Our Adoption Story – part 6 – Finalization Day

December 21, 2012, will forever be a special day in our house. That was the day that S&J’s adoption finalized in Court. What else was significant about that day? Well, the world didn’t end (all of the “world ending” rumors remind me of this episode of Parks & Recreation) AND  it was the shortest day of the year

Our family woke up super early because we had to drive about 3 hours to get to the Court where the adoption would finalize. One of our daughters (cough, J!), woke me up at around 2 a.m. the night before because her tummy was upset. She tried to blame it on Eric making her eat her vegetables, but we are pretty sure it’s because she ate almost an entire gingerbread house that she had made at school that day. 

Our friend, Andy, came along and was our photographer. He was very patient, and even let the girls take turns using his camera and pretending to be a photographer. Again – he was very very patient. My mom, Eric’s dad, and Eric’s dad’s girlfriend also attended the finalization. Between the social workers, the Guardian ad Litem, the community mentors, and the grandparents, we had a pretty full courtroom. 

The Judge swore us in. The Guardian ad Litem spoke. The Judge asked Eric and I about 5-10 questions each. Then the Judge signed the Order – finalizing the Adoption! While the Judge was signing the Order, S&J started to fight with each other. I wonder if the Court Reporter transcribed their fight? Thinking about that reminded of another Parks & Recreation episode - I swear I am not being paid by NBC to write this blog – I am apparently addicted to Parks & Recreation, though. Anyway, I thought about buying a transcript of the hearing just to see, but so far I have managed to hold myself back from doing so. 

The Judge let us take our picture with him, and he let the girls sit in his chair. He also remarked, “the girls aren’t really impressed by this room are they?” I am assuming he was referencing their goofing off during the hearing. 

After the hearing, we headed back home (a nice 3 hour drive). I posted several pictures of S&J on Facebook during that drive (Eric was driving, not me!). Before the adoption had finalized, we were not allowed to post pictures of S&J on Facebook, so I wanted to make up for lost time and post as many pictures as I could of our family :-)  When we got home, we ate dinner and headed to the Water Park of America to celebrate. It was a late night, and I think S&J actually stayed in bed until 9 or 10 a.m. the next morning. It was a miracle!

Our Family Doing the Disco Dance at Court – photo courtesy of Andrew Breck

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Our Adoption Story – part 5 – The Road to Finalization

After S&J were officially placed with us for adoption, we did not get to immediately finalize the adoption in court. Instead, we needed to wait until they had lived in our house for at least 3 months, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 259.53, subd 4.  Eric and I knew from the classes we took at our adoption agency that even though the adoption can be finalized after 3 months, in many cases it takes much longer than that.

While we were waiting to finalize, we had monthly home visits from the girls’ social worker and Guardian ad Litem. We also had monthly home visits from our social worker. The visits weren’t stressful for Eric and I, because we kept in very regular contact via email with the social workers. We actually enjoyed seeing them each month. Unfortunately, these home visits proved to be a major trigger for our daughters. We were guaranteed to experience at least one of the girls having a major meltdown/tantrum after the home visit ended. It was exhausting. However, these visits are a common trigger for children who are in “the system,” and so we weren’t surprised. We learned that we shouldn’t make plans for right after a home visit. We also learned that we would sometimes need to call the Dakota County Crisis Line to help calm the girls down after a visit.

For many children who are in the system, seeing their social worker and their Guardian ad Litem reminds them of being removed from their biological parents’ home. It also might remind them of being removed from previous foster homes or other pre-adoptive placements. The girls’ Guardian ad Litem really summed things up when she said, “Seeing us probably reminds them of all they have lost.”

In August,  we started the process of getting the paperwork together to finalize the adoption. The first step was to fill out the Adoption Assistance paperwork and then send it to DHS for it to be approved. The girls’ social worker drafted the Adoption Assistance agreements and gathered the necessary documentation. The girls’ social worker submitted the Adoption Assistance paperwork to DHS at the end of August. We were told that although statutorily DHS was required to respond within 30 days, it often takes longer. On October 3, we received an email from DHS with some revisions and a counteroffer. At that point we had to decide whether to “battle” with DHS or whether to accept their counteroffer. We decided that we did not want to further delay the girls’ adoption, and so we accepted the counteroffer. Our social worker hand-delivered that paperwork to DHS on October 12. On October 29, we received the signed Adoption Assistance agreements in the mail. This meant that we could start the process of finalizing the adoption in court.

