The Day After Christmas

Every year is a fresh blank slate to fill with Christmas memories. This year was one of those. You may not feel like it right now, your house may be a mess. Christmas has worn you out. Right now, take a moment and breathe deeply. Ponder the season. Look back through the tips and count up how many you used. Guess what, even if you only did ten or five, you did more than you would have done if you hadn’t read this Advent Devotional. Go YOU!

* * *

I hope the chapters each week deepened your faith and expanded your understanding of adoption. Not only are you chosen and loved, but so are your children, regardless of their past. Adoption makes kings out of carpenters. Adoptions transcends all bloodlines. Just as Joseph is really the father of Jesus, you are the parent of your adopted children. Adoption is for those children  who need a home to flourish in so that they may fulfill their destiny. It’s a father like Joseph that children need. A man who follows the call and doesn’t look back.

merry christmas.png

We adoptive parents, when entrenched in the day to day with our child’s behaviors, survival mode ruling, we may wonder if your children’s births were prophesied, if they were planned for, if all the past shame neglect and abuse can bring forth a new shoot, new life from the stump of pain and decay.

* * *

In the midst of the mess, the strewn wrapping paper, the piles of presents, take some time to prophesy for the coming year. Find a quiet place and for a few moments, look ahead to the present of the new year. Write down some prayers for your children based on the word. Remember, God can do over and above and beyond all we can ask hope or think, according to the power that works within us, the same power that rose Christ Jesus from dead.

* * *

We adoptive parents may go through a Job syndrome of our own. Horrific things happen in the wake of our calling. Maybe you feel like the holidays are a Job syndrome. Too many meltdowns. Too much sugar. Too little schedule and your family has been thrown for a loop. I get it. I’ve been there. It’s hard to celebrate when you feel as if you are just surviving.

* * *

Funny thing about surviving, it means you made it. You crossed an invisible finish line. Christmas is behind you and the calendar is speeding to a new year.

* * *

Another interesting phenomenon, your children will remember the celebration, the layers of tradition, the happy times more than you will remember the exhaustion of this moment. When my children talk about our leanest years, they don’t remember lack, they remember celebration and joy. When I remember the meltdown on a Christmas shopping day, that particular child, all grown up, remembers it as a great day. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. The post Christmas exhaustion you feel is not a measure of the holiday or the memories you made.

* * *

Let me leave you with a final word of encouragement. Parents, you are anointed and qualified to preach the Gospel of good tidings to your children.

* * *

With the help of the Lord, under your prayer covering and guidance, your children can be set free from the mindset of neglect and lack. If you adopted a child from birth, he can feel chosen, not abandoned. If your teen struggles with his identity, you can proclaim liberty and continue to point to his worth. Formed in his mother’s birth womb, he was chosen and set apart.

* * *

Start the new year with this in mind, you are equipped, you are chosen, you are qualified. You are the parent that your children need. It wasn’t some mix up in the universe. So, today, put on your shoes of peace, along with the full armor of God and fight the good fight of faith. You are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. Thank you for being who you are and doing what you are doing.

Father of orphans,

champion of widows,

is God in his holy house.

God makes homes for the homeless,

leads prisoners to freedom,

but leaves rebels to rot in hell.

-Psalm 68: 4,5

*Excerpt from 25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas An Advent Devotional for Adoptive And Foster Parents

You are NOT a Vending Machine

“This is what I want,” my son said as he flashed an expensive item before me. I saw the price first and the present second. Almost half my Christmas budget.

This was not my first Christmas with children or my  first Christmas with adopted children. I have learned the hard way that children from hard places sometimes want proof that someone loves them. Material proof. If you love me then you will buy me this pricey present, they challenge.

Material things are not eternal soul-fillers.

It was daughter, Audrey who reminded me of the important truth- I am not a vending machine (and neither are you). Christmas presents do show others that we love them, but they are not based on coins spent or love doled out in material measure. Each gift should fit the recipient and the budget of the giver. We Moms can easily throw our whole year’s budget when we feel compelled to love a child with the vending machine mentality.

* * *

The sad truth is no matter what we buy a child, it will never fill the need for love. Material things are not eternal soul-fillers.

