Monday, December 30, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
My hopes in sharing Hannah's counsel and insights is that we can all feel a little less frustrated and guilty and a little more hopeful in those aspects of our lives when we know we should love someone- but we don't necessarily like them.
"It would be great if we could all experience the same warm, affectionate feelings toward each of our children. But at the same time, it may come as a relief to know that there is NO command anywhere in the entire Bible to *like* anybody—not our children, not our parents, not even our spouse. We are told to love. We are told to respect. We are told to honor. These commands involve behavior rather than feelings. But you are not in sin if you don't like your child—so long as that lack of feeling doesn't take the form of bitterness or anger or impatience or rudeness.
It is perfectly possible to love a person, even to the point of death, without ever *feeling* like it. Ideally, the feeling will be there too, to help motivate the love we give, but we can really and truly love somebody whether the feeling is there or not. The golden rule does not say to do unto others as we *feel* like doing unto them.
Often, the feelings will (slowly) begin to follow when the actions lead the way, and we can pray that they will follow quickly. But even if the feelings don't follow as we hoped, God is pleased when we are following *Him*. When we love the unlovely, we are following in the steps of His Son—and we do not have to pretend that the unlovely really *are* lovely at the moment. If we love our enemies as Christ commanded us to do, we do not have to pretend that they are not, in fact, our enemies. And sometimes, sadly, even our children can set themselves up as enemies for a time. So we can we do? Conquer them with LOVE.
We love because HE first loved us. Likewise, we cannot wait until our children are lovely before we love them, just as we cannot wait until our children are healthy and strong before we feed them. Love is the "food" that will slowly strengthen them to bestow love themselves. Just as we sometimes have to make our kids eat even when they say they aren't hungry, we also have to fill them up with love, even if they seem like they don't want it from us.
The more love we give them (through our actions), the more love they will be able to give. And the more love they are able to give, the easier they are to love. And so on. It's a snowball effect, but it sometimes starts so small that it can be hard to tell that the snowball is actually growing and not just rolling around aimlessly out in the cold."
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
I always struggled in school and in addition to being bullied my grades were pathetic except in fine arts, (music, drama and art). In grade 12 I was told I have a mild form of Dyslexia. My goal in life was to be a horse vet, but I struggled so badly in maths and sciences that I soon realized I couldn’t achieve my goal, there was no way I could work to pay my way through college and keep up with my studies. It wasn’t the end of the world for me I could still work with the horses which I loved so I put myself through as many horse related courses as I could. I am now a certified farrier, natural horsemanship trainer, level 1 English and Western coach and a breeder of Appendix horses.
Eventually I met my husband on a farm, we got married and I had five great kids of my own that I would gladly die for. During the time I was having kids (I had 5 in 7 years so I was pretty much pregnant for what seemed like forever!) I decided to dabble in a little writing. One day four years ago I got the courage to submit one of my historical romances to a couple small publishers. Imagine my surprise and thrill to get offers for my book! Into the publishing world I jumped. I have since published 15 different titles, from full length historical romantic adventures, to short stories. Why romance? Well, I’m a Libra and the motto of a Libra is ‘A hopeless romantic who thinks life should be fair.’ I will always be grateful to those 2 sets of foster parents for caring and nurturing me, without their love I would not be where I am today.
My blogs: http://killarneysheffield.blogspot.ca http://meldermanstables.blogspot.ca
Thank you for sharing, Killarney!
While we're on the topic of finding permanent and temporary homes for children in foster care I'm going to put in a big plug for the Dave Thomas Foundation's Home For the Holidays Annual Christmas Special featuring success stories of foster children who have found permanent adoptive homes plus performances by various musical artists. This year Celine Dion will be one of the musical guests and it's on TONIGHT so go watch it!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Now, for a little about how the children are doing:
We were equally concerned about Jack when we would try playing patty-cake or peek-a-book and he would just stare at us with a solemn or confused look on his face. If you want to work wonders for a neglected child NEVER underestimate the importance of the "little" things which can make such a HUGE difference in a child's development- playing patty-cake, peek-a-boo, or wiggling their piggy toes, saying nursery rhymes, reading to them, rocking them, singing to them, cuddling them- really just the "basics" most parents do out of instinct. These seemingly silly or insignificant activities are not only crucial for building neurons and pathways in little brains but for building bonds which make attachment possible in the first place. Jack now smiles and giggles anytime I ask him to play peek-a-boo and he is very proud when he can correctly point to his nose or clap his hands on demand.
