Thursday, November 5, 2015

What's the Point of Adopting a 17-year-old Kid? | New Article on

So, it's National Adoption Month. And I am just giddy reading so many adoption stories, seeing faces full of joy over having found each other, remembering our own adoption days. 

But also. I think about the 100,000+ kids waiting in foster care for a home to call theirs forever. And the 25,000+ kids a year who leave the system, alone. No adoption proceedings. No party.

The most unsettling statistic of all: 20% will find themselves homeless. 20%. That means that the emancipated teens of 2012 will result in over 4,600 homeless young adults.

That is staggering. Truly.

Imagine what help with college applications and SAT prep would mean to one of the teenagers in care. Imagine what it would mean for a parent to step in and say “I think you need help and we’re going to find it together.” Just think of what could happen if someone sat down with them and helped fill out job applications and practiced for interviews.

The difference a dedicated parent can make in the life of a child is no less significant if that child is 17 days old or 17 years old. And to a child who has endured the trauma of being permanently removed from the care of his or her biological family, who was placed into state care with the expectation that they would be given a more secure, safer situation, the need for that protection is all the more urgent.

Adopting a 17-year-old isn’t about giving them the childhood they never had crammed into one year; it’s about giving them a family to turn to for the rest of their life.

Read the rest here, and if you have thought on the topic, leave a comment. If you've considered adopting but haven't tried it, what is holding you back?  I see so many messages saying things like "if only I could afford it" or "I can't be home full time so I can't get licensed." Did you know that the legal fees of adoption from foster care are usually covered by the state? And that not only can you be a working parent, but many places have programs that provide daycare and after school care for working foster parents. It is hard, but it is doable.

Also, if you're in need of some good, honest, real adoption stories in your life, check out the #knittogetherbyadoption photo challenge for November. I am doing it over at my instagram and I've successfully completed 5 days. 5 DAYS, YOU GUYS. That's a record. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What Led Me to You | Book Review on

So a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of What Led Me to You, a book on foster parenting and adoption (and special needs parenting, and faith, and overcoming obstacles, and transracial families...) by Carrie Dahlin. Carrie wrote a beautiful and honest account of their journey, and if your life is in any way impacted by adoption, you'll want to grab a copy. Here's a peek:

"Having children with special needs who came to us through foster care and adoption, I found myself nodding in agreement at so many moments in the book, particularly this realization: 'It took having kids that didn’t fit the typical mold to realize that I didn’t want that coveted box for them. Instead I wanted to teach them that they were so much more than that.' It’s such a pivotal moment to realize that what you want for your kids isn’t always what you had originally thought, or even what you wanted for yourself in life. It isn’t a 'certain kind of smart,' it’s a contentment that comes with dissolving that notion, and Dahlin describes it perfectly."

Read the rest on today, and if you would, leave some love for Carrie!

You can connect with her and follow their journey from here on her blog or facebook page. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Adopting Can Be Scary | New Article on

So, if you know me in real life, you know part of this story: I was terrified to adopt. The whole process seemed so daunting. I would say things like "We'd love to adopt in the future, when we're a little more grown-up." 

Come to think of it, as upset as 23-year-old-infertile-me got at doctors not taking me seriously (I was continuously given the "You're young, just be patient" speech), I didn't take myself terribly seriously. 

I just had an epiphany, folks. 

I'm glad we were all here to see it happen. 

But yes. I was scared. It is scary to jump into the unknown, no question. 

Here are some thought up on today about how I finally moved beyond that. 

"If I got bold and decided to talk about adoption with my husband (who, by the way, always replied with an emphatic, “Absolutely, I am interested in this. How would you like to get started?” and is maybe the most patient man alive), I almost immediately followed with conditions to be met before we even started looking into it—things like re-sodding the backyard, and getting a few raises under our belts, and convincing my parents to move closer to us.

If I allowed myself to peruse options online, I was quickly overwhelmed and gave up.
I often recapped the many ways I was a failure: Not only could I not carry a baby myself, but I wasn’t strong enough to continue with fertility treatments. I wasn’t brave enough (or organized enough, or wealthy enough, or enough of numerous other things) to consider adoption, and I felt guilty because I knew I was terribly caught up in my own temporary struggles, but I couldn’t figure out how not to be. My world was small and kind of sad, for a time.
This perpetuated until one day I stumbled upon a website devoted to kids waiting to be adopted, and I recognized that I couldn’t even fathom the fear of not having a safe, loving, permanent place in a family to call mine."
Read the rest here, and if you'd like, leave a comment. What scares you about adoption? If you have adopted, what gave you courage through the process? 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Second Sunday in May | New Article on

After a long hiatus, courtesy of unexpected homeschooling and some super fun surgery on my lady parts - and a subsequent snowball of things to catch up on and mini breakdowns to have related to these things - I am feeling ready to write again. 

I will write about the events of the last few months later, probably. But not right now. 

Right now, it's almost Mother's Day. This is a rough day for many in the circles I frequent. I have seen many a post about this day and infertility, and that's part of it. It just plain sucks to be infertile and childless on Mother's Day. But what I have found (which surprised me quite a lot, as so many aspects of parenting have) is that even after the babies come, it's hard. Just a different kind of hard. 

For me, infertility and foster/adoptive parenting has proven to be an intense empathy workout. My ability to see hurt in others and to exist outside of my own struggles is greater. And because of that, I am more aware of the years I spent inside of those struggles. I was so angry. I judged easily those who seemed to lack appreciation for the things I so desperately wished for. I said awful things to people I love in an effort to explain how much this struggle was hurting me; I remember once, my sweet husband was trying to comfort me by saying that we still had each other, and I blurted that I would never be able to find happiness in a life where I wasn't a mom. 