* * *

The child may be happy for a moment, a week or a month, but eventually that vending machine need grows into greed. And greed is never satisfied. Greed never loves. Greed doesn’t affirm. Greed doesn’t hug or play board games or read books. Greed just cries for more.

So, this Christmas don’t fall into the vending machine trap. Fall into the loving, time-giving, affirming habit. Christmas gifts are not the purpose, they are the icing on the cake of Him who gave the perfect present-Himself.

*Excerpt from:

25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas (1)

National Adoption Month – A Few Words on Orphans

November is National Adoption Month! I’m doing a giveaway of 25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas on Facebook and Instagram. One book for Facebook winner and one for Instagram! Find the posts and tag three friends to get your name in the drawing.  The Whole House Team will draw and share the winners, live on Thursday!  On November 8th, Kristin Taylor, author of Peace in the Process will be sharing!


It’s in the dark, pre-dawn hours. The orphanage is quiet and I am awake. I can’t get back to sleep. I fluff my pillow and sit up in bed, leaning against the iron frame of the bed. Sleep hasn’t come easy this month that we have lived in the orphanage. I am running on adrenaline and my heart is in overdrive.

Hubby Jerry and I flew to Poland and then rode to Sulejow in hopes of adopting a sibling group of three. This was a small village, destroyed by the Germans in WWII, just 15 km from the first Concentration Camp in Poland. We moved into the orphanage after living a week in a castle turned hotel.

At least there was real heat in our quarters in the orphanage as opposed to the frigid castle. I still couldn’t sleep. You see I wasn’t prepared for the emotional overload. My mind skipped back and forth between joy and grief. Overwhelming joy that we were adopting. Overwhelming grief that I couldn’t take every child home. It ate at me. It gnawed at me. I played games with these kids. Hiked into the village with teens. Watched them smile while they played with my video camera. And I couldn’t take them home.

If you don't have a heart for the lost or the orphan, then go visit them in the midst of their pain. Go participate in their circumstances.

Interesting thing about orphans is they look appealing from a distance. We can form all sorts of platitudes, we can quote James 1:27 and intend to raise money for orphans. We can intend  to adopt some day. As a church, we can vow to fulfill the mandate ‘to care for widows and orphans’ while we sit in comfortable pews and take communion and remember the death and suffering of our Lord. but, up close, you can’t ignore suffering.

I couldn’t. I wasn’t prepared for the faces of neglect, swarming around me vying for attention. It’s nothing like in the movies. I couldn’t just smile and move on. Poverty envelops those children and strips them of the most basic of human needs, connection. They want to matter, just like every human being on the planet. They want someone to look them full in the face and say, “YOU MATTER. YOU ARE VALUABLE. YOU ARE LOVED.” Neglect says, “You don’t matter.” Abuse says, “I don’t care about you,”

While Hilary Clinton, looking weary and worn down, states on camera that an unborn child doesn’t have Constitutional rights, she devalues life once again. Life is valuable. Everyone with a beating heart and breath in their lungs holds value. You cannot set a dollar amount on life.The Constitution or rulers don’t set the value. It is there. You cannot snuff it out.

The church should be adopting orphans quicker than they bag their groceries at the self check out. We should be proclaiming from the rooftop the value of life, that Christ died that each child might have life and have it more abundantly. We should not be participating in stealing, killing and destroying of life. That is the enemy’s work.

Why don’t we see the value of adoption? The importance of it? Because we first don’t value ourselves. We see ourselves as sinners instead of saints (thanks, Tracey for that insight). We see ourselves as beggars instead of sons of God. We don’t recognize our own adoption. We don’t realize that we have received the Spirit of Adoption by which we cry  “Abba, Father!” We don’t know that before the foundation of the world, God chose us, actually picked us out, destined us to be adopted as His own children (Ephesians 1:4,5). Read that again. Let it sink in. YOU ARE CHOSEN. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE A SON OR DAUGHTER OF GOD.  You are not an orphan, wandering, lost, looking for  acceptance. You have it. You have been pre-approved.

With that truth settled deep in our spirits, we must go into all the world and preach the Gospel which has the power to save souls. We should be sharing this news with those who need it most, the spiritual and physical orphans. Those who have been rejected, neglected, abused and abandoned.


