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Expecting So Much More

“Who are you?” I remember thinking this unthinkable thought as I looked into the face of my young son only a few years into our life together as an adoptive family. He did not share my DNA but he was every bit ‘mine.’ Yet while we were both made in the image of the same God, I was becoming aware that we were two very different reflections.

In that moment I began to be confronted by much of what I had brought into the journey of adoptive parenting – most significantly my expectations about my child and how this journey would unfold. In reality I hardly knew my son, still that did not stop me from creating expectations about the things he would like and how he would act and think. On top of that, I expected that the adoption path God had led us down would be relatively easy and straightforward once we were home. I convinced myself that adoption was little more than a historical fact of how we came to be, rather than an ongoing reality of the journey that lay ahead.

Counting the Cost of the Journey

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.

Learning & Un-Learning to Parent Your Child

Children from hard places have unique histories and needs. As a result, parents of these children need to learn how to love and parent them well. This requires that parents not only learn strategies that will be effective in helping them heal, but they will also need to ‘un-learn’ previous ways of parenting — whether those be parenting strategies that were successful with their biological children, ways that they themselves were parented or parenting approaches that others in their church or circle of friends are using.

In this brief video, Dr. Purvis explains the need for parents to focus specifically on the child that God has called them to love and care for, and to parent that child in a way that can bring hope, healing and joy.

How Long Do I Have to Parent This Way?

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.