As this year comes to a close I have been looking back on the blogs Roy & I have written for you this year and have put together a list of the most viewed blogs. If they were the most viewed, they must have hit on topics of interest to you all! So, in case you missed them, this is what hit home with other foster & adoptive families this year.
#10 Is it ADHD, ODD or Trauma?
Many of us have friends or teachers or even physicians telling us a whole list of alphabet letters and attempting to convince us that our children have these disorders. In this blog I discuss how disorders like ADHD can look like trauma, but the treatment interventions will be different. For many of our kids the trauma of abuse, neglect, withdrawal or being removed from their biological mother can have life long effects. Kids are not always able to simply bounce back from these types of circumstances. If you missed this one and are struggling through a diagnosis for your child you may want to check out this blog.
#9 18 Children's Books for Foster & Adoptive Families
I complied this list of popular books enjoyed by modern families. Not every book is for every family, and the reason I created a list of 18 instead of just one is because each book is different, just like the way your family came together is often very different. If you missed this blog and are looking for a special gift or a new addition for your bedtime routine, maybe check out this blog.
Roy wrote this blog sharing some of the simple, practical ideas he uses in our home to connect with our older kids. If you are parenting teens or tweens this may be what you need to help you in 2019. We are not perfect, and parenting is a journey, but as much as we can, we try to see through their behaviors and offer them the connection they are seeking.
#7 17 Tips for Fostering Teens
I'm sensing a theme here! Haha! Looks like some of you are looking for some realistic help for working with your teens. This was a blog mostly written by former foster youth and current foster mom, Carmen Todd who shares from her personal experience in both roles. I think you will find her perspective helpful if you are currently or considering fostering older children.
#6 10 Steps to Pass Your Home Study
I'm actually not surprised this one made the list. So many of us are desperate during that early season and eager for all the keys to make it through the hoops. It all feels so overwhelming! So I made a bit of a different list to help break the tension. Step One is Freak Out! I go through some of the actual check boxes the social workers are looking for, but I also share the emotional check boxes that you need to go through in order to navigate this journey. This might be a good one to share with friends considering foster care or adoption.
#5 You Can Keep Saying Yes, Even When It's Horrible
Roy wrote this one all about how to keep saying yes. Sometimes life can get really tough and walking through those tough days well is difficult. We often see the beginning and the end of stories, but how did people get through the hard times? What did those ugly days look like? When it wasn't social media perfect? Roy is vulnerable here and shares some tips he has used these past few months to help him get through the valleys.
Another difficult alphabet soup diagnosis post that seems to resonate with a lot of parents. I wrote this after attending a fascinating workshop by Dr Ira Chasnoff. If you don't know about him, you really need to check out the links in this blog about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. I learned so much from him about the effects of drug and alcohol use during pregnancy. Are you positive your child's birth mother never used any drugs or alcohol while pregnant? Do you have a friend trying to explain their child's behaviours? Check out this blog.
While most of us are done giving holiday gifts, this list of ten ideas for foster or adopted children may still have good gift ideas for you coming up in 2019. Many of them are geared towards helping our kiddos respond to their sensory needs with calming activities. I did not receive any paid endorsements for any of these ideas. I just know from personal or professional experience that they can be helpful for kids with emotional & behavioural struggles.
Roy wrote this blog back in February about our tradition of taking out the kids for date nights each year around Valentines. If you are a parent looking for ways to increase your child's self worth and attachment, this may be a good read for you.
#1 10 Things You Wish They Understood
And, finally the most viewed blog of 2018. When I wrote it, I had no idea it would resonate with so many of you. I was just sharing from my heart. But it seems that we are not alone. We are going through these same emotions together.
"Do your friends & family get your parenting style? Do they understand what is going on once the garage door closes and you are home with your kiddos?For many of us, the answer is no. They love us. They want the best for us. But they often don't understand.Maybe they were all in at the beginning, celebrating our decision to become foster or adoptive parents. Maybe they bought gifts or brought over meals. But over time as reality sets in, it can sometimes get a bit tense. Over time as trauma starts to show up, it can get awkward. Over time as emotional or behavioural issues become more problematic, we can become distanced or even in conflict with those we love..."When I first created this website in January of 2018 I was hoping for a place where we could find community and hope. I am thrilled this dream is becoming a reality. As we enter 2019 my prayer continues to be that we would model love & trust for our children so they can heal from their traumatic pasts. I pray that we as parents would learn how to care for ourselves so we can not just survive, but find moments to enjoy along the way. It has been my pleasure to connect with you through these posts and coaching sessions. The world is getting smaller and it seems that no matter where we live we are able to stay connected and supported on this journey.-Trish