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Adoption Family

Do you ever ask big families, “Are they all yours?” Parenting Tip #28

When you see a big family, do you ask, “Are they all yours?”

We have 15 kids – 2 homemade and 13 adopted. We are a mix of different races and backgrounds.

We have heard it all. My answers to some of the questions are in red:

  • Are they all yours? Yes
  • No, I mean how many belong to you? All of them.
  • Which ones are adopted? I forget.
  • How many are of which race? I don’t remember, I’ll have to figure it out.
  • Is this your Sunday School Class? Sometimes.
  • Who did she get her eyes from? (asked about our Asian daughter) Her mom and dad. (Neither of us are Asian)
  • Are you going to teach her English when she grows up? (also asked about our 3 mo. old Asian daughter) Too stunned to answer this one.
  • Are any of them brothers and sisters? They all are.
  • Are any of them related? They all are.
  • Do you keep in contact with their families. Yes, we see each other every day.
  • Are you going to tell them they are adopted? Um, I think they will probably figure it out by looking in the mirror.

And here is one that many adoptive families hear:

  • Which ones are your real children? (Unfortunately, asked in from of my kids, this was very hurtful.) Yes, of course they are all real.

We were very open with our kids – they weren’t the ones who were confused.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

We have gotten so many funny comments.

For the most part people have been in awe of our family and quite often are very personable, thanking us for adopting them. Our best responses have come from people of color. They are very appreciative of our family claiming kids of all races as our own. That always came as a surprise to me because we never saw it as a big deal. They are just kids. Who cares about color?

Big Families {Mom of Many}Our kids are color blind.

One of our kids asked, “What color was grandpa?” We knew no racial boundaries and saw no color in our home.

If someone was genuinely interested in our family and asked how many were adopted, I told them, “We have two homemade and 13 adopted.”

Our youngest “homemade” daughter wondered when she was going to have her visit to the judge to get adopted too. It wasn’t my adopted kids that felt left out.

When our Asian daughter went to a new school, we asked her if there were any other kids like her in her classroom. She said, “No, they are all just plain white.” We still laugh about that one and it was MANY years ago.

Different is good. Different is fun.

We had one son that always wore long sleeve shirts because he didn’t want to get darker. Another one preferred sleeveless because he wanted to be the blackest man alive.

Families are Forever {Mom of Many}

Every time someone complimented one of my sons as being handsome, I always, always said, “Thanks, he gets his good looks from me.” The fact that we were a “family of many colors” brought interest to our family and I feel sorry for families who are all the same race. It seems awfully boring to me.

We are unique and I love how our family is so diverse (I really don’t like that word, but it describes us well).  We are different but the same. I like it that way.

Val @ Mom of Many

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Adoption Family Parenting tips

When You are Criticized as a Parent – Parenting Tip #27

Have you ever been criticized as a parent?

This is a tough subject to deal with because I have all sorts of readers – some are mature and tested, others are inexperienced or clueless.  Everyone else is in-between – mostly just trying to figure out this parenting thing as they go along. We are all different with varying levels of expertise.

Criticism can be valid, but the way it’s delivered matters.

Some never really get a handle on parenting, feeling responsible for everything that goes wrong. Some judge other parents because they think they had all the answers and did everything perfectly when in reality they just had children who were easy to raise.

Others are supportive and compassionate knowing it’s a hard job and nobody is perfect or has all the answers. They just feel blessed when their kids enter adulthood ready and able in spite of all their parenting mistakes.

Some had easy children who respected their position as parents and complied throughout. Others had strong willed children who required patience and creative parenting.

Parental Criticism {Mom of Many}

Regardless of your parenting situation – we ALL had criticism.

Here are a few that we heard throughout the years:

  • You are too easy on them.
  • You are too hard on them.
  • You need to trust them more – they will never learn responsibility if you don’t let them go.
  • You should never trust them – they are little wicked sinners looking for trouble.
  • Give them space to make mistakes – they learn from their mistakes.
  • Don’t give them an inch – they will take a mile.
  • You should never treat them all the same – they are individuals.
  • You should treat them all the same – parenting favoritism will cause bitterness.
  • You should spank them.
  • Never spank them.
  • Establish your authority early on through rules and consequences.
  • Authoritarian parental figures cause children to rebel.
  • Always address rebellion from the git-go or you will have trouble when they are teens.
  • Teenage rebellion is natural – don’t stress over it, they will grow out of it.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – pick your battles.
  • Don’t let anything go – be consistent and address everything.

