Friday, April 13, 2012

Support for (Adoptive) Parents



Sometimes I think I've said all there is to say about adoption. I've talked a whole lot about the good, enough about the bad to be fair.

But then comes another day, a brand new moment, and there's even more on the page than everything I've already read. I share some of those new things with you, because I think it's important.

You already know, but the past two years have been pretty complicated. They've rung us out, hung us out to dry. They've also made us who we are; the family we were created to be. The sun and the wind, they've worked well together. It has been hard and bright and upon intermittent reflection, there's no way in the whole dang world that I would trade one second.

We've visited with a short list of therapisty people, searching for someone who could help. We needed answers and solutions. We hoped for a little understanding. We were critically low on confidence.

The third time's a charm.

Through the coolest chain of events, we were connected with Tina Feigal and Erin Jauert from Parenting Mojo. Cory and I completed four sessions of Parent Coaching via Google+ video chat. We were skeptical at first. We had tried so many things, shelled out (and wasted) so much money. But we were just at the edge of desperate. We'd try almost anything.

I cry-babied my way through our first session mostly because, for the first time, I saw a little hope shining. We didn't feel judged the way we had in the past. They were supportive and honest. Knowledgeable. They gave us tools and a concrete plan. Most of all, they gave us back our confidence.

This isn't a magic potion. Today was a really great day. Yesterday? Nevermind.

Our guy is three, and three is three. He's had a rougher start to life than most, and nothing will change that. He's stubborn. Challenging. But now, when the bad days come, we are better equipped at handling them and we believe with more certainty that it won't stay that way forever.


I have heard from so many of you who struggle with some of the same things we struggle with and I would love nothing more than for all of us to sit down for a bit and share the load together. I'd love for you to get just a taste of the encouragement we found.


So whether you are an adoptive parent or a biological parent of a child struggling with complex behavioral issues, join us along with Erin and Tina on Wednesday, April 25th from 7-7:30 EST, via Google+ video chat. The chat is free. Cory and I will be sharing more of our experience.

All you'll need to connect with us is a Google+ (Let me know if you need help setting this up. It's super easy!) and a computer with a webcam.

Feel free to spread the word to others in our life who might benefit. Anyone is welcome.

If you'd like to join us, shoot me an email at shannandmartin@gmail.com.

I'm so excited to share more of our story and hopefully offer encouragement to you!

26 comments:

  1. this is so awesome!!!!!!
    #praisejesus
    xo

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  2. I'm really hoping to join you -- how exciting! We're in the early stages of adopting a 15-year-old boy who we cared for as houseparents at a children's home. He's lost both of his parents and has severe emotional and behavioral problems. We're adding this to a house of our 3 biological kids (2 with ADD and a biological 3-year-old with his own complex idiosyncrasies that we are very fearful may be a presentation of some kind of OCD) and at the same time, getting certified to do foster care in our home. We do have some experience with all this and we feel very confident that even though this is not at all what we had planned, this is what God is asking us to do right now, but it doesn't mean I'm not scared senseless at how ill-equipped I am for all this.

    Sorry to blabber on -- what I meant to say was... Thanks for this... I needed to read it and I will do everything I can to try and be a part of it. Do you have to be invited to Google + still? I don't have an account.

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    1. You don't need to be invited. You just need to set up a Gmail account. Maybe there's a techy person in your life who can help you with this. (I'm almost no help!) Cory helped me and made it look like a cinch. So if you do need help from me, let me know and I'll do my best! Can't wait to chat. :)

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  3. Can we listen into the discussion if we plan to be adoptive and biological parents in the future? I would love to hear your story and thoughts!

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    1. Absolutely! I think it's a fantastic idea. :)

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  4. So incredible, I was literally just speaking with a friend who I knew needed to find you. Needed to know she was not alone and that there were others out there going through some very similar situations. I came to grab your link to point her your way and found this post. Fate, sure hope she joins you and finds what she needs. Thanks for everything -- glad you're finding your way too

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  5. i'm very sad i won't be able to join in, as we have plans that night! BUT, i want to tell you that just by listing their site, and me heading over there to find out more about them. . . i had some questions answered that are leading me down a road i would have never considered without reading that. what a God thing, eh? so, a huge thank! i feel hopeful in an area that has really been a struggle lately.
    have a great weekend!
    steph

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    1. I think we'll be scheduling a second call. AND...they have an awesome book you can order online for $20. I bought it and reference it frequently. :)

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  6. I would LOVE to come. We are adopting a child from Haiti, most likely a toddler, but Wed. is church night for this pastoral family. Any way you can record it so it can be viewed post-event??? Thank you for setting it up!

