Category: Adoption

Mothering the Broken: Episode 18

Welcome to Episode 18: Truths about Mothering the Broken.

Today we want to share some truths and  practical ways we nurture our broken, adopted children in hopes it will speak to someone in the trenches like we are on a daily basis. We both agree, it takes Sacrifice and Service from the adoptive family to begin building trust and security in our adopted children.

Sacrifice means you are called to love like Jesus with no guarantee your child will love you back. You will be called to dig deep into the word and your soul to have enough for a day and then there are times when you’re still lying on the floor in a pool of tears. Jesus is enough. We have to refuel our hearts everyday in Him. Remembering how much He first loved us on the cross can give us the hope of pressing on to live our broken children. Even when they push, spit, slap, and cry for hours. It is sometimes the only way they can process the horrible past they have endured. They are fighters. It’s how they came to be in our family. They have survived and will use all that fight against you to make sure this new gig is legit.

Acts 20:22 “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus…”

Adoption sometimes saves us from who we might have become in own making. A life with all we could ever WANT in exchange of a life sacrificed to a child who NEEDS everything we can give. It is a beautiful testimony to Psalm 73:26 “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Service is scaffolding and supporting our child AND family all at the same time. Even when we don’t feel like holding our child through an entire day or feeding them another snack on demand or cosleeping with our child so they feel safe and secure. Serving unconditionally is one of the greatest ways we show our love in the midst of great trauma.

When anyone adopts whether it be internationally or domestic, the adoption comes from broken relationships producing broken children. Adoption is a very complex and life changing choice. Both for the adoptive family and the adopted child. Having a new child home can be both joyful and dreadful. Choosing to adopt a child comes with huge risks and responsibilities.

How is adoption life changing?
Share the joyful and dreadful.
What are the risks and responsibilities?
Practical Application? Take life one moment at a time. Be in prayer all the time. Have a friend a text away to talk, cry, and pray with constantly, especially those first weeks home.

There are NO guarantees or promises from the child. We really can’t even expect they will love us. They didn’t choose birth, abandonment. OR adoption. . If we do have preconceived expectations, it can only bring disappointment and added stress to the mix. It puts unnecessary pressure on everyone. Choosing to bring a broken, sad, institutionalized, forgotten, lonely child into a home is a big calling. It is not something to be chosen lightly or with lofty expectations. We take the child where they are and nurture them forward toward healing.

What would be preconceived expectations we have had?
Why do our children come to us broken and lonely?
Practical Application: When adopting any age child, it is wise to view him/her several years younger and treat them that way. Put yourself in their shoes sitting in the environment they were just in, then thrust into an American family in a 5 star hotel, instantly with ALL they can wear, eat, and constantly on the go. Can you imagine the nerves and confusion going on? STOP and realize this child is ALL that matters… GIVE them every bit of yourself and when you get home~ DO THE SAME THING!!!!!

There are often more low points in the first months than high ones because everyone is adjusting and the new child must take precedence. It is not fair to that child. It is not fair to the parents. It is not fair to the children already in the family. Adoption is NOT FAIR. It is choosing to bring a child home believing the brokenness can be healed with lots of love, time, and patience.

What are things we do in the first month?
What are things we can do to nurture toward healing?
Practical Application: Most of my children were young enough I could still carry them in the carrier while going about our daily life. I was able to care for my other children while still giving my new child precedence. I have been known to sit on the floor with at least three children in my lap. Stay available for all the time. Giving face time to your children (all of them) will make all the difference in the world. Your children already home will have a huge influence on your new child as you sit near allowing your new child to watch and learn. Believe me, they are watching EVERYTHING and pick up on so many ideas just being and seeing.

We also know, no two days are ever the same. There will be good ones and bad ones, and extremes in both of those. No two adoptions will ever be the same so we can’t compare how well someone else’s child is doing to our situation. No two children will ever be the same. Just because our first adoptions have been smooth sailing and our children have adjusted so well doesn’t guarantee the next ones will be the same.

What is something we can do to help a really bad turn around? Or survive?
How do we help our children adjust?
Practical Application: Give words to your other children of how things are going and remember sometimes our face is our only form of communication to our new child. Being loving, kind, gentle, and caring with our face even in the middle of the tantrum can maybe keep things from escalating. And when it doesn’t, tell the child over and over you love them always. Allow them to hear I love you more than anything else. EVEN when you don’t really know if you love them yet. Fake it until you make it.

Just a few other thoughts to make adoption a little more real and honest:
We feel like giving up
We feel like taking the easy road. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.
We have wondered what we were thinking in adoption
We get angry and raise our voices
We make mistakes
We want things to be like they used to be~ and so does our adopted child.

In the end, it will all be worth it!!


Special Request!!!

Amber and Joe have about $15,000 left to raise before traveling to China in May. They have been graciously awarded a matching grant from Lifesong. Anything up to $3000 will be matched~ potential for $6000! That is huge SO…

PLEASE consider giving to their fund via this link provided. Teagan their precious son will be so blessed if you do!!!

