The Adoption Connection | a podcast by and for adoptive parents
If you’re an adoptive parent looking for hope, practical tools, and friends who understand, this podcast is for you! Between the two of us, we represent all three parts of the adoption triad. We’ve been around the block a couple times with kids by birth, adoption, and foster care. And lived to tell about it. Don’t worry. We get it. And we’re here for you. Gain confidence in your parenting and hope for your family’s future.
#196: [Mailbag] victimhood mentality, lowering the bar, transracial adoption, Job Corps
October 4, 2022 • 34 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: How can I be compassionate towards my child's behaviors without letting them fall into victimhood? Is my bar too low? Will my transracially adopted child feel more isolated if he's the only person of color in our family? What are the pros and cons of Job Corps for older teens?
#195: [workshop] Maintaining a Strong Marriage When Parenting Is Hard
September 27, 2022 • 41 MIN
Patrick and Melissa have two kids by birth, four through adoption, and a live-in granddaughter. They’ve weathered adopting out of birth order, child on parent violence, out-of-home placement, PTSD, and becoming grandparents in their thirties. In this episode, they’ll talk candidly about the secret to maintaining a strong marriage when parenting (and life) is hard.
#194: Weird But Effective Ways to Stop a Tantrum with Melissa Corkum
September 20, 2022 • 11 MIN
No parent enjoys a tantrum. Kids don’t either. It never feels good to have such big feelings that they come out in crying, yelling, kicking, stomping, throwing, or whatever else makes up a meltdown for your child. Over the years, we’ve gathered a bag of tricks. It’s important to have many options up your sleeve because there’s a good chance something will only work once in a while and never twice in a row.
#193: Living a Love-Stretched Life with Jillana Goble
September 13, 2022 • 36 MIN
Saying "yes" to fostering kids often stretches us in ways we never imagined. Jillana Goble is an author, advocate, non-profit founder, and—with her husband, Luke—parent of five children ranging in to age from pre-teen to adult. With honesty, faith and a dose of humor, her debut memoir, A Love-Stretched Life, chronicles what she’s continually learning on the suspension bridge. This week, Jillana joins Lisa to talk about grief, unexpected twists, and blessings during her journey.
#192: [mailbag] getting breaks, hug refusal, running away
September 6, 2022 • 33 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: *What do you do on days you don’t want to be around your children because you're not in a good place yourself? *How do I handle my child withholding hugs from me when they hug everybody else? *When do you call the police when your teen runs away?
#191: [workshop] Why Kids Lie and What the Bible has to Say about It with Greg Lombard Rea
August 30, 2022 • 2898 MIN
We hate it when our kids lie to us; it’s annoying, frustrating and scary. In this workshop replay, you will discover insights from the scriptures and brain science to help you respond well to this challenging behavior. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Email Karen at karen@aceadvocacy.net Parenting After Trauma Podcast with Robyn Gobbel Let's Talk about Lying (ETC Podcast Episode) Cindy Lee YouTube video on lying Anchored: A Bible Study on Self-Worth* by Cindy Lee Parenting from the Inside Out* by Dan Siegel Join The Village for future workshops (use code: podcast) *This is an affiliate link
#190 Keeping Hope Alive
August 23, 2022 • 744 MIN
Is your experience of parenting children with early trauma turning out the way you expected? Or is it vastly different from what you imagined? If you are experiencing a gap between what you imagined and your reality and feeling discouraged, you are not alone. In this episode, Lisa shares seven things to help you keep your hope alive. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Join the Village (use code podcast)
#189: An Embryo Adoption Story with Rachel Bell
August 16, 2022 • 2089 MIN
Most of know about adoption through foster care or private, infant adoption. But what do you know about embryo adoption? Rachel and her husband, Evan, have four children who all joined their family through adoption. Their youngest son joined their family through embryo adoption. Rachel has worked in adoption support, directing family camps, retreats for foster and adoptive moms, and other support and training events for the last 10 years but she has recently opened a travel agency, Bell Travel Co., that specializes in travel for families and also individuals with food allergies and special needs. Rachel and her family live in Conway, Arkansas. During this episode, we talk about the embryo adoption process as well as what it's like to have an open adoption with their son's genetic family. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Bell Travel Co.  
#188: [mailbag] transitions, destruction of property, and grief
August 9, 2022 • 1582 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: * How do you help kids handle sudden changes to routine? * How do we hold our son responsible for destruction of property? * How can we help our kids process grief when a loved one dies? Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Tear Soup book* The Invisible String book* Join The Village   (use code podcast) *This is an affiliate link    
#187: [workshop] Creating the Best IEP for Your Child with Karen Yingling
August 2, 2022 • 2838 MIN
Students impacted by trauma, early adversity, and chronic stress often struggle in classroom and education environments. Many adopted children qualify for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan, but it can be tricky to find the accommodations that will help your child be successful. In this episode, you will learn: * How to know when your child needs an IEP or 504. * Which accommodations are best. * How to advocate for your child and navigate meetings effectively. Adoptive mom and SEAT-trained education advocate, Karen Yingling brings a wealth of experience to her role as a parent advocate. Her background includes facilitating the partnering process of multi million dollar public construction projects to bring together teams members towards a cohesive and shared objective of successful project delivery. She spent three years on the administration management team of a K-12 school working with parents and staff and training staff on trauma informed school practices. She has specialty training in parenting children with a trauma history. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Email Karen at karen@aceadvocacy.net #182: [workshop] Speech & Language Development After Trauma with Cara Mohundro #101: Creating Adoption-Sensitive Classrooms with Joelle Broberg Trauma Sensitive Schools Join The Village for future workshops (use code: podcast)
#186: [Summer Swap] How the Enneagram Can Help Us Become Better Parents
July 26, 2022 • 2565 MIN
We often have opportunities to be guests on other podcasts, and we've had some great conversations. We'd hate for you to miss them. Because we're taking the month of July off from recording new episodes, we thought it would be the perfect time to share some of those interviews with you right here on our podcast. Have you ever wondered why you think the way you think about life or parenting, or react the way you react to certain situations (say, your child's behavior, for example)? Often times, we can feel shame over our reactions, or emotions as caregivers. But what if we could find clear answers to our functionality? Enter the Enneagram! You may know that the Enneagram is a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. But did you know that the Enneagram can greatly benefit us as caregivers because it gives us unique insight into our personality types and how we interact with the world around us. Click here to download a transcript of this episode. Relevant Links This episode first appeared at https://honestlyadoption.com/how-the-enneagram-can-help-us-become-better-parents/ Join the Village (use code podcast)
#185: [Summer Swap] Real-life Strategies for Building Trust and Attachment
July 19, 2022 • 63 MIN
We often have opportunities to be guests on other podcasts, and we've had some great conversations. We'd hate for you to miss them. Because we're taking the month of July off from recording new episodes, we thought it would be the perfect time to share some of those interviews with you right here on our podcast. Last summer, Lisa sat down with Chris, Kayla, and Ryan of the Empowered Parent Podcast to talk about her book, The Connected Parent. They talk about the writing process with Dr. Karyn Purvis and how this book complements The Connected Child. Click here to download a transcript of this episode. Relevant Links This episode first appeared at https://empoweredparent.net/podcast/. Empowered Parent Podcast The Connected Parent* book Join the Village (use code podcast) (includes The Hope Circle) *This is an affiliate link
#184: [Summer Swap] Redefining Success in Adoptive Parenting
July 12, 2022 • 2672 MIN
We often have opportunities to be guests on other podcasts, and we've had some great conversations. We'd hate for you to miss them. Because we're taking the month of July off from recording new episodes, we thought it would be the perfect time to share some of those interviews with you right here on our podcast. This week, we're replaying a conversation Melissa had with Nick and Whitney Runyon of The Archibald Project. They talk about how every adoptee experiences their story differently and what happens when your child needs a higher level of care than you can provide. Click here to download a transcript of this episode. Relevant Links This episode first appeared at https://thearchibaldproject.com/podcast/redefining-success-in-adoptive-parenting-with-melissa-corkum/. Join the Village (use the code: podcast)
#183: [Summer Swap] Following God Into The Hard
July 5, 2022 • 2851 MIN
We often have opportunities to be guests on other podcasts, and we've had some great conversations. We'd hate for you to miss them. Because we're taking the month of July off from recording new episodes, we thought it would be the perfect time to share some of those interviews with you right here on our podcast. This week, we're replaying a conversation Lisa had with Jamie Finn (@realmompodcast and @fosterthefamilyblog) about fostering a teen, jumping from 7 to 11 children, when adoption gets hard, residential treatment centers, and what it looks like to engage with God through it all. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links This episode first appeared at http://www.fosterthefamilyblog.com/episodes/s2-episode1-lisaqualls. Join the Village (use code podcast)
#182: [workshop] Speech & Language Development After Trauma with Cara Mohundro
June 28, 2022 • 2321 MIN
Because trauma, early adversity, and chronic stress impact a child's ability to learn vicariously, many children struggle with issues related to speech and language development. If a child can't understand language or express their needs, they may have trouble making friends, following directions, or getting needs met without using behaviors. In this episode, Cara Mohundro, MA, CCC-SLP, teaches us practical ways we can encourage language development while still staying connected to our kids. Cara is a mom to four children by birth and adoption and lives and works in Memphis, TN. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Memphis Family Connection Center Speech and Language Milestones by Age
#181: Multi Generations of Adoption from Three Sides of the Triad with Kitty Ravert
June 21, 2022 • 2468 MIN
We value lived experience, so when we heard about Kitty's story, we knew we needed to invite her voice to the podcast. She represents all three sides of the adoption triad. Kitty was adopted as an infant, made an adoption plan for her son, and has one child by adoption. Her story tells of the complexities of reunification, the tricky feelings in adoption, and God's redemption through it all. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Kitty on Facebook  
#180: Mistakes You Might Be Making When Giving Consequences with Melissa Corkum
June 14, 2022 • 636 MIN
The worst feeling in the world is feeling powerless against our kids’ challenging behaviors. In an effort to regain control, we often threaten, yell, and assign ineffective consequences. This week, Melissa talks about the top five mistakes parents make when using consequences. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Join The Village (use code: podcast)
#179: [mailbag] attachment, felt safety, teens, and praying for our kids
June 7, 2022 • 1891 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: * Do the behaviors only happening at home stem from an attachment issue? * When will our teen daughter show signs of accepting us as parents? * Why does our child lash out at us? * How do you pray for your children? What are key scriptures you stand on? Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links The Compassion Challenge Join The Village
#178: [workshop] Is it Trauma or ADHD? with Kay Heikes
May 31, 2022 • 1989 MIN
Early trauma and childhood adversity cause changes in the brain. Kids with neurodivergent brains often display challenging behaviors which look a lot like ADHD. So how can we tell the difference? Kay Heikes, LSCSW, specializes in infant and early childhood mental health. She is a Trust-based Relational Intervention Practitioner® and commits her time to help support families learn how to help everyone feel safe, seen, heard and valued. During this workshop Kay enumerates the similarities and differences between ADHD and trauma, gives treatment options for ADHD, and addresses how to help your child with lagging executive functioning and social skills. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Kay's Website Join The Village (use code podcast) Private Coaching with Greg TBRI Animate: Toxic Stress and the Brain on YouTube #87: The Impact of Prenatal Trauma on Children with Stacey Gagnon Join The Village for future workshops (use code: podcast)
#177: Attachment and Connection for Overwhelmed Parents with Lisa Qualls
May 24, 2022 • 500 MIN
Even if you have a large family or a very busy life, finding time to connect with our kids and build strong attachment is imperative. Lisa shares simple tips for building attachment and connection that you can fit into your already full life. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Join the Village (use code podcast)
#176: [mailbag] adding more kids, residential treatment, unreasonable fears, car rides
May 17, 2022 • 2165 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: * Should we adopt again if one of our kids is opposed? * How do I know if my teen needs residential treatment? * How should I respond to unreasonable fears? * How can I help my toddler who struggles on car rides? Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Sibling Webinar Safety Plan Webinar The Envoy Group Join The Village
#175: Helping Your Child Honor and Grieve Birth Parents with Jennifer Woolley
May 10, 2022 • 2344 MIN
Jennifer has a unique perspective because of the opportunity she’s had to walk through the adoption journey as a birthmother and also as an adoptive mother. Faced with an unplanned pregnancy in college, Jennifer chose to place her son for adoption. After marrying her husband, Rusty in 2005, God led them through infertility to reveal His plan for them to grow their family through adoption. Through the very same agency that Jennifer placed her son, they were given the chance to become parents to two more sons. "As parents of adopted children, we have the sometimes difficult job of teaching them to embrace their stories. No matter what hard places they come from, those roots and their birth family are a piece of their identity that we must love and honor. By doing that, we give our children the confidence to love themselves because of the honor and love that we show.” As an adoptive mom, Jennifer has been given the opportunity to use the rejection and loss that she feels as a birthmother, to help her sons celebrate the life that they have been given and understand the love of their birthmothers. As you hear Jennifer’s story and begin to see through the eyes and heart of a birthmother, may it help you more clearly identify ways to love your child by honoring the one who chose life for them. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Jennifer on Instagram Connect with Jennifer on IG Email Jennifer at jhiltebeitel@outlook.com
#174: Encouragement for Weary Moms as Mother’s Day Approaches
May 3, 2022 • 566 MIN
The emotional response to Mother's Day can be complicated, even more so for adoptive and foster moms. This week, we want you to feel seen and encouraged. We have some special messages from moms in our community to boost your spirits. Bring your tissue box. Click here to download a transcript for this episode.