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    1. Hey Gaby! I don't think we have the capabilities of taping it. But...we will probably schedule a second call if there's enough interest. I'll keep you posted!

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  7. I am there. Plus, I think I can also get a 1/2 credit for foster care.

    But, I was there anyway.

    It's coming, and I know it.

    Did I tell you you how cool you are today?

    You are.

    xxoo

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  8. Wow, wow, wow. This is just the kind of stuff the body of Christ needs to be doing for one another--using all this technology to help each other out, encouraging one another in hope. I've got it on my calendar and will spread the word.

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  9. This is awesome! We have a three year old with a rough start as well. And you said it so well, "Three is three". Yep- been there. Doing it. Living it. Wouldn't trade it for the world. But what an awesome thing you are doing to encourage people on the journey!

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  10. I'm tearing up right now. Thank you!!!!!!!!

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  11. blast and botheration. i shall be w/my small group of high school girls during that golden half hour. would you consider sharing post-chat notes?

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    1. Interesting thought about keeping notes. Perhaps Calvin is up to the task?! I'll see what I can do. AND...I think we'll be scheduling a second chat, if there's interest.

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  12. Oh yes! I'd love to jump in. You're spot on - with adoption and kiddos there's always something new to learn and grow from and work through. I have a friend who is really struggling right now with her little one and is looking for some support and concrete, practical ideas. I shared this with her, but she's busy at that time. I'll be passing everything on to her!

    Confidence and hope and encouragement are gold. So stinkin' happy that you've got them now.

    Thanks for being so darn fabulous, lady.

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    1. Hey Rach :)

      Let your friend know that we will probably schedule a second date, if there's enough interest.

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    2. Sweet news! I will keep her updated.

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  13. You know, I know we've talked about this before--how Sam is my hardest one (youngest, like Silas...) and while he's not adopted, I can tell you that the challenges made me weary. Not only the food allergies, but he's also quite stubborn, and in many ways, something of a bully (even to his older siblings.) It's been SUCH a balancing act and making sure to be consistent (because everything I read says that's key...)

    He wore.me.down. I started doing "take a breath" with him where I'd get right in his face when he was crying/tantruming and make him take deep breaths until he'd calmed down. For whatever reason, he did it. And after awhile (like, several months), I found him one day doing it on his own.

    About two months ago, suddenly, it hit me that a lot of the issues we'd had during "three" had started to resolve themselves during "four..." Not because of "take a breath" but because of age and time and trust and consistency. I've always said three is harder than two, but I can tell you, four is easier than three.

    I love you to pieces and hope you have the same experience with Siley that I had with Sam. Where one day you just realize he's getting it...

    PS. Have I already said you need to write about this? Oh, yes, I think I have. Just checkin'. ;)

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  14. Thank you again for your transparency and willingness to share. I feel lucky to have a pretty good three-year-old, but there are moments when he wears me down and I resort to less-than-stellar parenting techniques that don't make either one of us feel better. It's always a comfort to know that we are not alone in our challenges as parents-whether they are big or small. Even better, it's so good to know that there is grace when we fall short of the parents we could be.

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  15. Awesome! I will have to find out if I can borrow a webcam from someone. We fly pretty low-tech at our house. Is there any chance you could record it to view later in case I can't get the tech stuff together? I'm always interested in hearing what has worked for people. I will admit to being a bit cautious too; all the required adoptive parenting workshops and books leave me a bit raw. But we know our little guy has had such a rough start so we're trying to prepare the best we can to help him.

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    1. Hey Anna! I'm pretty low-tech, too. It gives me the sweats.

      I don't think we have the capabilities of video-taping the call. I wish we could! Sorry about that.

      And best of luck with your little dude!

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  16. while i don't think we're a fit for this particular session, i just wanted to drop by & say how absolutely perfect that picture of Silas is on the bicycle with the TULIPS. picture PERFECT!!! a photo that probably never would have happened were your address still RR gravel road. xo

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