We knew that we wanted to finalize the adoption as soon as possible. The girls were very anxious for it to finalize. On many occasions one of the girls would ask me why the adoption hadn’t been finalized yet. I could tell that they were feeling insecure and in limbo and I knew that the sooner we got it done, the better. Both girls were also eager for their names to change, so our whole family would have the same last name. Additionally, we knew that we wanted the adoption to finalize in 2012 because at that time the adoption tax credit was in a state of uncertainty for 2013 and each year thereafter, and we were hoping to use our tax refund (from the tax credit) to pay for a surprise trip for S&J to Disney World.

Our social worker told us that the Adoption Specialist at their agency would help us get the paperwork together to finalize. Everyone knew that we were in a hurry to get things done. The social workers did the paperwork that they needed to do. Then we were supposed to get the actual court paperwork from the Adoption Specialist. Unfortunately, our paperwork got misplaced by someone, somewhere. During Thanksgiving weekend, Eric and I were feeling anxious because we still didn’t have our adoption paperwork and we didn’t have a court date. The Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to be the “squeaky wheel” and made lots of phone calls and sent lots of emails. That was when it was discovered that our paperwork had been misplaced/buried on someone’s desk.

The week after Thanksgiving, our paperwork made it to the Adoption Specialist’s desk and she gathered the documents we needed to finalize. I was told to come into the agency’s office and pick up the paperwork. When I went to pick up the paperwork, I was disappointed, because I had been under the impression that all of the paperwork was drafted and ready for our signature. I mistakenly was under the impression that I was picking up our “court paperwork.” Instead I learned that our adoption agency gave us “fill-in-the-blank” forms to fill out. At that point I was disappointed. I loved our adoption agency, but had I known that we were going to receive forms to fill out (and I have terrible handwriting), I would have started working on drafting up my own forms instead. I wouldn’t have been waiting for the agency to do it for us. Instead I had been operating under the assumption that I could just “coast” through this part of the process. After all, the agency had told us we didn’t need to hire an attorney.

The evening that we got our forms from the agency, I locked myself in our home office and drafted the forms for the adoption myself, using the adoption statutes as a guide. As I had stated in the above paragraph, I have terrible handwriting, so there was no way that I was going to use “fill-in-the-blank” handwritten forms for our children’s adoption. It was a great experience to draft our adoption forms, and it made me feel like I was putting my law degree to good use. The next morning, Eric and I signed the Adoption Petition in front of a notary and overnighted it to the Court. I included a very heartfelt cover letter with our paperwork, basically begging Court Administration to allow us to finalize before Christmas.

The day that the Court received our paperwork, I received a phone call and an email from Court Administration letting us know that we had a court date and that it was before Christmas. Our adoption was scheduled to finalize on December 21, 2012. A few days later we received the official scheduling order in the mail from the Court. It was finally real. We were finally going to be a legal, official family. S&J were also excited because they would get to miss a day of school to go to our court date.

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Yesterday I wept in my daughters’ therapist’s office

Sidenote: I still have not finished up our Adoption Story blog post series; there are 2 more posts left for me to draft and post. Life has been crazy in our household lately and when I haven’t been working or dealing with the chaos at home, I haven’t felt mentally up to the task of blogging.

Our daughters have therapy each week in Minneapolis. The older daughter does EMDR and the younger daughter does play therapy. I am usually “in session” with them for part or all of their session. Besides sitting in on/participating in their sessions, I usually have some “parent time” with the therapist. This gives the therapist and I a chance to “debrief” about their sessions and to talk about how they are doing.

“Parent time” was very emotional for me yesterday. Lately we have had some very rough times in our household dealing with our RAD (reactive attachment disorder) daughter. It is exhausting, heartbreaking, and completely draining. I admitted to my daughters’ therapist that although I love my RAD daughter, I am having a really hard time feeling those “warm fuzzy” feelings for her right now. That is really hard to admit.

My heart still breaks for my RAD daughter and I feel so much compassion for her. A couple of weeks ago, when things were at their “peak” of awfulness in our house (well, let’s hope that was the peak and that things settle down from now on), my friend and mentor, Stacy, graciously offered to take our RAD daughter for an overnight. Stacy has a daughter (Mckensey) who is 20 years old and has “left the nest.” Stacy told my daughter that she could go through Mckensey’s room and pick out some of Mckensey’s old toys to take home. My daughter could have chosen anything, but what she picked was so heartbreaking and so telling about where she is at as far as her emotional/developmental age. She chose a musical pull bunny.