#173: [workshop] Letting Go of Shame-Based Strategies with Greg Lombard Rea
April 26, 2022 • 64 MIN
Many Christian parents worry that trust-based parenting is too lenient or permissive. After all, the book of Proverbs tells us “Spare the Rod, spoil the child.” Is it possible that trust-based principles can be found in the scriptures and that the strategies were used by Jesus? During this workshop, Greg Lombard Rea teaches us: * That trust-based parenting is about transformation, not about behavior management. * How Jesus showed compassion and nurtured attachment. * Jesus' correcting strategies. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Private Coaching with Greg TBRI Animate: Toxic Stress and the Brain on YouTube #87: The Impact of Prenatal Trauma on Children with Stacey Gagnon Join The Village for future workshops (use code: podcast)
#172: The Problem with Staying Calm
April 19, 2022 • 449 MIN
A lot of parents ask us, “How do I stay calm?” We want to share the brain-science behind the problem with staying calm when your child is losing their mind. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links #25: Regulating Through Movement and Play with Robyn Gobbel #26: What To Do When Your Child is Out of Control with Robyn Gobbel Join The Village and use code 'podcast
#171: Why the Golden Rule Doesn’t Work When Parenting with Jennifer Hiltebeitel
April 12, 2022 • 2782 MIN
As an adoptee, Jennifer Hiltebeitel, was excited to adopt and be the mom she wished she would have had growing up. It turns out that her experience as an adoptee did not provide her with all the tools she needed to be an adoptive parent. Jennifer also candidly shares about her childhood and the impact reunifying with her birth family had on her identity. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Jennifer on IG Email Jennifer at jhiltebeitel@outlook.com The Road Back to You* by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile *This is an affiliate link
#170: [mailbag] birth family visits, not having early photos, aggression towards moms
April 5, 2022 • 1431 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: * What if birth family visits confuse or trigger my kids? * How do I help my kids process their feelings about not having photos from early childhood? * What do I do when my child is aggressive towards my wife? It makes me angry! Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Cindy Lee on Transitions Join The Village Ask a question in our Facebook group
#169: Putting Our Hope in God When Parenting is Hard with Lisa Qualls
March 29, 2022 • 776 MIN
Have you ever felt like your adoption journey shipwrecked your life? How do you find hope when you can hold your head above water? This week, Lisa shares how God carried her family safely to shore. He gave them a new lens through which to view their kids and a whole new way of parenting. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Lisa's blog The Connected Parent* by Lisa Qualls and Dr. Karyn Purvis *This is an affiliate link
#168: [Workshop] Connecting the Dots Between Addiction and Adoption with Jamie Engel
March 22, 2022 • 2231 MIN
Children with a history of early adversity have a higher probability of becoming dependent on substances. In this episode, we hear from adoptee and substance abuse specialist, Jamie Engel, on ways to reduce your child's risk, how to respond to your child if they struggle with addiction, and how to find appropriate treatment. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Circle City Sober Living Relinquishment and Addiction* by David Bohl and Jamie Marich Advocacy for Connected Education (Educational Consultant) *This is an affiliate link
#167: Creating a Culture of Belonging with Gaelin Elmore
March 15, 2022 • 2751 MIN
Behind all the challenging behaviors, each child just wants to belong. This week, former foster youth and NFL player, Gaelin Elmore, shares what he was looking from adults in his life, how to create belonging for our kids, and how folks in the community can make a lasting impact. Gaelin is a professional speaker and facilitator and lives in Minnesota with his wife and daughter. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Gaelin's Webiste Connect with Gaelin on Facebook Connect with Gaelin on Instagram Connect with Gaelin on LinkedIn
#166: [mailbag] TBRI with limited language, chore avoidance, lying
March 8, 2022 • 1030 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: * Any suggestions for using TBRI with a non-verbal child? * How do you handle it when kids avoid responsibility or chores? * Why can’t my child learn that if he hides his destruction from us we will be more upset than if he admits to it? Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links #161: [workshop] A New Twist on Chores with Greg Rea Join The Village Ask a question in our Facebook group
#165: [workshop] When Puberty and Trauma Meet
February 22, 2022 • 3218 MIN
Puberty in children who have undergone trauma looks different, but it doesn't have to be alarming. This week, Dr. Melody Aguayo, adoptive mom and founder of Real Child Consulting, helps us understand: * What happens in the body and brain of kids going through puberty. * Identify "normal sexual acting " out versus "deviant behaviors." * Practical tools to navigate this difficult season. She is both TBRI trained and Circle of Security trained and has a passion for helping hurting families and children turn their pain into purpose. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Real Child Consulting Sheri Rego - Working with Children Who Display Sexual Behavioral Problems The Healthy Bodies Toolkit for Boys The Healthy Bodies Toolkit for Girls Join The Village (use code: podcast)
#164: Rebuilding After a Hard Season with Melissa Corkum
February 15, 2022 • 458 MIN
Adoptive and foster families often find themselves barely functioning and just trying to survive when caring for children with hard behaviors. For a lot of families, trauma has left a trail of devastation not unlike Nehemiah found when he returned to Jerusalem. But just like the temple was rebuilt, we can rebuild our hearts and our families. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Faith, Hope, & Connection: A 30-Day Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Parents* *This is an affiliate link
#163: [Mailbag] Time-in with multiple children, martial arts, and responding to criticism of your parenting
February 8, 2022 • 892 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: * How does time in work when I need to separate two children? * Are martial arts lessons a good idea or will they make my child more aggressive? * How do you respond to people who make judgements towards you or your parenting? Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Join The Village Ask a question in our Facebook group
#162: Encouragement, Hope, and Practical Help Foster Parents with Jamie Finn
February 1, 2022 • 2145 MIN
There are great rewards that come along with being a foster parent, yet there are also great challenges that can leave you feeling depleted, alone, and discouraged. With the compassion and insight of a fellow foster parent, Jamie Finn helps you see your struggles through the lens of the gospel, bringing biblical truths to bear on your unique everyday realities. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Foster the Family* by Jamie Finn Connect with Jamie on Instagram Faith, Hope, & Connection Devotional* *This is an affiliate link
#161: [workshop] A New Twist on Chores with Greg Rea
January 25, 2022 • 2736 MIN
Chores? Yuck! Most of us view chores as unpleasant but necessary tasks. But what if CHORES could be a great way to deepen our connection with our children and teens? What if CHORES could build trust and increase our children’s sense of belonging to the family? Join Greg Lombard Rea as he expands our view of chores to CHORES - CHildren Offered Relational ExperienceS. Greg is an adoptive and bio Dad, TBRI Practitioner and Post-Adoption Support Specialist. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Michaeleen Doucleff How To Get Your Kids To Do Chores (Without Resenting It) The Village (use code: podcast)
#160: Essential Oils and Mental Health with Dr. Danielle Daniel
January 18, 2022 • 2322 MIN
One of the things we love most about you, our community, is that you're so dedicated to and persistant when it comes to finding things that will help our kids and their nervous systems. One tool we have in our family's tool belt is essential oils. We know there are a lot of mixes messages and opinions about essential oils, so we wanted to bring you an expert that could use brain science, my favorite to help us out. Dr. Danielle Daniel is a Doctor of Psychology and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a holistic approach to the brain. She trains hospitals, clinics and therapists around the world on the field of Psychoaromcology and the application of Psychoaromatherapy. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Dr. Danielle on Instagram Buy the essential oils Dr. Daniel recommends Join The Village (use code: podcast) The Regulation Rescue
#159: Reimagining Community After Adoption with Shannan Martin
January 11, 2022 • 2663 MIN
Many families feel isolated while parenting children through adoption. Either they don't feel understood by friends and family or they just don't have time for community like they used to. Shannan Martin, is an adoptive mom and the author who found her voice in the country and her story in the city. This week she speaks about how she found community in unexpected places and now practices radical hospitality. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Shannan on Instagram The Ministry of Ordinary Places* by Shannan Martin Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted* by Shannan Martin Join the Village (use code: podcast) *This is an affiliate link
#158: [Mailbag] Attachment, tech time for teens, fairness between adopted and bio kids, and more
January 4, 2022 • 1417 MIN
This week we answer listener questions such as: * How do I address my child's affection with strangers? Is it attachment related? * How do I create healthy boundaries with birth grandparents? * How would you handle technology with a teen foster placement? * What if my adopted kids think we treat them differently? Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links TBRI Practitioner List DDP Practitioner List The Village Regulation Rescue Ask a question in our Facebook group
#157: Dads’ Thoughts on Supporting Kids Through the Holidays
December 14, 2021 • 1859 MIN
Greg recently facilitated a conversation in our dads-only group about how to support our kids through the holidays. They talked about favorite traditions, navigating visitation with birth family, and more and gave us permission to share their conversation with you. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links The Village #13: Survive the Holidays While Keeping the Joy #65: Heartwarming Holiday Stories for Adoptive Families
#156: You’re a Kinship Provider. Now What? with Michelle Thompson
December 7, 2021 • 2410 MIN
What is kinship care? How is it the same and different from foster care? In today's episode, Michelle Thompson, founder of Bithiah's Family Services, talks about the unique experience of kinship care, what families need, and how we can best support them. Michelle is a credentialed teacher, author, and Co-Founder of Bithiah's Family Services. Specializing in supporting teachers to create empathetic, graced-based classrooms , Michelle trains educators across districts to educate students through a trauma informed lens. Michelle and her husband started Bithiah's as a residential treatment facility providing services to children in the foster care system and continue to expand the services and support it provides to vulnerable children and those that provide care to them. She is a Southern California native and mom to 5 through birth and adoption. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Bithiah's Family Services on Instagram Bithiah's Family Services on Facebook Faith, Hope, & Connection: A 30-Day Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Parents The Village
#155: An Adoptee’s Healing Journey with Sandeep Thomas
November 30, 2021 • 2912 MIN
Sandeep faced horrible tragedy and trauma as a young child in India. However, in the providence of God he was adopted by a loving couple in the U.S at age six which dramatically changed the course of his life. He co-founded Unfolding Adoptees which provides Christian adult adoptees with an honest community in which they tell their stories to share encouragement and insight that is grounded in Biblical truth and Christlike love. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Unfolding Adoptees Website Unfolding Adoptees on Facebook Unfolding Adoptees on Instagram
#154: Live Q&A with birth mom, Lisa Qualls
November 16, 2021 • 2891 MIN
Last month in The Village, we hosted "Ask Lisa Anything About Being an Birth Mom." Listen in as we chatted about how to navigate birth parent relationships with our kids. Click here to download a transcript for this episode.
#153: Live Q&A with adoptee, Melissa Corkum
November 9, 2021 • 2352 MIN
Last month in The Village, we hosted "Ask Melissa Anything About Being an Adoptee." Listen in to the conversation as she answers questions about privacy, raging as a child, and more. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Squid Game on Netflix #109: Adoptee Reflections with Shelby and Veronica Do All Adoptees Think the Same? YouTube Video What Happened to You?* by Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey *This is an affiliate link
#152: A Birth Mother’s Secret with Dr. Zoe Shaw
November 2, 2021 • 2746 MIN
When Zoe's parents found out she was pregnant, she was hidden away in a home for unwed mother's. In this week's episode, Dr. Zoe Shaw vulnerably shares her experience as a pregnant teen. She gracefully shares shocking truths about how she was deceived and manipulated. Unfortunately, her story is not unusual. You'll want to grab a tissue for this conversation. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Dr. Zoe's website Connect with Dr. Zoe on Instagram A Year of Self-Care* by Dr. Zoe Shaw The Girls Who Went Away* by Ann Fessler *This is an affiliate link
#151: Brainspotting for Adoptive Families with Brooke Randolph, LMHC
October 26, 2021 • 2597 MIN
As adoptive parents ourselves, we're always looking for tools and therapies that may help our children heal. This week Lisa sat down with therapist and author, Brooke Randolph, to talk about Brainspotting. This gentle, therapeutic technique can help children process and heal from trauma even if they are unable to speak about it. It can also help parents process the stress of parenting children with high needs. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Brooke's website Connect with Brooke on Facebook Connect with Brooke on Instagram Connect with Brooke on Twitter Brainspotting with Children and Adolescents* by Monika Baumann Video: Self-spotting with Brain Spotting Vide: “Vergence” Brainspotting technique *This is an affiliate link
#150: [Mentor Moment] What if I don’t like my child?
October 19, 2021 • 538 MIN
  Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: What do I do if I don't like my child? I never thought I would feel this way. Can you help? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. To ask a question for a future Mentor Moment, leave a message on our 24-hour listener hotline. (208) 741-3880 Relevant Links Take the free Compassion Challenge Brain-based Parenting* by Daniel Hughes and Jonathan Baylin Building the Bonds of Attachment* by Daniel Hughes *This is an affiliate link
#149: DBT for Children with Early Adversity with Carol Lozier, LCSW
October 12, 2021 • 2322 MIN
It's a myth that all "behavioral therapy" is inappropriate for child with early adversity. Carol Lozier, LCSW joins us this week to talk about how DBT-C can be used alongside connected parenting to help our kids fill gaps in the regulation skills. Carol Lozier MSW LCSW is a psychotherapist and author of four books. She is a clinical social worker in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky. Ms. Lozier has spent over thirty years counseling children, teens and adults in the issues of trauma, and adoption and foster care. Carol is intensively trained in DBT. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Carol's Website Connect with Carol on Facebook Connect with Carol on Instagram Books by Carol* Find DBT Provider Blocked Care Coaching Group *This is an affiliate link
#148: What Teen Adoptees Need with adoptee Sara Odicio
October 5, 2021 • 3120 MIN
Sara Odicio was adopted from an orphanage in China when she was a year old. As a Licensed Social Worker, she loves supporting adopted teens and their families. Her passion for teen adoptees grew even more as she was personally challenged to engage with her own adoption story in a deeper way. In this episode, she's vulnerable about her teen years and her ongoing struggles as an adoptee. She tells her story with lots of insight and hope for adoptive families. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Sara on Instagram Listen to episodes on bodywork
#147: From Foster Child to TBRI Practitioner with Trent Taylor
September 28, 2021 • 2176 MIN
Trent traveled a horrific journey through the foster care system until he was adopted at the age of 9. After healing from his traumatic past, Trent, who is now 20, shares his inspiring story of triumph in order to provide hope and healing for others. He is involved in foster care reform at the national level. He also serves as Co-Founder and CEO for “Watch Me Rise” which is a ministry devoted to working on behalf of children who have experienced trauma like he once did. Trent is currently completing his undergraduate degree in family and human development at Arizona State University and plans to pursue a masters in clinical counseling. On the day we met him he had just completed training to become a TBRI practitioner. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Watch Me Rise Website Connect with Trent on Facebook Shattered No More: An Inspiring Story of one Boy's Journey from Trauma to Triumph* by Trent Taylor Battling The Invisible Enemy: A Guide for Children and Teens to Resist the Magnetic Pull of Technology and Pornography* by Trent Taylor Faith, Hope, & Connection: A 30-Day Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Parents* *This is an affiliate link
#146: What Adoptive Dads Need with Greg Lombard Rea
September 21, 2021 • 2359 MIN
Greg Lombard Rea, M.Div, is an adoptive and bio dad, former pastor, Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner, and a Post Adoption Support Specialist. Greg has been providing post-adoption support for families for a number of years. He recently joined us at The Adoption Connection and facilitates a group for dads in our membership community, the Village. We think you'll find his story inspiring and hopeful. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Greg Empowered to Connect Podcast Empowered Parent Podcast Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Join The Village (Dads can use code DAD to get 50% off their first month)
#145: Neurofeedback at Home with Olga Ward
September 14, 2021 • 2145 MIN
We love bringing you lots of options for resources that might help make life better or easier. This week, we're talking to Olga Ward about NeurOptimal neurofeedback, a system that is simple enough to be used at home. Olga is an adoptive mom and owner of Beaverton Neurofeedback in Oregon where she has a passion for restoring and creating harmony in families. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Beaverton Neurofeedback Connect with Olga on Facebook Connect with Olga on Instagram The Body Keeps the Score* by Bessel van der Kolk *This is an affiliate link
#144: How do I find a skilled babysitter for my challenging kids?
September 7, 2021 • 1220 MIN
  Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do I find a skilled babysitter for my challenging kids? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. To ask a question for a future Mentor Moment, leave a message on our 24-hour listener hotline. (208) 741-3880 Relevant Links Animate videos from the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU Join our conversation in our private FB group Teen Support Group
#143: Strengthening Our Kids’ Brains with Ann Maura Hinton
August 31, 2021 • 1938 MIN
What if you could build connections with your child and strengthen their brain at the same time? And what if you could both have fun doing it? In this episode, Ann Maura Hinton talks about brain games and why they're great tools for our families. We also talk about preparing for a new school year and setting your family up for success. Ann Maura is an educational specialist with Lifeline Children's Services. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Bridge Educational Services Equipping Minds Curriculum Blink Game* Teen Support Group *This is an affiliate link
#142: [Enneagram & Adoption] Back to School Encouragement for Adoptive Parents
August 24, 2021 • 577 MIN
As we start this school year, we want to encourage you with these reflections courtesy of the Enneagram. The Enneagram is our favorite tool for understanding ourselves and the people we love. It gives us insight for how we can become the best version of ourselves and better parents. We recognize that the Enneagram is complex, and the way we've represented each number in this episode is not complete. We'd love to hear from you if these resonated, or if you'd add anything from your perspective. Join the conversation in our FB community at www.theadoptionconnection.com/facebook. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links The Village (where you can join us for regulation conversations about the Enneagram and adoption)
#141: How to Connect with Your Middle Schooler with Principal Nabil Zerizef
August 17, 2021 • 2124 MIN
Middle school can be an awkward and tumultuous season for our kids. Deep down they want connection, but their behaviors may push parents away. Nabil Zerizef is an adoptive father, author, and middle school principal. He shares insights on how we can connect with our middle schooler. We also talk about A Kids Book About Adoption which he co-authored with a former student, Leul Gurske. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Nabil on Instagram A Kid's Book About Adoption by Nabil Zerizef and Leul Gurske Brainstorm* by Dan Siegel Past episodes on Felt Safety *This is an affiliate link
#140: Helpful Strategies for Tough School Mornings with Jessica Sinarski
August 10, 2021 • 2546 MIN
You're trying to get your child out the door for school and he has a meltdown. What do you do now? Do you push harder? Do you back off? In this episode, Jessica Sinarski teaches us about P.A.C.E. and how to use Playfulness, Acceptance Curiosity, and Empathy to help get your child's upstairs (thinking) brain back online. This is a practical and helpful conversation. We also talk about her brand new book, Riley the Brave Makes it to School. It's a fantastic story for kids and adults about how to tackle the morning challenges that can make mornings challenging for many families. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Brave Brains Website Connect with Jessica on Instagram Connect with Jessica on Facebook Connect with Jessica on Twitter Riley the Brave Makes It to School: A Story With Tips and Tricks for Tough Transitions* by Jessica Sinarski Riley the Brave: The Little Cub with Big Feelings* by Jessica Sinarski #107: Helping Children Understand Their Big Feelings with author, Jessica Sinarski #66: Can Neurofeedback Help Your Adopted Child? (with Sarah Jordan) Overcoming Blocked Care for Dads: An Interactive Workshop The Village *This is an affiliate link
#139: From Overwhelmed to Simplified with Wendy Zanders
August 3, 2021 • 2546 MIN
Clutter in our lives can exacerbate behaviors related to ADHD, trauma, and sensory processing disorder. The start of the school year brings extra stuff to manage including lunches, school forms, sports equipment, etc. Wendy Zanders, aka Your Declutter Coach, is a Professional Organizer who had undiagnosed ADD as a child and now helps special needs families get organized by helping them identify what has created the disorder in their lives, and by helping them create systems so they can get back in control of their possessions and homes. Listen in as Wendy encourages you while bringing you simple tips you can use right now to decrease the clutter in your life. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Wendy on Facebook  Connect with Wendy on Instagram  Wendy's YouTube Channel Overcoming Blocked Care for Dads Workshop
The Podcast Goes on Summer Vacation!