Parental Criticism {Mom of Many}I could go on, but you get the picture. You will never find anyone who agrees 100% with your parenting. Goodness, there are a lot of parents who don’t agree with each other.

One word of caution here: if you and your spouse don’t agree on parenting issues, you still need to present a united front. ALWAYS support each other. That doesn’t mean you cover up or encourage abuse, that “ALWAYS support each other” comes with an asterisk.

YOU GOT THIS! {Mom of Many}

So what do you do when you or your parenting are criticized?

I have a couple of come backs that you need to memorize and apply at the proper time (or you can just smile and walk away):

  • Thanks for your suggestion – I will consider it.
  • I appreciate that you want to help, I’ll take it from here.
  • I will deal with it at home, but thanks for your concern.
  • I’m sure you mean to be helpful but your comments sound critical.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

I have a couple of snarky responses that I got from my survey today.

Sometimes people step in and don’t handle your kids correctly. A well placed few words can drive home a point where a generic response would just leave you looking incompetent. Some people just don’t get it and will continue to pick at you and your kids unless you make it clear they are to back off.

  • How’s that working out for you?
  • Was that for your benefit or theirs?
  • And you have experience in this area how?
  • Your point is?
  • Aaaannnnndddd???? (This puts them in the hot seat) Just keep saying it till they walk away.

Before you judge me to be insensitive or  accuse me of not having a Christ-like attitude, realize this: The kids are more important than the adults and sometimes people can abuse you and your children with their words. Some just don’t understand a polite, “Thank you I’ve got this covered.”

If you’ve never experienced someone lashing you with their parenting advice tongue, then I’m glad for you. But I have and it ain’t pretty. Often I let them verbally abuse me because I never gave myself permission to go into a verbal battle for my kids.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I don’t agree thaParental Criticism {Mom of Many}t you must always be polite, though that should be our first rule of Christian conduct. When raising my kids, my rule was “always be polite no matter what” and I think that was a mistake. Sometimes the mama bear needs to come out!

I was quite beat up by the time all my kids were raised – and I’m not referring to my kids. Adults who thought they knew everything (but were very deceived in their own minds) caused a lot of bitterness and anger in my kids and left me feeling defeated.

I did get some funny responses to my survey – please don’t use these, but read them anyway. They will give you a laugh:

  • If I throw a stick will you go chase it?
  • Look at them and smile and start waving at them. And then mutter (so they can hear) “Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.” (From the Penguins of Madagascar)
  • I’m busy now, can I ignore you later?
  • Shush, the adults are talking.
  • How very Ghandi of you…

These comments came from friends of mine who has raised special needs kids:

  • Most times I am pleasant and say thank you and walk away. If the people are persistent I tell them they have no clue and depending on the situation I might explain. I have told people if they think they can do better, go adopt a child with baggage and special needs and do a better job then me. I wonder if anyone ever has. If they have I would like to see them today and see if they are now more understanding or on the psych ward recovering.
  • There are those that truly think they are being helpful and then you have inconsiderate clods that probably should mind their own business. To the latter, I would be respectful but firm in my response. Don’t be bullied by rude people.

I will leave you with this one thought.

If you are criticized, listen to what they say and if what they say is true, then change. If it isn’t, then ignore it and move on. Only you can know for sure what your kids need. Trust your instincts and if you have any questions, find someone you trust and is wise and ask for help. Read parenting books, but don’t raise your kids by them. Godly friends and God’s Word were our most trusted sources back when we couldn’t find any one with answers.

Now go out and be amazing.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many mailing list and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff. Support is important during times of criticism. (The servers are temporarily down, so if you are interested, try later.)

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Adoption Family Parenting tips Things I've Learned

5 Steps to Keeping a Clear Head When Life Stinks – Parenting Tip #26

Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)Don’t dwell. Dwelling is bad.