Our RAD Daughter’s musical bunny – thank you Mckensey!

Then, this past Saturday, I went to a dear friend’s baby shower. A friend who is one of the first people I met when I moved into the dorms for my freshman year of college. It was a wonderful baby shower, and my friend is going to make an amazing mom – no doubt. My friend opened a gift, and it was a musical pull bunny; very similar to the one that my 9-year-old daughter is now using to fall asleep at night. At that moment, my heart broke a little bit. I looked around the room and saw my friends who already had (recently) become mothers; I saw my friends who I know will make wonderful mothers some day; and I looked at my friend who is expecting. All of their children (and future children) have hit the jackpot. Their children were so wanted, so planned, and my friends are preparing for and have prepared for their every need. 

My heart breaks for my daughters and for the other children like them. Although we do not know a lot about our daughters’ early years, we do know that they were neglected. Both of our daughters like to use pacifiers, drink out of baby bottles, be rocked and held like a baby, and be fed Goldfish Crackers, Teddy Grahams, and Cheerios by Eric and I as if they were babies (you know – where the parent actually “feeds” their child – like by playing the airplane game and putting the food in the child’s mouth). At 8 and 9 years old, they are asking us (Eric and I) to meet their needs that were very likely not met when they were babies. 

As I explained these feelings that I was having to my daughters’ therapist, and the sorrow I feel knowing that our RAD daughter especially seems to be in an infant/toddler stage emotionally right now , and how hard it is to deal with an infant/toddler who is in a 9-year-old’s body, I wept. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling out of my eyes and I couldn’t stop sobbing.

I am drained right now. Completely drained. I get up every morning and I just keep on keeping on. I couldn’t ask for more supportive family and friends. But I am drained and I am filled with sorrow for the unfairness of life that allows some children to hit the jackpot and have amazing parents and for others – through no fault of their own – to be born to parents who neglect them, abuse them, and who lack the skills to appropriately parent their children.

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Our Adoption Story – Part 4 – transition period to placement

After we met S & J for the first time, we spent about 3 weeks doing “transition visits” with them. We would spend a day with them on the weekend and another weeknight with them. Then we had our first weekend overnight visit with them (this visit involved a trip to Urgent Care when S had an unfortunate incident on the monkey bars – everything turned out to be fine, though). 

On May 25, they officially moved in with us – this was our “Gotcha Day” or in DHS terms, this was our “placement date.” Since it was “Placement Day” we got to sign some more paperwork (just in case we hadn’t already done enough paperwork!) for the girls’ social worker and our social worker. 

S & J were excited to be in their forever home, although we also got to experience a lot of “growing pains” and a LOT of attachment-related issues during that time (we are still working on the attachment issues). In order to respect S&J’s privacy, I am not going to go into great detail in this blog about the “fun” things that we have experienced with S&J, but we were well-prepared to expect those things to happen (meaning: we weren’t shocked when they happened). Being prepared doesn’t make things any less exhausting or frustrating, and we have been reminded many times that when things get rough, we need to think back to our original reasons for adopting. This means going back to a very idealistic place in your mind when you are, in reality, in the trenches of some hard hard “stuff.” For us, we remind ourselves that every child deserves a loving family, and that we are capable of providing that family, even if it’s not always “sunshine and lollipops.” We also know, based on some of the things that have happened since placement, that we were 100% meant to be matched with S&J – we know we are the right parents for them. 

Adopting children who have experienced trauma requires you to do a lot of soul-searching so you can handle the not-as-easy times. You need to be prepared (just like any parent – including biological parents) for some very tough moments. I find myself reading a lot of inspirational quotes, spending a lot of time on the phone with my mom, and I also feel like my faith has been taken to a new level (in a positive way). Once S&J are in bed at night, Eric and I sometimes spend 5 or 10 minutes laughing together about the silly things that they have said or done that day. Sometimes we will spend that time talking about different approaches and techniques to try out to handle their challenging behaviors. Sometimes we will just turn on the TV and veg out. 

