Why Does Your Foster or Adopted Child Reject Your Love?

It is a scene that plays out in foster and adoptive families over and over. Parents tearfully share stories about the children they welcome into their families rejecting their love. It’s especially painful when, no matter the child’s age, they stiff-arm every effort a parent gives to help them feel loved and find healing.

This past Sunday the pastor at my church quoted from a book by Dr. David Benner—Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Spiritual Journey). First as I listened, I identified in my own life the ways I struggle with surrendering to love. Then I began to listen through the lens of my experience as a foster and adoptive dad.

I bought the book and began reading, and I can see clearly how many of my son’s actions—His high need for control; his overly cautious tendencies; his need to be with one of us all the time, yet struggling with trusting us with his deepest thoughts; His desire to be the center of attention and to always be right, the first, and the best—point to one thing.

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Matt & Julie Kouri — Lessons Learned from Their Adoption Journey [Podcast 023]

In today’s episode, I interview Matt and Julie Kouri about their adoption journey. They have three children that came to their family through adoption. Below you can see in the show notes some of what we discuss.

Kouri Family

 

 

Show Notes

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In the Fullness of Time: How Adoption Reflects the Gospel [Podcast 20]

In this episode I expound on a blog post—3 Takeaways from the Future and A Hope Conference. I focus on the first takeaway…God sees brokenness and leans into it.

Here are a few things that you will hear…

Two insights:

  1. Adoption reflects God’s redemption story.
  2. God ordains adoption at just the exact time He intends it to happen.

Two conclusions:

  1. Adoption is a covenant relationship.
  2. It is important to be sensitive to God’s timing.

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Thank you!

When You Need to Pull Your Child Closer: Conversation with Danielle [Podcast 019]

Sometimes something triggers a fear or anxiety response in our children so strongly that it impacts how they interact with their environment. They can respond with uncontrollable anger, paralyzing fear, or an urge to run.

We might not always know what triggers that response, but we can know how to respond to the behavior. When we understand how trauma affects the brain and how some things cause a shift from the complex, thinking area of the brain into the protective part, we hopefully will handle the situation in a manner that helps our child feel safe again. And when they feel safe again, they can make rational, healthy decisions in response to their environment.

In this episode, Danielle sits down with me to discuss a recent series of events that has triggered a fear response from our son. We talk about what happened, how we handled it, and why we handled it the way we did. At the time of the recording, much of this is still occurring.

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3 Takeaways from the 2017 Future and A Hope Conference

I attended the Future and A Hope conference last Saturday in Austin, Texas. This is a conference that brings together those who advocate for vulnerable and at-risk children. Some who attend are just beginning to explore and discern what their role is.

Other families who attend are in the midst of parenting children that they foster or have adopted either through foster care, private domestic agencies, or international agencies.

One thing I noticed this year (this isn’t one of my takeaways) is that many attendees have at least a basic understanding what trauma informed care is. That speaks to the work of many in this field. Families, counselors, caseworkers, and others are now speaking the same language more than ever. This is a good thing.

Ready for some takeaways?

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What Does A Wholistic Approach to Orphan Care Look Like? [Podcast 017]

An Interview with John Palmieri of World Orphans

In today’s podcast episode I interview John Palmieri with World Orphans. I met John a few months ago through a mutual friend. What I learned about World Orphans impressed me.

John and family fun photo!

If you are like me, you probably think that World Orphans is another organization that helps families adopt internationally. However, World Orphans, as you will hear in the interview, focuses on strengthening families and communities across the world.

Show Notes

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Taking A Closer Look at Empowerment—A TBRI Principle

Do you get the idea that it’s good to empower your child but struggle with exactly how to do it? How do you find that balance of empowering yet remaining in control?

Trust-Based Relational Intervention, or TBRI, is becoming the standard for connected parenting. Schools, Child Protective Services, counselors, parents, and others recognize this and are applying these principles in their work and families.

I posted a blog a couple of years ago, Three Principles of Trust-Based Relational Intervention, that still gets a lot of traffic. Basically, the three principles are Empowerment, Connection, and Correction. If you want a quick overview of TBRI, please check out that blog post HERE.

Over the next few weeks I will post a blog digging a little deeper into each of the three TBRI principles sharing not only what I have learned about each, but some of my personal experience as I attempt to apply the principles to our family.

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Find One Reason to Say Yes. An Interview with Jason Johnson. [Podcast 013]

I began following Jason Johnson’s blog a few years ago when a mutual friend told me about his site. I appreciate Jason’s practical approach to foster care and adoption. His communication style cuts straight to the heart of the matter whether you are considering becoming a foster or adoptive parent or if you already have children from a hard place in your home.

Jason Johnson

I wanted to get to know Jason a little better and give you the same opportunity.

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Our Son’s Struggle to Attach [Podcast 012]

Attachment between a child and his or her parents is powerful. How healthy that attachment is will determine how healthy all other relationships are and will be.

Usually when a child comes into a family from foster care or through adoption, they aren’t able to attach easily. This is true regardless of their age.

In today’s podcast episode, Danielle and I openly share about not only how it was hard for our son to attach to Danielle, but also how Danielle felt about the struggle.

Here are a few of the things we touch on…

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7 Ways You Are Making Parenting A Foster or Adopted Child Hard

Parenting might be the hardest thing in the world. And if you bring a child into your home who isn’t your biological child and is dealing with all kinds of wounds, and you just raised the bar.

Many times we enter into a relationship with a wounded child and think that we can parent them just like we do or would parent a biological child. It simply isn’t true.

I know some foster or adoptive parents don’t deal with challenges with the children that they have brought into their home. However, most do. And about the time you think you have overcome those challenges, other stuff comes to the surface, or you enter into another season of life, or the dynamics of your home changes.

It is enough to make a foster or adoptive parent wonder about their own sanity. If you aren’t a foster or adoptive parent, I am not exaggerating.

What I have seen in my own parenting, and in others, is that we, most of the time unintentionally, make our parenting harder than it needs to be.

Here are 7 ways we tend to make parenting harder:

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