The Connected Parent, Dr.Karyn Purvis, and Confetti

It’s been a confetti kind of month! My family celebrated our happiness in a big Covid-style way.

Nearly one month ago The Connected Parent released into the world. After eight years of work, the book was born. There were many times when I didn’t know if it would be completed and I’m deeply thankful to God for allowing this dream to be fulfilled.

I’m also thankful to you. I truly have the best readers in the world. Many of you have been with me for years and that means more than you can imagine. The most helpful thing you can do for the book is to leave a review on Amazon. It helps the book continue to gain traction.

Dr. Karyn Purvis was a gift to the world. Together with Dr. David Cross, she developed Trust-Based Relational Intervention, an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. I met her through Empowered to Connect when we were speaking together.

I had an idea for a book combining her incredible scientific knowledge and wisdom with my real-life experiences of a mom doing my best to apply what I had learned. Thankfully, she thought it was a great idea and we started writing in 2012.

Through her cancer treatments and my parenting challenges, we persevered. When we lost our daughter, Kalkidan, in a car accident, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to finish the book. As I recovered I decided to see the book through in honor of Kalkidan and children like her who had experienced early adversity.

Sadly, Dr. Purvis did not live to hold this book in her hands, but her family wanted this final written work published in her honor.

I’ve had a great time being a guest on multiple podcasts since the book released and more are coming soon:

The Real-Mom podcast by Foster the Family
Honestly Adoption
The Empowered Parent
Empowered to Connect
Creating a Family
Orphans No More

Whether you listen to my interview or not, I highly recommend these great podcasts for adoptive and foster parents.

The book is available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook. I was honored to narrate the audiobook myself. It was a joy. I’m hopeful that The Connected Parent will be published in Spanish too!

Because of Jaso

liberia 2(Monrovia, Liberia)

Last week, I wrote about the beginnings of our adoption and foster care story.  This week, I share how Jaso joined our family.

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I sat during the choir’s intermission, watching the orphan statistics flash across the screen at the front of the auditorium.  I knew about the AIDS crisis.  I had met families with adopted children.  I had listened to stories of missionaries who rocked motherless babies in crowded orphanages.

But at this particular moment, I was expectant.  I had been waiting for God to show me why I still had a deep yearning for something outside of the boundaries of my city; and here, I was looking right into the faces of orphans.

"Dad! There are White People?"

time for math

Russ was singing to the boys last night as he tucked them in bed; he went through a number of old favorites and wrapped it up with “Jesus loves the Little Children.”  When he got to the line, “…red and yellow, black and white…” Little Man interjected, “Dad!  There are white people?”  Russ answered, “Well yes – I’m white.”  Little Man shook his head, and with a wise smile said, “No, you’re not, you’re brown.”

“Dad! There are White People?”

time for math

Russ was singing to the boys last night as he tucked them in bed; he went through a number of old favorites and wrapped it up with “Jesus loves the Little Children.”  When he got to the line, “…red and yellow, black and white…” Little Man interjected, “Dad!  There are white people?”  Russ answered, “Well yes – I’m white.”  Little Man shook his head, and with a wise smile said, “No, you’re not, you’re brown.”

On Second Thought…

Last Friday was Forever Day, the day we met our our four Ethiopian children for the first time.  As I wrote on Saturday, last year the day was a disaster for one of my daughters, and this year, I was concerned that it would be difficult again.  Honeybee, in particular, has been processing a lot of grief this year and Dimples is highly sensitive to Honeybee’s emotions, often regulating to her. I saw the potential for it not to be a happy day for them.

Tell it Well, Part 5: Bitter

Sometimes you have to ask yourself, “If I could only tell one more story, what would it be?”  Tell it Well is my answer.

Part 1: Alone | Part 2: Sought | Part 3: Found | Part 4: Redeemed | Part 5: Bitter

I will never forget the night I checked my email and saw the subject line, “Is this for real? I’m your son.”  I was stunned and felt faint.  We had just watched Swiss Family Robinson with our crew of five little ones, and we were getting them ready for bed when I paused at the computer.  I must have gasped because the children started gathering around me.  I kept saying, “Don’t touch the computer. Don’t touch the computer. Get Daddy – somebody get Daddy!”  I was afraid that with one click of a button, the message would disappear and my son would be lost from me forever.