–by Laura Dennis I saw them the moment we entered the restaurant. The dad was suited up, ready for Mother’s Day at our favorite Indian buffet. The little girl, her black hair chopped in the style I instantly recognized as the “Indian orphanage bob,” sat safely strapped into a high chair. The mom wore a salwar kameez, blond hair hanging loosely about her pale neck. They sat close to the door, but that is not
–by Neeva Carter The moment I heard my children’s names, my world stood still. I was at work, standing in an empty room on the phone, listening to our social worker run through the highlights of their story. She was reluctant to tell me anything, having only agreed because the children’s social worker had begged, convinced that we were the ones she’d been looking for. We were already considering five other sibling pairs, so our
–by Sara Borgstede [read more from Sara on her website, The Holy Mess] There is a movement in recent years to do away with celebrating Mother’s Day. It’s a fair argument that Mother’s Day has become too commercialized. It’s also important to consider how Mother’s Day is achingly painful for so many of us: Those who have lost children. Those who have lost mothers. Those who have suffered abuse, infertility, and broken relationships. My heart hurts
–by Lorraine Fuller As a mom who is trying to help her children in every possible way, I research so that I can learn all I can about the issues my kids face. I join groups, I read books, I take classes, I attend trainings, I go to conferences, all so I can help my kids live their best possible lives. Several years ago, I attended a conference that had classes for both therapists and
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD The teacher and I exchanged knowing looks as a kindergartener flung herself across the table, scattering crayons and paper in every direction. We understood that intervening at this moment would only make it worse, although it probably was going to get worse anyway. I was a volunteer. I had no clue what to do, so I sat down on the floor next to the table under which the child had crawled.
–by Sara Borgstede [originally published on the author’s own blog, The Holy Mess, on March 1, 2018.] Manager’s note: while many children who suffer from mental health issues never become violent, the tragic reality is, some do. A huge hug of gratitude for Sara for her courage in sharing one such story. Like most people in this country, it was with great sadness and alarm that I read about the horrific shooting rampage Nikolas Cruz
–by Donald Craig Peterson I wish, I wish, I wish…I wish I hadn’t adopted. There I said it. Like a majority of families who’ve adopted children, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the surprises. You know, the chaos inside Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The manipulation and triangulation inherent to attachment disorders. The invisible insanity associated with developmental trauma. Sure, I expected some challenges along the way. After all, adoption isn’t a fairy tale. But when the bad
–by Laura Dennis It’s not the lying. It’s not the cursing. It’s not the stealing. It’s not even the violence and aggression. It’s the shame. That’s what I hate most about Reactive Attachment Disorder. Let’s start with my shame. I didn’t want to be ashamed that my child had problems, but I was. I’m the mom, after all. I’m supposed to make everything better. Even now I sometimes crumple under the withering glances when my
–by Julie Beem I’ve been to a handful of post-adoption conferences this spring and summer. After working with ATN for over a decade, I have been excited by the number of workshops and speakers addressing early childhood trauma, and in some cases citing the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study. I remember all too well the many years when trauma and attachment challenges were not openly addressed at conferences attended by adoption professionals and adoptive parents.
–by Sara Borgstede This was originally posted on the author’s website, The Holy Mess – Balancing Faith, Family, and Fitness, on June 4, 2017. As we drive through the beautiful rolling hills of western New York, my husband reaches over to grasp my hand. I glance over and see a stream of tears run down his cheek as he navigates the car. My eyes are dry. I’ve cried so much over these days, I have no