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Tribes rock.

Posted By: niki Posted In: Adoption Musings Date Posted: August 19th, 2017

We all need a tribe.  A tribe consists of your people, your family and friends and teachers and neighbors…..and we need a tribe to raise our children.  One important person in my tribe is my friend Jen.  We were having babies in the same season, in a women’s bible study together.  About the time we adopted our daughter Precious, our bible study was disbanding because of busy lives and young children…..My only sibling had recently divorced the only one I ever called sister….and I was in need of a tribe.  Precious came home and all of our friends brought meals and baby gifts, as you do to welcome a new addition to the family.  We were loved and lavished and supported.  Precious was a hard baby.  She was jumpy and jittery and did not sleep.  Therefore we did not sleep.  In those first months with her, we were exhausted and overwhelmed….and my friend Jen came over.  In fact, she came over at 11pm on night, after putting her own kids to bed, and gently picked Precious up from my chest.  You see, the only way she slept was on our chests….so we split the night and each slept 4 hours and held her the other 4…..I had just fallen asleep and Jen came in and picked her up and said to me, “sleep.  I will take her down to the basement and just hold her and pray for a few hours.  when I am ready to leave I will bring her back to you.”  And she did.  That is what a tribe does.   Continue Reading

We can strive to do at least something….mostly right.

Posted By: niki Posted In: General Parenting Date Posted: August 5th, 2017

We can’t do everything right.  We seriously just can’t.  Some families try harder than others, but I think we can all agree that we mostly want to get it right.  Tonight I got to read a paper my oldest daughter wrote for her final speech of her junior year of high school.  It was timely for me to read it now.  She was finally purging her backpack which she avoided most of the summer.  We have been discussing plans for after high school graduation.  These are bittersweet days for me, helping my oldest child find her way out into the world…… Continue Reading

when it feels hard-thoughts on our open adoption

Posted By: niki Posted In: Adoption Musings, openness Date Posted: July 28th, 2017

Today, my 2 adopted kiddos and I spent time with our youngest son’s birth family.  I keep in contact with them, mostly through social media.  I knew they were getting together in a nearby town this weekend so this morning I sent a message to figure out if and when we could connect.  For me…….it is hard to try to make this happen.  I want it to happen in theory….but in reality…..we are busy.  We have a busy family.  Let’s face it…..its also messy.  There are questions to answer and memories to make between my little guy and his bio family and it is a hard, hard story.  The hard stuff doesn’t just end where the adoption began….hard lives stay hard.  Continue Reading

5 tips for parenting

Posted By: linsey Posted In: General Parenting Date Posted: July 24th, 2017

I recently listened to a wise godly older mother give a presentation to adoptive and foster moms at our ministry staff conference. I appreciated Dottie McDowell’s (From Josh McDowell Ministries) advice to us younger moms and am sharing my notes with readers of this blog.

  1.  Dream with your children. Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Even my small children have dreams. I want to engage with them in their imagination dreams, listen to their made-up stories and even try to make some of those little dreams come true.
  2.  Model apologizing well. Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous who walks in his integrity- blessed are his children after him!   Keeping my pride in check, admitting my wrongs, and asking for forgiveness is not only good for me but will reap dividends in their lives. It has been powerful to watch little children struggle to say “I’m sorry”, looking the one they have hurt in the eyes and asking for forgiveness is a real battle in their spirits. And if I am honest it is a battle in my spirit when I need to do the same thing with them or with a peer. This a battle we are commanded to fight in Ephesians 6:10-20. This is the way of Christ and I must make it a normal part of my days.
  3. It is of vital importance to have a good sense of humor. Proverbs 13:15 “Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.” Proverbs 31:25b “She laughs at the time to come.” Continue Reading

Trusting the bigger picture

Posted By: wellon Posted In: Uncategorized Date Posted: July 3rd, 2017

God is just amazing.

 

There are scripture passages that I learned as a child that continue to amaze me with their depth, passages like “in ALL things God works together for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” These are familiar, comfort verses. But the longer we walk our faith journey and more life experiences we have, the deeper my amazement is at the PRACTICAL, real, you-can-count-on-it TRUTH of these passages.

 

I have been marveling lately at the Lord’s timing as it’s playing out in a few different friends’ lives and their adoption processes. Friends who have waited for years for the Lord to make it clear who their children would be, whether to step away from a waiting process, or how to proceed. Friends who sought a particular path for years, only to see that the Lord had different plans altogether. In some ways, being on the “sidelines” of these journeys has only strengthened my sense of how he orchestrates all scenarios. But it’s also been clarifying to me just a few things he’s been teaching me particularly the past year.