If you don’t have a heart for the lost or the orphan, then go visit them in the midst of their pain. Go participate in their circumstances. You can’t watch it on a screen and understand. You cannot have empathy for something you have not lived through yourself. Ask God to give you the gift of understanding the suffering of others and the hands to do something about it. It’s okay to feel afraid of suffering. It’s not okay to ignore it.

If you’re thinking about heading down the adoption/foster path, do it afraid. You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row to adopt or foster. Just be willing. Be obedient to the call, if it is your call.  If not, support someone who is adopting. Let’s fulfill the mandate of James 1:27 and care for the widow and the orphan. Let’s follow in the footsteps of the Father and adopt.


The Great Misunderstanding

I was texting friend Tammy about our upcoming hike:

Tammy: What are you bringing?

Me: Subaru Forester

Tammy: I meant in your backpack.

Me: A car, apparently.


We got a good laugh out it because we are two peas in a pod and we went on to text another short conversation that got misconstrued. Communication is a confusing thing. Often we don’t say exactly what we mean, nor do we phrase things concisely. We expect the listener, or reader to read our mind.

When raising children who have come from traumatic beginnings or ‘hard places’, we must examine our communication skills and teach them some. Often these children who have come from abusive or neglectful situations don’t have voice, that is, they don’t know how to appropriately express their needs. They may behave violently, steal, hoard or shut down instead of ask for things. Giving a child voice is teaching him that he is valued and he can get needs met without all of the above.

We know from research done in the fifties (Infants in Institutions) that if an infants needs are not met in the first thirty to sixty days, the infant stops crying. This is why you can walk into an orphanage full of infants and it is silent. Crying is a child’s voice. It is the way she communicate her needs. If those needs aren’t met, she then believes her voice doesn’t matter.

When a mother is pregnant, her hearing becomes acute so when baby is born she is able to hear every whimper and sound. When parents adopt an older child, they must renew this acute hearing. A child may be using aggression to get his needs met, he is saying something. He is answering “Subaru forester” when we are asking if he is bringing snacks or water in his backpack. He needs the snacks and water. He doesn’t know how to say so. We need to listen behaviors and link them to needs. Listen to his story when he wants to tell it. I have found my adopted kids needed to download a lot of negative junk that weighed them down before they could get to their real need.

“I never get ice cream. You guys always have it when I am gone.”

“You don’t love me. Why don’t you send me back?”

“I don’t care. That’s stupid.”

These are all Subaru comments. They aren’t answering the right question or voicing their needs properly, because they don’t know how. We parents have to coach them. We must first interpret their needs and then help put them into words.

“Oh, do you want me to take you for ice cream? Are you feeling left out?” Then walk the child through asking for what he wants, “please take me for ice cream”.

If you think this sounds ridiculous or like a lot of work. I understand on both counts. It is different. Think of it like a book and you jumped right into the middle of it. You need to go back and read the first bunch of chapters to fill in what’s going on. That’s what these kids need. They need someone to go over their past and help them make sense of it, then they need help finding their voice, even it is asking for a drink.

When you have to say “no” when a child finally finds their voice, make sure you use empathy, not impatience. It’s important that these kids feel heard. I know. It can get tiring to keep it up, but think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. So, when a child asks for the fiftieth time if you can make cookies, jump on the trampoline, ride bikes, watch a movie, if at all possible say ‘yes’ even if that is cloaked in a ‘no’. “Yes, we can jump on the trampoline, after we clean up the kitchen.”

The great misunderstanding we parents often have is believing that our child’s behavior is directed at us, as if they are trying to best to make our lives difficult. That may sometimes be the case, but more often then not, it is not. They don’t know how to communicate correctly because not only do they not know the answer, they don’t know the question.

  • Am I hungry?
  • Am I tired?
  • What do I need?
  • What do I want?

We parents have to do the job of interpreting their needs (regulating) for them until they can do it themselves. In terms of communication, this looks something like ordering the day for them. I think you need a snack now. Would you like crackers and peanut butter or an apple and peanut butter? The child then begins to notice at ten am every day, hey it’s snack time and I’m hungry! Next, they add voice to this need. Isn’t it snack time? Before you reach this milestone, you may notice your child melting down, being cranking, arguing with others before they can voice their need for a snack. This is dysregulation. We can avoid dysregualtion by giving our child voice.