There will be times where your days and nights will be consumed with the pain and disappointment of life.

I’ve seen many families torn apart because the pain was too great – that every waking moment dwelling on the bad stuff consumed them.

We all will experience serious trials in life. We must choose how we will respond and that choice will affect every area of our lives.

I have some advice for you – a practice that I have adopted has changed my way of dealing with the hard days.

I went to the Women Counseling Women week long training with Debi Pryde and in one of her sessions she dealt with dwelling on the bad stuff.

Her advice to us?

Don’t dwell. When you have a serious situation that you need to deal with, take 5 minutes, think about it, decide what you are going to do about it or plan your next step and then let it go and get on with your day.

The dwelling is what takes control of your life. We need to leave off the dwelling and choose to live our life – not defined by our pain but defined by who we are and who we serve.

God isn’t punishing us.

God doesn’t put pain and suffering in our life to hurt or punish us. He allows trials in our life to hone us, to grow and strengthen us…though it certainly doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

If we allow the pain and stressors in life to envelope us, we will  let the pain win. We are too valuable for that. We have a job to do and we can’t do it with our two hands tied behind our back. We must be free to move forward and accomplish life – to be there for our families.

5 steps to keeping a clear head when life stinks:

  • Think over your situation for 5 minutes.
  • Decide on your next move and then put the thoughts away.
  • Purposely think on something else.
  • Follow through on your decision and once you do – take another 5 minutes to consider it.
  • Then put it behind you again.

You will be amazed how your life will improve.

Your day to day activities will be easier. You will find hope again. You will have a clearer view of your situation and feel more in control of your life.

That one truth will set you free in a way you never expected.

You all have heard the expression “Give it to God.”Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)

This is the best way to do it. When you dwell, you keep it close to you. Not only is this not healthy, it throws you in the middle of the trees where you can’t see the forest. You need to see the forest.

Now go to the mirror and say:

Val @ Mom of Many

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Adoption Family Parenting tips

Are you afraid of failure? Parenting Tip #24

Don't fear your kids' futures - God's God This {Mom of Many}

It’s not what you think.

I’m not about to talk about parental failure. I’m talking about our kids and their choices in life.

They might turn your world upside down – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing…

Considering all the work we put into our kids, it’s natural to think that they might consider us when making their choices.

Six months before we were married, I considered moving out into an apartment that I found in the want ads. My dad found the ad and confronted me. He said that it would “kill Mom” if I moved out. I didn’t really understand, because to me it wasn’t a big deal. I just wanted to experience life out on my own before I committed to a forever home with my future DH.

But being the dutiful daughter that I was, I nixed my plan and stayed home until our wedding day, never to mention it again. To this day I don’t even know if my dad told my mom.

That was only one of many decisions that was influenced by my concern for my parents and their opinion of me.

Silly me. I thought all my kids would be the same way.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

I hate to burst your bubble.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

If you are like me, you have this pie in the sky expectations of what you think raising a family would be like.  Come on down from those clouds and visit the real world. I live there now and it’s not so bad.

To be happy and have peace as parents, realize:

  • Our happiness does not hinge on others.
  • Our adult children have their own minds – we can’t control them nor should we.
  • We should not take our kids choices personally.
  • The worst could happen and we (with the Lord’s help) will still be OK.

And…this is the biggest bullet I can give you:

  • God can use EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that happens to grow and mature our kids.

MomofMany.netDon’t be afraid of the future for your kids. Do your best to raise them properly and then when they go out on their own, give yourself permission to let go.

They may choose a completely out of the box path, pursuing a crazy life opposite of your dreams and goals, but don’t despair.

You’ve heard that saying, “Let go and let God?” It sounds so trite. But it is true in this case.

There is a time in your kids’ lives that they will step out and become their own person. There will be mistakes. They may disappoint you, hurt you, or even ditch you. They might turn your world upside down. But don’t lose hope.

I have seen the worst situations in my kids’ lives change them in a way that I never could. Real life can make such a huge impact – so don’t fear. Give yourself a break, sit back and watch God work.

As parents we think we know the road our children should travel, but God may have other plans. Trust Him.

