If You Could Ask the Siblings

2015 Refresh Sibling Panel
2015 Refresh Sibling Panel

Next week I’m facilitating a sibling panel at the Refresh Conference. You all know how passionate I am about giving voice to siblings, in fact I’m currently working on a book on this topic.

My panel consists of two adults, one college student, and two young teens. All are siblings who had children from “hard places” join their families. Some of the panelists were also adopted, others were born into their families.

If you could ask them a question, what would it be? I want to be certain that I’m meeting the needs of the audience, not just following my own interests.

Please take a moment to leave me a comment – I would love to hear from you. Or, you can email your question to me at lisa@onethankfulmom.com

If your children would like to participate in the book, I would love to hear from them too. You can find the information in the post, Giving Voice to Siblings (and how you can help).

Thank you a million times over.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

11 Comments

  1. Heather
    February 19, 2016

    How can parents best support your feelings, struggles, but also follow the calling God has laid on their hearts?

    What are good ways to help siblings connect in deep meaningful ways, that are not forced?

    What are things your parents did to reassure you that you were not forgotten or unloved or unimportant?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 19, 2016

      Thank you, Heather! This is so helpful.

      Reply
  2. Grace
    February 19, 2016

    I'm a current college student passionate about foster care and adoption. I have close family & friends that have/are dealing with challenges with their siblings from "hard places." I didn't understand a lot of it when I was younger which I think was appropriate, but now as I'm older I'm understanding the gravity of their experiences. The siblings all seem very burnt out from their situations. My questions is: "What can a friend who lives outside of your home best do to support and encourage you?" My Aunt emphasized to me that some of her kids wanted to process things more out loud, while others preferred to process things more internally. I just desire to be a constant encouragement as I know it's hard, but I'm not sure how to best do that.

    Thanks for your blog! It's been such a great resource for me. -Grace

    Reply
  3. Sondra
    February 19, 2016

    What thoughts or fears did you have in the midst of the meltdowns and tantrums? And what can parents do to help with those while dealing with the tantrums?

    Reply
  4. Anna
    February 19, 2016

    I'm new to your blog and loving it. I've found so much encouragement and hope through many of your posts. Recently home with out 18 month old daughter from Ethiopia I would love to know how to best support my bio boys ages 6 and 3. My three year old in particular is struggling and I can tell it's beyond the "normal" transition of being displaced as the oldest. I'm not sure how to exactly phrase my questions for the panel but I would love to know how to best support young children through the initial transition and beyond.

    Reply
  5. Kate Sumpter
    February 19, 2016

    What were you most excited about when your family decided to adopt?

    What was the best thing about having a sibling from a hard place? For you? For your whole family?

    What you as adults suggest parents teach their children already in your home about what to expect? What things would you purposefully let unfold?

    Reply
  6. A Friend
    February 19, 2016

    Maybe this is too unique a scenario, but has anyone been adopted from foster care, and then experienced other foster care situations (that may or may not lead to adoption) unfolding in their home? My children were adopted from foster care at 4& 5, and have experienced (and remember) going from having contact with bio family, regular visits, etc to one annual point of contact with bio mom, if that, and adoption into our family. We are preparing to provide foster care again and our new additions will likely still have visits and may be reunified. Wondering how to prepare my children's hearts for that reality–that other kids' foster care stories may have an "ending" that is different from theirs.

    Reply
    1. sciencedino
      February 22, 2016

      This! I want questions for older adopted kids about how adopting another sibling with a different life story was for them. In what ways did it trigger their own insecurities or traumatic memories? Were there ways in which it was helpful or reassuring to see new kids enter the family through adoption or not really? Did they feel they needed more time as only/youngest kids? Is it really a good idea to add more than one child with a traumatic background to the family in a short space of time (like 5-6 years), or do kids from hard places need the support of being youngest/only for many years in order to truly make progress.

      We're in the same situation as above – we have a foster-adopted 12 year old (adopted at 11) and are considering if/when/whether to re-open our home to foster or adopt again.

      Reply
  7. Alyssa
    February 19, 2016

    Have you ever resented the attention your parents have needed to give your siblings? Have you felt responsible/worried about your parents- their stress level, relationship or if your home doesn't feel safe anymore? Did you feel like you could talk to your parents about these things? Has having adopted siblings influenced your own interest in adoption someday, or ministry you want to be involved in? (I have bio kids 23, 20 and 18 and one adopted son, 11- adopted 5 years ago)

    Reply
  8. ahhodgman
    February 19, 2016

    If you could tell your sibling(s) from a hard place anything at all, what would you say?

    Reply
  9. Abbey Bisschop
    February 19, 2016

    What would you tell another child/teen who is struggling with the trauma/drama they have endured on the journey? Would any of you be interested in facilitating friendship with kids like you via a Facebook group or something like that?

    Reply

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