July 6, 2021 • 523 MIN
The podcast is on summer vacation for the month of July. We invite you to join us in our free Facebook community and to scroll back to past episodes you may have missed. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Top 5 Most Popular Episodes #87: The Impact of Prenatal Trauma on Children with Stacey Gagnon #61: A Transracial Adoptee’s Thoughts on Growing Up Black in a White Family #40: Parenting Kids with FASDs and Invisible Disabilities Successfully with Eileen Devine #94: Resetting the Nervous System for Felt Safety #88: The Connected Parent by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Lisa Qualls
#138: Dad Connection with Ryan North
June 29, 2021 • 2302 MIN
Dad Connection: Join us this month as we hear from foster and adoptive dads. Ryan and his wife Kayla have 6 children. They spent 10 years as foster parents and learned many of the things they share with families, churches, and schools just being a family. He is the co-founder of One Big Happy Home and is considered an expert on childhood trauma and its impacts. Listen in as Ryan shares about how God brought them to adoption and his journey from traditional parenting to connected parenting. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links One Big Happy Home Website Connect with Ryan on Facebook Connect with Ryan on Instagram Dad's Mentoring Group The Connected Child* by Karyn Purvis The Connected Parent* by Lisa Qualls and Karyn Purvis How Children Raise Parents* by Dan Allender #87: The Impact of Prenatal Trauma on Children with Stacey Gagnon *This is an affiliate link
#137: Dad Connection with Peter Mutabazi
June 22, 2021 • 2208 MIN
Dad Connection: Join us this month as we hear from foster and adoptive dads. For the past twenty years, Peter Mutabazi has worked for several global nonprofits as well as local charity organizations that promote wellness and development of children. He is a surviving street kid, foster dad, single father, entrepreneur, and founder of Now I Am Known, a grassroots coalition focused on adoption and foster care. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Peter on IG Connect with Peter on FB Connect with Peter on YouTube Know I Am Known Website
#136: Dad Connection with Jason Johnson
June 15, 2021 • 2112 MIN
Dad Connection: Join us this month as we hear from foster and adoptive dads. Jason is a writer and speaker who encourages families and equips churches in their foster care and adoption journeys. He and his wife, Emily live in Texas with their daughters. Listen in as Jason shares how he overcame his fears of fostering and adopting and encouragement for dads on the journey. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Jason's blog Connect with Jason on Instagram Connect with Jason on Facebook Reframing Foster Care* by Jason Johnson Everyone Can Do Something* by Jason Johnson ALL IN Orphan Care* by Jason Johnson Faith, Hope & Connection Devotional *This is an affiliate link.
#135: Dad Connection with Aaron Ivey
June 8, 2021 • 1884 MIN
Dad Connection: Join us this month as we hear from foster and adoptive dads. Aaron Ivey is the Pastor of Worship at The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, where he pastors a team of worship leaders, artists, storytellers, and musicians. He and his wife Jamie have four children, Cayden, Amos, Deacon, and Story. In this conversation, Aaron shares about their journey to adoption, being a white parent to black teens, and gives encouraging advice for all dads. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Aaron on Instagram Complement* by Aaron and Jamie Ivey The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey Podcast *This is an affiliate link.
#134: Dad Connection with Alan Finn
June 1, 2021 • 1600 MIN
Dad Connection: Join us this month as we hear from foster and adoptive dads. Many of you are familiar with Jamie Finn of Foster the Family whose ministry reaches thousands of foster and adoptive parents. Jamie would be the first to say her ministry wouldn't be possible without the support of her husband, Alan. In this episode, Alan shares the story of how they became foster parents, how their lives have been changed, and words of wisdom for other foster and adoptive dads. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Foster the Family on Instagram Faith, Hope & Connection Devotional
#133: [Mentor Moment] How do I respond to my child who wants to be babied?
May 25, 2021 • 958 MIN
  Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do I respond to my child who wants to be babied? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. To ask a question for a future Mentor Moment, leave a message on our 24-hour listener hotline. (208) 741-3880 Relevant Links The Compassion Challenge
#132: Full Circle with former foster youth, Tori Petersen
May 18, 2021 • 2746 MIN
Tori Hope Petersen is a former foster youth. After overcoming the odds of foster care, she is now a foster care advocate and foster mom who shares candidly about her story and her experience of redemption. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Tori's website Connect with Tori on Instagram Furious Longing of God* by Brennan Manning Overcoming Blocked Care Workshop *This is an affiliate link
#131: [Mentor Moment] How do we handle multiple children with differing levels of openness with birth family?
May 11, 2021 • 714 MIN
  Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do we handle multiple children with differing levels of openness with birth family? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. To ask a question for a future Mentor Moment, leave a message on our 24-hour listener hotline. (208) 741-3880 Relevant Links Five Love Languages Blocked Care Workshop  
#130: A Birth Mother’s Perspective on Open Adoption and Post-Placement Support with Ashley Mitchell
May 4, 2021 • 3267 MIN
For over a decade, Ashley has been one of the most consistent and sought after birth mother voices in the nation.  Well known for her vulnerability and transparency in adoption, her story has touched the hearts of countless members of the adoption community and beyond. She is owner of Big Tough Girl and Founder + Executive Director of Lifetime Healing Foundation which champions increased care, understanding, and resources for birth mothers. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Lifetime Healing Foundation Connect with Ashley on Instagram The Girls Who Went Away* by Ann Fessler *This is an affiliate link
#129: An Adoptee’s Remarkable Search with Ed Di Gangi
April 27, 2021 • 2617 MIN
Ed Di Gangi was adopted at birth in New York City. An only child, he made no effort to explore his heredity until, at age 67, a visit to a cemetery where members of his adoptive mother's family were buried and a story by Daniel Mendelsohn stirred his interest. ​ Over the past three years, through extensive archival research and DNA testing, Ed has peeled back the layers of his once unknown family. It turned out his birth mother was not who he thought she was at all. ​ You don't want to miss this remarkable story. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Ed's Website The Gift Best Given: A Memoir* by Ed Di Gangi Connect with Ed on Instagram Watch Ed's Birth Mom Ice Skate The Lost* by Daniel Mendelsohn *This is an affiliate link
#128: [Mentor Moment] How do we help extended family have respect and compassion for our foster child’s birth family?
April 20, 2021 • 945 MIN
  Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do we help extended family have respect and compassion for our foster child's birth family? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. To ask a question for a future Mentor Moment, leave a message on our 24-hour listener hotline. (208) 741-3880 Relevant Link Register for the Insight Conference  
#127: Processing Trauma through EMDR with Laura Taylor
April 13, 2021 • 3001 MIN
If you're heard the acronym EMDR and wondered what it's all about, you're going to love this episode. Lisa interviewed Laura Taylor who is an EMDRIA Certified Therapist. We talk about what EMDR is, how it works, and who it can help. Laura finds EMDR therapy to be very helpful for clients with attachment wounds as well as many other types of traumatic issues and distressing life experiences. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links The Body Keeps the Score* by Bessel van der Kolk EMDRIA website (top right has a tab Find An EMDR Therapist) Past episodes on Equine Therapy Past episodes featuring bodywork therapies *This is an affiliate link
#126: [Mentor Moment] “You’re not my real mom!”
March 30, 2021 • 870 MIN
  Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How should I respond when my child says, "You're not my real mom!" Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. To ask a question for a future Mentor Moment, leave a message on our 24-hour listener hotline. (208) 741-3880  
#125: Why You Should Play Games with Your Kids with Jack Berkenstock Jr., MHS
March 23, 2021 • 3349 MIN
CONTENT DISCLOSURE: Melissa and Jack talk about some mature topics during this interview. It may not be suitable for younger ears. At the end of this episode, your mind will be racing with endless ways you can start incorporating gaming into your family. Jack Berkenstock, Jr., MHS is a master's level therapist passionate about the benefits of tabletop gaming for development and growth in essential skills for children, especially those who have experience trauma. He shares why gaming is such an effective therapy modality along with tons of practical suggestions. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links The Bodhana Group Website Connect with the Bodhana Group on Instagram #37: Are video games actually bad for kids? #118: Connecting Through Cooking with Chef Kibby #123: Play for the Exhausted Parent with Michelle Batten Games Mentioned by Jack Junk Art* Pugmire* Harry Potter Deckbuilder Game* Castle Panic* Upper Deck Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game* Dead of Winter* No Thank You Evil* Meddling Kids* Monster Factory * Blue Orange Games Gamewright Games Haba Games Board Game Arena Tabletop Simulator Tabletopia *This is an affiliate link
#124: [Mentor Moment] How can the Enneagram help adoptive parents?
March 16, 2021 • 794 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How can the Enneagram help adoptive parents? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links The Road Back To You by Cron and Stabile* #24: My 2 Parts in the Triad: Melissa’s Story of Being an Adoptee and Adoptive Mom Lisa's Blog Post, "I used to be a good mom." The Enneagram and Adoption Collective To ask a question for a future Mentor Moment, leave a message on our 24-hour listener hotline. (208) 741-3880 *This is an affiliate link.
#123: Play for the Exhausted Parent with Michelle Batten
March 9, 2021 • 2285 MIN
Did you know that play is about more than fun? It's actually good for the brain. Play calms the fear system and leads to closer connections. If you're not naturally playful, have no fear, play can mean lots of different things. In this episode with Michelle Batten, you'll learn new ways to build safety and connection. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Michelle's website Free Download "Bring Playfulness Back- 5 Days of Playful Activities for your family" Connect with Michelle on Instagram Connect with Michelle on Facebook #10: Why won’t my kids just go play?!?! #118: Connecting Through Cooking with Chef Kibby Trauma Knowledge 101 Guide
#122: [Mentor Moment] How can I become a peaceful parent?
March 2, 2021 • 887 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How can I become a peaceful parent? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Brain.fm* To ask a question for a future Mentor Moment, leave a message on our 24-hour listener hotline. (208) 741-3880 *This is an affiliate link.
#121: An Introduction to Trauma & Tension Release Exercise (TRE) with Christa Bevan
February 23, 2021 • 3011 MIN
Have you ever known what you want to feel in your head, but your heart hasn't caught up? Or do you feel like the daily challenges of raising kids with complex trauma keep piling up in your heart, head, and body? Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (or TRE®) is a simple yet innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. Listen in as Christa Bevan, certified TRE® provider and trauma-informed yoga instructor, talk about the benefits of TRE® for adoptive families. Christa Bevan is a dynamic self-care coach for other Radical Mothers as well as a certified TRE® (tension and trauma releasing exercises) provider and yoga instructor. She is also the host of The Radical Mother Village Podcast.  Her coaching practice helps to empower mothers on a journey of healing trauma and doing deeply transformational personal development work. Coming to this work out of necessity, she’s seen the incredible impact healing trauma can have in all directions of your family tree. As a natural teacher, Christa works to educate, support, and inspire people who are ready for radical change in their lives with methods that deliver results. She believes that self-love, compassion, and grace are the core elements of healing, and all start with a foundation of self-awareness. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Christa's Website Freebie from Christa Connect with Christa on Facebook Connect with Christa on Instagram Listen to Christa's podcast Enneagram Panels Series
#120: [Mentor Moment] How do I find the confidence to know what is best for my child?
February 16, 2021 • 657 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do I find the confidence to know what is best for my child? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Related Links The Enneagram and Adoption: Adoptive Mom Panels by Triad
#119: Prioritizing Your Marriage as Adoptive Parents with Currey and JJ Blandford
February 9, 2021 • 3296 MIN
Parenting children with histories of early adversity can be really hard on a marriage. Today Lisa is talking with Currey and JJ Blandford about how to intentionally stay connected in the midst of it all. Currey and JJ are adoptive parents, he is a pastor and she is a therapist. and they lend their knowledge to this conversation. We talk about everything from finding a good therapist to creating small spaces of time to connect. We even talk about observing the Sabbath as a day of rest and connection. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Episode #67 An Unexpected Open Adoption 6 Hours a Week to a Better Relationship The Connected Parent
#118: Connecting Through Cooking with Chef Kibby
February 2, 2021 • 3078 MIN
It can be hard to find time between fulfilling the basic needs of our kids (like feeding them) and correcting behaviors to actually have fun or connect with them. This week's guest, Chef Kibby, helps us kill two birds with one stone. He is a professional chef and culinary instructor with over 25 years in the food industry.  Additionally, he is a biological, foster, and adoptive dad who seeks to show other parents how to use the shared act of cooking and eating with their kiddos as a way to build deeper relationships, stronger attachments, and more resilient young people. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Connect with Chef Kibby on Facebook Connect with Chef Kibby on Instagram Cookin with Kibby Website
#117: Military Service and Your Teen with LTC (Ret) Colette Topfer
January 26, 2021 • 2249 MIN
As our teens get older, their dysmaturity may have us wondering what options they have after high school. A lot of parents wonder if the military is a good option. Your teen may even express interest in joining the military in the future. This week, we're joined by LTC (Ret) Colette Topfer. After 25 years of Army Service and now instructing high school Army JROTC, she brings insight and practical knowledge about if and how we should prepare our teens for military service. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links: Connect with Colette on Instagram  
#116: [Mentor Moment] How do you connect well with kids over a large range of stages?
January 19, 2021 • 697 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do you connect well with kids over a large range of stages? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode.
#115: How Understanding Childhood Trauma Will Transform your Parenting with Kristin Berry
January 12, 2021 • 2008 MIN
Have you ever wondered why you feel so overwhelmed when your child behaves in a certain way? What is it about a tone of voice that makes your heart race? In today's episode, Kristin Berry joins us to talk about understanding childhood trauma and how this knowledge will transform the way you parent. This conversation is filled with compassion for you and your child and offers hope for the long journey of parenting. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links: Honestly Adoption Website Honestly Adoption on Instagram Honestly Adoption on Facebook Securely Attached: How Understanding Childhood Trauma Will Transform Your Parenting* by Mike and Kristin Berry Listen to past episodes featuring Mike or Kristin Berry Click here to register for our upcoming Enneagram Typing Session for Adoptive and Foster Moms. *This is an affiliate link  
#114: Enneagram Wisdom from Four Adoptive Moms
January 5, 2021 • 2666 MIN
One new thing we’re adding in 2021 is understanding adoption through the lens of the Enneagram. This year we invite you to join us on a journey of gaining powerful insight into your experience as an adoptive or foster parent using the wisdom of the  Enneagram as our guide. The Enneagram helps us make sense of our stories while also giving us insight and compassion for the people we love. Today we invited four of our friends to share how understanding the enneagram had influenced their experience as foster and adoptive moms. Each one represents a different Enneagram number. We hope you find these short interviews as fascinating as we do. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links #85: The Enneagram and Adoption with Jeff and Beth McCord #20: The Bitter and Sweet of Foster Care Reunification with Jamie Finn #91: Ethical Orphan Care and Adoption with Whitney Runyon #96: Race and Adoption Panel Connect with Ligia on Instagram Connect with Jamie on Instagram or Facebook Connect with Whitney on Instagram Connect with Amber on Instagram Click here to sign up for Enneagram updates or RSVP for our January 26th Typing Session  
#113 [Mentor Moment] What is the most memorable gift you’ve received?
