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Key #5 Connect with Fellow Adoptive & Foster Parents

Welcome back to my blog post series about Key Connections For Adoptive and Foster

Parents. Parenting children with trauma histories is an arduous journey which at times

can feel isolating. That’s why it’s vital for us to make connections with other adoptive

and foster parents.



Why Common Connections?

Our kids have trauma histories and probably a capital letter disorder—the alphabet soup

of ADHD, ADD, FASD, SPD, ODD, PTSD, etc. Trauma, special needs, and learning

challenges often present as difficult behaviors which make it hard for us to enjoy

fellowship with other families. Families not like ours.


Our parenting techniques are different as well or should be (see blog for Key #4). We

don’t need advice from well intentioned friends, relatives, or leader of the homeschool

co-op about how to discipline our kids. We need friends who are in the trauma-trenches

with us. Parents who get our kids and understand how hard it is.



In the early days of parenting my oldest adopted child, I wasn’t trauma informed. The

traditional parenting techniques I used with our biological kids were not successful with

our daughter. And I tried all the suggestions made by well meaning friends of neuro-

typical kids. None of them worked either. Time-out, spanking, early bedtime, removal of

privileges and other consequences never worked and only hindered the parent-child

connection.


After bringing home our sibling group of four through international adoption, I knew our

family had embarked on a much different journey than most of my friends. While I have

maintained some of those earlier friendships, I’ve had to expand my circle. Now, those I

pour my heart out to and seek advice from are fellow adoptive and foster moms.

Though we don’t live near each other (some not even in the same state) we make it a

point to connect. We learn from each other, and support and encourage one another.

These connections have been instrumental in spurring me on along my parenting

journey.



Ways to Connect

In person connections are food for the soul. Even if you know just one other adoptive or

foster parent—intentionally connect with them. Meet for coffee, take a walk together, go

to lunch, or meet for dessert after the kids are in bed.


Set up a group text with other adoptive and foster parents. Mom to mom or dad to

dad—it’s a great way to request prayer, seek advice, and share struggles and victories.

Facebook groups exist for everything: Adoption, foster care, FASD, homeschooling,

even FASD homeschooling. Find a group that fits your need and join the conversation.



Many churches, ministries and agencies have adoptive and foster parent support

groups. Seek out one near you for in-person or online fellowship and support.

Podcasts are a great way to feel connected. I have discovered a world of

encouragement and support through weekly episodes hosted by and featuring parents

in the trauma trenches. Some of my favorites include:

The Empowered Parent Podcast

Positive Adoption

Honestly Adoption

FASD Hope

FASD Success

FASD Family Life

The Adoption Connection

Orphans No More (mine)



If you are not connecting regularly with other adoptive and foster parents, whether in

person, virtually, or via podcast, I urge you to explore opportunities that fit your needs

and plug in. These life-giving connections will breathe life into you and better equip you

for the parenting journey.

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