Taking a New Look at Your Expectations

As adoptive and foster parents encounter challenges and struggles, many of them discover that much of their frustration and disappointment is rooted in their own unrealistic expectations. Watch as Michael Monroe provides insight into the importance of realistic expectations and how by holding their expectations loosely, parents can actually begin to make progress toward greater healing and connection.

The Wounds You Don’t See

I recently read a study that highlighted the difference between our ability to recall images versus words. There were two control groups. The first was shown a picture of a circle. The word “circle” was written down for the second group. The groups were re-convened 72 hours later and asked what they were shown. The group that saw the picture recalled that it was a circle one and a half times better than the group that only saw the word.

Maybe this helps to explain why physical wounds often get so much more attention than emotional wounds when it comes to our children.

What we have learned over the years parenting children from hard places is that physical wounds leave physical scars; emotional wounds scar our children’s ability to trust.

Healing the Wounds of Relational Trauma

I remember the first time I heard it said. It came out of nowhere during a conversation with an adult adoptee, and I recoiled as the words made their way to my heart. “There is no adoption without loss,” she declared, “but sometimes adoptive parents tend to forget that.”

Such a categorical statement. So black and white. Surely there had to be an exception. Certainly there was some gray. “All adoption is born of loss?” I remember thinking to myself. All?

10 Questions Adoptive Parents Ask

This video collection contains ten short video interview sessions with Dr. Karyn Purvis and Michael Monroe, offering helpful insights and practical advice in response to many of the the questions that are commonly asked by adoptive and foster parents.

Watch the first video in this series – How Do I Handle Manipulation & Control – or click here to watch all ten videos.

How Can I Be Fair?

Parents can often feel pressure to respond to each of their children with ‘sameness’ instead of true ‘fairness’ based on individual needs and development. Watch as Michael Monroe offers helpful insights about the important question of ‘fairness’ and encourages parents to focus on meeting the unique needs of each child in order to help their children heal and grow.

Learning to Keep Your Balance

What if becoming the parent God has called you to be to your child from a hard place means that you need to un-learn as much or more than you need to learn? What if many of the popular approaches to parenting and discipline, many of which are regarded as “biblical,” actually aren’t best for your child given his background and history and what he needs to heal and grow? What if the parenting program you previously used, even with great success, when raising and training your other children needs to be significantly altered or even discarded for the child you adopted? What if the parenting techniques that most of your friends are using or that you grew up with are likely to be ineffective in achieving long-lasting change for the child you now love and desire to connect with?

I believe that parents need to seriously consider these and many similar questions as they set the course for how to best relate to and parent children from hard places.

…And They Lived Faithfully Ever After

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.

Teaching Your Values By Living Them First

Part of the role of good Christian parents is undoubtedly teaching their children the values they cherish. We want our children to understand the importance of these values and, more importantly, to live a life that reflects them. Respect for others (and yourself), kindness, gentleness, self-control and other similar character qualities provide our children with a solid foundation and prepare them for the future. The question for parents, however, is how best to teach these values in ways our children can understand and make their own. Specifically, we need to ask how we can best do this for our children who come from hard places and have not had these things consistently taught, modeled or esteemed.