December 15, 2020 • 932 MIN
As we wrap up 2020, Lisa and Melissa reflect on the highlights for The Adoption Connection. We also asked you to tell us about your most memorable gifts. They ranged from comical to heartwarming. This is a fun listen while you prep for the holidays. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Exploring Grief, Trauma, and Rejection with the Enneagram
#112: Finding Hope as a Birth Mother with Hope O Baker
December 8, 2020 • 2852 MIN
At twenty-one years old, Hope O Baker made one of the hardest decisions a person can make: she placed her son for adoption. Afterwards, she struggled with depression, addiction, and overcoming the stigma that surrounds birth mothers. This week, Melissa talks to Hope about some of the unusual parts of her story and about Hope's memoir, Finding Hope: A birthmother's journey into the light. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links: Hope's Website Connect with Hope on Instagram Finding Hope: A birthmother's journey into the light* by Hope O Baker #23: My 2 Parts in the Triad -Lisa’s Story of Being a Birth Mom and Adoptive Mom #105 A Birth Mother’s Story of Adoption Reunion with Adrian Collins Exploring Grief, Trauma, and Rejection with the Enneagram *This is an affiliate link  
#111: Equine Therapy for Children with Early Adversity with Rebecca Britt
December 1, 2020 • 2477 MIN
Join us as Rebecca Britt, the founder of Stable Moments, she shares her story of growth as a young adoption caseworker and her later development of a unique equine therapy program. This conversation is fascinating for those of us who want to understand more about our children's fear responses. Children can be mentored to learn new awareness of themselves and skills for relating to others - both horses and human. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links Stable Moments Website Stable Moment on Instagram #30: How Horses Can Help Kids Heal Melissa and Lisa on Rebecca's Podcast Faith, Hope & Connection Devotional* *This is an affiliate link  
#110: What do I do if my teen wants to move out?
November 17, 2020 • 1628 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: What do I do if my teen wants to move out? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Call 208-741-3880 to share your most memorable gift.
#109: Adoptee Reflections with Shelby and Veronica
November 10, 2020 • 2810 MIN
What if adoptees could tell you about their adoption experience with unedited honesty? Two adoptees came together to create Rooted in Adoption: A Collection of Adoptee Reflections. Shelby Kilgore was born in Korea and adopted by a white couple just before she turned one. Veronica was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, through the closed adoption system. Melissa sat down with them to chat about their stories and how the project came to be. They also chat about the importance of open health records for all adoptees. Click here to download a transcript for this episode.   Relevant Links Rooted in Adoption Website Rooted in Adoption Facebook Page Shelby's YouTube Channel Shelby's website [FREE DOWNLOAD] What to Look for in a Mental Health Professional Call in with your most memorable gift to 208-741-3880.
#108: More Connection and Less Stress for the Holidays with Marie Fiebach
November 3, 2020 • 2217 MIN
If you're already feeling stressed about the holidays, this episode is for you! Our guest this week is Marie Fiebach, mother of four teens, who knows how hard it is to fit something extra into your already busy life. She brings us practical tips about shopping, meal prep, and how to stay connected to your family during this stressful season. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links: Marie's Website - Feed Your Family Tonight Connect with Marie on Facebook Connect with Marie on Instagram Free Meal Planning Printable Download the Holiday Planning Guide Listen to past holiday episodes Call in to share the most memorable gift you've received. 208-741-3880  
#107: Helping Children Understand Their Big Feelings with author, Jessica Sinarski
October 27, 2020 • 2576 MIN
Do you have a child who quickly moves to the fear responses of fight, flight, or freeze? In this episode Lisa interviews Jessica Sinarski, a trauma-informed adoption therapist and the author of Riley the Brave: The Little Cub with Big Feelings. You'll love hearing about how her book helps children and their caregivers recognize these fear responses as courageous ways of coping in hard circumstances. As Riley, the little cub, embarks on a journey to overcome his fears, he learns that sometimes, being tough or loud isn't the bravest thing to be - sometimes it's asking for help, or being brave enough to let someone into your heart. This conversation and the book will give you hope for your children and for you too. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links: Connect with Jessica on Instagram Connect with Jessica on Facebook Riley the Brave: Parents Corner Riley the Brave - The Little Cub with Big Feelings!* by Jessica Sinarski Brave Brains Trust-based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency* by Sharon Roszia and Allison Davis Maxon From Apathy to Empathy - course on Blocked Care Brain-based Parenting* by Dan Hughes and Jonathan Baylin The Connected Parent: Real-Life Strategies for Building Trust and Attachment* by Lisa Qualls   *This is an affiliate link.  
#106 [Mentor Moment] How do you celebrate your child’s adoption day?
October 20, 2020 • 810 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do you celebrate your child's adoption day? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Click here to download a transcript for this episode.
#105 A Birth Mother’s Story of Adoption Reunion with Adrian Collins
October 13, 2020 • 2773 MIN
If you love adoption stories like we do, you won't want to miss this one. Adrian Collins shares her story of giving birth as a young college student and placing her daughter for adoption. Years later she readopted her daughter as an adult. Add to this that Adrian is an adoptive mom, and this all adds up to a fascinating conversation. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Relevant Links: Adrian's website Connect with Adrian on Facebook #23: My 2 Parts in the Triad -Lisa’s Story of Being a Birthmom and Adoptive Mom  
#104 [Mentor Moment] Should I adopt out of birth order?
October 6, 2020 • 1069 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: Should I adopt out of birth order? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Relevant Links: #102: The Importance of Keeping Siblings Together with Sue Badeau
#103 When the Wait is Longer Than You Expect (A COVID Update from Lifeline Children’s Services)
September 29, 2020 • 2040 MIN
Waiting is a normal part of the adoption process. But what happens when your wait seems infinitely long due to a global pandemic? Herbie Newell, President and Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services, joins us to answer questions about the status of international adoptions and what families can do to advocate for their children. He also shares practical tips on how to wait well regardless of the type of placement you're waiting for.   Relevant Links: Lifeline Children's Services # 41: Mentally Preparing For Your Adoption or Fostering Journey – The 11 most important things you need to know #42: Practically Preparing For Your Adoption or Fostering Journey – The 6 most important things you need to do The Adoption Connection FB Group The Compassion Challenge
#102: The Importance of Keeping Siblings Together with Sue Badeau
September 22, 2020 • 3084 MIN
Why is it important to keep siblings together in foster care and adoption? Does it matter? If you have adopted a sibling set or considered it, you'll love hearing from adoption expert, Sue Badeau. She and her husband adopted several sets of siblings and have seen the benefit of that decision for their children. She has a lot of wisdom to share.   Relevant Links: Sue's website Connect with Sue on Facebook #89: A Conversation About Race with Sue Badeau Are We There Yet?: Adopting and Raising 22 Kids! by Sue Badeau* The Compassion Challenge *This is an affiliate link  
#101: Creating Adoption-Sensitive Classrooms with Joelle Broberg
September 15, 2020 • 2230 MIN
Many teachers don't understand how tricky some traditional assignments are for adopted or foster children. The family tree project is a perfect example. Additionally, transactional behavior management systems, like rewards charts and traffic lights, are problematic because they don't take our kids' histories and past trauma into account. Joelle Broberg is both a veteran educator and adoptive mom who understands both sides. She sat down with Melissa to talk about how parents can best work with teachers and the new CEU course she's created for teachers so they can create adoption-sensitive classrooms. Relevant Links: Joelle's website Joelle's course Connect with Joelle on FB
#100: Surprise Guest Hosts and a Celebratory Giveaway
September 1, 2020 • 2068 MIN
It's time to celebrate! This is the 100th episode of The Adoption Connection podcast! We've worked hard to show up consistently with great content for our listeners. Honestly, producing the podcast gives us joy and we're happy to know it's serving you well. To celebrate we have two guest co-hosts, Claire Qualls, Lisa's 17-year-old daughter, and PJ Corkum, Melissa's 17-year-old son. We're also giving away tons of great gifts so you can join in our happiness. Don't miss this fun episode! Visit Our Sponsors! Click here to enter the giveaway via Facebook. Click here to enter the giveaway via Instagram. Cork Board Essentials Creative Quillings Creative Quillings on Instagram Kathie with Monat Feed Your Family Tonight Feed Your Family Tonight on Facebook LamgoLand LamgoLand on Instagram LamgoLand on Facebook Mathnasium of Bel Air LigiaSpeaks LigiaSpeaks on Instagram Sara Easterly Sara Easterly on Instagram Sara Easterly on Facebook Sara Easterly on Twitter Tiny Dog Press Tiny Dog Press on Instagram Tiny Dog Press on Facebook Kristen Hill Taylor Transfiguring Adoption Transfiguring Adoption on Instagram Maria Hansen-Quine Maria Hansen-Quine on Instagram Maria Hansen-Quine...
#99: Finding the Silver lining in Your Child’s Challenging Behaviors
August 25, 2020 • 2445 MIN
Have you ever stopped to appreciate your child's challenging behaviors? It's not our first inclination either, but Lynne Jackson, co-found of Connected Families, is often heard telling parents that our kids will use their strengths, not their weaknesses, to get what they want. This week, Melissa chats with Chad Hayenga and Anna Braasch of Connected Families, to find out more about how we can find and appreciate the gifts gone awry in our children's misbehaviors. Relevant Links: Connected Families Website Connected Families on Facebook Connected Families on Instagram Free Serenity Prayer Downloads
#98: [Mentor Moment] I’m freaked out about this school year. Help!
August 18, 2020 • 1181 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: I'm freaked out about this school year. It's not at all what I hoped it would be. How am I going to survive? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Relevant Episodes #31: 7 Ways for Parents to Relieve a Stressed-Out Brain #71: Creating Daily Practices for Strong Family Relationships with Beth Guckenberger #80: Pandemic Schooling Advice from a School Counselor
#97: Building a Family by Faith with Maria Hansen-Quine
August 11, 2020 • 2603 MIN
In this episode, Maria Hansen-Quine shares her remarkable story of becoming an adoptive family. Her family of nine children through both birth and adoption has also experienced childhood cancer. You'll be encouraged by her journey. Relevant Links: Maria's Blog Connect with Maria on IG Be Different and Be Kind: A Story about Diversity by Maria Hansen-Quine* Maria on Episode #80: Pandemic Schooling Advice from a School Counselor Deborah Gray's Books* Faith, Hope, & Connection: A 30-Day Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Parents* *This is an affiliate link
#96: Race and Adoption Panel
August 4, 2020 • 69 MIN
Race and adoption. Two issues with many layers of complexity. This week we're replaying a conversation we hosted in our Facebook group with Derek Hamer (transracial adoptee), Ligia Cushman (transracial adoptive parent and adoption professional), and Melissa Corkum (transracial adoptee and transracial adoptive parent). We tackled questions like, "How do we educate our kids without inducing fear," and, "What is the future for transracial adoption?" Relevant Links: Ligia's Blog Connect with Ligia on Instagram Melissa's Website Connect with Melissa on Instagram Connect with Derek on Instagram A Conversation about Race with Sue Badeau (includes book recommendations)
#95: An Adoptee’s Experience with Loss and Fear with Sara Easterly
July 28, 2020 • 2672 MIN
A lot of adoptees share big feelings of loss, fear, and abandonment. They seem to have a birthmom shaped hole in their hearts. In this episode, Sara Easterly, adoptee and author, shares her experience of growing up feeling like she was missing something and her search for her birthmom. She also shares practical tips for how to help our kids process big feelings. Relevant Links: Sara's website Connect with Sara on Instagram Searching for Mom by Sara Easterly* *This is an affiliate link  
#94: Resetting the Nervous System for Felt Safety
July 21, 2020 • 1417 MIN
Obviously, our kids are safe with us most of the time. We put a roof over their head, keep them away from strangers, and make sure they look both ways before crossing the street. But the feeling of safety can be much more elusive. Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a multi-day auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and emotional resilience. Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, by calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and increased felt safety. The SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant results in just a couple months in the following areas: * Social and emotional difficulties * Auditory sensitivities * Speech and language * Anxiety and trauma-related challenges * Stressors that impact social engagement Relevant Links: Learn more about SSP
#93: Recognizing and Overcoming Post-Adoption Depression with Amy Callahan
July 14, 2020 • 2595 MIN
You've heard of postpartum depression, but did you that adoptive moms can experience something quite similar?According to a 2012 study at Purdue University, Post-Adoption Depression affects 18-26 percent of adoptive moms? So why don't we hear much about it? And why is it cloaked in shame?Today's guest, Amy Callahan, shares her story of post-adoption depression following the adoptions of her children. Through her experience, she found multiple tools to help herself come through the darkness and back into the light of enjoying her family and her life. She generously shares her journey and her top tips in this episode. Relevant Links: Connect with Amy on Instagram Depression: A Guide to Helping* Transform Your Family *This is an affiliate link
#92: [Mentor Moment] How do we determine the appropriate level of interaction with birth family?
July 7, 2020 • 565 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: how do we determine the appropriate level of interaction with birth family? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join.
#91: Ethical Orphan Care and Adoption with Whitney Runyon
June 30, 2020 • 2010 MIN
When Whitney and Nick Runyon put together her photography skills and his ability to travel on a budget as an airline pilot, a beautiful organization was born. The Archibald Project uses stories to educate people in all the ways to care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Melissa chats with Whitney about how her and Nick navigated their adoption, their whirlwind romance, and how others around the world are caring for their vulnerable children right in their community. Relevant Links: Connect with Whitney on Instagram The Archibald Project's Website Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa Wingate* *This is an affiliate link
#90: [Mentor Moment] How do you recover on days when a child has a meltdown?
June 23, 2020 • 1112 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do you recover on days when a child has a meltdown? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join.
#89: A Conversation About Race with Sue Badeau
June 16, 2020 • 2571 MIN
If the recent events have you evaluating what practical steps you need to be taking when raising a child transracially, this episode is for you. Sue is a white adoptive mom to children of color. Her first son was adopted forty years ago. We discuss her original thoughts on parenting children of color and what she has learned since those early days. Sue is a wise adoption educator who is not afraid to tackle hard topics like white privilege and practical tips for raising children of another race. Don't miss this one. Relevant Links: Sue's website Connect with Sue on Facebook Waking Up White by Debby Irving* White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo* Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson* America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis* So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo* Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum* How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi* Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad* *This is an affiliate link
#88: The Connected Parent by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Lisa Qualls
June 9, 2020 • 1879 MIN
Parenting under the best of circumstances can be difficult. And raising children who have come to your home from “hard places,” who have their own set of unique needs, brings even more challenges. You may have discovered that the techniques that worked with your birth children are not working with your adopted or foster child. On July 7, the last written work of renowned child-development expert Dr. Karyn Purvis releases into the world. The Connected Parent: Real-Life Strategies for Building Trust and Attachment was co-authored by our own Lisa Qualls. This week she shares how the book came to be and what you can expect. Relevant Links: Lisa's Website and Book Page The Connected Parent: Real-Life Strategies for Building Trust and Attachment* by Karyn Purvis, PhD and Lisa Qualls Connect with Lisa on Instagram Connect with Lisa on Facebook Join the Launch/Review Team *This is an affiliate link
#87: The Impact of Prenatal Trauma on Children with Stacey Gagnon
June 2, 2020 • 3381 MIN
It's easy to think that our children's experiences start at birth. But a baby is processing sensory and attachment signals throughout most of their time in utero. This directly impacts how they interpret the world later in life. Join us for this fascinating conversation with adoptive mom and nurse, Stacey Gagnon, about pre-natal trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACES). Relevant Links: Stacey's blog Lost Sparrows Trauma Lens Care #04: How to Talk to Your Kids About Their Story #40: Parenting Kids with FASDs and Invisible Disabilities Successfully with Eileen Devine The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk* *This is an affiliate link
#86: [Mentor Moment] How do you balance the needs of different children in your home?
