Empowered To Connect

Archive for “Count the Cost”

Easier Said Than Done

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

People who make things look easy really get on my nerves. You know who I’m talking about. Ever watched one of those cooking shows on TV? You see them making some recipe in 10 easy steps and it always comes out looking hot, beautiful, and delicious. So you try it at home and all you end up with is a giant mess of something ugly and inedible. Or maybe you’ve watched one of those home improvement shows where the host can build, repair, or decorate just about anything and it turns out great, all on a shoestring budget. So in a fit of inspiration you make a trip to Home Depot, spend twice as much as you wanted to, come home and four hours later all your spouse can say is “maybe we can call someone to come fix it tomorrow.” Why does it seem to be so easy for some people? Why are so many things in life easier said than done?

How Long Do I Have to Parent This Way?

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

As a result of their early life experiences, children from hard places often miss out on some of the key development that is essential in helping them learn to trust and grow relationally. As a result of their unique histories and needs, these children need parents that are willing to utilize the unique approach of trust-based parenting to help them heal and grow.

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis encourages adoptive and foster parents to embrace trust-based parenting as the “new normal” that God has called them to as an essential part of the journey.

…And They Lived Faithfully Ever After

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Everyone loves a story with a happy ending. It’s the stuff that best-selling books and box office hits are made of. Happy endings lift our spirits and inspire us to dream. They get us started, keep us going, and give us reason to believe.

When families adopt they too dream of living out a story with a happy ending. And well they should. After all, adoption is full of joys and blessings, and for many these experiences are the hallmarks of the journey itself.

But there’s just one problem when it comes to our enchantment with happy endings – they don’t always happen. Not in life and certainly not in adoption.

I Remember Summer

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When I became a mother, I wanted summer days to be relaxed and fun. With a larger family, there was more work to be done, so my children had significant chores, and yard work to do, but there was still plenty of time for play. Stacks of books to read, afternoons at the local pool, and sleeping out in the yard were foundations to our days.

This summer my desk is stacked with lists of activities, charts for chores, camp registration forms, and appointment reminders. As I’ve been working on plans for this summer, I recognize how differently I approach summer as the mother of children from “hard places.”

Meditations on a Messy Life

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

You know those people who always seem to have it all together? They look great, their children are well behaved and dressed in darling outfits, their homes are decorated and lovely, and life seems to be going along swimmingly? I used to aspire to be like that, but that doesn’t seem to be God’s plan for me. It’s not that I’m admitting defeat or saying that I’m giving up on a tidy life, rather I am accepting that our path is messy.

When we love people, we invite their brokenness and mess into our lives. Mess is inconvenient; it takes our time, energy, and sometimes money to make it better. Despite our efforts, the mess cannot always be fully contained. It spills over and touches the people who dare to stand near.

Giving Voice to Our Other Children

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dr. Karyn Purvis speaks about the importance of giving children “voice,” and we have embraced this as we’ve loved and cared for our children from “hard places.” But what about the children that were already in our family? Did we neglect to give them voice? Did we fail to meet their needs as we desperately worked to help our most traumatized children?

I can tell you that we did, and it breaks my heart to acknowledge it. In March 2007, we brought three children home from Ethiopia. One of them brought severe challenges that turned our family upside down. Our home, which had once been a very happy place, was now in constant tumult. And the children already in our family suffered more than we could have imagined.

In many ways, we failed them. In our effort to bring healing to our children from “hard places” we created a “hard place” for our other children. In our effort to give our children from “hard places” voice, we neglected to give our other children “voice.” This is the hard truth.

Counting the Cost of the Journey

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The adoption and foster care journey is filled with joy, blessings and beauty. But it is a journey also marked by loss, pain and challenges of various kinds. As a result, parents must be mindful to ‘count the cost’ of traveling this journey.

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis encourages parents to ‘count the cost’ as they engage the adoption and foster care journey in a way that leads to true hope and healing.

Anything But Typical

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Friday, June 24, 2011

As an adoptive dad I’ve come to the place that I can easily acknowledge that all of my kids are a little different in some way or another. Different than what, you ask? I’m not entirely sure, but I know that they are different.

As I listen to dads who don’t share the adoption or foster experience, I realize how normal being an adoptive dad is. I can relate to almost everything they talk about because I’ve experienced it myself. But I know that there are more than a few things about my experience as an adoptive dad that these other dads can’t relate to. I am generally ok with that. Most of the time I don’t really think about my kids being different. It is just who they are, and a part of who we are. But every once in a while I notice it, and it can leave me feeling a bit misunderstood and even isolated, except among other adoptive parents.

“Typical” is the word that seems to have replaced the word “normal” in the world of adoption and foster care. This is probably for good reason. After all, children that have backgrounds involving trauma, abuse, abandonment and institutionalization aren’t abnormal, but they often don’t develop in the same way and at the same pace as a “typically developing” child.

Simplify Your Life

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about the need for adoptive and foster parents to simplify their lives in dramatic ways in order to help their children adjust, build trust and develop a strong connection. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

I Used to be a Good Mom

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Monday, April 4, 2011

I was pouring a cup of coffee when my friend called. She asked if I had a minute to talk and when I answered, “Yes,” her resolve quickly faded and she began to cry. She told me about a conflict with her newly adopted son that had occurred the night before. Despite her best intentions, she was convinced that she had failed to handle it well. Then she said these words that made me catch my breath – they were all too familiar: “I used to be a good mom.”