You Won’t Want to Miss These!

I’ve gotten terribly behind on sharing podcast episodes! They’re so good I don’t want you to miss them.

#15 Using Everyday Tasks to Build Connection

You already know connected parenting is great, but does it ever feel too many burdens and expectations are set on your already heavy shoulders? My co-host, Melissa, and I have both been there and know just how hard it is.

In Episode 15, we talk about simple ways to build connection with your children in the midst of everyday life. It’s all about looking for little opportunities as we go through our days and not about making life more complicated.

Melissa and I have very different lives, families, and interests, so you’ll hear a wide range of thoughts as we talk.


#16 The Ultimate Shopping Guide for Adoptive Families

Melissa and I share some of their favorite gift ideas for the people you love, and a few suggestions for you too in this episode. Maybe you’ll find some new ideas here!



#17 Help Your Kids Discover Their Strengths and Plan for the Future – with Wendy Willard

Maybe you’re struggling to see anything positive in your child’s behaviors. Or maybe your teens’ self-esteem and confidence are so low they’re convinced they’re failures. As moms, we night question whether we’re cut out for this enormous of of raising kids with such troubled pasts.

In this episode, Wendy Willard brings us fresh insight and practical tools for helping us discover our kids’ strengths which can give us hope for the future.

Don’t miss this one – I loved it and learned new things. I’m considering ordering this book for some of my teens for Christmas, and maybe this book for Russ and me.

I hope you’re enjoying the podcast!

If you’re not sure how to listen or subscribe, here’s a quick link for you.

Also, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please leave us a rating (5 stars is awesome) and a review (even two words), which helps other foster and adoptive moms find us when they search podcast listings.

We’re in this together, friend.


Real Mom Podcast, Holidays, and more

So many things to tell you after this holiday week!

First, I’m so honored to be a guest on my friend, Jamie Finn’s, Real Mom Podcast.¬†We had a very authentic conversation about some of my hard places of fostering and adopting. I’d love to hear what you think when you listen.

Thanksgiving felt different this year. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel we were in crisis or struggling through deep grief.

There were challenges and I could have managed things better. There were also sad moments as we talked about and missed Kalkidan. But overall, it was a good holiday.

Five of our big kids made it home for at least a couple days, and Annarose stayed with us rather than at her house near campus. Mimi and her love arrived Tuesday night. Samuel came home from Portland Wednesday and made Eby and Wogayu extra happy by giving them haircuts.

Noah and Katie made it in time for the Apple Cup Friday night and stayed until Sunday morning. We even managed to squeeze in a birthday dinner for Katie since we won’t see them in December. Noah’s doesn’t get much time off during residency, so we’re thankful for this visit.

In addition to a lot of cooking and eating, we played games in the evenings, especially our new game, Decrypto. I surprised everyone with the Saran Ball Game which was a huge hit. We laughed a lot. I’m not known for being a super fun mom, so I felt like a hero.

After everyone left yesterday, I dropped Eby and Wogayu off at the gym and then took the dog for a walk Рdefinitely a win-win. I was feeling really down and knew getting outside in the cold air would help. Being active always helps the boys too.

Advent begins next Sunday putting us officially in the Christmas season. I love Advent; the season of reflecting and quieting in anticipation of the coming of Christ is so meaningful.

Just a quick reminder, if you celebrate Advent, now is the time to get your Advent candles. I order this set each year.

My mind is rushing ahead to Christmas. I did some online shopping this weekend and avoided going to the stores. We’re keeping gift-giving a little simpler this year, but I still have a lot of people to shop for. There’ve been years when I’ve left too much until the end and been in tears. I’m trying to avoid that this year.

Lastly, Did you see my post on the incredible deal on Circle for managing internet in your home and keeping your family safer online?

All my love, friend.


Joys and Challenges of Fostering and Adopting as a Single Mom

#14 Joys and Challenges of Fostering and Adopting as a Single Mom

My friend, Molly Ford, shares her story of becoming a foster and adoptive mom in this week’s episode of The Adoption Connection podcast. We also talk about anxiety, post-adoption/fostering depression, and so much more.

I have the greatest admiration for single moms and moms whose spouses are deployed or have work requiring them to be away for long periods of time. Don’t miss Molly’s story.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, be sure to subscribe. Not sure how? We’ve got you covered.

Happy weekend, friend.


Survive the Holidays While Keeping the Joy

#13 Survive the Holidays While Keeping the Joy

The holidays can be a big challenge for kids who are sensitive to change or easily dysregulated. Melissa and I share our best tips for keeping the holidays calm(ish) and happy.

Planning in advance, making wise decisions, and saying “no” to things that just don’t work are keys to holiday success.

This is a fun episode because some of YOU called in and wrote emails to leave your suggestions. We love hearing from you!

Let me know what you think of this episode. Can you believe we’ve done 13 and we’re going strong?!

With joy,



I’m home from beautiful Whitefish, Montana where I spoke at the Deeply Loved retreat for foster and adoptive moms. I loved being with the amazing women who inspired me as much as I hope I inspired them. God is writing beautiful stories in their lives and families.

Today is Kalkidan’s birthday. I can’t even imagine her as a 17-year-old. She was still so young, barely 13, when we lost her.

Russ left for work wearing an orange sweater and I have an orange scarf around my neck. Early this morning, I lit my deep orange Glassbaby candle and it’s burning next to me now.

I can talk about her birthday (10/29) and her heaven day (12/27) before and after, but on the very days, I find it hard to express anything.

I spoke about her quite a bit last weekend, and truthfully, I was a little weepy. Thankfully, there couldn’t have been a more gracious and understanding audience.

I owe so much of what I know about trauma, attachment, connected parenting, and everything else, to Kalkidan. She started us on this long journey 12 years ago.

The book I wrote with Dr. Karyn Purvis would never have been written if Kalkidan had not joined our family. She came into our lives like a meteor, changing us is so many ways.

[side note: a draft of the manuscript is nearly done!]

We’re catapulting toward the holidays – can you believe it? We’ll talk about it soon.

With hope,


Hope for Battle-Weary Parents

Episode #11 Hope for Battle-Weary Parents

I’m so thankful to have Pam for a friend. She has personally helped me through some tough moments and hard decisions using her experience and wisdom as a guide.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

She’s also the author of several books including, Ready or Not for Battle-Weary Parents.

She’s seen nearly everything as foster and adoptive mom of teens and young adults, and she isn’t wasting what she’s learned. Pam offers hope through her own experiences. In the interview, she told me she was living the book as she was writing it.

I love and respect Pam and hope you enjoy the interview. Our learning curve continues; I apologize in advance for audio glitches in this episode.

With courage and hope, my friend,

[P.S. If you need help figuring out how to listen to the podcast, let me know. You can listen on my The Adoption Connection website, or on your phone.]