May 26, 2020 • 986 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do you balance the needs of different children in your home? They are old enough to notice that they have different rules, choices, and expectations than the other kids. I need to make sure my foster children have the structure they need to thrive and to make sure my bio children have the opportunity to grow in their independence. Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Relevant Links The Village
#85: The Enneagram and Adoption with Jeff and Beth McCord
May 19, 2020 • 3237 MIN
Are you curious about how personality impacts the dynamic between you and your kids? Do they seem to see the world differently than you do? How about your spouse? In this episode, we're talking with Jeff and Beth McCord about using the enneagram to understand that we all look at life through a particular lens. Once we understand our lens and the lens of our family members, we can build even healthier relationships. We love this interview with Jeff and Beth McCord and know you will too. Relevant Links: Jeff and Beth's Website Connect with Jeff and Beth on Instagram Becoming Us by Beth and Jeff McCord* The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile* *This is an affiliate link
#84: [Mentor Moment] Where did your biggest support system come from?
May 12, 2020 • 934 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: If we were sitting in a coffee shop, the one thing I would probably ask is did you have family and friends supporting you? Where did your biggest support system come from? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Relevant Links The Adoption Connection Podcast #44 Should I Homeschool My Adopted Child? The Adoption Connection Podcast #54 What Should I Look For In A Mental Health Professional? The Adoption Connection Podcast #64 Finding Adoption Support In Your Church With Jen Decker
#83: Infertility and Loss with Erin Gaeng
May 5, 2020 • 2346 MIN
Infertility and pregnancy loss are often a part of an adoptive family's story. This week, Erin Gaeng, shares her story of infertility and loss with both vulnerability and hope. We also talk about the husbands. Everyone forgets the husbands! If you want to connect with Erin, you can pretty much always find her at Disney World. She hangs out on Instagram @erinfrommaryland. Relevant Links: The Adoption Connection Facebook group  
#82: Helping Our Kids Process Loss and Disappointment During the Quarantine
April 28, 2020 • 2548 MIN
Our kids are struggling with disappointment over things that have been lost due to quarantine - track season, dance recitals, and prom, for example. Lisa's daughter, Claire, is finishing her senior year of high school without a graduation ceremony. Today we're talking about recognizing grief and supporting our kids. Additionally in this episode, we talk honestly about grief surrounding foster care and adoption through the lens of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's Five Stages of Grief, plus an additional sixth stage. Links Relevant to this episode: 5 Stage of Grief Episode 20: The Bitter and Sweet of Foster Care Reunification with Jamie Finn Episode 31: 7 Ways for Parents to Relieve a Stressed-Out Brain
#81: Adoption and Foster Care Book Reviews Just For You with Lanaya Graham
April 21, 2020 • 2952 MIN
We love a good book, and if it's about adoption, all the better. We were delighted to discover the Instagram account Adoption.books where Lanaya Graham reviews adoption and foster care themed books, particularly those with adoptee and birthparent voices. Relevant Links: Lanaya's website Connect with Lanaya on Instagram Books mentioned in this episode: The Primal Wound* The Connected Child* Growing Grace* Little Fires Everywhere* The Cactus* The Language of Flowers* You Don't Look Adopted* Far From the Tree* Families Change* The Girls Who Went Away* Star of the Week* Lion* *This is an affiliate link  
#80: Pandemic Schooling Advice from a School Counselor
April 14, 2020 • 2934 MIN
Surprise! Your kids are now doing school at home. Have you gotten past the shock? You may be wondering just what a school day should look like. You may also be trying to figure out how much of the work planned by teachers needs to be completed. Our guest today is Maria Hansen-Quine. She is a school counselor and the mom of nine kids including some who joined her family through adoption. With insight into parenting and educating children with trauma histories, Maria shares her tips for navigating the uncharted waters of education during a pandemic. Regulation Ideas: Our Before-School Regulation Plan (using with her 4th grade boy) - Keep it tight (no last minute changes) - Pre-agreed upon breakfast (food schedule) - Pre-agreed upon clothes laid out the night before - No electronic OR playing with toys before school - 10 minutes of jumping on the trampoline by themselves before breakfast (and if really heightened - after breakfast as well) - For bad weather, use rocking chair or inside swing - Pet Time (2-5 minutes) - Times of connection with parent (2-5 minutes) - If not regulated, does not start school Throughout the Day Regulation Ideas - Rocking chair for 10 minutes - Running and/or walking - Playing basketball outside or inside (shooting hoops) - Music - Chewing Gum and or hard candy to suck on - Weighted blanket - Drawing and/or coloring - Keeping a Thankful Journal - Bath/Hot Tub/Shower - Sports and/or something active - Weighted lap blanket - Sensory Sock - Jump Rope - Pull Up Bar for the door - Push Ups and/or sit-ups and/or wall push ups - Planks - Agreed Upon Time with Toys (Legos) - Protein snack such as cheese, nuts, meat or eggs - Physical Competitions - Inside Hopscotch (use strong tape to mark it off) - Chalking in the garage - Bike ride/scootering/skateboard - Daily writing positive self-affirming sentences, i.e. “I can stay calm. I can trust my family. I can do my school work and if I need help I will ask” - Something non-electronic which your child normally enjoys (yet something which they will not get so completely lost in that stopping it will cause frustration) - Breathing Apps (“Breathe” or “Calm Down”) Relevant Links: Maria's Blog Connect with Maria on Instagram Connect with Maria on Facebook Brain Quest books* *This is an affiliate link  
#79: Exploring the Complexities of Transracial Adoption with Tara VanderWoude
April 7, 2020 • 3478 MIN
Do you ever wish you could get a deeper understanding of what it's like to be adopted? Today's guest, Tara VanderWoude, is an adopted person and adoptive mom. She speaks with candor, humor, and passion about talking to our kids about adoption, the importance of having realistic expectations before adopting, returning to Korea with her family, and more. Relevant Links: Tara's Website Connect with Tara on Facebook Connect with Tara on Instagram
#78: [Mentor Moment] How do I overcome my body’s trauma response?
March 31, 2020 • 462 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do I overcome my body's trauma response? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Relevant Links EMDR Tension, Stress, and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE)
#77: Accepting Our Kids Without Giving Up on Them with Eileen Devine
March 24, 2020 • 2886 MIN
Do you ever wonder if you're expecting too much from your child? Or maybe too little? How can you support your child and have appropriate expectations? Eileen Devine, LCSW, joins us today to talk about radical acceptance from a neurobehavioral model. She offers practical tips you're doing to love. Relevant Links: FREE Parenting Reflection Journal Eileen's Website Connect with Eileen on FB Connect with Eileen on Instagram Rising Strong by Brene Brown* The Adoption Connection Facebook Group The Village *This is an affiliate link
#76: Tips for Staying Calm and Connected During a Pandemic
March 13, 2020 • 1278 MIN
Adoptive and foster families face unique challenges when a global pandemic disrupts the normal routine. Don't panic! You've got this. In this episode, we're sharing our best tips for staying calm and connected and helping your kids manage themselves during this stressful time. Relevant Resources and Links: 10 Trauma Principles to Practice During COVID-19 The Joy of Movement with Kelly McGonigal, PhD Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus An important post about Corona Virus and Racism Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus 5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus
#75: How a Former Neo-Nazi Family Embraced Transracial Adoption
March 10, 2020 • 3144 MIN
God is in the business of restoring broken lives and bringing people into relationship with Him. Sometimes it's a quiet, simple process, other times it's a radical transformation. Our guests today have an incredible story of being young neo-Nazis when God changing their hearts, the way the viewed people, and the way they live and serve him. Ultimately they became foster and adoptive parents and now have full-time ministries focused on family preservation in Canada and Haiti. We hope you enjoy their story as much as we do. Relevant Resources and Links: Stigge Vlog Safe Families Success Story Safe Families Canada website Little by Little website Little by Little Video
[Refresh Rewind] A Transracial Adoptee’s Thoughts on Growing Up Black in a White Family with Derek Hamer
March 3, 2020 • 65 MIN
If you could have a candid conversation with a transracially adopted young black man, what would you want to ask him? This is the question we asked members of our Facebook group prior to Lisa's interview with Derek Hamer. He shares his story with vulnerability that helps us see through his eyes. Relevant Resources and Links: Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race* by Debby Irving The Skin I'm In* by Sharon Flake No One Ever Asked* by Katie Ganshert The Color of Us* by Karen Katz Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? * by Beverly Daniel Tatum The Adoption Connection Facebook Group *affiliate link
#74: [Mentor Moment] My son’s apologies feel empty. Any ideas?
February 25, 2020 • 548 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: My son's apologies feel empty. Any ideas? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Relevant Links Apology Language Quiz
#73: Preparing Older Kids for Adulthood with Kris Kittle
February 18, 2020 • 3478 MIN
When your teen's chronological age doesn't match their social/emotional age, it can be scary to think about launching them into the world. This week, Dr. Kris Kittle, co-author of Wisdom from Adoptive Families: Joys and Challenges in Older Child Adoption*, answers questions crowd-sourced from you about preparing your older child for adulthood. Relevant Links: Wisdom from Adoptive Families: Joys and Challenges in Older Child Adoption* by Kris Kittle PhD and Kelly Reed PhD Adoption Survival Website Connect with Kris on Facebook God's Design For Sex Series* The Focus on the Family® Guide to Talking with Your Kids about Sex: Honest Answers For Every Age* The Importance of Allowing Our Children to Struggle - blog post *affiliate link
#72: [Mentor Moment] My son’s behavior has drastically changed since we adopted another child. Help!
February 11, 2020 • 579 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: My son's behavior has drastically changed since we adopted another child. Help! Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Relevant Links The Compassion Challenge #05: Giving Voice to Siblings Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain* by Dan Siegel *affiliate link
#71: Creating Daily Practices for Strong Family Relationships with Beth Guckenberger
February 4, 2020 • 2723 MIN
Sometimes you have a guest who can speak to so many topics, you don't know where to start. Lisa had the privilege of interviewing author, speaker, and minstry leader, Beth Guckenberger. Beth shares wisdom and a unique perspective on marriage for all parents, especially those with demanding schedules and/or parenting kids with unique needs. Relevant Links: Join the Compassion Challenge Some of Beth's books: Start with Amen: How I Learned to Surrender by Keeping the End in Mind* Reckless Faith | A 40 Day Journey to Saying Yes * Tales of the Not Forgotten* Connect with Beth on her website. Connect with Beth at Back2Back  Connect with Beth on Instagram *This is an affiliate link.
#70: [Mentor Moment] What Do We Do When Kids Don’t Care About Consequences?
January 28, 2020 • 882 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: What Do We Do When Kids Don't Care About Consequences? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group or ask your own question for a future episode. Click here to join. Relevant Links The Compassion Challenge
#69: How to Talk to Your Child About Addiction with Kathy Stone
January 21, 2020 • 2246 MIN
Do you love someone who struggles with addiction? Are you worried about your teen? Do your children love someone who struggles with addiction? This week's guest struggled with addictions that started in her teens. She has now been sober for over 30 years. She generously shares her story and offers wisdom for parents of teens and young adults. She also shares the 7 C's for children who have parents who use substances. 1. I didn't Cause it. 2. I can't Cure it. 3. I can't Control it. 4. I can help take Care of myself by... 5. Communicating my feelings 6. Making healthy Choices 7. And Celebrating me. You can find more information about the 7 C's and other resources at the National Association of Children of Alcoholics. Relevant Links: Connect with Kathy via Facebook Connect with Kathy via Instagram
#68: [Mentor Moment] How Do I Help My Nonverbal Toddler Communicate?
January 14, 2020 • 518 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How Do I Help My Nonverbal Toddler Communicate? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question. Relevant Links #25: Regulating Through Movement and Play with Robyn Gobbel
#67: An Unexpected Open Adoption with Tonya Dixon
January 7, 2020 • 2603 MIN
What would you do if your young child asked you to find her birth father? Our guest today experienced that exact situation when her young daughter told her she wanted to see her birth father. The relationship with her daughter's birth mom had already evolved from being nearly closed to completely open. But this was a big step. Listen as Tonya shares her story of listening, trusting God, and putting her child's needs above her personal comfort. Books Tonya Recommends: In Their Own Voices* In Their Parents’ Voices* In Their Siblings’ Voices* All By Rita Simon and Rhonda Roorda* The Open Adoption: A Birth Father's Journey* by Darrick C. Rizzo God Found Us You*  by Lisa Tawn Bergen Tween magazine, For Girls Like You, had an issue on adoption.  March/April 2019. Relevant Links: The Adoption Connection Facebook Group *Affiliate links  
[Winter Rewind] Parenting Teens and Young Adults with the Future in Mind
December 31, 2019 • 2141 MIN
Do you have teens or young adults? We get more questions about parenting this group than any other. We both currently have teens at home and have launched several of our young adults. Parenting teens and young adults has unique rewards and challenges, especially when our teens have experienced trauma and adverse experiences. We’ve learned from our mistakes and successes. In the end, it all comes down to one key thing and we can’t wait to tell you about it. Don’t miss this episode about parenting with the future in mind! Additional posts about parenting teens and young adults Older Child Adoption | What I Would Have Done Differently 10 Disastrous Mistakes Parents Make in Older Child Adoption Older Child Adoption | What We Did Right More Lessons in Older Child Adoption 12 Practical Tips for Parenting Teens A Three-Point Plan for Parenting Middle Schoolers
[Winter Rewind] Giving Voice to Siblings
December 24, 2019 • 2068 MIN
If your family is a blend of kids by birth and adoption/foster care, or if you had an established family created by adoption and then added new children from “hard places,” don’t miss this interview with Lisa’s daughter, Annarose. How do siblings in the family feel, and what do they experience, when you add children to the family through adoption or foster care? What if the new children come with lots of challenges? In this episode, Lisa interviews her daughter and middle child of eleven, Annarose, about the challenges and blessings of being a sister to kids through adoption. Annarose loves life, adventure, and Jesus. At the time of the interview, she was studying abroad in Colombia, South America. Links Relevant to this episode: Have your children take Lisa's sibling survey here. Giving Voice to Siblings Part 1 and Part 2. Big Kid Date Night What about the siblings?
#66: Can Neurofeedback Help Your Adopted Child? (with Sarah Jordan)
December 17, 2019 • 2305 MIN
What if you could understand more of how your child's brain functions? What if you could even map it? Today's guest, Sarah Jordan, is a therapist and neurofeedback practitioner. She does a great job explaining neurofeedback and answering questions about how it can be used to help children. Relevant Resources and Links: Big Boo Cast: Episode 161 – Holiday Gift Guide Volume 1 Big Boo Cast: Episode 162 Part 2 of the Gift Guide for Men and Women Neurotherapy Northwest Website Neurotherapy on Facebook Biofeedback Certification International Alliance Recommended Insurance Code: 90901 Join us for 30 Days of Hope in January * Buy Faith, Hope, & Connection. * Join our Facebook group.
#65: Heartwarming Holiday Stories for Adoptive Families
December 10, 2019 • 1497 MIN
The holidays can be challenging and require us to work hard. We need to support each other. We also want to encourage you that in the midst of the hard work of parenting, there are many moments to celebrate. We asked our listeners to call in and share heartwarming holiday moments from their families. We think you'll love hearing their stories as much as we did. Relevant Links #13: Survive the Holidays While Keeping the Joy Faith, Hope, & Connection Devotional Join our FB Group for 30 Days of Hope
#64: Finding Adoption Support In Your Church with Jen Decker
December 3, 2019 • 3216 MIN
Many adoptive and foster parents feel supported by their churches before bringing new children into the family and in the early months following placement. As the needs grow enthusiasm seems to wane and parents are left feeling isolated and in need of help. In today's episode, Lisa interviews Jen Decker, who runs a thriving ministry for adoptive and foster parents at her church in Kansas City, Missouri. We discuss how parents can seek support and how churches can meet those needs. Relevant Resources and Links: Connect with Jen Re: Conference Live the Promise Promise 686 Article: "Walk a Mile in Baby's Booties" Join our FREE Facebook Group Join The Village before December 6  
#63: Should CBD Oil Be Used with Kids with Tereasa Mansfield
November 19, 2019 • 2518 MIN
What is CBD oil and can it help kids? Is it even legal? Wait -- are we talking about marijuana? Get your questions answered today when we interview our guest, Teresa Mansfield who is not only educated about CBD oil, but she's also an adoptive mom. Learn about another potential tool to help your children and yourself. Relevant Resources and Links: Join The Village before December 6 Tereasa on Facebook Tereasa on Instagram Tereasa's CBD Support Group PubMED (a search engine for scientific studies) CBD Education and Certification
#62: [Mentor Moment] How Can I Set My Kids Up For Success At Holiday Gatherings?