Growing Tribe Leggio

Awkward Adoption Questions: Episode 15

Welcome to episode 15 Awkward Adoption questions and how we keep the integrity of adoption when answering. This is another podcast dedicated to answering another listener’s questions.

Stacy commented, “ Would love to hear how/if you’ve ever dealt with family (near and far) who just don’t get your heart for adoption? Sibling? Grandparent? Uncle? How do you handle the topic when brought up? How do you control the conversations at larger family events? Do you ever notice a difference in treatment towards bio vs adopted children within the family? Basically overall boundaries and opinions of family…. I am asked this question more and more often. I have these issues within my own family so I am a bad reference.” This is biggie and one we want to talk about. We are throwing a slew of others we’ve been asked over time let’s get to it.

Sharon quotes,”I am pretty blessed when it comes to family members being opinionated about our adoptions. I KNOW there is talk when we’re not around about us knowing what we’re doing and even had family express concern that we are taking on too much but in the end they know we are doing what we feel is right.

When our children are home, there has never been any ill feelings toward our adopted children. If anything, they get more attention that our biological ones but being older, it didn’t really affect them that much. For the most part, I don’t give people the chance to offer their thoughts about our children.

We don’t go to many big family functions and the ones we so attend, our family knows the story. I think blogging and sharing on IG allows people to process our life without it needing to be discussed around our children.

I have noticed at church because people follow me, they just seem to know our children and we aren’t such a novelty. So this is thumbs up to social media for a change. 🙂

We hope we have given you encouragement to educate and inspire others toward the beauty and blessings of adoption.

The last thing we want to do is cast off someone because they just didn’t know any better.

We may be the closest thing they ever get to adoption so we MUST make it count.

In the end, we can’t imagine standing before God and Him saying,
‘What in the world were you doing adopting all those children?”
What’s your biggest fear in raising a big family? Trust God. He is OVER it all!!!


Please click on the this tshirt photo to order a shirt helping Amber and Joe bring home sweet Teagan!!!

We are really excited about this shirt to help our son come home. He is Chosen and dearly loved just as we are in Christ. We have to have a minimum of 13 shirts ordered but hoping and praying God will bring many. Shirts come in sizes Small, Medium, Large, Xlarge and they are $25.00 with shipping in the PayPal comments leave me your size. For XXL and XXXL shirts are $27.50 with shipping. Please pray about partnering with us to bring our son home. We can be matched at anytime and can’t wait to share his precious face with you. Click THIS Link to order shirts via PayPal. Shirt sale will run the whole month of February and will end on the 28th.


 

Show Notes:

Francis Chan: You and Me Forever

 


Please visit us on Itunes at Southern Joy Podcast, and don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review. The reviews are so important they help us get visible so others can find us.

You can also follow us on Southern Joy Podcast Instagram and Southern Joy Podcast Facebook .

We hope you have a Joyful Day.

Chinese New Year Celebration: Episode 14

We thought it would be SO fun to share ideas for celebrating CNY with your family.

It is very important to recognize the largest Chinese holiday celebrated in China and in doing so we build positive attitudes about their Chinese heritage.

This holiday falls on January 28th this year. Year of the Rooster.


So here we go with Lucky Number Eight in Ideas for Chinese New Year.

  1. Pull out all the things you’ve accumulated on travels to China and talk about everything. Display through CNY.
  2. Decorating with paper lanterns, streamers, and Chinese characters. All of these things can be made so simply by your children.
  3. Gather all the books you own with references to China including Life Books from your children and place in a central location for reading leading up to and during CNY.
  4. Chinese food: We have done everything from eating out, eating with big groups with every family bringing potluck, takeout, and making our own
  5. Cleaning the house from top to bottom (well us moms love that), getting everyone a new outfit (or just a shirt) and haircut, giving each child a red envelope with money inside.
  6. Fireworks, Sparklers, Poppers
  7. Dressing up in in traditional silks and take photos
  8. Maybe watch a movie or documentary on China or pull up videos of Chinese New Year Celebrations

Show Notes:

Ping by Marjorie Flack

MoonBeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats

Two of Everything by LilyToy Hong

Tikki Tikki Tembo

D is for Dancing Dragon

Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories

At The Beach by Huy Voun Lee

Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett

The Greatest Power by Demi

China’s Bravest Girl by Charlie Chin

Look What Came from China by Miles Harvey

The Willow Pattern Story by Allan Drummond

The Emperor and the Kite

Little Pear

Lottie Moon Ywam Book

Gladys Aylward Ywam Book

Hudson Taylor Ywam book


Sharon and Amber Blog About Chinese New Year…..

IF you go to our blogs, you can search Chinese New Year in the search bar at the top.

