A Defining Moment: Meeting My Children’s Mother

Jan 22, 2015 by

In the fall of 2011, my wife and I had three beautiful children that we had been parenting for just about 2 years. There had been talk of adoption and it was so close I could taste it. Brown skin, curly hair, and the most adorable button noses – they weren’t of my flesh or blood, but they were surely of my sweat and tears and they were mine.

Not just mine, though. They will never be just mine. They belong to her as well – their birth mom…their first mom. We had corresponded via notes in backpacks back and forth when the children would go for their weekly visits with her, but I had never actually spoken to her. A woman, with whom I shared one of the most challenging, yet powerful bonds, and I had never talked to her. It’s crazy to think back on now, but not unusual in the foster world.

No More 3 Year Olds

Jan 8, 2015 by

As of November 24, 2014, my youngest child turned 4 and there were officially no more 3 year olds left in my house, nor are there likely to be any ever again.

My wife and I are d-o-n-e parenting 3 year olds.

This is a big deal considering we’ve survived three 3 year olds in less than 5 years and we all know that is NOT my favorite age.

I know this post is a bit belated seeing as though my daughter’s birthday was more than a month ago, but I swear I spent the first couple weeks in pure disbelief.

We made it? Seriously??

Then there was that one time when all three children dressed themselves without complaint and we solved a sibling squabble later in the day calmly and without any meltdowns. I was so overly happy, you would have thought I was medicated.

May Peace Find You

Dec 18, 2014 by

hands2The holiday season may be merry, bright, chaotic, and joyful for many, but for those struggling with infertility or loss, it can be a cold and lonely time that is particularly hard to bear. I know because I’ve been there.  If you are newer to my story, my wife and I struggled with infertility for nearly two years. We both attempted to conceive, unsuccessfully, but the lengths she went to were far greater than I because of the desire she carried in her heart.  She, like many women, just assumed she’d get pregnant one day and have a child. It was a given.  I mean, why wouldn’t it be?  Women get pregnant and have babies every day.  But month after month, hope soared only to be dashed.  Worst roller coaster ride of our lives. She would eventually undergo many different procedures in our attempt to conceive including two attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF). We walked away from it all with no baby bump and no answers.  They called it Unexplained Infertility…we just called it brokenhearted.

Don’t Forget Your Tool Box

Dec 11, 2014 by

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This isn’t my actual toolbox, but mine is just like it…except disorganized, rusty, and I’m not exactly sure where it is right now. #life

I’m big on metaphors.  I think they can be useful for putting emotionally-charged topics into perspective.  One metaphor I find myself going back to frequently is my ‘parenting toolbox’.  That mental space in which I keep my various parenting tricks and strategies. This metaphor probably feels very natural to me because 99% of the time I am reaching for my actual toolbox, it is because of something my kids did…

Just like the array of tools available to tackle the various household projects we may be faced with, it can be useful to have a number of different strategies to combat the tiffs, issues, and power struggles we can find ourselves in with our kids on a daily basis. I’ve come to learn that there is no one method that will work with every child every time.  My money is on versatility as the real trick to parenting without losing your mind.

Developing the Home-School Partnership

Dec 4, 2014 by

school-crossing-signSo often, especially as a female, I question myself about overreacting or making a bigger deal out of something than it needs to be.  When it comes to my kids’ school, I worry about being ‘that mom’.  And then there’s all the talk of parents these days being overly hands on, to the point of stifling their children’s autonomy and ability to solve problems themselves. Unfortunately, all that has become the voice in the back of my mind and makes me question my instincts to intervene and advocate when problems arise in school. But what I’ve come to realize over the course of my children’s schooling is that proactively addressing issues or bringing my children’s needs to the attention of the school is not helicopter parenting.  Schools and teachers welcome communication from parents.  After all, how can they be expected to address a problem they don’t know exists?

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