Remember He loves your kids more than you do.

He’s got this.

God isn’t finished with them. Or you. And that’s the truth.

Val @ Mom of Many

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Adoption Family Parenting tips

Do you attend court proceedings of your foster kids? Parenting Tip #23

Navigating the Foster Care System

Someone asked me lately how involved we got in our foster kids’ court proceedings.

My answer? V.E.R.Y.

Little lying joyful girl with ponytails and risen foots on white background

Every three months there was a court hearing for the kids.

  • We attended ALL court hearings.
  • I wrote a letter to the judge a week before updating him on the kids.
  • We talked with their court appointed lawyer before every hearing.
  • We kept in contact with the social worker asking for all updates and plans.
  • We sat with the birth parent and talked with them while we waited.
  • We contacted the Guardian Ad Litem if needed

The judge always asked if we were present and read my letter during the proceedings. He often asked for our input to clarify some of the issues.

In addition, this shows the court that the kids are being properly cared for and fulfills one of the parental duties that are missing  if they are not with their birth parents. It is amazing how much you will learn about their birth family, the foster care system and the legal system.

Advocate for the Children {Mom of Many}The case worker needs support.

The case worker most likely has a heavy case load. By attending court you are showing the worker that you are willing to put in effort and support them. One of our workers was so burned out that he actually told us he wasn’t planning to do anything for our foster kids – that court was just a formality.

He had good reason to be discouraged. He had recently fought to terminate the parents rights of a boy in foster care because he knew the birth home was dangerous.  He lost the case and the boy returned home immediately – he died that same week by parental abuse.

When we talked, we told him we would support him and even hire a lawyer if he felt the kids needed one. He accepted right away and started being more proactive.

Though we did not agree with much of the methods of the foster care agency, we remained involved through out the 2.5 years our last set of kids were in foster care. Since we were so involved, the judge felt comfortable granting the termination of parental rights.

The worker needs a plan.

Judges often won’t grant termination of parental rights if the foster care worker has no plan. 

For the most part, the courts’ goal is to reunite families – which is the proper goal. But if that is not possible, judges need to know the child will have a forever family once termination is granted.

They don’t see the point of freeing a child that will only float around in the system. There are so many kids lost in the system, waiting for a family.

If you are a foster family that would be willing to adopt your foster child if they are ever in need, get involved in every area. It’s what parents do.

What do you find to be the greatest challenge in fostering? Is it the day-to-day caring for the child, or the emotional stress?

Let me know in the comments.

Val @ Mom of Many

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Adoption Family Parenting tips Things I've Learned

How well do you supervise your older kids? Parenting Tip #21

 

I hear comments occasionally from parents who think they are obligated to give their kids complete privacy…um no, I never did.

 

How well do you supervise your older kids? {Mom of Many}

They don’t:

  • look through their kids’ stuff.
  • check up on them to make sure they are where they are supposed to be.
  • find out who their friends are or who they hang with.
  • talk often with teachers and coaches.
  • require accountability with schoolwork, school and church activities or how they spend their free time.

Adding to that they:

  • give their kids phones without any accountability.
  • let them go to homes of people they don’t know.
  • allow dating at an early age.
  • allow unsupervised internet browsing.
  • allow unlimited gaming or other “fun” that could turn into time wasting or obsession.

Moms! One way we protect our kids is by supervision.

  • I knew all of my kids’ friends.
  • I knew where they were at all times (unless of course, they were sneaky about it – but I eventually found out).
  • We didn’t allow sleep overs at other homes (We learned that lesson quickly).
  • We didn’t allow them to own cell phones.
  • We often looked through their rooms.
  • There was never any Internet browsing and any computer time was limited and supervised (out in the open, never in their rooms).

Granted, I had some “interesting children” but I only went to extremes when necessary. Otherwise, we made it clear to all of our kids that as long as they were living under our roof during the years we are responsible for them, there was to be no expected privacy. (Except for obvious personal time).

We didn’t allow dating – at all.

Supervise your kids! {Mom of Many}

We did encourage good friendships. I told them you can’t necessarily control your feelings but you can control what you do about them.