This is a short article for a deep and time consuming practice. We parents must remember to practice what our kids don’t know how to. Giving a child voice is giving him value.

I will sharing about giving your child voice at Positive Adoption Support group Saturday, November 5th at Trinity Assembly of God (Fairmont, WV) at 10 am. If you are local, join us!

Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday:



Thinking About Adopting Mini Seminar Recap

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If you were thinking about coming to the ‘Thinking About Adopting’ Mini Seminar and just couldn’t make it, here is a quick recap.

There was lots of conversation, coffee and collaboration of many individuals to make this event happen. Thanks to Joe ‘n’ Throw for providing the venue, making the mugs (for prizes) and the amazing coffee!  Thanks to all the folks who shared their stories and Scott Nelson from NYAP for answering all of our foster/adopt questions!

The smell of pungent strong coffee filled my nostrils, the air abuzz with anticipation. I didn’t need any caffeine at the moment. I was too excited as people trickled into Joe ‘n’ Throw. I had chosen a small venue and a limited number because I love small intimate groups.

We opened with announcements before adoptive parents Brian and Jeanette Schoonover took the stage to answer questions and their foster to adopt story. Jerry and I shared a bit of our story next, followed by the star of the seminar, Ciarra McCartney who candidly and eloquently told her story of her journey through foster care. What a bright and brave soul she is!

Next, Molly McCartney of the Beacon Barn shared her fostering/adopting story sprinkled with bits of expertise and wisdom gleaned through years of working with children who have experienced trauma. Then we switched gears and heard from Tacy Layne of World Orphans(#untiltheyallhavehomes). I love what this organization does.

“We equip, inspire and mobilize the church to care for vulnerable children.

Churches engaged. Children restored Communitiests transformed ty the Gospel of Christ.”

We finished with Scott Nelson of NYAP answering questions about foster/adopting.

Three Things I was Reminded of:

  1. Every child available for fostering/adopting experienced some sort of trauma.
  2. Trauma can be overcome. There can be healing. Older children may be angry when they come to your home. It is misplaced anger. Hold steady and continue to connect.
  3. The adoption/fostering process is frustrating, but there is joy in the end. The paperwork, homestudy, fingerprinting, the whole process is daunting, overwhelming and scary, but on the otherside…..there is joy, triumph and a forever family!

Thinking About Adopting Mini Seminar

thinking about adopting seminar

Have you been thinking about adopting or foster care and you don’t know how or where to start? Have you started filling out paper work or getting a home study done and you just would like to know what to expect next? Or maybe you are fostering or have adopted and you would like to talk to some folks who understand your journey and you can connect with. Join us! We would love to have you!  We only have room for ten couples and those spots are going fast! Email Kathleen at PositiveAdoption(at) to reserve your spot (replace at with @).
Date: September 24, 2016 (Saturday)
Where: Joe and Throw, Fairmont WV
When: 10-12 (the postcard has a typo)
Who:  up to ten couples who are thinking about adopting/fostering or who are already doing so.
Price: 10 per single, 15 couple
10:00- introductions
10:10-10:30 Panel answers preset questions about adoption/foster care
10: 30- 10:45 Ciarra McCartney shares about her experience in foster care
10:45- 11:00 Molly McCartney (of the Beacon Barn) sharing about adoption consulting
11:00-11:15 Tacy Lane shares about World Orphans
11:15- 11:30 Conversation and questions with Kathleen Guire
11:30- 11:50 Free time to converse
11:50- Closing and prayer

When Your Adopted/Foster Child Doesn’t Love You

Ania, Amerey (and baby Moira and Cecilia) and I stopped at the playground by the Mon River after lunch one day. The weather was sunny and close to sixty. It was nice to get outside. Cecilia tromped around the playground trying every nook and cranny, joyfully waving at other kids before she camped out in the sandbox. Amerey and I sat on the bench next to sandbox and Cecilia began a conversation with a Mom and a little boy on the other side of the fence.


“Is that Mom speaking Polish?” Amerey asked me.

“I think so. I need to hear one more thing to be sure.” I waited for the Mom to say something else and I said, “Yep!”

“I knew it,” Ania said, “something deep in the back of my mind recognized it!”

“Okay,  go talk to her!” I said.

Ania alluded to the fact that she wanted to relearn Polish and she might want to go back and visit Poland. Years ago, when Ania was small, this may have sent me into an inner emotional tailspin.  Not now. I love it!

