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You have found a place of hope and compassion, especially if life is overwhelming or simply just too hard. I write to encourage you as I humbly share my thoughts on parenting, adoption, foster care, grief, faith, and other things I find interesting – like books and coffee!

Life requires courage, hope, and endurance, interlaced with gratitude – I hope to offer that to you.

I serve my people through talking, listening and writing.


I enjoy speaking all over the country at conferences and retreats. Please, somebody in Hawaii plan a retreat for adoptive and foster moms and invite me to speak!

I also get to talk weekly on The Adoption Connection Podcast with my co-host, Melissa Corkum. Together we founded The Adoption Connection where we provide all kinds of resources for adoptive and foster moms.


I do my best to listen well in The Hope Circle, my Christ-centered, hope-filled private membership site. I absolutely love mentoring these moms.


My book with Dr. Karyn Purvis, The Connected Parent, releases July 7, 2020. It was a labor of love and a dream come true.

I’ve been writing my blog, One Thankful Mom, since 2006. It’s the place where I processed, shared, and taught as I learned and gained experience as an adoptive mom.

Let me tell you a little about One Thankful Mom so you can find what is most helpful to you. You can also scroll right past this to find my “Most Read” posts near the bottom of this page.

What I Write About on One Thankful Mom

As a mom of kids by birth, adoption, and foster care, ranging in age from 30 to ten, I write a lot about parenting. I also write specifically about the unique needs of kids who have had a harder start in life (attachment and trauma) and specific ideas for parenting them with healing in mind.

From time to time I write about marriage. This year Russ and I will celebrate our 36th anniversary. We had no idea the adventures we would share when we met as seniors in high school and married three years later. Marrying Russ is the best decision I’ve made in my life – marriage is also hard work.

Many posts are simply about my life as a mom of a large family –  I’ve written about our journeys through homeschooling, private school, and public school, our home, holidays, children growing up, and navigating the teen years.

Nearly three years ago we lost our daughter, Kalkidan, in a tragic car accident. I write about our grief journey which is still very present in our lives. If you’ve lost someone you love, you may have some “me too” moments as you read my thoughts. If you love someone who has lost a child, my posts may give you insight on how to help them.

I’d love to offer you even more help and hope.

Would you like a more personal note delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up here and I’ll send you a guide, Hope for the Parenting Journey, as a thank you. I send my short email each week, and you can read it in a minute or so. I include links to recent posts, so it’s an easy way to keep up.

I also love serving families through my adoption/foster care resource site, The Adoption Connection.

I offer one-on-one parent coaching and marriage mentoring. Email me for more information. [email protected]

From time to time, I also offer online courses and webinars.

My newest love is my podcast! Join me each week for a new episode.

You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram.

If you came to One Thankful Mom in the depths of struggle with your children, you’ll find honesty and hope here. I wish we could sit at my table with mugs of coffee and tea. Maybe we’ll meet one day, in the meantime, I hope my words encourage you and remind you that you’re not alone.

With courage and hope for the journey,


My Most-Read Posts


I Used to Be a Good Mom

Attachment: We Serve, We Love, God Heals

Giving Voice to Siblings

Adoption: Recognizing the Loss for All of Us

Eight Ways to Help a Struggling Family

Foster Care:

How Foster Care is Restoring My Hope

7 Lessons From Foster Care

Foster Youth: Are We Listening to Them?


Tell it Well  If you would like to know more about my faith (and being a first/birth mom), this is my story.


Homeschooling: Six Truths I Wish I’d Known in the Beginning

Just How Patient is Our Love

For the First Time in 13 Years

How Understanding the Brain Helps Parents and Teens


Spring Cleaning for a Good Marriage

You are Audacious

Kalkidan’s Story and Our Grief:

Kalkidan’s Story

15 Texts for Your Grieving Friend

The Profound Presence of Absence

How to Survive When Grief is Your Teacher