One year we had a child in our home for a Christmas visit that would call our boys into the bathroom and shut the door to whisper ideas of badness. Oh boy did we had trouble with a capital “T”. It led to some pretty bad behavior and attitudes. We squelched the activity, but a little too late.

Don’t make the same mistake we did. By the time we knew something was up, it was too late.

Supervise. Supervise. S.U.P.E.R.V.I.S.E.

  1. Do your best to limit your kids’ exposure to troubled kids. Ever heard of “rebel radar?”
  2. Watch for whisperings and plotting if you have “interesting kids.”
  3. Keep a good line of communication open to get a feel for your kids’ attitude and experiences.
  4. You want your kids to know you are watching them – be ever present. Be around. Be present.
  5. Watch. See. Ponder. Ask. Be involved. Be present. Be wise. Be open and obvious.
  6. Listen to that small still inner voice – If you are a believer, it’s the Holy Spirit warning you!

This is what my DD said about our supervision during her growing up years: “Paying attention to who your kids hang out with… It annoyed me when I was younger – you paying attention to who I hung out with so much…(now she says) but good job!”

Do you supervise? Do you get criticized by others about how much you supervise? We were criticized by some saying we didn’t criticize enough (though I can’t imagine anyone supervising more than I did) and we were criticized that we supervised too much. Only you know your child best and only you can decide how much is needed. Each child is different and you have to parent differently for each child – yep, you guessed it. We were criticized for that too.

The thing is…I have complete confidence that I did all I could to bring them up right. I don’t stress over my part, don’t doubt or even look back and wish I had done more. You too can be that confident!

Until next time,

Val @ Mom of Many

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Adoption Family Parenting tips

Abandonment Issues – Parenting Tip #18

Fear of Abandonment

This is a huge issue. It affects so many of us – kids and adults alike.

I’ve known so many who are affected in every area of their lives because they felt abandoned by those who were suppose to care for them.

It affects their future relationships with:

  • parents & grandparents
  • peers & friends
  • spouses & children
  • co-workers/business partners/employees

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” ~Frederick Douglass

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Please. Please. Please. Put your kids first and always be there for them.

  • Be available – in the good times and in bad.
  • Meet their needs
  • Give them structure and clear expectations.
  • Hold them accountable.
  • Follow through – be consistent.
  • Consider what is best for them in every decision.
  • Be involved in every area of their lives.
  • If they tell you to back off or leave them alone – don’t. They need you even if they don’t know it.
  • If there is a problem, care enough about them to address it.
  • Keep the light on.

 

Kids, especially teenagers sometimes will think you don’t care about them if you discipline them.

They may even hate you in the moment. But if you don’t correct them they will assume you don’t care. You can’t win for losin’. Go figure.

 

Kids want you to go the extra mile to make sure they are secure and cared for.

Sometimes that is inconvenient. Yep. Parenting isn’t always easy or fun. You have to do things you don’t like, they don’t like and others don’t like. You will be criticized, misjudged and disliked. Oh, well. Your kids come before your popularity or comfort.

We had people tell us we were too soft on our kids and others tell us we were too hard. You can’t please everyone!

They are worth your effort. They are worth your time.

 

A SIDE NOTE: I have kids who love me. I have kids who don’t. Regardless of which category they fit in – I still love them all. I want them in my life and the door will always be open to ALL of them. It was hard to teach some of my adopted kids to trust us because of their past experiences, but we worked at it every day and still do. Sometimes only God can heal the hurt. We wait and watch.

The ones who love me are amazing and I cherish EVERY moment I’m with them. I always hope the ones who don’t will pick up the phone or text me and let me know they are coming by for a visit – it has happened!

I’ve seen God do amazing things. 

I pray every day that He will do a tremendous work in our family. We did our part. Now we wait and watch for Him to work.

If you have abandonment issues in your family or personally – ask God for healing. He can and will. I have been so impressed with my kids who have allowed God to work in their lives and bring them to the other side. It takes time and effort to sort it all out. They are amazing.

