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Archive for March, 2013

Encourager

Check out my blog post over on our adoption blog: Encourager

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C4C: Carissa Woodwyk

Main Session on Saturday morning notes:

  • The God we trust is after us.
  • Listen- Do you listen to the spoken & unspoken of what your child is saying? It takes practice.
  • Come near, lean in, shut out distraction, & be present
  • They need us to listen to their hearts.
  • We don’t have to listen, we get to!
  • In order to gain someone your child had to lose someone. The people who were supposed to love them.
  • Adoption is not just about gaining & adding to your family. It’s about your child losing & leaving all they know too.
  • We all want to feel secure, wanted, loved, & like we matter.
  • We can’t protect our child from their story. We can’t rescue & get rid of their pain. They have to find their own truth & experience their own healing.
  • BUT…we get to be right alongside of them the whole way.
  • Remind them that they are strong, courageous, & worth finding themself.
  • How will we respond? Will we allow two-way communication?
  • Their story doesn’t define them or get the last word.
  • God said all things can be made new & there is hope & redemption.

 

Session 2: Our story: a place for beauty & brokenness- Carissa Woodwyk

  • They don’t act out because they are adopted. It’s because they experienced loss.
  • Safe means having your needs met. Security means having your emotional needs met.
  • While there is celebrating there is also loss & grief.
  • We all have a place where brokenness started.
  • God hates the brokenness from our children’s stories. It didn’t happen because He caused it, but because we live in a fallen world.
  • We have to teach our child what forgiveness looks like. What Jesus did on the cross covers all!
  • When we experience pain, we can either feel the pain or flee it.
  • If we feel the pain then we can be open to truth from others & God. That’s when healing can happen, then redemption.
  • How do you share your child’s story? Is it honorable?

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Aunt Dana’s birthday

Aunt Dana’s birthday was March 13th. She had a birthday party at Nanny’s house last weekend. Unfortunately we had to miss it because Samuel was sick. Poor baby was really sick! He hated to miss Aunt Dana’s party! He just loves birthday parties! Aunt Dana, we are so thankful for you! Thank you for your encouragement in the Word & for your shining light. You always try to direct people to Jesus. We are so thankful to have someone like that in Samuel’s life that will have such a great influence on him. Thank you for what you do & for being a great sister, sister-in-law, & aunt.:)

 

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C4C: Love BIG

The theme for this year’s Created for Care was love big!

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Andrea did the first main session & she talked about loving big. She used I Corinthians 13. For some reason I didn’t take many notes this time. I think I was listening so intently & captured by her speech! 🙂

  • Love BIG
  • Though you might not can see, He is still there.
  • He is never, never late. He is always on time.
  • He does have a plan.
  • He wrote a beautiful story just for you!

 

After this is when we watched the documentary “Stuck.” I talked about that some already, but wanted to share one quote from the movie that I loved. “The right to a family is a basic human right.”

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This was the first session I went. Amy Monroe was the speaker. She works with Dr. Karen Purvis with Empowered to Connect & Amy & her husband also started a ministry in their church called Tapestry. This was such a good session! It is very pertinent to where we are right now with Samuel. We want to mold his heart & really connect with him while we are correcting him.

I’ll just put the notes that I took of what Amy said. That will best explain it.

  • Children that come into our families through adoption or foster care come from hard places. Most of the approaches to parenting were not developed with our children in mind. We want to help them heal, but we also have to effectively respond to their misbehavior so they can learn & grow.
  • Our children have unique histories & needs. They need mothers that are willing to use a unique approach to help them heal & become all that God desires.
  • Risk Factors For Those from Hard Places: prenatal stress, prenatal toxins, difficult labor/delivery, early medical trauma, abuse, neglect, trauma.
  • Attachment is not a feeling but a relationship. It’s as much about our children as it is about us.
  • In the first year of life, babies express their needs 100,000 times. Most parents only meet 50% of those needs. Kids from hard places have had their needs met considerably less than that. Meeting their needs shows them they are loved and precious.
  • Sometimes the things that annoy us the most are our children expressing their needs (yep, I definitely think this is true in our home. That hit pretty hard).
  • “When we shift our perspective from the outward to inward, from rules to relationships, our parenting will change.” – Leslie Fields, “Parenting is Your Highest Calling” and Eight Other Myths that Trap Us in Worry and Guilt
  • God loves his children with a balance of nurture & structure. We are not to be permissive parents & let our children run over us.
  • Each child is different & needs a different parenting style.
  • We don’t have to let go of structure. We just need to raise our nurture to match our structure.
  • It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been home. It doesn’t change where they came from. A lot of kids don’t have words for their feelings. Give them a voice.
  • Embrace the privilege of saying yes. That builds trust. We need to ask ourselves why we say no. Is it because we are too busy & don’t want to take the time to do what the child is asking?
  • Strategies to help connect while correcting: playful engagement, choices (not threats),compromises, re-do’s (try it again), time-ins (this is about calming them down), & then the IDEAL response (I-immediate-within 3 seconds, D-direct-go to your child & engage them, E-efficient-12 words or less, A-action-based-re-do’s or try agains, L-leveled at the behavior- not the child, don’t shame or embarrass them)
  • We need TVC: total voice control-tone, volume, & cadence
  • When it’s over, it’s over. Move past it & don’t bring it up again.
  • Connecting strategies outcomes: corrected behavior, contentment in parent & child, & connection between parent & child is deepened.
  • Practice in the good times. It’s a journey. Pray, seek wisdom & understanding in scripture, & always recognize our dependence on God!