Along the way, so many people (therapists, social workers, our friends and family) have told us that Eric and I need to put our relationship first and that we cannot forget to take care of ourselves. Eric and I try to give each other at least one “night off” each week so we can see friends or go to the gym. We have many family members and friends who are willing to spend time with S&J so Eric and I can have a date night. I honestly cannot imagine going through this journey without their support and love. I am so very grateful and I know that Eric and I are so lucky to have all of these supportive people in our lives. 

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Our Adoption Story – Part 3 – The First Time We Met

Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2

S & J found out about us (and got their photo albums from us) on April 30 or May 1. Eric and I didn’t know what the girls thought – or that the girls knew at all – until May 2. Knowing that the girls MIGHT know SOMETHING about us, but not knowing their reaction was pretty much complete torture. Finally on May 2 we heard that the girls were SUPER EXCITED to learn about us and that they were especially excited to meet ChaChi, our dog. I think our social worker said something like, “ChaChi is a hit!”

On May 3, we drove to the girls’ foster home to meet them for the first time. We knew that since one of the girls was 7, she would need a booster car seat. We had purchased one earlier that week, but we had no idea how to use it. When we were almost to their foster home, we parked in a parking lot and tried to figure it out. It later turned out to not be as complicated as we thought, but we were both pretty stressed about it at the time.

When we got to their foster home, their foster mom called their names and they came down to meet us (we found out that they had not been told we were coming that day, so our arrival was unexpected and a complete surprise to them).

When S saw us, she said “Finally!” And then she said, “We are going to call you Mom and Dad.”

We gave each of them a stuffed animal.

Stuffed animals we gave to S&J the first time we met

Then S said, “In the photo album you gave us, it said that we were going to take our first family picture together on the first day we meet, so we need to do that. Did you bring a camera?” I was so touched by that, because it meant that she had really read the album that I made for them. 

Our first family picture taken the first time we met

We went to the backyard of their foster home and their foster mom took a few pictures of us all together. Then we got into the car and went out for dinner. Their foster mom came with but sat at a different table. The girls were very entertaining at dinner. They told us stories about their teachers, stories about throwing up (gotta love that!), told us about their favorite colors, and asked if we would tuck them in at night. They also wanted to see more pictures of ChaChi. 

After about 1.5 hours, it was time for them to go to bed and it was time for us to “get on the road.” We told them that we would see them that Saturday and that they would get to come to see our house where they would soon be living. We were super enchanted with them; they were so fun to meet in person. It was a fun car ride back home.

 

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Our Adoption Story – Part 2 – home study through the matching process

If you haven’t already read Part 1, here is where you can find it.

In June or July of 2011, we started the home study process. We had 3 or 4 meetings with our social worker at CHSFS in St. Paul. One of the first things we did was take the PREPARE/ENRICH Relationship Assessment. We also talked some more (beyond the adoption application essays) about our childhoods, our relationship, our spirituality, our feelings on diversity, and our thoughts on “openness” in adoption. Our social worker used what we talked about to write our Home Study document as required by the state of Minnesota.

We also were strongly encouraged to have a meeting of our family’s “support system” on a day when our social worker would come to our house to go over the checklist for foster care licensing (the big thing that we had to do to prepare for that was to purchase a gigantic fire extinguisher).

We had our family and friends over on Friday, September 30, 2011. On Sunday, October 2, my dad, Eric, and I ran the Twin Cities marathon again. During this “waiting time,” Eric and I also took a series of classes through MNAdopt, called the RAD Labs, to prepare us for parenting children with attachment issues/disorders. 

In October and November, I started to make photo albums to give to our future children when they found out about us. My mom is very crafty, so I spent a day down at her house, while Eric was at home studying, and put together the photo albums. 

The first page of the photo album our future kids would see when they found out about us

In December, Eric and I went on a “kidmoon” – our version of a babymoon. We knew that when we got back from vacation, we would be starting on the matching process, and we didn’t know how long it would be until we became parents. We went on a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise and we also spent a night before the cruise in Downtown Disney at Bongo’s Cuban Cafe, and the day after the cruise at EPCOT center, since our cruise port was Port Canaveral, Florida, and we flew in and out of Orlando.

Eric & Liz at MSP Airport ready to leave for our Kidmoon

 

Out for dinner on our Kidmoon NCL Cruise

During our Kidmoon, we both read books to prepare ourselves for the adoption process. 