Monday, November 4, 2013
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Friday, November 1, 2013
And a very important statistic to share:
Friday, October 25, 2013
The Domestic Violence Resource Center has compiled this list of ways DV can affect children.
- father / all men
- night time
- father / other men
- mother (for not preventing violence)
- self (for being unable to protect mom)
- the violence. Children are egocentric, so they feel responsible for and guilty about the violence.
- being disloyal to family and friends
- having negative feelings about one or both parents
- Conflict over feelings toward the parents.
- Unpredictable reactions from adults lead the child to be unable to trust them.
- Belief that relationships equal violence.
- Lack of emotional stability at home inhibits learning.
- Fixation at the developmental level at which trauma occurred.
- exaggerated attention-seeking
- negative reactions to men
- separation anxiety
- bedtime fears
- school phobia
- acting out
- age-inappropriate temper tantrums
- self-fulfilling prophecy: the belief that “I’m bad.” leads to acting out, which leads to punishment, which reinforces the belief
- loss of motivation at school
- low self-esteem because of believing that “It’s my fault I got hit.”
- ambivalent behavior
- testing adults
- confused belief systems
- inability to concentrate at school
- sleepiness due to staying awake at night
- regressive behaviors
- strong resilience
- well-developed sense of responsibility
- bonds between siblings
- unusual sensitivity
- rejection of violent behavior
I have learned a few simple things:
1) Use a "we" message when setting expectations about home/school rules.
2) Validate the child's feelings if they act aggressively.
3) Offer alternatives to aggression.
4) Be sensitive to raising your voice.
Here's an example or two for using each of these tips:
Children coming from an environment of domestic violence already have enough SHAME to deal with, so rather than using an accusatory, blaming tone with them (which will just make them feel worse) try setting boundaries but explaining that this is a rule which applies to everyone in the household or classroom- not just them.
"Wow- you're really angry right now, aren't you?" or
"I can sense you're getting frustrated." or
"Can you help me to understand why you're so upset?"
There's no need to even analyze their feelings or break into a mini counseling session afterwards (which I, for one, might be tempted to do by nature) but sometimes just the act of validating their feelings is enough for the child to separate their actions from their feelings and feel somewhat "understood" by an adult who shows concern.
THEN, offer an alternative to getting their energy out.
"Are you so angry that you feel like hitting something? Let's hit your pillow or see how far you can throw or kick this ball!"
(Another reason why contact and group sports are a fabulous outlet for at-risk kids or ANY kids for that matter!)
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Mind you, I'm not saying that anyone who uses any type of drug will automatically beat their family members and become violent, but I definitely believe that certain types of drugs- meth in particular- produce such dangerous side effects such as violence, paranoia, and aggression that it seems it's not just by chance that users are at a huge risk for becoming violent towards family members and those closest to them. In other words, meth use and domestic violence seem to be causative in their relationship rather than correlative.
Monday, October 14, 2013
|Domestic Newborn - Agency||Domestic Newborn- Independent||U.S. Foster|
|Document Preparation & Authentication||$768||$680||$0|
|Adoption Agency Application & Program Fees||$14,441||$4,608||$0|
|Birth Family Counseling||$1,233||$543||$0|
|All Other Expenses||$4,108||$2,488||$761|
|Document Preparation & Authentication||$2,214||$1,769||$3,258||$1,472||$1,272|
|Adoption Agency Application & Program Fees||$7,652||$11,988||$22,173||$16,675||$6,143|
|In-Country Adoption Expenses||$5,581||$1,979||$6,709||$9,007||$13,946|
|Child's Passport, Visa, Medical Exam, and Other Fees||$716||$837||$1,431||$888||$1,021|
|Major Travel Expenses||$7,181||$7,852||$14,748||$5,577||$9,614|
|In-Country Travel Expenses||$2,704||$1,080||$6,709||$583||$2,386|
|All Other Expenses||$2,125||$5,363||$7,569||$8,533||$5,000|