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

How Adoption Shaped My Life: An Adoptee Speaks

September 30, 2018 adoptee perspective, adult adoptee, embracing their story, older child adoption, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, September 2018 Feature - Hearing From Adult Adoptees, spina bifida, telling their life story 4 Comments

I was 10 years old when I was adopted. I had spent all my life in an orphanage. I had no idea it was even possible to be adopted, let alone by American families – I thought I had everything I needed. Going to school I knew I was different. I didn’t have pretty clothes, …Read More

Their Brave and Precious Stories

March 5, 2018 adoption realities, embracing their story, telling their life story 1 Comments

When my biological son was 4, his arm got caught in an elevator door. Adults nearby were able to pry his arm free. No permanent damage was done, but it shook and scared him. Fast forward a few years, the same son and his older brother were in China, on an adoption trip with us. …Read More

Are they American? Or Chinese? Or both? Or maybe we shouldn’t ask…

January 31, 2018 adoptee perspective, books, Chinese Culture, embracing their story, guest post, heritage trip, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, telling their life story 0 Comments

Patti Waldmeir, award winning author and foreign correspondent, raised her adopted Chinese daughters Grace and Lucy for half their life in China. She’s just published a book about raising them in the country that could not keep them… The Waldmeir family visiting Grace’s hometown of Yangzhou in 2008 /// “Do they know they’re adopted?” Soaking …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

We Traveled the World for Her Twice: How We Found Our Daughter’s Birth Family

December 29, 2017 birth family, birth family, birth family search, DNA and genetic testing, embracing their story, heritage trip, Mandy, orphanage, Post-Adoption contact, telling their life story 32 Comments

“An adoptee’s curiosity about one’s past is not a rejection of one’s present nor a sign of unhappiness or dysfunction. It’s exploring what should be the adoptee’s already — knowledge of one’s personal history and family members.” – Tara Vanderwoude, Social worker, advocate, educator For Christmas this year, my five-year-old daughter asked for a special …Read More

The Story of You Before Us: Writing an Adoption Lifebook

September 23, 2017 attachment activities, birth family, Chinese Culture, embracing their story, life books, protecting their story, telling their life story 3 Comments

I often see posts in the various adoption groups I am in where parents are looking for suggestions for favorite adoption themed books for their waiting or newly home children. While in process for our first daughter to come home from China, we received a list of children’s books that addressed adoption during one of …Read More

Chinese New Year: Finding Your Own Way to Celebrate

January 25, 2017 Chinese Culture, Chinese food, Chinese Holidays, Chinese New Year, embracing their story, recipes, Stefanie 1 Comments

We love China for a million reasons. The biggest is that it is the birth country of nine of our thirteen children. But we haven’t always done the best job at reflecting that love in how we celebrate Chinese holidays and/or incorporate China into our day-to-day life. Because, honestly, with a big, busy, and on-a-budget …Read More

Embracing Their Story: Going Back

November 23, 2015 adoptee perspective, embracing their story, heritage trip, November 2015 Feature - Embracing Their Story, orphanage visit, telling their life story 0 Comments

Their story with us didn’t start at the beginning. I think we jumped in around chapter 3 or 4. Much like opening a book midstream and trying to piece together a plot, our adoptions began with many unanswered questions and many holes that I knew we could never fill. Yet at some point, I knew …Read More

Embracing Loss

September 29, 2015 adoption realities, embracing their story, infertility, Mandy 0 Comments

It’s something about the weather — that point where I know the hot and humid days of summer are coming to a close, and yet the cold days of fall have yet to greet me. It is as if summer and fall coexist briefly. The slightly chilly air and the warm sun dance across my …Read More

Identity Crisis

November 17, 2012 embracing their story, Kelley, older child adoption, telling their life story 6 Comments

Last night, my husband and I joined about 180 folks from our city of Birmingham to view the documentary Somewhere in Between, a film that follows four Chinese girls adopted into American families. The movie articulates their challenges with feeling neither completely Chinese, nor totally American. The girls, now in their teens, conclude that they …Read More

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