When we got back from our Kidmoon, we made our first inquiry about a sibling group that was on the MNAdopt website. Ultimately things didn’t happen very fast with that inquiry, and we found out about another sibling group on that same website. Again, things didn’t really go anywhere. Then, one day in mid-February, Eric and I both noticed a new sibling group on the website and we emailed our social worker. Our social worker called their social worker and everyone was really excited about us being a potential match for this sibling group. Our social worker submitted our home study to their social worker, and we waited… and waited… and waited. It felt like forever.

Finally, about a month later, we found out that we were a top choice to be matched with this sibling group, and we set up a meeting (our first collateral meeting). The sibling group’s Guardian ad Litem and Social Worker came to our house, and at that meeting told us that we were not top choice, but that we were the top choice.

Sidenote: Two days prior to that meeting at our house, we had also gone to a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids matching event, and met SO MANY kids who we also felt torn about maybe wanting to adopt. There is one sibling group that still stands out to me, and I still see them on MNAdopt, and I still struggle with wishing we could have adopted all 4 kids at the same time. 

Anyway, we decided after the social worker/Guardian ad Litem meeting to keep pursing that sibling group, and so we set up our second collateral meeting with our future daughters’ foster parents, teachers, former social worker(s) in the town/city where they were living at that time. That meeting happened about a month after our initial meeting with their social worker and GAL. So there was a whole lot of waiting happening.

In between those meetings, our social worker worked with their social worker to get us more information about our future daughters (S & J). We read a couple of heartbreaking reports about how they ended up in the foster care system. It was some of the hardest reading I have ever done. Eric and I both really struggled with it. Our adoption prep classes and all of our reading about parenting children who have been abused and neglected did not even come close to preparing us for reading those reports. 

We had our second collateral meeting at the end of April 2012. The next day we called our social worker and told her that we for sure wanted to be matched with S & J. She called the girls’ worker and we were told that the girls’ team was very excited about this match. 

The next step was to set up our first meeting with S & J and to figure out a transition plan from their foster home to our house. I was a bundle of nerves in between the time that we were matched and when we actually met the girls. I kept worrying that something would fall through. Luckily, everything went the way we had hoped and planned. 

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Our Adoption Story – Part 1 – the “beginning” through the application process

I always thought that I would want to adopt one day. When Eric and I were first dating, I made sure that he was on the same page and was “okay” with the idea of adopting. About one year after our first wedding anniversary, Eric and I went to a general adoption information session at Lutheran Social Services in Minneapolis. During that info session, we learned a little bit about each different “type” of adoption offered by Lutheran Social Services: including domestic infant adoption, international adoption, and the Minnesota Waiting Children program. Both Eric and I felt like we wanted to adopt through the Minnesota Waiting Children program. The timing, however, wasn’t quite right. I had just finished law school and did not yet know whether I had passed the bar exam (luckily, about one month later, I found out that I had). We both decided that in another year, we would find out some more information and decide when to “officially” begin our adoption journey.

About 10 months later, we went to an information session on the Minnesota Waiting Children program at Children’s Home Society & Family Services in St. Paul. After that meeting, Eric and I went to the Mall of America to go on rides at Nickelodeon Universe, and the whole time we kept talking about our “kids.” We were both so excited and happy thinking about being parents to a sibling group.

The next step in the process for us was to take Adoption Education Classes through Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS).  We spent all day Friday and Saturday there, learning about a variety of topics including different parenting techniques and parenting children who have experienced abuse and neglect. That Sunday, we ran the Twin Cities Marathon together with my dad. I barely finished in time to get the shirt and medal.

Getting ready to run the marathon

Eric and I decided to take the adoption process slow, because I was still building my law practice (it was almost a year old at that time), and Eric was still attending night classes to get his Applied Mathematics degree. In May of 2011, we were fingerprinted and did our background checks as part of the adoption application process.

Liz being fingerprinted

 

Eric being fingerprinted

 

Eric submitting his background study

We also filled out the massive adoption application. The most intimidating part of the application was the essay, or the “Self Assessment Homework.” There were 23 questions (and each question had 2-6 bullet points) about our personal and family history, our relationship, our religion, etc. We each had to write our own answers to these questions. Eric and I decided that the best way to conquer our essays was to take a weekend day, and have one of us sit upstairs at a computer and the other one sit at the kitchen table on a laptop, and type away.

After we sent in our application to CHSFS, we received a phone call telling us that we had a social worker, and that we would be starting the home study process soon. 