I walked over and talked to the sweet, shy, beautiful Polish lady and blurted out (okay, butchered) the Polish phrases I remembered and both my girls joined in. Pretty Polish Mama grinned when I said them but hesitated when I asked questions. So, I said my farewells and we left.

“Someone has been very mean to her,” Ania offered as we walked back to the parking lot, “people make me mad!”

Flash to the Past.

What insight. We don’t know any of the sweet Mama’s story, but Ania could read her pain. Suddenly, I was transported to an orphanage in Poland with four-year-old Ania, in a heap on the floor, crying and angry. Again, back in the states, over and over, she said no to my parenting, no to my loving advances, my parenting style. She didn’t want to eat when she needed to eat. She didn’t want to go outside, because she was afraid. She didn’t want to enjoy the swimming pool because she didn’t understand the physical laws of nature and that floaties (and Mamas) will hold you up.

Thankfully, by the grace of God, I didn’t take this personally. I had done that with my first child, sporadically thinking that she didn’t love me because of the way she was acting. She didn’t sleep, she didn’t want to be hugged and cuddled. Then I discovered she had some health issues after a ten-day stay in the hospital, my perspective changed.

Glorious Dreams of Parenthood

I think we parents have glorious dreams of parenthood in our minds when we adopt. We can’t wait to be a family. We will love the child and he will love us and all will be right with the world. Picture perfect, right?

What if, as Ania said, “someone has been very mean to them,” what if they don’t trust? What if they have been rejected? Tossed about by circumstances and from home to home? What if the person who was supposed to care for them didn’t follow through and do it?

In order for a child to love, he must feel secure. What if it takes years for a child to feel secure? Can you hack it? Can you keep loving, keep pouring into the child while he pours out hateful words or falls on the floor in a heap?

Your Adopted/Foster Child Will Wound You.

It’s inevitable in any relationship that we will be disappointed. We will be wounded. It’s sometimes a shock to our system when the wounds from our adopted/foster child come so frequently and viciously. We parents can wonder why we are sticking this out when we feel as our adopted/foster child doesn’t love us. We want to give up when we parent with love, make sure the child’s needs are met and the return is “I hate you!”

Your Adopted/Foster Child Will Expect You to be Perfect.

It’s such a strange phenomenon. Our child’s birth parents are far from perfect (as are we).  A child who has had trauma will accept scraps from bio parents and expect x-boxes, phones and pure gold from foster/adoptive parents. It can be infuriating, devastating and cause us to doubt why we are doing this in the first place.

Kids are used to Trauma.

Kids from hard places, i.e., any child from the foster care system is used to trauma. It’s their normal. We are a new normal. We parent from the idea or supposition that the child has value. We value them. We value our possessions and care for them. The child doesn’t value themselves or possessions. It’s a paradoxical. When we are able to think of it from their perspective, we can understand why they accept scraps from bio parents. Bio parents gave them scraps before and with a hope that it would turn into something more, the child accepted it. You give love, security and the best. The child begins to expect that from you even if he doesn’t act appreciative. Keep doing what you are doing. Don’t withhold love just because your child isn’t acting loving towards you.

Love is not a gushy feeling

Love is not a gushy feeling. It is an action word.

Love is a commitment. Love is kind when kindness is not returned. Love is patient when others are impatient. Love hardly even notices when someone does something wrong. Love forgives. Love’s hopes are fade-less in all circumstances.

When we sign the adoption decree, it means the child is part of the family, it does not mean that family is part of the child. Through the history of Abraham, we learn about “faith without works.” He believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness, he had an account labeled “righteous.” When we adopt/foster, we have an account labeled “family” and we have to put works into that account in order for a child begin to love us back. When I say love, I’m not talking about chubby toddler arms wrapping around my neck giving me a hug (that is wonderful), I’m talking about believing, trusting that Mom and  Dad will meet the child’s needs. It’s the kind of love that says, “I feel secure, I know you are there for me.”

Fast Forward.

