Wonder & Joy

The holiday season is under way and, once again, I’m completely overwhelmed with a sense of wonder and joy. As soon as lights start to appear on houses and streets, I am transported back to childhood. It was a time when anything could happen; miracles were expected; and love abounded. At least, that’s how I remember it. Having a small child in your home for the holidays helps bring this wonderment to life. We decorated a little early this year, at least it was early for our home. Thanksgiving weekend was spent putting up the trees. We have five. We […]

Rule-Bound

I think my favorite season is fall. The weather gets cooler. The outdoor chores wind down. The kids are back in their normal schedule. There are leaves to play in. This fall season even included a significant snowfall. All around it’s a great time of year. Cassa loves the snow. I don’t think she remembers much of it from last year. She just turned three last week, after all. But, when it snowed at our house, Cassa headed out, bundled up to look like the Michelin Man. She and one of our teen boys ran around, threw snowballs, built a […]

Exhaustion!

Let’s face it, Moms and Dads, we all get there once in a while, right? We try so hard to get it all done – work, family, volunteer activities – that we sometimes commit more hours that we can reasonably do. In addition, if you add in any sort of chronic health issue, that makes it even more complicated. The last two weeks have been tough for me. My work responsibilities suddenly increased. The family has been particularly needy. And, to top it all off, one of my grown daughters decided to attack me with gossip and didn’t believe me […]

Little People: Big Feelings

After more than 20 years of raising kids with traumatic backgrounds, I’ve discovered one very basic thing about myself. I’ve discovered that I am very quick to react to situations when I see my children being intentionally traumatized. For example, when it’s time for toddlers to get shots, we discuss it first. We have never physically punished our kids either. We just don’t see a need for it. Kids can learn without being hit. We don’t want them to hit, so why would we hit them. This month has been particularly challenging with Cassandra. She started preschool in September. The […]

Whatta Week

I’m having one of those weeks where I can’t seem to get anything done because a million emergencies get in the way. Of course, they’re not real emergencies to most people. They’re emergencies in the eyes of one or two people only. And, it’s wearing me out. I’m exhausted – both mentally and physically. For example, my dad owns a condo in Ocean City. This weekend was the fall condo meeting. He isn’t comfortable going on his own and I’m on the board of directors for the condo association. So, my dad, my son Alex, and I went to the […]

‘Please Just Be Patient With Me’

Many of my kids spent time in foster care. They were there, through no fault of their own. They were there because the adults in their lives failed to provide the safety and security they needed to thrive. Lots of folks think that providing foster kids with love, good food, and attention is more than enough to set those kids on the path to success. But, let me tell, that’s not usually enough. Kids that land in foster care are there because there were serious problems in the home. These aren’t kids whose parents were too busy to help them […]

‘Family’ is Really Family

I was looking back through the wedding pictures this week. It’s been almost a month and it seems like a lifetime ago. Our daughter and her new husband looked so happy. Their friends gathered around them. Everyone had a great time and the event was absolutely gorgeous. But then, I looked closer and realized how many people worked to make that one event happen. The DJ was amazing. I found him by connecting with some Drag Queen friends, who recommended this guy as one of the best. He kept the party hopping from the first song to the last. And, […]

Drama Can Hurt Us All

I hate family drama. Actually, I’m not fond of drama of any kind, but I particularly loathe family drama. You know what I mean – that kind of drama where family members gossip about each other, making up “facts” and distorting the truth. And, I’ve found that most people who like to spread the drama are the ones who have similar stories of their own. For example, one of my grown kids has been criticizing a younger sibling for walking away from her kids. She has two little boys and isn’t in a good place to provide for them. She […]

Kids Are People, Too

We took the kids on vacation last week and had a blast. We vacation at our family’s Ocean City beach condo that we’ve had since I was in college. It’s an easy, inexpensive trip for us. The kids enjoyed taking walks around the town, where there are millions of things to see. We all enjoyed the beach and playing in the sand. Cassandra especially enjoyed the water and finding sand crabs. We had good seafood and a lot of family time. It was great. But, the trip didn’t start off as magically as it could’ve. The first day, several of […]

My Kids Are My Kids

I have a pet peeve. Well, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have several pet peeves. However, one of them takes precedence over the others. I have a serious issue with folks who insist on pointing out the difference between adopted kids and biologically related kids in a family. I’m adopted. I was adopted as an infant, so I don’t remember any other home than the one I grew up in. That’s my family. They’re my mom and dad and brother. I met my biological mother about 20 years ago. She’s a super woman and I adore her sons. […]