Friday, June 5, 2015

Quick Takes: Our Adoption Journey

I was blessed to find a wonderful, supportive, authentic community of foster and adoptive moms on Instagram.  We share life together through #knittogetherbyadoption.  For most of the year, the conversations are unstructured, but a few times a year our fearless leader, Shala, will host a month-long photo share with daily prompts.  We just wrapped up a month of sharing for foster care awareness month.

You can find all of the responses on Instagram at #knittogetherbyadoption.  You can find all of my responses on my Instagram @kristelaine.  Today I will be sharing 7 quick takes of my posts from the month, which take you through our adoption journey!

1.  First Time Considering It

My husband and I started talking about older child adoption way back when we were dating. But it was always something far off in the future after our bio kids were grown. But then about 2 years ago we started reading about it and opening our hearts. And then we heard the news story about Davion Only, a 16 year old in foster care who stood up in front of a church and asked for someone to adopt him. "I'll take anyone". Those words broke our hearts and convinced us that the time was now.

See also my blog post on Davion.

2. Preparation

We've done the usual stuff, like setting up a room, buying fire extinguishers, and getting the cats their rabies shots. But we recently started a new phase of preparation, reading! The teen we are hoping to adopt loves to read science fiction and so we are entering her world a bit by reading her favorite books!

See also my "What We're Reading Wednesday" post on the books!

3.  Quote a Friend

This is Matthew West. technically, he's not my friend, but I'm pretty sure we'd be friends if we ever met ;-) He has an awesome song called Do Something. it's about how we are God's hands on earth. When we see bad things around us it's not enough just to ask God to help. We need to be that help. maybe everyone isn't suited to adopt or foster, but everyone is suited to do something to help with the orphan crisis in our world. "if not us, then who?"

 See also this post, which includes the song.

4. Co-parenting combined with Hard, But Worth It

Today we had a wonderful day with our hopefully-soon-to-be daughter and her foster mom. The day went great and her foster mom is great, but it's still so hard to leave at the end of the day!  It's hard to trust another person with your child.  Even if it's a child you have just met.  For as caring and as competent as foster mom is, she is still not me.  She doesn't necessarily respond in the same way that I would.  But I have to trust her.  And I'm thankful that her love for my daughter is so evident.

5.  Prayer

Prayer has been an integral part of our adoption journey. First there were prayers as we discerned that this was indeed a call on our lives right now. Then it was over a year of praying that the state would complete our home study and approve us. During the waiting it was tempting to lose faith. I got the @theadoptshoppe necklace pictured during this time and wear it regularly as a reminder that God is faithful. Even when things seem insurmountable, God is faithful to his promises. And now every night we can pray for our soon-to-be daughter by name and thank the Lord for his faithfulness.

"Blessed is she who believes that the Lord will fulfill His promises to her."  Luke 1:45

6.  Thankful

This is my God-daughter. I met her 10 years ago when I was her 9th grade science teacher. She and I bonded right away and I'm so thankful for all she has taught me about overcoming hardship and unconditional love.  She gives me courage to embark on this adoption journey.  

7.  It's About...

It's about family :-)

Linking up with Kelly!
Manticore Mantoan

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

WWRW: Parenting Teens

I've talked about parenting books before, but typically with a focus on younger children.  (See Grace Based Parenting and How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk).  Both of those remain my favorites, and I have bought my own copies and re-read multiple times!

With our adoption finally approaching, I figured I could use some guidance on parenting teenagers.  I picked up How to Talk so Teens Will Listen and Listen so Teens Will Talk from the library.  It's by the same authors as the kid version and written in the same conversational style.  I love the practical help of exactly what to say.  And the authors do not shy away from hard topics - drugs, sex, etc. are all talked about in a very straightforward manner.

The skills are generally the same as the kid book, but the teen book shows how to apply them in a way that makes sense for teens.  It focuses on being respectful and getting results without using punishment and without exasperating our teenagers!  I love the techniques because they are simple to understand and while they might be challenging at first to put into practice, especially in the heat of the moment, they promote healthy relationships and lasting responsibility.  I highly recommend!

Linking up with Jessica for What We're Reading Wednesday!