Fast forward sixteen years, Ania is twenty years old, an amazing young woman. By that, I mean she loves others and has empathy. She sees pain and responds to it because she remembers the pain. She understands the need for family and she loves her family. You see, Ania didn’t trust me at four and all these years later, she does. She knows I will be there when she needs me. For example,  when she took her car into the dealership for a check-up and she texted me and asked me to come to pick her up. She didn’t ask me before she left because I was working out and she knows I can’t exercise and talk at the same time. She told me later, “I knew you would come to get me, so I just left.” This brings tears to my eyes. She knew I would come and get her. That’s huge!

Are you parenting a child who “doesn’t love you”, i.e., isn’t attached to you, doesn’t trust you? Are you ready to give up because it is difficult? Don’t. Please, just don’t. Family is more than just a name on a piece of paper, it’s a safe haven. Your home can be that safe haven. It will take time, months, maybe years, but you will have those pinpricks of light when the child comes to you. The light may be something as simple and profound as “Will you help me with this math?” Or when the child trusts that you will have a snack when he needs it or that you will pick her up at the car dealership.



Five Things You Can Do to Help an Adoptive/Foster Family Part V

This article is the last in a series

Ever wonder what you can do to support adoption/foster care? Maybe you don’t feel as if you can take a child into your home. Maybe you already raised your children and you aren’t ready to start over. It may be that you have a heart for adoption,but it’s not time for you to walk the adoption road, a few more things may need to fall into place. The good news is, you don’t have to adopt/foster to support it. You can support those who do and it’s not terribly difficult.

 External religious worship [[b]religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.” James 1:27

*If you missed the beginning of this series, you can find it here.

5. On the other hand, don’t be fooled by a child’s superficially, engaging behavior.

Some children with attachment, self-regulatory issues will behave horribly in public. Some will look like angels and leave you wondering WHY mom doesn’t feel like coming out in public anymore. Take your cues from Mom and Dad. Something is not right. That quiet or gushingly cute, exuberant child may be malicious and hateful to her new parents at home. She is in survival mode. She has learned the angles and may have had to act that way to get by in her early life. It’s a survival mechanism she has to unlearn so she can really be part of a family and have authentic relationships, not superficial ones.


Look at mom for an accurate picture. Is she haggard? Slurping her second cup of coffee an hour into the field trip? Do her eyes keep darting towards the child as if she is unsure of what the child is going to do? Does she have the worry hunch? Is she too perfect looking, hair, make-up, clothes, as if she is covering up, hiding herself? Or better yet, ask her and be firm, wait for an honest answer. If you can’t or she won’t talk, set up a coffee date. Go out of your way to make it easier for her. Walk a mile with her. Hear her. Pray for her. Sometimes the best thing you can do for adoptive parents is listen. Don’t correct. Don’t interject. Just listen. Support them in prayer and acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers. They don’t need all the answers, they sometimes just need some validation that they are doing a good work and others support and care for them (and their children) in this adoption journey.

Five Things You Can do to Help an Adoptive/Foster Family Part III

Ever wonder what you can do to support adoption/foster care? Maybe you don’t feel as if you can take a child into your home. Maybe you already raised your children and you aren’t ready to start over. It may be that you have a heart for adoption,but it’s not time for you to walk the adoption road, a few more things may need to fall into place. The good news is, you don’t have to adopt/foster to support it. You can support those who do and it’s not terribly difficult.

 External religious worship [[b]religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.” James 1:27

*If you missed the beginning of this series, you can find it here.

3. Don’t have expectations for the new  adopted or foster children.

So many people expected my newbies to smile, to be polite, quote scripture and be soooo thankful.

Don’t.  Just don’t. 

First of all, these are just kids. They are going to act like kids. Second of all many of them have come from difficult situations.

You are big, scary and probably weird looking and smell funny to a little kid. This child may have little or no trust build for his adoptive/foster parent, why would he want to trust you? You might be a bad guy.

My newbies hid from a Polish priest when he spoke their native language-they cowered under a table and behind my legs. This was a good Polish dude, but not to them. He was a trigger, a reminder of the orphanage that they had recently escaped. Thankfully, he brushed it off and smiled and moved on without demanding they answer.


If you need to have any expectations of the new foster/adopted child your friend or neighbor has brought home, expect them to be on guard. Expect children to need to get to know you before they want to engage in conversation. Get down on their level. Say hello and don’t be put off if there is not a response. Give the child time, not require him to fulfill your imposed expectations.