November 12, 2019 • 447 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: My extended family expects us to join in the family holiday gathering. My kids are doing pretty well, but I want to set them up for success and minimize the chances of a huge meltdown. Can you give me some ideas? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question. Relevant Links Faith, Hope, & Connection Devotional #13: Survive the Holidays While Keeping the Joy
#61: A Transracial Adoptee’s Thoughts on Growing Up Black in a White Family
November 5, 2019 • 64 MIN
If you could have a candid conversation with a transracially adopted young black man, what would you want to ask him? This is the question we asked members of our Facebook group prior to Lisa's interview with Derek Hamer. He shares his story with vulnerability that helps us see through his eyes. Relevant Resources and Links: Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race* by Debby Irving The Skin I'm In* by Sharon Flake No One Ever Asked* by Katie Ganshert The Color of Us* by Karen Katz Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? * by Beverly Daniel Tatum The Adoption Connection Facebook Group *affiliate link
#60: [Mentor Moment] How Do I Increase My Child’s Felt Safety?
October 29, 2019 • 1232 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: My child seems nervous and worried a lot. How can I increase his felt safety? * Be attuned. * Name it to tame it. * Give voice. * Validate emotions. * Offer appropriate control. * Match arousal energy in a controlled way. * Stay playful. * Remain curious. * Be consistent. * Keep it concrete. * Less is more. * Speak your child's Love Language. * Consider the Safe and Sound Protocol. Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question. Relevant Links Faith, Hope, & Connection Devotional 5 Love Languages Quiz Safe and Sound Protocol  
#59: Avoiding Hidden Triggers in Media for Adoptive Families with Darren Fink
October 22, 2019 • 2699 MIN
Parents are often caught by surprise when they stumble upon themes of children being separated from parents, death of parents, adoption, and similar themes in media. If we had only known, we could have prepared our kids and talked with them about it. We could have made an informed choice about watching that movie or reading that book. Don't miss today's interview with Darren Fink who, together with his wife, Margie, has created a resource for parents with trauma-informed reviews of book, movies, and other media. Their reviews equip parents to connect with and understand their children from traumatic backgrounds. Relevant Resources and Links: Try Transfiguring Adoption Reviews for free* Transfiguring Adoption on Instagram Transfiguring Adoption on Facebook *affiliate link
#58: [Mentor Moment] Why does my child lie, and what should I do about it?
October 15, 2019 • 623 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: Why does my child lie, and what should I do about it? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question. Relevant Links The Ultimate Parent Guide to Childhood Lying
#57: Adoption Reunion Reflections with Sherrie Eldridge
October 8, 2019 • 2733 MIN
In this week's episode, Lisa chats with Sherrie Eldridge, adult adoptee and author of the best-seller, Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew. With great wisdom and experience, Sherrie Eldridge shares her experience of being an adoptee in the era of closed adoptions and searching for her first family many decades later. We learn about recent first meetings with siblings now in their seventies! Relevant Resources and Links: Sherrie's Website  Sherrie on Facebook Sherrie's grief box presentation Little Branch Gets Adopted by Sherrie Eldridge* Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge*   *affiliate link
#56: [Mentor Moments] How Do We Help Our Kids Navigate Hard Questions At School?
October 1, 2019 • 518 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do we help our kids navigate hard questions at school? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question. Relevant Links The Compassion Challenge W.I.S.E. UP! Training W.I.S.E. UP! Power Book  
#55: Using Music for Healing with Pam Parry
September 24, 2019 • 1714 MIN
Are you looking for a fresh tool for your parenting toolbox? In this week's episode, Melissa interviews music therapist, Pam Parry. They discuss the power of using music to achieve non-musical goals and healing, especially for children with trauma histories. Relevant Resources and Links: Learn more about Music Therapy #25: Regulating Through Movement and Play with Robyn Gobbel Join The Adoption Connection Village (doors close on Monday, 9/30 at Midnight PDT) Try out a free coffee chat on Thursday, 9/26 at 8PM EDT or Monday, 9/30 at 1PM EDT! Click here to RSVP.
#54: [Mentor Moment] What Should I Look For In A Mental Health Professional?
September 17, 2019 • 461 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: What should I look for when seeking a mental health professional to work with our family? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question. [FREE DOWNLOAD] What to Look for in a Mental Health Professional
#53: Restoring Your Sanity with Jayne Schooler
September 10, 2019 • 2118 MIN
Why is self-care important? And who has time for it anyway? Adoptive and foster moms are often drowning in the needs of their children. We have so many people to care for, we can't begin to take care of ourselves. Can you relate to this? Today on The Adoption Connection podcast, Jayne Schooler shares some thoughts on seven different types of rest and the importance of implementing them in your life. * Physical * Mental * Spiritual * Emotional * Sensory * Social * Creative Relevant Resources and Links: Connect with Jayne on Facebook Connect with Jayne at Back 2 Back's website Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity* by Saundra Dalton-Smith Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It's Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature * by Peter Scazzero Melissa's blog post on her silent retreat Lisa's blog post on Restorative Sabbatical *affiliate link
#52: [Mentor Moment] What Are The Best Ways To Bond With An Adopted Toddler?
August 27, 2019 • 497 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: My biggest parenting challenge is bonding with my toddler. Can you give me some suggestions? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question. Related Resources I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey* *this is an affiliate link.
#51: The Truth About RAD with Karen Buckwalter
August 20, 2019 • 3069 MIN
Are you coping with really challenging behaviors with your child and searching for help? Often, as parents, we're looking for a diagnosis that will give words and validity to what we're seeing in our kids. If you have questions about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), the impact of trauma, or similar issues, you'll appreciate hearing from Karen Buckwalter, a therapist with decades of experience specializing in trauma and attachment. Relevant Resources and Links: Karen on LinkedIn Chaddock on Facebook Chaddock's website Parenting from the Inside Out by Dan Siegel* Daniel Hughes, Ph.D. and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy The Theraplay Institute EMDR The Safe and Sound Protocol
#50: [Mentor Moment] How Should I Handle Homework Battles With My Adopted Child?
August 13, 2019 • 503 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How should I handle homework battles with my adopted child? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question.  
#49: Talking Honestly about Adoption with Mike Berry
August 6, 2019 • 2127 MIN
Do you ever wish you had an experienced adoptive/foster parent available to answer your questions night or day? If you do, you're going to love hearing from Mike Berry about the new book he and his wife, Kristin, wrote. Honestly Adoption: Answers to 101 Questions about Adoption and Foster Care is being released today, August 6, 2019! Each question is its own chapter so it's easy to find answers right when you need them. Don't miss this fun and interesting interview as Mike shares their purpose in writing this book and even also tells us a little about the process. Relevant Resources and Links: Order the book and get some bonuses Mike and Kristin's webiste #22: Winning the Heart of Your Child with Mike Berry #38: Fostering and Adopting Teens with Kristin Berry #24: My 2 Parts in the Triad: Melissa’s Story of Being an Adoptee and Adoptive Mom #47: Lessons in Parenting from Adult Adoptee and Adoptive Mom Jeri Lea Kroll  
#48: [Mentor Moment] How Do I Know If A Behavior Is Due To Adoption And Trauma or Just Typical Kid Behavior?
July 30, 2019 • 396 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: How do I know if a behavior is due to adoption and trauma or just typical kid behavior? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question.  
#47: Lessons in Parenting from Adult Adoptee and Adoptive Mom Jeri Lea Kroll
July 23, 2019 • 2766 MIN
If you're anything like us, you love adoption stories, especially when told by different members of the adoption triad. You'll especially love hearing today's guest, Jeri Lea Kroll, tell her story of being an adoptee and later becoming an adoptive mom. We were captivated. Jeri Lea is also a therapist; you can imagine how rich this interview is. Don't miss this one if you want to understand the adoptee perspective, and how her experience impacts that way she parents her daughter. Relevant Resources and Links: #24: My 2 Parts in the Triad: Melissa’s Story of Being an Adoptee and Adoptive Mom Jeri Lea's website Visit Jeri Lea on Facebook
#46: [Mentor Moment] Should I Test and Diagnose My Adopted Child?
July 16, 2019 • 845 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: My child has more challenges than nearly any other child I know. Should I have my child tested and diagnosed? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question.  
#45: One Family’s Story of Perseverance with Emily Norton
July 9, 2019 • 3177 MIN
Ever wonder what would happen if God suddenly gave you the opportunity to share what is most important to you? This is what happened to our guest, Emily Norton, when a video about her and her husband (then fiance) went viral with millions of views. "Quadriplegics do not simply walk again - yet millions watched as Chris Norton took ten nearly impossible steps. With his fiancée, Emily, supporting at his side, those unbelievable steps became the start of an extraordinary journey for them both." ~Amazon Their story is one of incredible perseverance and following God in unexpected ways. Emily will infuse you with joy as she shares her very unique story of becoming a foster and adoptive mom. Relevant Resources and Links: The Seven Longest Yards* by Chris and Emily Norton Click here to preview the first 2 chapters of the audiobook for The Seven Longest Yards* Connect with Emily on Instagram Connect with Chris on Instagram Watch their YouTube videos #14:  Joys and Challenges of Fostering and Adopting as a Single Mom (Molly Ford also talks about post-adoption depression) #38: Fostering and Adopting Teens with Kristin Berry *affiliate link
#44: [Mentor Moment] Should I Homeschool My Adopted Child?
June 25, 2019 • 701 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: Should I homeschool my adopted child? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question.  
#43: Setting Realistic Expectations to Help Your Child Succeed with Deb Jones
June 18, 2019 • 2648 MIN
Today's episode is for every mom with kids from "hard places" and especially moms whose children have brain differences due to trauma, prenatal exposure, or other factors. Debbie Jones is the adoptive mom of a young adult son with FASD. Today she shares her wisdom and wealth of experience with setting realistic expectations for our children in order to help them succeed. Her story is honest, real, and filled with hope. Don't miss it! Links Relevant to this episode: Connect with Deb on Facebook God, Are You Nice or Mean?: Trusting God . . . After the Orphanage* by Deb Jones #40: Parenting Kids with FASDs and Invisible Disabilities Successfully with Eileen Devine *This is an affiliate link *If you’re already on our email list, you automatically receive each week’s download in our Quick Connection email.
#42: Practically Preparing For Your Adoption or Fostering Journey – The 6 most important things you need to do
June 11, 2019 • 1945 MIN
If you've ever wanted to ask experienced adoptive and foster moms what practical things they would recommend you do before bringing new children into your family, this episode is for you. If you are in the midst of fostering or adopting, you'll get fresh ideas to help you as you parent and love your kids. This is the second half of a discussion we began last week about preparing to become foster or adoptive parents. Last week, we discussed internal preparations: mental, emotional, and spiritual. Today we're talking about the 6 most important practical things you can do to prepare for being an adoptive/foster parent. 1. Simplify your life - your stuff and your schedule. 2. Get all the "things" done beforehand. 3. Build your tribe. 4. Prepare answers for hard or ignorant questions. 5. Consider all of your children's safety. 6. Plan some fun while you wait. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Links Relevant to this episode: The Adoption Connection Facebook group Episode 04: How to Talk to Your Kids About Their Story Episode 41: Mentally Preparing For Your Adoption or Fostering Journey – The 11 most important things you need to know 8 Ways to Help an Adoptive or Foster Mom What to Look for in a Mental Health Professional Video Melissa used to prep her friend's tribe W.I.S.E. Up! Book
# 41: Mentally Preparing For Your Adoption or Fostering Journey – The 11 most important things you need to know
June 4, 2019 • 2449 MIN
If you've ever wanted to ask experienced adoptive and foster moms what they would recommend you do before bringing new children into your family, this episode is for you. If you are in the midst of fostering or adopting, you'll get fresh ideas to help you as you parent and love your kids. Today we're talking about 11 things you can do to prepare mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually for being an adoptive/foster parent. The 11 Most Important Things You Need to Know 1. Take care of yourself and your marriage. 2. Have realistic expectations. 3. Understand what you can control - and what you can't. 4. Be flexible. 5. Educate yourself. 6. Define success appropriately. 7. Remember that what's normal for you may not be normal for your kids. 8. Be mindful that your kids' perception is their reality. 9. Embrace radical acceptance. 10. Understand your history and how it affects your parenting. 11. Remember it's a marathon and not a sprint. Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can: And wisdom to know the difference. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Links Relevant to this episode: The Adoption Connection Facebook group Episode 09: Are Newborn Adoptions Easier? (with Rebecca Vahle) Episode 31: 7 Ways for Parents to Relieve a Stressed-Out Brain Episode 40: Parenting Kids with FASDs and Invisible Disabilities Successfully with Eileen Devine Melissa's post that shows the pyramid where we need to be the solid foundation The Connected Child * by Karyn Purvis Books by Dan Siegel * Books by Daniel Hughes * 8 Ways to Help an Adoptive or Foster Mom *This is an affiliate link. Thanks for supporting our work!
#40: Parenting Kids with FASDs and Invisible Disabilities Successfully with Eileen Devine
May 28, 2019 • 3277 MIN
If your child's brain has been affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol, drugs, extreme stress, or other factors, there are 8 areas of brain function that may be affected: * Developmental level of functioning: Social skills and adaptive behavior * Sensory systems, sensory-motor integration * Nutrition * Language and communication * Processing pace * Learning and Memory * Abstract thinking * Executive functioning Don't miss this interview with Eileen Devine, LCSW, an expert on FASDs. She discusses the challenges for kids with brain differences and their parents and offers helpful strategies that really work! Links Relevant to this episode: Visit Eileen's Blog Connect with Eileen on Facebook Connect with Eileen on Instagram Trying Differently Rather Than Harder: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders* by Diane Malbin Video for Teachers by Nate Sheets Ira Chasnoff's Website The Mystery of Risk: Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy, and the Vulnerable Child* by Ira Chasnoff Facebook group: Shifting the paradigm: towards a neuro-behavioral approach to FASD *This is an affiliate link
#39: [Mentor Moment] Should I change my adopted child’s name?
May 21, 2019 • 635 MIN
Mentor Moments give you a chance to join the conversation as we answer a listener question. These episodes guarantee we're providing the most helpful tools and resources for exactly where you are. This week's question is: Should I change my adopted child's name? Share your experience and advice in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on a future episode? Call our listener hotline, 24 hours a day, at (208) 741-3880 to record your question.
#38: Fostering and Adopting Teens with Kristin Berry
May 14, 2019 • 2706 MIN
If you're considering fostering or adopting older kids or teens, this episode with Kristin Berry is for you. We talk about what it's like to foster teens in your 20's and early 30's when the age gap is small, and you've never parented teens before. We discuss the lessons we've learned from adding older kids to the family - including respecting where they've come from and the lifelong process of attachment. Kristin also shares the sweetest part of having older kids while you're still young - hint, it has to do with grandbabies. Relevant Resources and Links: Connect with Kristin on Facebook Connect with Kristin on Instagram Born Broken: An Adoptive Journey by Kristin Berry (this is an affiliate link) Honestly Adoption by Mike & Kristin Berry (this is an affiliate link)
#37: Are video games actually bad for kids?