 

For a free word art high resolution word art click here or on the picture below:

Abandonment {Mom of Many}

Val @ Mom of ManyMomofMany.net

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Adoption Educating Our Children Family Parenting tips

Does your child run away? Parenting Tip # 12

 

Running away from your problems is a race you will never win…

Recently a mom contacted me about her teenage son who has developed the habit of running away when he is upset.

We had a couple of kids try that a few times and it caused huge stress for our family. It’s a heart breaking moment when your child runs through the door when you are in the middle of a parenting moment. If you want to experience mind numbing F.E.A.R., just watch your child go out the door in a fit of defiance!

Does your child run away? Keep a Journal {Mom of Many}
To download this FREE full resolution JPG word art, click the picture above.

Running away:

  1. Exacerbates the problem because you can’t deal with it if they aren’t there!
  2. Disrupts the family and scares the other children.
  3. Puts them, you, and your family immediately at risk legally (you never know what they will do on the run).
  4. Is unsafe for the child to be running around unsupervised.
  5. Puts the public at risk because the child isn’t thinking clearly.
  6. Is an act of rebellion – it must be addressed.

This was what I told the M.O.M. – in a nut shell.

I never did this but found myself wishing I had. Live and learn, right?

Does your child run away? Keep a Journal {Mom of Many}

  1. If your child has developed a habit of running away, be sure to call 911 IMMEDIATELY to let them know your child is on the run.
  2. Be sure to let your child know ahead of time that if they run, you will call the police. Be clear that you love them and will do it to protect them, you, the rest of the family and the public.
  3. Keep a journal EVERY DAY if you have a child that acts out. This will give you credibility if you run into any legal issues. Because I had NO PAPER TRAIL, my word was disregarded in time of crisis.
  4. Get a good support system that will come to your aid day or night. Fill in at least one trusted friend and your pastor so there are others who will back you up in time of crisis and come to your house if you need them.

I had a good support system in place just weeks before our last incident, so between them and the Lord’s protection, we were fine. But it could have turned out disastrous!

If you need support join our M.O.M. group. We get it.

Val @ Mom of Many

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Adoption Family Parenting tips

Why do we think we can control our kid’s every move? Parenting Tip #10

FREE Good Moms Word Art {Mom of Many}Time for a reality check, moms!

  1. No one is perfect. God only calls us to be faithful, not perfect. His Son was the only perfect person that walked this earth.
  2. Parenting can be hard, especially if you have “interesting” children. Do your best, give God the rest.
  3. You only see what others let you see.  A perfect house and perfectly behaved children? It’s all an illusion.
  4. Even God’s children (Adam and Eve) disobeyed and disappointed their Father. Who are we to think we can control our kids’ every decision and action?
  5. God knows we are “but flesh” so He understands our weaknesses and failings and still loves us. (Psalm 78:39)

This is for you today – a word art to help you to remember that we are all human just trying to do our best:

Good Moms FREE Word Art {Mom of Many}

To download a high resolution JPG for printing, click on the word art above or here.

Now go out and be amazing!

Val @ Mom of Many

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Adoption My Kids Notable Acts Parenting tips

When God Blows You Away – Parenting Tip #8

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Today’s tip is very simple.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

When God Blows You Away - the story of our son {Mom of Many}

Never give up on your kids – no matter what.

Our only job as parents is to be faithful.

We are to provide for them, love them, teach them and point them to God. When our job is complete and they go out on their own, God will take over and do His work. We must let Him do it and trust His methods.

He knows. We don’t. We just have to trust.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Let me tell you about my son.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

We adopted our son when he was nearly four months old. He had been in an orphanage since birth.

When we went to the airport to pick him up, I took a little tuxedo sleeper to change him into to bring him home. When I dressed him I was shocked to see how weak his limbs were – I was scared to move him around for fear I would break him!

It took us months to get a handle on his health issues. He was allergic to formula so we had to switch to goat’s milk.

He came down with Pneumonia every few weeks, which eventually brought us an asthma diagnosis. For many years we treated his asthma attacks at home with a nebulizer. Asthma is scary.