 

Firstly, the Lord has been training my “ear” (or really my spirit) to sense his prompting. The times that I sense his prompting or feel that unique peace, joy or distinctive conviction (which is distinguishable from a purely emotional response), he has consistently shown that by acting on that prompting, he brings forth his unique, undeniable timing and purposes. The examples of this are too many (and too personal for the families they involve) to go into detail, but I am mindful to slow down and tune my spirit to that distinctive “God prompting”.

 

Secondly, the Lord has been teaching me that when we are walking in faithful obedience and are faced with a decision (or timing of a particular path), he gives not only clarity and peace, but unity between spouses. We have learned that if it’s not peaceful AND clear AND we’re not of one heart and mind, hold off. And each time, the Lord has shown something much bigger, much more purposeful, and in his perfect timing.

 

So whatever it is that you’re journeying through, I encourage you to tune your God-ears–he longs for you to listen for his voice, and wait on the Lord for HIS clarity, peace and conviction.

a reflection

Posted By: niki Posted In: General Parenting, openness Date Posted: July 1st, 2017

There is a great model for nurturing parenting available at circleofsecurity.org.  It is part of a larger training that parents can take from someone officially trained, and there are local providers who are trained.  On the website are also hand out sheets that people can look at.  Once such handout has this at the bottom.  I share it here because it is good for all of us to remember, and even though I have been through the training, and reviewed it, it still socks me in the gut to read it again.  Though it is straight-forward, it is not easy.

Always be bigger, stronger, wiser and kind. Continue Reading

Hurtin’ for Certain

Posted By: linsey Posted In: Faith Date Posted: June 26th, 2017

I recently gave a talk titled Hurtin’ for Certain to a group of college athletes that attended our ministries, Ultimate Training Camp in Boston. In this principle talk, that teaching Biblical truths and can be applied to sport and to life, I didn’t have to spend much time convincing the audience that trials will come. We all have experienced the brokenness of the world. It is easy to look at our past, and the lives around us and see the results of sin.  This world is not as it ought to be!

When I think about those who enter into the adoption community, brokeness is present in deep and scarring ways. For adoptive families we are choosing to enter into the brokenness of another world. I believe it is important for us to remember the Truths of God’s Word as we volunteerly step into the suffering of families.

Here are a 7 of the key points I shared with our camp athletes that will help adoptive families as well. Continue Reading

Held by grace

Posted By: Randi Posted In: General Parenting, Post adoption Date Posted: June 20th, 2017

Her hands freeze above the keys. Her tears run down her cheeks. Her song has come to an end. My patience has left with it. We find ourselves at a familiar impasse.  Continue Reading

Fire and Rescue

Posted By: Teresa Posted In: Uncategorized Date Posted: June 12th, 2017

 

Our little community has an all volunteer fire/rescue crew. This group of men and women live and work along side each of us, having a variety of jobs and responsibilities, e.g. mechanic, caterer, agent, grocery store clerk… However, when the alarm sounds, they literally cease everything they are doing and rush to the fire station, jump into their prepared gear, and race to serve, not knowing what to expect. I appreciate their willingness to be trained and ready to assist without warning.

Recently, I heard the alarm sound at the fire station. Continue Reading

on timing….and toothbrushes

Posted By: niki Posted In: Uncategorized Date Posted: June 10th, 2017

Today was one of those delicious Saturdays where we didn’t have anywhere to go or anything scheduled.  These days are rare.  I woke up today, knowing that a long full day was stretched out ahead of me and I wanted to make the most of it.  We have had about 2 weeks of summer so far and my house clearly reflected it.  I went into the bathroom and noticed that the drawer that held the toothbrushes for about half of our family was full.  And gross.  There were so, so many toothbrushes in there, and toothpaste with the lids off, and dried toothpaste stuck to bobby pins…..you get the picture.  I decided it had to be dealt with as soon as possible.  My 4 year old and I emptied the drawer and soaked the tooth brushes and threw away multiple free sample size tubes of tooth paste that had no lids….and I scrubbed the drawer.  This drawer has looked this bad for a long time now but today was the day.  Zero tolerance…..not one more day.  How does that happen?  How do I live with something every single day for days and weeks and months….and then one day I’ve had it and it has to get fixed?   Continue Reading