May 7, 2019 • 3173 MIN
Video games - do you love them or hate them? Do you worry about the influence of gaming on your kids? In this episode, Melissa and her husband, Patrick, discuss video games and their approach to managing gaming in their family. You may be surprised at some of their thoughts. Can video games teach kids how to solve problems, work as a team, and even help us connect as families? Relevant Resources and Links: Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal Jane's TedTalk: Gaming Can Make a Better World SuperBetter App (for gamifying your life) Head's Up App (iTunes | Google Play) Games That Work For Other Families Episode 27: Tips for Getting Chores Done Ask Patrick a question in The Adoption Connection FB Group Patrick's Game Recommendations: (This list contains affiliate links.) Console Games Portal (all of them) The Turing Test Death Squared Peggle Human: Fall Flat The Witness (for those who want an extra challenge!) Games With Killing Tomb Raider (all of them) Assassin's Creed (all of them) All LEGO games (These have non-gory killing. The LEGO men just break into pieces.) Mobile Apps Angry Birds Happy Glass 2048 Flow Free Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa answer the question: "How can I connect to the heart of my son who is still HYPER focused on his biological mom. She is his mom. I know this. I do not want to replace her. I’m just not sure how to reach him?"
#36: A Mother’s Day Guide for Adoptive and Foster Moms
April 30, 2019 • 1332 MIN
We asked the members of our private Facebook group, "What are your best Mother's Day survival tips?" We took what they shared and added from our own experiences to create this episode. Here are our tips for navigating this tricky  holiday: * Keep your expectations low and communicate clearly. * Focus on someone else. * Establish simple traditions. * Honor birth moms (and other moms). * Celebrate yourself! Relevant Resources and Links: Episode 29: Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday and Live to Tell About It Join our private Facebook group
#35: Preparing for a Successful Summer
April 23, 2019 • 2188 MIN
Summer is coming, and we’re supposed to have fun. Right? It’s not always easy for families with kids from “hard places.” Kids from “hard places” are children who experienced early trauma such as abuse, neglect, medical intervention, prenatal exposure to substances, or even changes in primary caregiver. While our children may look forward to breaks from school and enjoy their days free of the constant demands, they often find this lack of structure very difficult, and their anxiety rises.  As anxiety increases, so does volatility and before we know it, we find ourselves in a chaotic mess. Stress is high when our kids struggle and the entire family is impacted. A little planning goes a long way. We know because we’ve both made the mistake of not being proactive enough. You can learn from our mistakes! Relevant Resources and Links: Sound Machine (affiliate link) Episode 34: 10 Habits for Less Anxiety and Better Sleep with Tania Milliken Episode 31: 7 Ways for Parents to Relieve a Stressed-Out Brain *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#34: 10 Habits for Less Anxiety and Better Sleep with Tania Milliken
April 16, 2019 • 60 MIN
If you have trouble sleeping or tend to feel anxious and worn down, don't miss this interview with Tania Milliken. She shares ten daily habits to help our families thrive. Some of them may surprise you! Links Relevant to this episode: Connect with Tania at her website Join Tania's Facebook group - Access Ease Connect with Tania on Instagram @tania.milliken Episode 25: Regulating Through Movement and Play with Robyn Gobbel Stop, Breathe & Think (app for mindful breathing) Yoga with Adriene Down Dog (yoga app) Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa answer the question: "I'm looking for ways of helping my child deal with homework. My philosophy tends toward, 'She's young and I don’t want homework to become a constant battle,' but there’s also that part of me that worries about what happens if she doesn’t get it done, I feel like she’s 'getting away' with not doing homework if we don’t push it, and then it’ll be a problem in future grade levels. I just don’t think it’s worth the meltdowns at this stage in the game." *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#33: Grieving the unexpected losses in adoption
April 9, 2019 • 2105 MIN
Have you experienced a lot of change in your life since entering the world of foster care and/or adoption? There is beauty in this journey, but parents are often surprised by the sense of loss. The changes may be so great that the life you once lived seems to have disappeared. In this episode, we talk honestly about grief surrounding foster care and adoption through the lens of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's Five Stages of Grief, plus an additional sixth stage. Links Relevant to this episode: 5 Stage of Grief Episode 20: The Bitter and Sweet of Foster Care Reunification with Jamie Finn Episode 31: 7 Ways for Parents to Relieve a Stressed-Out Brain How to join 30 Days of Hope in April * Order Faith, Hope, & Connection: A 30-Day Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Parents.  * Join The Adoption Connection Facebook Group. This post includes affiliate links.
#32: Parenting Perks We Didn’t Know We Needed with Sharon Hujik
April 2, 2019 • 2694 MIN
Are you trying to figure out how to juggle parenting your children while also pursuing your dreams? Do you even know what your passions are anymore? In this episode, Lisa sits down with her friend, Sharon Hujik, to talk about balancing being a mom of kids from "hard places" and a business coach. We discuss the importance of doing something that gives you joy in the midst of intense therapeutic parenting. Links Relevant to this episode: Connect with Sharon at her website Connect with Sharon on Facebook Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown Faith, Hope, & Connection: A 30-Day Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Parents The Adoption Connection Facebook group Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa answer the question: "We adopted internationally from a country that doesn't keep great birth records. There may be a discrepancy in age. Is there a benefit to changing our child's age?" *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#31: 7 Ways for Parents to Relieve a Stressed-Out Brain
March 26, 2019 • 2386 MIN
Do you ever feel stressed-out and unable to think clearly as a parent? Do you find yourself losing your desire to connect with your kids and even manage their behaviors? We get it because we've both parented with stressed-out brains, and it's a hard place to be. In this episode, we talk about seven ways to give our brains what they need in order to reduce stress. Our conversation is centered around the Healthy Mind Platter by Dan Siegel and David Rock which outlines seven mental activities for optimizing our brains and well-being: * Focus Time * Play Time * Connecting Time * Physical Time * Time In * Down Time * Sleep Time Links Relevant to this episode: Healthy Mind Platter by Dan Siegel and David Rock The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Dan Siegel and Tina Bryson No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Dan Siegel and Tina Bryson The Stress-Proof Brain: Mastering Your Emotional Response to Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity by Melanie Greenberg PhD Episode #25: Regulating Through Movement and Play with Robyn Gobbel Episode #10: Why won’t my kids just go play?!?! Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor Mindful Breathing App (look for the breathing timer) How to join 30 Days of Hope in April * Order Faith, Hope, & Connection: A 30-Day Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Parents.  * Join The Adoption Connection Facebook Group. This post includes affiliate links.
#30: How Horses Can Help Kids Heal
March 19, 2019 • 3069 MIN
Imagine a foster or adopted child relating to a horse in a way that actually helps heal his brain. Learn how equine therapy helps children's brains heal from trauma in this fascinating interview with Reccia Jobe about a trauma-focused equine-assisted psychotherapy, Natural Lifemanship. Links Relevant to this episode: Pecan Creek Ranch on Facebook Pecan Creek Ranch on Instagram Natural Lifemanship Website Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa answer the question: "What if a child might say something that would get us investigated?" *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#29: Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday and Live to Tell About It
March 5, 2019 • 1698 MIN
Birthdays are great, right? Sometimes they are, but not always. Some of our kids find birthdays to be really stressful, and those feelings can come out in all kinds of ways. In this episode, we talk about celebrating our kids' birthdays with special attention paid to the unique needs of kids with early trauma. We explore reducing anxiety, honoring first families, and having realistic expectations. Links Relevant to this episode: Love Languages How to Honor Birth Family on Birthdays (and why) Mentor Moments: "Can you talk about how to determine an appropriate level of interaction with birth family when adoptive kids have permission/ability to have contact but parents are either in prison, actively addicted or just unreliable?" If you're coming to Refresh next week, text @taconnect to 81010, so we can text you the location for our Saturday lunch meet up!  
#28: Hope for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care with Pam Parish
February 26, 2019 • 2551 MIN
Did you know there are 700 kids who age out of foster care each year just in Georgia? 97% of youth who age out without a significant, stable person in their lives will end up in poverty or worse. 70% of male youth who age out will end up in jail or prison. There is a solution to these dire statistics. Today's guest, Pam Parish, tells us what that is. She also talks about ways we can support these youth and change their futures. Pam Parish is the founder of Connections Homes an Atlanta-based organization impacting the lives of young adults who are aging out of foster care, homeless or without family. She and her husband, Steve, are the parents of seven young adult daughters. One of their daughters came to them through the gift of birth and six through the gift of foster care and adoption. They are also Pops and Nana to four adorable grandchildren. Links Relevant to this episode: #11: Hope for Battle-Weary Parents with Pam Parish Pam's Website Pam's books (including The Gift) The Adoption Connection Facebook Group Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: How do I handle parenting multiple children with high needs and challenging behaviors?
#27: Tips for Getting Chores Done
February 19, 2019 • 1814 MIN
Chores - do you make your kids do them? Is it worth it? What if your child refuses to do his chore? In this episode, Lisa and Melissa talk about the importance of including our kids in the work of the family, while also being mindful of our kids' needs and abilities. We talk about how and when our families do chores and how we avoid huge conflicts. Don't miss this practical episode. Join the discussion about chores in our private Facebook group. Click here to join. Links Relevant to this episode: How To Get Your Kids To Do Chores (Without Resenting It) Kids and Chores [Video] 5 Tips: Chores for Kids from "Hard Places"  
#26: What To Do When Your Child is Out of Control with Robyn Gobbel
February 12, 2019 • 3406 MIN
Picture this, your child is falling apart, ramping up, and he's totally flipped his lid. Your fear starts to creep up. How do you make him stop? You've been there, right? So have we. In this week's episode, Robyn Gobbel helps us understand what is happening in us and our kids during times of dysregulation. Then she offers practical tips to help our children regulate. Don't miss her explanation about the importance of matching our children's energy in the moment, which is different from being calm. Links Relevant to this episode: Robyn on Facebook Gobbel Counseling Website Episode 6: Helping Kids Process Scary Events with Robyn Gobbel Episode 25: Regulating Through Movement and Play with Robyn Gobbel Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa answer the question: "When you have been in the trenches and people say things like....'You knew what you were getting in to' or 'It was your choice to adopt,”...How does one gracefully respond?" *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#25: Regulating Through Movement and Play with Robyn Gobbel
February 5, 2019 • 3148 MIN
Why is it so hard for our kids to stay calm and regulated? And how can we help them learn how to do it? Today's guest, Robyn Gobbel, gives us a great explanation of how our kids' brains respond to stressors. She offers us practical ways to help them regulate through movement that is: Rhythmic Repetitive Relational Somatosensory Links Relevant to this episode: Robyn on Facebook Gobbel Counseling Website Episode 6: Helping Kids Process Scary Events with Robyn Gobbel Episode 26: What To Do When Your Child is Out of Control with Robyn Gobbel The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce Perry (this is an affiliate link) Go Noodle Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa answer the question: "How can I feel okay with fostering a child I don’t feel I can adopt but still want to foster so the child in question can become stable enough to move on at the right time? How do I reconcile that in my head and in my heart?" *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#24: My 2 Parts in the Triad: Melissa’s Story of Being an Adoptee and Adoptive Mom
January 29, 2019 • 61 MIN
Do happy adoptees exist? In this episode, Lisa interviews Melissa about her life as a Korean adoptee, what her parents did right, connections to culture, and many other fascinating topics. We also talk about her life as an adoptive mom and how being an adoptee influences her. Like Lisa, Melissa holds two roles in the adoption triad. She's an adult adoptee and an adoptive mom. Her positive adoption experience contributed to her decision to become an adoptive mom, which has been a much more complex journey. We hope you love this episode as much as we enjoyed creating it. Links Relevant to this episode: #23: My 2 Parts in the Triad -Lisa’s Story of Being a Birthmom and Adoptive Mom Join our Facebook group The volunteers who held Melissa from Korea to Baltimore.First day home.Melissa with mom and siblings.Melissa with her best friend.Some of the family together for Christmas 2018!
#23: My 2 Parts in the Triad -Lisa’s Story of Being a Birthmom and Adoptive Mom
January 22, 2019 • 2884 MIN
Have you ever felt like you're standing in two worlds simultaneously? We're not referring to science fiction, we're talking about holding two of the three roles in the adoption triad. In this week's episode, Melissa interviews Lisa about being a birth/first mom and an adoptive mom. Lisa talks about her experience of losing her first son to adoption, grief and loss, bitterness, healing and restoration, and how she became the most unlikely adoptive mom. There's lots of vulnerability in this interview, and quite a few tears (we had to stop recording at least once). It's tender and personal, please listen with care. Links Relevant to this episode: #6: Helping Kids Process Scary Events with Robyn Gobbel #9:  Are Newborn Adoptions Easier? (with Rebecca Vahle) where she talks about the wedding and funeral in the same room LISA: ON FOLLOWING GOD INTO THE HARD + UNEXPECTED ADOPTION + RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTERS (Lisa's interview on Jamie Finn's podcast, The Real Mom Podcast)
#22: Winning the Heart of Your Child with Mike Berry
January 15, 2019 • 2903 MIN
Do you ever wonder if you're doing the right thing as a parent? Do you wonder if you're focusing on the right things? Today's guest is our friend, Mike Berry, who talks about what matters most, the hearts of our children. Their behavior, appearance, successes, and failures are not the core of who they are. We want to reach their hearts and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. Mike shares great wisdom from his, soon to be released book, Winning the Heart of Your Child: 9 Keys to Building a Positive Lifelong Relationship with Your Kids. Links Relevant to this episode: Pre-Order Mike's new book Confessions of an Adoptive Parent Blog Confessions of an Adoptive Parent on Facebook Confessions of an Adoptive Parent on Instagram Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa answer the question: "Can you talk about how to determine an appropriate level of interaction with birth family when adoptive kids have permission/ability to have contact but parents are either in prison, actively addicted or just unreliable?"   The Weary Parent's Guide to Escaping Exhaustion * Discover 9 simple steps to help you regain strength and better care for you. * Learn the importance of setting aside personal time, and how to do this while still providing care for your children. * Create a plan for finding fulfillment each day of your parenting journey. * Discover the power of key attitude shifts and how they can make all the difference in better caring for you. Send Me The Download *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#21: Looking to the New Year with a Plan
January 8, 2019 • 2412 MIN
What are your hopes and dreams for 2019? Are you making resolutions or setting goals? Today we talk about how we plan for a new year, what's important to us, how we set goals and one of the most important things to keep in mind. We offer specific tips and tools to help you move toward the things that matter most in your life. Links Relevant to this episode: My Life is Written in Pencil Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson (Emotionally Focused Therapy) *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#20: The Bitter and Sweet of Foster Care Reunification with Jamie Finn
December 18, 2018 • 3073 MIN
"I couldn't do foster care because I'd never be able to give them back." How many times have you heard this, said this, felt this? There's no doubt, it's so hard to love and care for a child and then return him to his family. And yet... Lisa sat down with Jamie Finn to talk about the bitter and the sweet of loving children and then letting them go. Jamie shares her journey from viewing herself as the rescuer of children to being a loving support to them and their birth families. This was a beautiful conversation - we hope you enjoy it. Links Relevant to this episode: Jamie writes at Foster the Family Blog Connect with Jamie on Instagram or Facebook Learn more about the Foster the Family non-profit Listen to Jamie interview Lisa Listen to Jamie interview Melissa Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa answer the question: "My extended family expects us to join in the family holiday gathering. My kids are doing pretty well, but I want to set them up for success and minimize the chances of a huge meltdown. Can you give me some ideas?"  
#19: How to Stay Connected to Kids Not Living at Home
December 11, 2018 • 1857 MIN
What are some great ways to say connected with kids who aren't living at home? Melissa and Lisa share their experiences of having children leave home for a short time or longer - some happy reasons and some hard. How do we stay connected when emotions are tough? How do we connect with our big kids when our days are consumed with younger, or simply more demanding, siblings? We share our best tips in this episode! Links Relevant to this Episode: Blog post by Melissa
#18: Intentional Parenting and Trauma-Sensitive Schools with Stacy Manning
December 4, 2018 • 3542 MIN
Do you want your kids living their best lives at home and at school? Our guest, Stacy Manning, believes in that goal. Stacy adopted from Russia back before we were talking about trauma-informed parenting. She researched and found information on her own, which led her to develop resources and support groups for other parents. Her newest area of interest is supporting educators and providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to be trauma-sensitive teachers. We loved hearing about that, and we know you will too. Links Relevant to this episode: Adoptive & Foster Parenting Facebook Page Trauma-Sensitive Teachers Facebook Page Stacy on Instagram Stacy's Website Adoptive Parent Intentional Parent: A Formula for Building & Maintaining Your Child's Safety Net* by Stacy Manning *This is an affiliate link. Mentor Moments: This week Lisa and Melissa talk about why kids lie about silly things and what to do about it. Click here to watch the video Melissa refers to about lying.  
