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My journey to (biological) motherhood was anything but text book easy. It took about eight months to get pregnant. Once pregnant, I carried eight pounds of EXTRA amniotic fluid. I had back labor. The epidural didn't touch my labor pains. And after hours of pushing, I was rushed off for an urgent C-section. I spent the night in the ICU because I wasn't breathing properly. My firstborn came out blue, and spent his first night in the NICU, and I had to wait until I was released from ICU to truly meet him for a proper introduction a day later. I had to leave the hospital and leave my baby behind. Welcome to motherhood, it's not easy. My son spent 28...
When you think back to your first decision as a parent … you probably think formula or breastfed? Co-sleeping or crib? Maybe you think more to the toddler years, when discipline becomes part of the equation. Some parents haven’t thought a TON about their parenting style. That’s ok too! Are you free-range? Are you a helicopter? Are you self-identified as free-range while ACTUALLY hovering?! Some of you have even gone lengths to read books and books and books about what philosophy of parenting you wanted to adopt. My first parenting decision looked quite different from all of those above. My first parenting decision was to parent. At the age of 30, freshly moved to a new town in a new state, I realized...
Ever since I was little, I always had a dream about being first. Not just first place, but the first female in history to accomplish something amazing. In school when I learned about astronauts, I decided that I would work hard to become the first female astronaut. But the space program accepted its first female astronaut, a teacher named Sally Ride. My dreams of being the first were crushed by the time I was in third grade. Then I decided I wanted to be the first female supreme court judge. And then along comes Sandra Day O'Connor to ruin those dreams. If I had stayed true to my roots, I possibly could have found my place in history as the first female...
"Can I just keep you forever?" It's a question that I ask my 3-year-old often, and it's always followed by a sweet, "Of course you can! I'm your daughter!" But not this day. This typical, playful, normal morning, I asked our 8-month old my question. "Can I just keep you forever?" And the toddler responded, "No, Mommy! She's going to live with her aunt, silly!" That was the moment. The moment when reality smacked me in the face. My baby girl was leaving. The thing is, she was never really all mine. We are her foster parents, so we knew we would be loving her for as long as we had her until a family member was able to step forward. We've...
October, 26th, 2016 started off like any other Monday for my friend Angela. She woke up, made breakfast, saw her husband off to work and got her four kids to their Baton Rouge schools. She waited as the small children she babysits everyday were dropped off to her home. But when she checked Facebook that day, something was different. As Angela was scrolling through her news feed, she saw a post from a friend of a friend – someone Angela didn’t even know – pop up in her news feed. The photo had been posted by Children’s Hope International, an adoption agency that helps orphans from China, Bulgaria, Cambodia and India find their forever homes. The photo pictured a little orphaned...
We all have dreams about how our lives will play out and what our future family will look like. When my husband and I unexpectedly had a medically fragile child, life suddenly didn't look like anything we dreamed about. We faced infertility and miscarriages, and we were no longer sure what our family journey would be. But we were lead to adoption. When we learned our path for a Russian adoption had been shut down by the government, once again we were set adrift. We decided to let the journey lead us instead of try to make so many decisions on the front end. So we signed up to take foster and adoption certification classes through the state. In the...
  I truly believe that most people mean well, I really do. Unfortunately, too many people speak before they think. Today, a stranger at the grocery store (grocery stores make people BOLD, y'all!) was talking with my sweet baby and telling me how beautiful she is (because she is, of course!). But then as we walked away, she asked, "Where did you get her?" I'm sorry, did you just ask where I got my CHILD, as if asking about the cute pair of shoes I was wearing? She is not an object to be bought, traded or sold. She is a tiny person with a right to privacy. While I can understand that you are curious, you have no right to our personal...
  Your friend is having a baby?! Yippee! Time to celebrate! Throw a baby shower, pin and share cute nursery decorations, set up the meal train! But what do you do when your friend decides to foster and brings home multiple babies in a year? Or fosters older children? You want to help, but how to go about doing so isn't always clear. Here are some practical tips for supporting the foster families in your life! Immediate support * Often times, there is little to no prep time when getting a new foster placement. Here are a few things a family might need: - clothes in the child's size - help rearranging bedrooms - toys - carseat - bottles, diapers, formula - portable crib - suitcases for moving clothes...
Every child deserves to be in a loving, stable and safe environment. When children are in foster care, a basic standard of care has been compromised, yet reunification of the children with their parents is always the first and primary goal. For foster parents, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate the waters of interacting with parents, especially knowing the child's history. These are the only parents the child has ever known, and if at all possible, these parents will be able to raise their children to thrive. So how can foster parents help to make the adult relationships as healthy as possible for the children involved? Here are a few ideas!   1. Love the Child Duh. Love the child is...

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