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The Adoption Connection | a podcast by and for adoptive moms

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#19: How to Stay Connected to Kids Not Living at Home

What are some great ways to say connected with kids who aren't living at home? Melissa and Lisa share their experiences of having children leave home for a short time or longer - some happy reasons and some hard. How do we stay connected when emotions are tough? How do we connect with our big kids when our days are consumed with younger, or simply more demanding, siblings? We share our best tips in this episode!


#18: Intentional Parenting and Trauma-Sensitive Schools with Stacy Manning

Do you want your kids living their best lives at home and at school? Our guest, Stacy Manning, believes in that goal. Stacy adopted from Russia back before we were talking about trauma-informed parenting. She researched and found information on her own, which led her to develop resources and support groups for other parents. Her newest area of interest is supporting educators and providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to be trauma-sensitive teachers. We loved hearing about...


#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 are convinced they are a failure. Sometimes as moms, we feel like failures or that we aren't cut out for this enormous job of raising kids with such troubled pasts. This week, Wendy Willard brings us fresh insight and practical tools for helping us discover our kids' strengths which can give us hope for the future. Links Relevant to this episode:...


#16: The Ultimate Shopping Guide for Adoptive Families

Melissa and Lisa 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! We'd love to hear your suggestions. Join the conversation on our private Facebook group. Babies and Toddlers Growth chart Cardboard bricks Toy kitchen Preschoolers PlasmaCar Strider bike Homemade Playdoh Click here for a tried and true recipe. Add citrus oils for an energizing experience or floral oils for a calming...


#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? We've both been there and know just how hard it is. Today 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. We have very different families, lives, and interests, so you'll hear a wide...


#14: Joys and Challenges of Fostering and Adopting as a Single Mom with Molly Ford

Today on The Adoption Connection podcast, Lisa sits down with her friend, Molly Ford, a single foster/adoptive mom. Molly shares her story, the good and hard. We also talk about post-adoption depression and grief that affects many parents in this beautiful and complex journey. Links Relevant to this episode: Molly Ford on Facebook Lisa and Melissa answer this reader question: My child seems nervous and worried a lot. How can I increase his felt safety? Decreasing the Impact of Stress Molly...


#13: Survive the Holidays While Keeping the Joy

We're talking about the holidays this week. We share tips contributed by our listeners and lots of our own. This is the time to begin making plans that won't push your family over the edge. Relevant Resources and Links: Tips from Monica at Emerging Mama


#12: Lessons from a Seasoned Foster Mom with Tereasa Mansfield

Being a foster parent is rewarding, challenging, joyful and heartbreaking. It takes courage! Melissa sits down with seasoned foster mom, Tereasa Mansfield. Tereasa shares her fostering journey from how they became foster parents to what they’re doing now. She also talks about how she went from being lonely and overwhelmed to connected to a tribe that came through with the help she needed. Tereasa is a parent trainer and coach who motivates overwhelmed moms wanting connected relationships...


#11: Hope for Battle-Weary Parents with Pam Parish

Adoptive parenting is a tough job. It's even harder when a child is struggling with challenging behaviors—defiance, rejection, running away, drug addiction, sexual misconduct, criminal activity, attachment issues, rage and beyond. Parenting a child in crisis leaves parents worn out from isolation, exhaustion, frustration, and fear. If you are battle-weary from the day-to-day struggles of parenting a child with difficult behaviors and feel like you want to quit, you will be encouraged by...


#10: Why won’t my kids just go play?!?!

Do you feel frustrated when your kids won’t just go play? And what about the bins of Legos and awesome craft supplies? Why won’t they play with them? Or, do you see playful moms and wish you could be more like them? Lisa and Melissa both do! In this episode, Lisa interviews Melissa about play. Melissa has done her research and shares great information that will help you view play in new ways. You'll also gain insight into your kids and yourself. Relevant Resources and Links: Books (affiliate...


#09: Are Newborn Adoptions Easier? (with Rebecca Vahle)

A lot of parents check certain boxes looking for a "lower risk" adoption. The thought is that the younger a child comes to you, the "easier" it will be because less has happened to the child. Sometimes parents of children adopted as newborns do not recognize challenging behaviors as due to trauma. Children often go misdiagnosed or the parents mistakenly think that it's all their fault. If you adopted an infant or are looking to adopt a newborn, don't miss this interview with Rebecca Vahle....