#17: Help Your Kids Discover Their Strengths and Plan for the Future with Wendy Willard
November 27, 2018 • 2983 MIN
Maybe you're struggling to see anything positive in your child's behaviors. Or maybe your teens' self-esteem and confidence are so low, they are convinced they are a failure. Sometimes as moms, we feel like failures or that we aren't cut out for this enormous job of raising kids with such troubled pasts. This week, Wendy Willard brings us fresh insight and practical tools for helping us discover our kids' strengths which can give us hope for the future. Remember, if it seems your child is struggling to live out his strengths, he may be feeling SLATHY. S - Shame L - Lonely A - Afraid T - Tired H - Hungry/Thirsty Y - Yucky Links Relevant to this episode: Gallup's CliftonStrengths Assessment (aka. StrengthsFinder) (Alternatively, you can purchase this book* which comes with a free code.) University of Pennsylvania’s Strength Survey for Children Playfield Institute’s Character Strengths Assessment Adopted for Daily Life: A Devotional For Adopting Moms * Wendy's Blog Wendy on Facebook *This is an affiliate link.  Mentor Moments: If you have a question you'd like us to answer, send us a message by clicking here. *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#16: The Ultimate Shopping Guide for Adoptive Families
November 20, 2018 • 2773 MIN
Melissa and Lisa share some of their favorite gift ideas for the people you love, and a few suggestions for you too in this episode. Maybe you'll find some new ideas here! We'd love to hear your suggestions. Join the conversation on our private Facebook group. Babies and Toddlers Growth chart Cardboard bricks Toy kitchen Preschoolers PlasmaCar Strider bike Homemade Playdoh Click here for a tried and true recipe. Add citrus oils for an energizing experience or floral oils for a calming ritual. Duplos Gorilla gym Rice bin with toys - link to a blog post Early Elementary Kinetic Sand Adventures in Odyssey and Radio Theater Ant Farm Bird Feeder Magnatiles Later Elementary Experiences - rock climbing, trampoline park Subscriptions: magazines, Middle School Lego Robotics Suspend game Gifts to match their interests and hobbies Athletic gear - gym bag, hoodie, socks Headlamp Craft supplies Prismacolor pencils and sketchbook Headphones Teens Letter boards and magnetic poetry Gift cards Escape Room (check Groupon for a great deal) Room decor: twinkle lights, banners, posters, bulletin board Car tools and accessories - toolkit, car essential oil diffuser, organizers Tickets to a concert, sporting event, etc. Bluetooth earbuds Moms Tote bag/Carry on Personalized mom jewelry Travel pillow Handlettering Kit Yeti or Klean Kanteen travel mug House cleaning - monthly or one-time deep clean
#15: Using everyday tasks to build connection
November 13, 2018 • 1624 MIN
You already know connected parenting is great, but does it ever feel too many burdens and expectations are set on your already heavy shoulders? We've both been there and know just how hard it is. Today we talk about simple ways to build connection with your children in the midst of everyday life. It's all about looking for little opportunities as we go through our days and not about making life more complicated. We have very different families, lives, and interests, so you'll hear a wide range of thoughts as we talk. Relevant Resources and Links: How To Get Your Kids To Do Chores (Without Resenting It) Schedule a Coaching Call *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#14: Joys and Challenges of Fostering and Adopting as a Single Mom with Molly Ford
November 6, 2018 • 3590 MIN
Today on The Adoption Connection podcast, Lisa sits down with her friend, Molly Ford, a single foster/adoptive mom. Molly shares her story, the good and hard. We also talk about post-adoption depression and grief that affects many parents in this beautiful and complex journey. Links Relevant to this episode: Molly Ford on Facebook Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: My child seems nervous and worried a lot. How can I increase his felt safety?
#13: Survive the Holidays While Keeping the Joy
October 30, 2018 • 1977 MIN
We're talking about the holidays this week. We share tips contributed by our listeners and lots of our own. This is the time to begin making plans that won't push your family over the edge. Relevant Resources and Links: Tips from Monica at Emerging Mama document.getElementById("thinkific-product-embed") || document.write('');Buy Now
#12: Lessons from a Seasoned Foster Mom with Tereasa Mansfield
October 23, 2018 • 3041 MIN
Being a foster parent is rewarding, challenging, joyful and heartbreaking. It takes courage! Melissa sits down with seasoned foster mom, Tereasa Mansfield. Tereasa shares her fostering journey from how they became foster parents to what they’re doing now. She also talks about how she went from being lonely and overwhelmed to connected to a tribe that came through with the help she needed. Tereasa is a parent trainer and coach who motivates overwhelmed moms wanting connected relationships with their children. She also educates caregivers and professionals on the effects of toxic stress and trauma, and how healing can begin. After years of having foster children in their family, the Mansfield's have decided to close their doors. Tereasa now focuses on their three forever children at home and helping other families outside the home. If you’re a foster parent or considering becoming one, you’ll love the nuggets of wisdom Tereasa shares. Links Relevant to this episode: Tereasa on Facebook Tereasa on Instagram Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: How can I tell if a behavior is due to trauma and adoption or just a typical kid behavior?
#11: Hope for Battle-Weary Parents with Pam Parish
October 16, 2018 • 2184 MIN
Adoptive parenting is a tough job. It's even harder when a child is struggling with challenging behaviors—defiance, rejection, running away, drug addiction, sexual misconduct, criminal activity, attachment issues, rage and beyond. Parenting a child in crisis leaves parents worn out from isolation, exhaustion, frustration, and fear. If you are battle-weary from the day-to-day struggles of parenting a child with difficult behaviors and feel like you want to quit, you will be encouraged by Pam's faith and perseverance with her daughters. She has stubbornly stuck by her girls through multiple crises and shares her wisdom and hope in this episode. There is a brighter tomorrow! Pam Parish is the founder of Connections Homes an Atlanta-based organization impacting the lives of young adults who are aging out of foster care, homeless or without family. She and her husband, Steve, are the parents of seven young adult daughters. One of their daughters came to them through the gift of birth and six through the gift of foster care and adoption. They are also Pops and Nana to four adorable grandchildren. Links Relevant to this episode: Pam's Website Pam's books (including the devotional for Battle-Weary Parents) #28: Hope for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care with Pam Parish Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: How do we help our kids navigate hard questions at school? *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#10: Why won’t my kids just go play?!?!
October 9, 2018 • 2195 MIN
Do you feel frustrated when your kids won’t just go play? And what about the bins of Legos and awesome craft supplies? Why won’t they play with them? Or, do you see playful moms and wish you could be more like them? Lisa and Melissa both do! In this episode, Lisa interviews Melissa about play. Melissa has done her research and shares great information that will help you view play in new ways. You'll also gain insight into your kids and yourself. Relevant Resources and Links: Books (affiliate links): Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown Attaching Through Love, Hugs and Play: Simple Strategies to Help Build Connections with Your Child by Deborah Gray The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Kranowitz *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#09: Are Newborn Adoptions Easier? (with Rebecca Vahle)
October 2, 2018 • 3416 MIN
A lot of parents check certain boxes looking for a "lower risk" adoption. The thought is that the younger a child comes to you, the "easier" it will be because less has happened to the child. Sometimes parents of children adopted as newborns do not recognize challenging behaviors as due to trauma. Children often go misdiagnosed or the parents mistakenly think that it's all their fault. If you adopted an infant or are looking to adopt a newborn, don't miss this interview with Rebecca Vahle. Rebecca Vahle is the Founder and Director of Training and Curriculum Development for the Family to Family Support Network (FFSN), a pro-education, non-profit organization. FFSN began as the Family to Family Adoption Support Network Program at Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker, Colorado in 2004. The program, created by Rebecca, was the first hospital-based adoption support program in the nation and has been recognized as defining best practice in handling the complex, emotional and logistical needs present in infant adoptions in the hospital setting. In 2015, FFSN was created to share and expand the program and care model into hospitals nationwide with the goal of educating healthcare professionals on the complexities of serving all unique families and empowering hospitals to be a hub of resources to connect families early in pregnancy with needed community resources. Links Relevant to this episode: Family to Family Support Network website FFSN FB page Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: What should I look for when seeking a mental health professional to work with our family? If you have a holiday survival tip to share, leave a comment below or, better yet, leave a message on our listener feedback line at 208-741-3880. [FREE DOWNLOAD] What to Look for in a Mental Health Professional *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#08: Parenting Teens and Young Adults with the Future in Mind
September 25, 2018 • 2114 MIN
Do you have teens or young adults? We get more questions about parenting this group than any other. We both currently have teens at home and have launched several of our young adults. Parenting teens and young adults has unique rewards and challenges, especially when our teens have experienced trauma and adverse experiences. We’ve learned from our mistakes and successes. In the end, it all comes down to one key thing and we can’t wait to tell you about it. Don’t miss this episode about parenting with the future in mind! Additional posts about parenting teens and young adults Older Child Adoption | What I Would Have Done Differently 10 Disastrous Mistakes Parents Make in Older Child Adoption Older Child Adoption | What We Did Right More Lessons in Older Child Adoption 12 Practical Tips for Parenting Teens A Three-Point Plan for Parenting Middle Schoolers
#07: Tips for Advocating for Your Child at School with Sandi Lerman
September 18, 2018 • 2971 MIN
Kids with a history of trauma and adverse experiences often struggle in a traditional learning environment. As parents, it's daunting to know how to best advocate for your student. You may feel like it's you against the school and no one is on your side. This week Sandi Lerman, MA Ed, shares her best tips for helping your child get the free and appropriate education the law requires. Sandi Lerman is an Education Consultant and the proud Mama Bear of a 17-year old who was adopted at age 10 from Guatemala. Additionally, she is founder of WingBuilder, LCC, providing parent training and coaching for parents of adopted children and others with developmental trauma through her HEART-STRONG Parenting Program. Through her years of experience as an educator and parent, Sandi walks us through a step-by-step process for navigating the education system. Links Relevant to this episode: Sandi's website. Families in FLIGHT (Family Love Inspiring Growth and Healing Transformation) FB Group Teaching with Connection FB Group Wright's Law Directory of Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC) State-by-State Help Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: My biggest parenting challenge is bonding with my toddler. Can you give me some suggestions? *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#06: Helping Kids Process Scary Events with Robyn Gobbel
September 11, 2018 • 2862 MIN
If you’ve ever wondered how to help your child process frightening events, don’t miss this great interview with Robyn Gobbel. Robyn is a therapist whose clinical practice is focused exclusively on working with families of children who have experienced a history of toxic stress and complex trauma. How should we talk to our kids about scary events in the world? And what if we’re really afraid too? Robyn answers the question, “Should we fake it till you make it?” She also gives tips for calming ourselves and gives us a great example of how to help kids process traumatic events. Links Relevant to this episode: Robyn's website. Robyn on Facebook. Robyn's posts on creating a trauma story. #25: Regulating Through Movement and Play with Robyn Gobbel #26: What To Do When Your Child is Out of Control with Robyn Gobbel Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: Do these older kids ever launch? *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#05: Giving Voice to Siblings
September 4, 2018 • 2687 MIN
If your family is a blend of kids by birth and adoption/foster care, or if you had an established family created by adoption and then added new children from “hard places,” don’t miss this interview with Lisa’s daughter, Annarose. How do siblings in the family feel, and what do they experience, when you add children to the family through adoption or foster care? What if the new children come with lots of challenges? In this episode, Lisa interviews her daughter and middle child of eleven, Annarose, about the challenges and blessings of being a sister to kids through adoption. Annarose loves life, adventure, and Jesus. At the time of the interview, she was studying abroad in Colombia, South America. Links Relevant to this episode: Have your children take Lisa's sibling survey here. Giving Voice to Siblings Part 1 and Part 2. Big Kid Date Night What about the siblings? Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: My child has more challenges than nearly any other child I know. Should I have my child tested and diagnosed? *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#04: How to Talk to Your Kids About Their Story
August 28, 2018 • 2876 MIN
Many adoptive and foster parents have questions about how and when to talk with their kids about their stories. What if your child’s story is really hard? Should you tell them the truth? How old should they be? Don’t miss this interview with Lisa’s mentor and friend Jayne Schooler. She is an adoptive mom, co-creator (with her husband, David) of Trauma Competent Caregiver training, and author of multiple books related to adoption and foster care. Click here to download a transcript for this episode. Jayne's Books Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families The Whole Life Adoption Book: Realistic Advice for Building a Healthy Adoptive Family Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child, Making Sense of the Past Journeys After Adoption: Understanding Lifelong Issues Links Relevant to this episode: Back2Back Ministries Hospitious Adoption (free pdf download) Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: We've always homeschooled and assumed it would be best for building attachment with our newly adopted children, but it doesn't seem to be working out. What should we do? Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links and The Adoption Connection may earn a commission if you shop through the links.  *If you're already on our email list, you automatically receive each week's download in our Quick Connection email.
#03: Tips for a Drama-free Morning
August 21, 2018 • 2393 MIN
Mornings can be tough- school mornings can be even tougher. Moms often ask us for strategies to smooth out the morning so we don’t all feel frazzled and defeated by 8 am. Lisa and Melissa walk through their favorite tips and strategies to help you create a drama-free morning for your family.
#02: A Dad’s Journey to Connected Parenting
August 14, 2018 • 2896 MIN
The transition from traditional parenting to connected parenting presents challenges for many of us. It looks and feels different from the way we were parented and (if we already have children) the way we're already parenting. We all experience this transition differently. Today, we hear from a dad who took the plunge into this new way of parenting for the sake of his kids and found himself changed by it. If you're new to connected parenting, or you and your husband can't quite get on the same page, this interview is for you. If you're a foster or adoptive dad, you will love hearing Mark Vatsaas share his story. Mark Vatsaas is a parent coach and a moderator of the very popular Facebook group, Parenting with Connection. How to connect with Mark: Seen and Heard coaching Facebook page Seen and Heard Mark's website Links Relevant to this episode: The Connected Child  Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross Empowered to Connect Parenting with Connection Facebook group   Mark is an active moderator Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: Should I change my adopted child's name?
#01: Sensory Tips for Helping Kids Learn
August 7, 2018 • 2125 MIN
Do you have a child who never stops moving or who refuses to do certain activities? He may actually have trouble processing the information coming from his different senses. Lisa and Melissa both have sons with unique sensory needs. This can make learning more challenging, and frankly, school is hard enough for some of our kids with early trauma. We're thrilled to bring you an expert on meeting children's sensory needs in a learning environment. Don't miss this interview with Noelle Maher. She gives practical tips for helping your child focus and learn by meeting his sensory needs. How to Connect with Noelle: Find her on Facebook as Noelle Veilleux Maher Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: How can I help my daughter regulate when she is ramping up to be aggressive, disrespectful, etc.?
Podcast Trailer
July 23, 2018 • 317 MIN
Welcome to the Adoption Connection Podcast Here we are! The Adoption Connection podcast, by and for adoptive moms has launched! We are unbelievably excited. Do you ever feel your life is so different nobody will understand? Or do you feel judged by people who see you parenting in a less-than-conventional way? Do you wonder if you're cut out for this life as a foster or adoptive mom? We totally understand this (and all the other craziness) and we're here for you. Each week we'll have a new episode with helpful information and guests speaking on topics just for foster and adoptive moms. Of course, all moms are welcome, but we create each episode with you in mind. Most weeks we'll also feature a reader question, and we'll always have show notes (like this) with relevant resources and links. We can't wait to see you Tuesday, August 7th, for our first full episode. Resources Download our free Summer Survival Guide! Check out our resource website, The Adoption Connection. Join us on Instagram and Facebook as The Adoption Connection.