He earned the title “interesting” kid early on in his life because of his strong will and headstong personality – but fortunately he was endearing. He drew people to him with his magnetic personality and loving heart.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Along came the teen years.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Let’s just say they were challenging. 🙂

He went to Bible college after high school – simply because we asked him to. He and I had many discussions about his future when he was a teen. He disliked my idea that he would be a great servant of God if he’s just surrender. He assumed I meant ministry, which he vehemently opposed. I tried to assure him not ministry but some sort of service to God with his life. I saw great potential in him but surrender has never been in his vocabulary.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Often folks will deny God’s call because of a fear of what God will ask them to do.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

I knew this to be the case with our son. There was no way I could assure him that to follow God’s call is the safest and most rewarding place to be.

The summer after his first year at college he joined the Marines and went to boot camp. We had hoped he would wait until he was done with college – when he was older. The entire next year at college was a struggle and we feared for our son.

Not long after that he went to Iraq.  He knew I would be worried about him, so he called home often with a SAT phone while standing on the roof of his Humvee to get a signal. I lived for those calls!

Later he volunteered for an overseas mission. Military service can take its toll, but at the same time can be an experience that builds character and strengthens a man’s heart.

The influences in the military and the many losses he has endured over the past few years took its toll. We begged God to preserve him.

When God Blows You Away - the story of our son {Mom of Many}

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

I’ve never regretted adopting my kids.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

I have feared for our kids over the years and wondered at times if they would ever make it to adulthood and be happy, well adjusted adults. It has been hard watching them go through the pain of loss, regret, rejection – and all of what this world can bring. Of course every mom is concerned for their kids, but when you adopt “interesting” kids, often they have a lot to overcome – much more than those who have had the advantage of a smooth and uneventful beginning.

Today I can assure you that our son has indeed not only survived but is thriving. He has reconciled all of his past and has built his character. He has come through his challenges and become an amazing man – one who defends our freedom and cares for others.

 

When God Blows You Away - the story of our son {Mom of Many}

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

He has a new mission – one that most men would not consider EVER:

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Quote from his GoFundMe account on Facebook:

“I am returning to Iraq to help the Kurds. I was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps Infantry, and have a history with Iraq and that region of the world.

…My goal is to head there with a couple cameras/camcorders, Go Pro, laptop, SD cards, etc. This will allow me to upload everything stateside so that my liaisons in the US can connect the story and spread it to the public. 

For the past 3-4 years I have strongly thought about going back. The past year was not a pleasant one which led me to make my decision to go back. Some thought/think that I am running away from something, and so did I for a little. I’m actually running toward something, it took me a while to get grounded to my roots, the reason why I initially felt I needed to help the Kurds. 

My initial plan was to just head over and fight with the Kurds, but the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword” is so very true. This mission is about fighting alongside the Kurds and telling their story, but it’s [also] about telling the story of the Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq who are back in Iraq volunteering with the Kurds. It’s about telling the story of the couple thousand people from all over the world banded together to fight for humanity. My goal is to tell a story of people who take no heed of race, religion, language, ethnicity, region of the world, but see each other as brothers and sisters of this world. 

The overall goal to tell this story, this documentary, is for global education on global awareness. If enough people can see that people are standing up to fight for humanity, we can get even more people to stand together. While the nations of the world can never agree on one thing, we as humans can all agree that the Kurds deserve the basic rights of humanity: Life. There is a hate out there that people are trying to extinguish. If we as humans of the world can band together to end this hate, maybe we can start to see each other as brothers and sisters of the planet we share. To give the next generation a chance of hope. The story just needs to be told.

I am blessed to call him son and pray God will preserve him as he goes to help the helpless. He truly is a credit to his nation and is willing to put his life on the line to protect those in need. What a great work God has done – He has truly blown me away.

When God Blows You Away - the story of our son {Mom of Many}

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Not only am I proud of our son; he is MY HERO.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

There is hope moms – cling to it.

UPDATE: Due to the changing political scene, Andrew took up a different mission. Rather than going to fight, he went to save the refugees fleeing the war torn nations. Catch up on his mission here: AndrewFrania.com. He has found his calling.

Val @ Mom of Many

All photos by Charizma Photography, L.L.C. @ www.charizmaphotography.com. Katy Frey is an amazing photographer – check out her site. You will be blessed.

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