#08: Parenting Teens and Young Adults with the Future in Mind

Do you have teens or young adults? We get more questions about parenting this group than any other. We both currently have teens at home and have launched several of our young adults. Parenting teens and your adults has unique rewards and challenges, especially when our teens have experienced trauma and adverse experiences. We’ve learned from our mistakes and successes. In the end, it all comes down to one key thing and we can’t wait to tell you about it. Don’t miss this episode about...


#07: Tips for Advocating for Your Child at School with Sandi Lerman

Kids with a history of trauma and adverse experiences often struggle in a traditional learning environment. As parents, it's daunting to know how to best advocate for your student. You may feel like it's you against the school and no one is on your side. This week Sandi Lerman, MA Ed, shares her best tips for helping your child get the free and appropriate education the law requires. Sandi Lerman is an Education Consultant and the proud Mama Bear of a 17-year old who was adopted at age 10...


#06: Helping Kids Process Scary Events with Robyn Gobbel

If you’ve ever wondered how to help your child process frightening events, don’t miss this great interview with Robyn Gobbel. Robyn is a therapist whose clinical practice is focused exclusively on working with families of children who have experienced a history of toxic stress and complex trauma. How should we talk to our kids about scary events in the world? And what if we’re really afraid too? Robyn answers the question, “Should we fake it till you make it?” She also gives tips for...


#05: Giving Voice to Siblings

If your family is a blend of kids by birth and adoption/foster care, or if you had an established family created by adoption and then added new children from “hard places,” don’t miss this interview with Lisa’s daughter, Annarose. How do siblings in the family feel, and what do they experience, when you add children to the family through adoption or foster care? What if the new children come with lots of challenges? In this episode, Lisa interviews her daughter and middle child of eleven,...


#04: How to Talk to Your Kids About Their Story

Many adoptive and foster parents have questions about how and when to talk with their kids about their stories. What if your child’s story is really hard? Should you tell them the truth? How old should they be? Don’t miss this interview with Lisa’s mentor and friend Jayne Schooler. She is an adoptive mom, co-creator (with her husband, David) of Trauma Competent Caregiver training, and author of multiple books related to adoption and foster care. Jayne's Books Wounded Children, Healing...


#03: Tips for a Drama-free Morning

Mornings can be tough- school mornings can be even tougher. Moms often ask us for strategies to smooth out the morning so we don’t all feel frazzled and defeated by 8 am. Lisa and Melissa walk through their favorite tips and strategies to help you create a drama-free morning for your family. Download a free morning cheat sheet If you want a visual reminder of the tips PLUS 2 sample breakfast menus, a suggested list of devotionals and Story Bibles, and a printable copy of the prayer Lisa...


#02: A Dad’s Journey to Connected Parenting

The transition from traditional parenting to connected parenting presents challenges for many of us. It looks and feels different from the way we were parented and (if we already have children) the way we're already parenting. We all experience this transition differently. Today, we hear from a dad who took the plunge into this new way of parenting for the sake of his kids and found himself changed by it. If you're new to connected parenting, or you and your husband can't quite get on the...


#01: Sensory Tips for Helping Kids Learn

Do you have a child who never stops moving or who refuses to do certain activities? He may actually have trouble processing the information coming from his different senses. Lisa and Melissa both have sons with unique sensory needs. This can make learning more challenging, and frankly, school is hard enough for some of our kids with early trauma. We're thrilled to bring you an expert on meeting children's sensory needs in a learning environment. Don't miss this interview with Noelle Maher....


Podcast Trailer

Welcome to the Adoption Connection Podcast Here we are! The Adoption Connection podcast, by and for adoptive moms has launched! We are unbelievably excited. Do you ever feel your life is so different nobody will understand? Or do you feel judged by people who see you parenting in a less-than-conventional way? Do you wonder if you're cut out for this life as a foster or adoptive mom? We totally understand this (and all the other craziness) and we're here for you. Each week we'll have a new...