A Beautiful Symphony: Chinese New Year {How We Celebrate}

Sharon’s Family Blog: Everything Beautiful

Sharon’s School Blog: Growing Whole Hearts

Amber’s Blog: Firetrucks & Fairytales

Taking Care of Ourselves: Episode 13

Welcome to Episode 13: Taking Care of Us.

This is the perfect topic as we begin a new year 2017.

Today we are chatting about a question posed by another listener, Anne. She commented, “I would love to hear how you ladies rest, relax, and have fun for yourselves.”

Basically how we take care of ourselves. We thought this was a really good topic and something we needed to be intentional about especially as we’ve made it through the holidays and the time of year when people are facing new year’s resolutions.

In this world of Selfies and narcissistic culture, we can feel self centered in focusing on taking care of ourselves. We might think we have to fill every moment getting things done, taking care of others, and making every minute count to be successful.

All that is wonderful in moderation but stillness and contentment is edifying even more. We hope to bring the JOY back into your life with a few things we think are important in keeping mama still and content, joyful and healthy. After all, don’t you know the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”?

Let’s talk through 10 Habits we follow to Rest, Relax, and  have Fun.

  1. Quiet Time each day
  2. Keep a Calendar and Bullet Journal
  3. Plan Meals and Keep a Stocked Pantry
  4. Rest Time for Mom and Kids each day
  5. Stay True to Yourself
  6. Be Where You are and Turn In
  7. Enjoy a Hobby: Poldark
  8. Say No
  9. Exercise: Yoga with Adriene
  10. Get Help

How do you Rest, Relax, and Have Fun? Share in a comment here, on FB, or IG.

For More Encouragement find us on Instagram and facebook at Southern Joy podcast.  Please subscribe below to receive our podcasts in your inbox each time we publish!

We hope something we shared today helps you find Joy as you take care of yourself. God Bless and have a Joyful Day.

Inspiring Character: Episode 12

Today we want to share how we intentionally inspire good character and integrity in our children on a daily basis. It is something that happens inside the four walls of our home in the midst of family life. It is not learned at church or school. It is learned through living together for the good of the whole. It is modeled through Jesus and the Bible through us as parents and into our children.

 

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 

We had two followers pose character questions so this episode is dedicated to giving insight into how our family culture.

 

Question 1: Rebecca asked: Share about building little hearts: teaching faith, generosity, kindness.

Question 2: Regena:  How can we encourage Sibling Relationships even when there is a big age gap?


Show Notes:

Catherine Vos Storybook Bible

Jesus Story Book Bible and DVDs

Music: Steve Green Hide em IN Your Heart

Prayer Praise Journal Graced Laced has some Beautiful Ones

Amber’s Favorite Bible

Sally Clarkson

Anne Voscamp

Lamplighter Books

YWAM Books

Beautiful Feet Books

 

For More Encouragement find us on Southern Joy Podcast Instagram and SJP Facebook. We hope something we shared today helps you find Joy as you raise these beautiful blessings.

God Bless and have a Joyful Day.

Our Super Husbands: Part 2~ Podcast 8

When we recorded this Super Husband session, we had no idea it would turn into 2 episodes but awesome Joe was able to split it up for your listening pleasure.

For Part 2 we polled FB and IG followers to see what questions they might have for Scott and Joe. Thank you to brave friends who sent us questions! We loved them and hope you find the answers helpful!

Always know we would LOVE for you to comment here on the blog with your questions, comments, or suggestions.

Without further ado, have a listen!!!

…..Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2


{Show Notes}

Ankerich Adoption Video

I Like Adoption Video

Our Super Husbands: Podcast Episode 7

… You husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.
I Peter 3:7

If you think we do all this with our Super Woman cape on, you would be half right. Standing right beside us are our Super Husbands. I’m married to Scott and Amber is married to Joe. We couldn’t be more blessed to have husbands supporting all the crazy ideas we come up with.

Our husbands have our backs. They support our stay at home status, help with the chores, parent the children, say yes to adoption, step-in to help with the schooling, and cherish us just like Jesus. Marriage is hard work but we know it’s through our faith mixed with grace and mercy that spurs us to love each other well. If there is a disagreement, we talk it out. If there is a problem, we work it out. If there is a hard season, we pray it out. Never in our wildest dreams did we see ourselves delving into podcast world but these two men did and we want to introduce them to you!!!

When we recorded this episode, it was a little longer than the others so we divided it into two shows. The first episode features questions WE had for our husbands. The second will be questions we took from other adoptive friends on FB and IG. I believe what is shared may help other couples find their way to adoption and maybe homeschooling.

You can listen to this podcast here on the website or go to iTunes and listen. Either way please give us a review and know you are giving two southern podcast girls encouragement as we help you find Joy in family, adoption, and homeschooling. We give all the glory to Jesus. May He be glorified in everything we do!!!

…..Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2


{Show Notes}

Ankerich Adoption Video

I Like Adoption Video