It wasn't great. 

I love being a mom, so much. But I wish now that I had realized my worth as a mother and a woman was valid before we signed those papers.

I have a new article on today about this day that brings up so many feeling for so many mothers. Mothers with children and without. Mothers wading through the process of getting to their babies and mothers who find, much to their surprise, that the feeling of drowning has followed them through to the other side. Here's a peek: 

"Your worth is not tied to how many little heads sit beside you. It is not whether your body will allow you to carry a child, or if you are ready to start a family yet. It’s not in an invitation to stand and be recognized as a mother.

It is, though, found in your strength, and the love you carry with you—whether you have carried a baby or not. It’s the wealth of knowledge you share freely with others, or the note you send to a friend you know is struggling.

It’s that beautiful, tender nurturing that ties us all together as women and keeps humanity moving forward.

Motherhood is deserving of celebration, certainly. But there are stages, there are variations. There are infinitely many more versions of motherhood than there are greeting card options. There are so many women unable to experience motherhood in the way they had dreamed, and finding the joy in that is more than one day can represent."

Read more here. If you feel inclined to leave a comment about your thoughts on Mother's Day, I would love you for it. I'll love you even if you don't, though. ;)

It's good to be back. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Coming back & being a little kinder.

Hey friends.  I've taken a break from writing because honestly, I had way too much happening to handle anything extra.  But last night I was taking mental note of things to write articles on, and I realized I'm ready to be back.  We've had some big changes around here since November (more on that to come), but for now I wanted to share this amazing video.

I still fret and worry about all the things I wasn't able to do for my kids - things like birth them, nurse them - all the things that most moms around me do get to for their little ones.  It's illogical, but I have guilt over their missing a healthy start in this world because I couldn't do it for them.  

My child wouldn't have been born addicted if I had carried her, for instance.  

My children might not be able to reach their best health/attachment/intelligence potential because I wasn't able to breastfeed them.  

My child might not struggle with anxiety and fear had I been there for him when he was a baby.

I makes no sense.  But not all things that hurt make sense.

So this might explain why a formula commercial had me first laughing, then sobbing.  Because of all the times a well-meaning acquaintance interrupted my new-baby bliss with "Aww, she is so sweet!  It's such a shame she has to be formula fed."  Because of the judgement I saw in others first when we were sending our sweet boys off to school ("Don't you think it would be good for them to stay home, considering what they've been through?"), and then when we decided to pull them out after two disastrous years and home school them after  all ("All the home school kids I even knew were really weird" or "It's a shame you didn't just do ths right off the bat" or "Are you sure you're qualified to do this?")

And, if I'm honest with myself, because of the many times before children that I judged others for the choices they made for their families.  The memory of the ideal mom I thought I'd be all the years I waited for children is fainter and fainter as reality moves on, but once upon a time she was fully imagined - a mom who could do it all, whose children were well behaved and dressed at all times, who wasn't at all frazzled or tired.  

But now, the mom I am is doing her very best.  Sometimes it's not great.  Sometimes there's no energy left for cleaning or putting on make up or writing or updating photo albums.  I missed my child's first cry.  I sleep later then I plan to.  Right now my kids are watching Tangled while I write this.

But I'm trying really hard.  Just like the vast majority of moms are.  

So if you are a mom, watch this.  And by all means, let's talk about what works for us, and what doesn't.  Let's share and help and serve and offer respectful advice where welcomed.  And because I come from the perspective I do, where the sad truth is that not everyone does what is necessary, let's be aware and alert and sure that the kids in our community are safe.

But the next time you want to look sideways at another mom (or berate yourself, for that matter) for bottle feeding or co-sleeping or using disposable diapers, maybe just... don't.  Be kind to yourself and to others.  We'll all be better off.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Being thankful.

I haven't been doing a thankfulness challenge per se this November, but it doesn't mean I'm not thankful. I am so thankful for these beautiful little humans who call me mom and the rocky road that led to them. I'm thankful for the newborn photo of my sweet boys found on Facebook just last night - the only photo we have of those earliest days of theirs. For the little house Jess and I bought when I was just 22, not having a clue what these past eight years inside it would look like. For National Adoption Month and the sweetness that brings. For the ability and the resources to stay home with my kids while they are young - something that college-me might have scoffed at, but that mama-me knows is best for my particular babies at this particular time. I am thankful for a dozen years of life with a partner who works so, so hard to make all of this possible. For being 30 this week and living in a time where that is young. For two sets of parents and siblings who are so willing to help. For my ugly hands and the things they can make. For the hope that faith provides, for the rain, and for my favorite mug full of peppermint tea. I am thankful for the two little girls who have put themselves down for naps the last two days without any fuss. Such a good, good life. I couldn't ask for anything more, even though I constantly do. Happy November, everyone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hello friends!  Some of you might remember my little family from my old blog.  I had to take that little space down, but am thrilled to start a new adventure documenting our life as an adoptive family.  I am also so happy to be writing for, which is the resource that helped me the most as I was venturing into the world of foster care and adoption.

You can read a little more about our little family here, and you can find our timeline here.

I am so excited to get this going!  For now, I'm getting back to vacation with my littles.  Jess had to stay home and work, so maybe I drove two days with four kids, and maybe it was actually pretty fun.  My little wild things sure are really neat people.  :)