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Difficulty of Care (DOC) payments in Minnesota

In a previous post I discussed receiving foster care payments as a part of the process of adopting through the Minnesota Waiting Children program. One part of the foster care payment is the Difficulty of Care (DOC) payment. Minnesota Administrative Rule 9560.0653 provides that DOC payments are paid “for children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities who require additional supervision or assistance in behavior management, activities of daily living, management of medical problems, or interaction with the birth parents and the community.” Minnesota Administrative Rule 9560.0654 provides information to help individual counties assess what level/amount of a DOC payment a foster parent should receive for a child. 

Calculating the DOC payment provides you with an opportunity to advocate for your child. The money that you receive will help you be able to afford to access care and services that your child needs. Figuring out the DOC payment generally feels very awkward for a pre-adoptive parent, because (if you are like me) you feel “icky” talking about money when it comes to your children. Also, because there is a stereotype that there are people out there who only do foster care for the money, you might worry that you seem too “money-focused.” At the end of the day, you need to put those feelings aside, and advocate for your child. Your child deserves the DOC payment for which they qualify. You were not the one who neglected, abused, and/or traumatized your child. You are, however, the parent who will be helping them heal. 

Before signing off on a DOC payment, familiarize yourself with how DOC payments are calculated. If your child’s behavior begins to escalate, advocate for their DOC payment to be increased. You are your child’s best advocate!

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Minnesota Waiting Children Program and Foster Care Payments

If you decide to pursue adoption through the Minnesota Waiting Children program, you will (from a legal standpoint) be considered the child’s foster parent (or “pre-adoptive foster parent”) when the child is placed with you. From the time that the child is placed with you until the adoption is finalized, you will be their foster parent. This means that you will receive foster care payments. Once the adoption finalizes, you will likely receive Adoption Assistance payments instead of foster care payments.

Because you are seeking to adopt the child, it might feel weird to be receiving money to take care of them. However, these funds make the process more affordable for children to become a part of a stable and permanent family. Additionally, for the first few months after your child moves in with you, you will likely experience some “sticker shock,” because (let’s face it!) – kids are expensive.

This linked PDF contains the foster care daily rates for Minnesota for 2012. Foster parents receive a “per diem” for each day the child lives with them. This payment consists of two parts: a daily basic maintenance rate and a difficulty of care (DOC) payment. 

As a parent who has been through this process, I can tell you that these funds are very helpful. I can also tell you that I am surprised to hear that there are people who allegedly “do foster care” for the money, because at least in our household, there is no financial profit as a result of receiving those foster care payments each month. There is another “profit” though- – an intangible benefit . That benefit is the feeling of providing a stable home to these wonderful children. 

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My Favorite Adoption-Related Books and Blogs

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, by Bruce Perry, cemented my decision to adopt children through the Minnesota Waiting Children Program. This book had several case studies about Mr. Perry’s work with children who have experienced neglect, abuse, and trauma. It is a very emotional book to read, but it provided me with so much insight. 

My husband and I both read Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love Based Approach to Helping Children with Severe Behaviors by Heather T. Forbes and B. Bryan Post, before embarking on the “matching” portion of our adoption journey. Since being matched and having our children placed with us, we have needed to reference this book on more than one occasion. It is a must read. Will all of the methods work for you? Probably not. Does everything seem easier to deal with when you are reading about it than when you are exhausted, dealing with difficult behaviors, and trying to just keep your head above water? For sure. However, it is so important to remind yourself – over and over again – that so many of our children’s difficult behaviors are coming from fear.

Last Mom. A blog written by a mom who adopted a girl with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Some of my favorite posts include: Compassion & Empathy and Confusing Mad Buddy.

Rage Against the Minivan. A blog written by a mom with 2 biological and 2 adoptive children. Some of my favorite posts include this post about alerting teachers to adoption-related issues (I SO related to SO much of this blog entry) and “where is the mommy war for the motherless child?

Jen Hatmaker. Her blog post “After the Airport” resonated with me – big time. I  read this post to my husband from my phone as we were driving (my husband was actually driving, I was a passenger – don’t worry – no distracted driving here) back home from one of our early “transition” visits with our daughters – during a time that was supposed to be so “joyful” we experienced some very raw and real emotions from one of our daughters. As I read this post to my husband while he drove, I probably cried a little (okay, I cried a lot). 

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