Here are some of the books recommended: The Connected Child, Created to Connect, Anatomy of The Soul, Nurturing Adoptions, The Whole-Brain Child

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This past weekend I went to Created for Care. I went last year with a few friends. It is an adoptive mom conference that is held at Lake Lanier in Georgia. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was to be with 450 other mommas that share my heart. The worship & fellowship was so great & just what I needed. I really learned a lot & will share some of the notes from the weekend in other posts.

This year Amy & I left early Friday morning & drove down together. Just like Amy said in her blog post, I really loved our non-stop chatter the whole way down & back. We had a lot of heartfelt conversations & I think we became even closer friends.  The drive was long (about 7 hours with stops), but didn’t seem like it! We were having fun! We got to the lodge about 30 minutes before the sessions started. We had just enough time to get our room, put our bags in there, & freshen up a bit. We met Amy’s friend Christy there & we were all roomies. I really enjoyed getting to meet & know Christy. She is such a sweet person & so easy to talk to! Christy went had different breakout sessions, but Amy & I had actually signed up for the same ones!

Once we got there & the first session started, it was pretty much full speed ahead! After our welcome we went to the first breakout session. I went to “Connecting while correcting” & it was very good. Then we had a main session with worship followed by an adoptive mom panel. After that we saw an adoption documentary, “Stuck.” Oh my goodness! It was so good yet so hard to watch. There are so many children that are stuck & just waiting for someone to fight for them. I had so many emotions watching this documentary. It was hard & I almost wanted to leave, but who am I to leave when all I was doing was  just watching this documentary while there are so many kids that are actually living what we were watching? I encourage everyone to watch this if they can. It will open your eyes. It definitely left me wondering if we should be doing more. There were a lot of tears, applause, & sighs throughout the entire thing. We ended up getting to bed around 1am.

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adoptive mom panel

adoptive mom panel

Saturday morning came early! We were thankful the sessions didn’t start until 9:30. We did want to be up & ready to have breakfast & then meet with other fellow Korean adoptive moms to pray together for the Korean process (it’s going through a lot of changes right now) & for all the babies that are currently stuck due to politics & changes. It was great to be of one accord with these moms & lift Korea & all the children up to the Lord.

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The rest of the day consisted of more breakouts & main sessions with worship too. The lodge at Lake Lanier was just gorgeous! Here are a few pics I got throughout the stay.

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We had one last main session with worship on Sunday before we headed home. We were encouraged to love big all weekend & to pour into the hearts of our children & families at home. Amy & I had to get a couple more pictures on the way out before we headed back home. It really was a gorgeous place!

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I’ll try to post a little more about the sessions that I went to. It really was just a great time! I’m so thankful for my hubby who made it possible for me to attend. I know he & Samuel had a great time at home. I was ready to get back & see them!

 

 

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Yep! We did some more partying with family! On the 2nd we had our family & really close friends over to celebrate Samuel turning 3. There were a lot of people in our house, but it worked & we had fun! It was actually less stressful to me to have it at home. I didn’t have to worry about transporting everything anywhere. We had popcorn, chocolate covered donuts, a fruit tray, cake, & ice cream. Then he opened presents. He had a lot of fun with that! 🙂  He really loves everything that he was given & we are so thankful to everyone. Thank you all for loving our boy & helping us celebrate! We then went outside. It was really cold, but the kids didn’t care! Some of the adults did though & only came outside for a short time. I don’t blame them! I was running around with the kids though, so I was ok. We played red light, yellow light,& green light, & had a ball toss (used a hula hoop instead of a tire), & then had a paper airplane contest. Then they just ran around the yard & played on the swing set. The main thing was that Samuel had so much fun. I could just see the joy on his face. The boy really is happy if he can just run around! He usually has a smile on his face constantly!

Thank you all again for celebrating with us! We love you!

 

Food!

Food!

Monster truck everything. Even cupcakes :)

Monster truck everything. Even cupcakes 🙂

His monster truck tire cake!

His monster truck tire cake!

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A friend finally got him to put this shirt on! Thanks Chris!

A friend finally got him to put this shirt on! Thanks Chris!

There he goes running!

There he goes running!

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:)

🙂

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I think this may have been his favorite gift!

I think this may have been his favorite gift!

Play!!

Play!!

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Paper airplanes

Paper airplanes

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Swinging fun!

Swinging fun!

Taking friends for a spin in his new ride :)

Taking friends for a spin in his new ride 🙂

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He had to put on one of his new monster truck shirts!

He had to put on one of his new monster truck shirts!

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