sweetest times in my life when things were “new” — I get nostalgic and I almost always …Read More

A Message to my Adopted Daughter after February 14th

February 25, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, Kelly, telling their life story 0 Comments

Dearest daughter, Something really bad happened on February 14th. I know you heard us talking about it. But, I want to explain what I know about it to you because it was a really big deal. It affected a lot of people, and you should know about it. In Florida, about 3 hours from Disney …Read More

The Sacred and Healing Work of Touch

February 23, 2018 Attachment, attachment activities, Rebecca 1 Comments

Sometimes I just can’t get much right as a parent. 
Sometimes my words fail.
 Sometimes my methods don’t work.
 Sometimes my bag of tricks is empty. 
 Sometimes I am high on frustration and low on forgiveness. 
 Sometimes my kids are grumpy, and I move to the opposite end of the house. 
Sometimes trauma …Read More

Post-Adoption Depression: Finding My Way Back

January 25, 2018 attachment challenges, first weeks home, first year home, January 2018 Feature - The Uninvited Guest: Post-Adoption Depression, Newly Home, orphanage behaviors, parent-to-child attachment, post-adoption depression, rejects mom 0 Comments

When I think of depression, I think of sadness, tears, poor appetite, and withdrawing from friends and loved ones. But what I went through was profoundly different. So much so that my family and closest friends didn’t recognize it. And, as the one going through it, I didn’t want to admit it — to myself, …Read More

Nothing Wasted: Life After Post-Adoption Depression

January 15, 2018 adopting two at once, Attachment, attachment challenges, January 2018 Feature - The Uninvited Guest: Post-Adoption Depression, Newly Home, post-adoption depression, rejects mom 1 Comments

The story I’m about to share is my battle with depression and anxiety that intensified after our first two adopted children came into our lives. I could share so many funny and sweet tales of our family and our precious kiddos, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so in the future. I …Read More

Life Books: Memories Forever

January 7, 2018 attachment activities, embracing their story, life books, protecting their story, Sharon, telling their life story 4 Comments

For me, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is when I want to throw myself into lots of projects. Many projects I have put off all year and I feel this huge push to get them done. This year two of those involved printing my blog into a book and creating Calla’s lifebook. I …Read More

While Shepherds Watched

December 25, 2017 Christmas, holidays, Kelly 4 Comments

…not far away, a group of shepherds were guarding the sheep in their care in the darkness of the night. Some rested, while some stayed awake, all of them ready to defend their charges if need be. All of a sudden, without warning, the darkness was replaced by light, glorious light unlike any light of …Read More

Preparing for Adoption: Therapist Q and A Part Two

December 19, 2017 Attachment, attachment challenges, Childcare scenarios, China trip, cocooning, daycare, disruption, Gotcha Day, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption from the Experts, parent-to-child attachment, working mom 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. You’ve planned for it, are going to travel halfway around the world for it, and have played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. As we have focused on Preparing for Adoption, …Read More

Preparing for Adoption: Therapist Q and A Part One

December 12, 2017 Attachment, first weeks home, first year home, Kelly, marriage, Newly Home, October 2017 Feature - Preparing for Adoption from the Experts, pre-adoption, prepping for China, siblings, TBRI-based therapy, therapy 0 Comments

You’ve dreamt for this day for months, years even. You’ve planned for it, are going to travel halfway around the world for it, and have played it out in your mind a million times. And yet, the reality of becoming a family through adoption is undoubtedly different. As we have focused on Preparing for Adoption, …Read More

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