PHOTOS: Why We Walked the Walk and Marched for Justice

The way I see it, we have two options in wake of the national news: to talk to our children about police brutality or not. And if we tell them, which I hope we all do, we can go one step further and put our words into action. ...more
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I call St. Louis home, and the events ...more

How I Let My Boys Play: Physical Play Is Not Wrong

She saw danger. She saw inappropriate behavior. She saw sticks pointed and park mulch flying at faces. She saw equipment being played with "the wrong way." Worst of all, she saw a mother on a cell phone not interceding. So she huffed up to me. I put down my cell phone. "They are playing with those really big sticks and throwing them at each other's faces," she announced. I asked, standing up, "Is the boy they are playing with your son? Would you like us to go talk to them?" ...more
I have an active, physical little boy (just 4 now) who wants to wrestle, play swords, zombies, ...more

You Can: Words that Helped Change My Family

The words "You can" have changed my life in a profound way. For more than three years, the saints dressed up like Early Intervention therapists have taught me a powerful and effective way to direct my children. Simply put, instead of telling the children what to do or say, the therapists have modeled adding the preface "You can..."...more
Beautiful! I *can* try this at home and I will :) !more

What the Receptionist Said (And What I Need to do About it)

A few weeks ago I hauled all six kids to a doctor's appointment for Fikir. She is my seven-year-old recently adopted from Ethiopia. She had a skin issue commonly seen in kids who have spent time in institutional settings with lots of germs and close quarters. It was out of control, getting worse even though she's been here in the US six months, and the doc, who I adore, squeezed me in for the last appointment of the day. I left five of them in the waiting room that was well stocked with books and toys, and took her in. We were the only ones left in the office so I didn't worry too much....more
@JennaHatfield Heck, yes! Anyone that adoption/abandonment or relinquishment touches needs more ...more

Communicating Under Water: When Your Daughter Is a Stranger

I remember the first time I was able to connect to Tsega, my three-year-old's "story." I was sitting on the couch, talking to one of his therapists about his challenges, my concerns for him, what I believed about his trauma and the effects of it on his life and brain and future. And I broke down into an ugly cry. As I spoke the words aloud and shared the details of his life it hit me: The depth and scope of what my son experienced. And I wanted to take it all away. It was horrible, unfair, stupid. I was angry at the people in his life that allowed it. Most kids at age three are learning colors and how to sort shapes and how to share toys. He has bigger fish to fry and sometimes it feels like the fish are trying to eat him....more
@motherhoodandmore Thank you so much for your kind words.  I like what you said about having to ...more

A letter to the Cat Shelter Folks...

..the ones (three of them) who turned down our extensive application because they saw us as unfit to care for animals. The ones that saw the number of kids in our family, and their ages and turned us down flat out. The ones who have cats, some lined up in cages, who are waiting for homes who want to care for them and still didn't want to consider that a cat or two could actually be happy here. This is especially to the woman who said We just had nine kittens arrive today, but....(longest pause in the world) I think you should call another place....more

What Makes me Cringe on Mother's Day

"I am so grateful God trusted me enough to let me be a mother..."This phrase is the reason why I wince and cringe on Mother's Day. I overhear it at church, sometimes even from the pulpit, I overhear it at the park or mall. We tend to be grateful every day for our lives; that someone bore us, brought us to this earth, even at a subconscious level. Those of us who are raising children are deeply grateful for the honor of being called Mama....more

Much Ado about a Do

I did it. It is embarrassing to admit, but a few years ago I paid $350 to do one of those Keratin straightening treatments on my hair. I wanted silky tresses again. See, I used to have them. But the hormones and perhaps incredibly poor nutrition during a few pregnancies transformed once perfectly decent hair into a logistical nightmare of four different textures. My hair is a mishmash of corkscrew curls, some frizzy waves, some straight and some confused....more
I think it is women who are obsessed with blonde hair, much more so than women. And, speaking as ...more

What to Say to a Trans-Racial Adoptive Family

Here's the kicker folks: there is rarely such thing as an obviously adoptive family. One of my friends is in a bi-racial marriage and her kids favor her non-Caucasian husband, and she gets questions about "where they come from" often. I don't know how she responds but I know I would want to say, "My children come from my uterus," or if I were feeling snippy, "My husband impregnated me."...more
I think that your post, although well intentioned, shows clearly the age of your child, and the ...more

Fear Not Early Intervention

I beg of you, if your kid isn't reaching a milestone. If he struggles with sensory processing. If he isn't speaking yet, anything that makes you wonder if your child is not progressing, call your local Early Intervention office. Yes, it's true most kids will get "there" eventually. But it baffles my mind when people don't want these geniuses in their home. Did you know that therapists for children are wizards? That they can coax words out of previously silent children?...more
Oh how I LOVE this because it is SO true! We have therapy through our local hospital as well as ...more