I recently rewatched “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and it is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites. It’s a New Zealand film full of New Zealand humor. Using awkward honesty..
Foster care isn’t what I thought. But of course it isn’t. Expectations rarely meet the breadth and depth of human experience.
Trauma leaves a greater mark than I knew on these..
It’s shattering my ro..
We often talk of finding the right balance. Eating a balanced diet. Achieving work-life balance.
Frankly, I don’t believe in balance. It’s all tension.
A teacher once expla..
At Christmas, I go all out. I love getting and I love giving.
One year I aspired not to really want anything and told my husband as much. This was our very first Christmas tog..
I like control.
I like to choose what’s going to happen, when and how. Yes, yes. More of that, please.
Instead though, I chose to parent. And in parenting, we give up contr..
A couple years ago, in the midst of fostering our firsts, I crashed.
Parenting a sibling set of three suffering severe neglect and trauma, I felt like a toddler tr..
Holidays. The single word holds so much.
Beautiful memories. Painful flashbacks. Vulnerable hopes. And impossible expectations.
For some, it’s twinkle lights and festive ch..
This time court was harder. Scarier.
I’ve been there and done that a half dozen times, and mostly it feels the same. But this time. This time something was different.
Short but not sweet, this two minute and thirty-seven second rap is painful ..
I find foster care nearly impossible to talk about. Which is part of the reason I write. And write so little.
It’s not for lack of passion or purpose. Or by any means, emotion..
We all come to the table with ideas, assumptions and prejudices. Whether we like it or not.
When I met my foster son’s biological mother nine months ago, I stood back. Stayed ..
I hesitate to say it out loud, let alone to write it. If I name it, surely I’ll jinx it. But we’ve ached for this for so long that I can’t not.
For the first time since fo..
People often ask, “How long will Big D be with you?”
The answer of course affects everything. School. Work. Home.
My best guess is one day or hundreds. That might seem dram..
As a painfully slow reader, I often get frustrated at how long a book takes me to finish. And at how few other things I can accomplish at the same time.
Enter audio books.
So often I feel wrecked by foster care. By all that it entails. Taking children from their homes, their moms, their lives. Facing the traumas of why they were removed and the que..
I’ve found my end. The place where something has to give.
A week away with my husband gave us the space we needed to breath. And the distance we needed to see.
To see that ..
Parenthood of all sorts draws attention. Advice. Criticism.
Fostering is no different. Except there’s a lot more mandated reporters.
When the state has custody of a child, ..
Months ago, our youngest foster son’s case worker fought to have him removed from our home to a more structured environment, a residential facility. This seasoned social ..
Note: This is the tough part. The part I don’t want to know or write or share. The part that keeps me up at night and quiet for weeks.
We didn’t adopt our first foster kids a..
I’m one of the first men to play an active role in our foster sons’ lives. They are 9 and 11.
It’s terrifying and weighty.
We talk often about being men of courage and resp..
The past several months we’ve been on the great school search.
It’s proven to be quite the puzzle. Like you do, we’re considering all the normal factors – location, diversity,..
As a foster mom, I’ve been called a lot of unsavory names. I hesitate to share them, to repeat them. But I also hesitate not to. 5 and 10 year old babies are saying these words. ..
Early on in my foster training days, I was turned on to Karyn Purvis and her Empowered to Connect crew. After reading and listening for two years, I was finally able to attend a ..
I’ve never considered myself a writer. In fact, as a graphic designer by trade, I’ve always said that I do pictures, not words.
Secretly, this is also because the majority of ..
Back during my dating years, I remember yearning for a good DTR (define the relationship) talk anytime things felt loosey goosey with a fella.
I always preferred to go ahead a..
I got a new job. When I left my old gig, I was skeptically hopeful that someday somehow I would get back into the creative world. And it happened sooner than I thought.
These days our house is a fabulous hot mess of nae naeing and Wallstreet Journal reading.
Our two delightful foster boys are giving us an intimate introduction to a new world ..
Wednesday, we had our first big court day with our newest placement, two handsome boys.
Many knew we were anxious about what would be decided for these dear boys we have come t..
Court comes tomorrow. It feels heavy. With black robes and huge desks. Loud gavels and police officers.
Looming decisions on who will go where, when. Mere moments defining ent..
In foster care, so much ends with a question mark. For everyone.
Nobody knows the future. Or understands the past. The latter often informing the former.
But foster care si..
Hello 2016. This year, I’m already minus one job and plus two kids.
More homework and legos. Fewer pdfs and meetings. The same amount of coffee.
After diving into so much c..
Most things in life require sacrifice of some sort. To get one thing you naturally have to give up another.
I knew that going into foster care. Obviously this was going to req..
I can’t recommend “To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care” strongly enough. Author Cris Beam’s in depth research and beautiful storytelling reveal honest p..
In September, we welcomed David and Jordan. Introductions were quickly followed by trampoline jumping, wrestling and general merriment.
While we enjoyed the fun and games, Jon..
24 hours after walking out of my office for the last time, two handsome, healthy boys walked through our front door.
Smart, athletic and fabulously funny, these brothers quick..
I quit my job. I told my boss, turned in my resignation letter and read the floor-wide announcement email.
It’s official. But it doesn’t feel real.
Two years ago I transitioned..
Strider Wolf, a five-year-old fella from Maine, has a story shared by Sarah Schweitzer of The Boston Globe. It’s worth reading. Worth watching.
As I begin to describe it, I find..
I write a lot about the hard of foster care. The unanswered questions we face, the unthinkable pain children suffer, the unyielding difficulties the system creates. But each time..
Foster care is filled with questions. And very few answers.
Complex psychological questions about how to best love a hurting child. Deep philosophical questions about who should..
This weekend I watched the movie Know How. It’s described as a “musical written and acted by youth in foster care. Their lives. Their stories. Their voices.” After reading about ..
I’m learning to fly. It is a brand new skill, like learning to read.
In four months of practice, I’ve had four instructors. Akin to having four kindergarten teachers in one se..
Nobody wants to spoil their child. Indulging every whim or fancy until it’s expected. Demanded.
We have internal and external battles about what the right balance is. Waffling w..
Between long term placements, we often do what’s called “respite care.”
We get a lot of questions about it because friends see us with kids for just a few days. For instance, we..
Today, we attended the adoption hearing for a sibling group of three – our very first long term placement. After being in care for 2 years and 8 months, they were finally, offici..
Once upon a time, I thoughts my ways were fairly ordinary. Assuming most everyone liked what I liked and thought what I thought. Then I got married.
It turns out we’re all diffe..
Last year, we cared for three siblings who weren’t fond of the police or African Americans and made it known in no uncertain terms and with several unsavory ones. It was an attit..
The topic of money is nearly always a difficult one. And even more so when you multiply it by a factor of caring for children taken by the state.
Welcome to foster care.
My husband Jonathan and I recently took a class focused on caring for kids with trauma. This was the advanced class. Not because we were advanced, but because we learned so much ..