Part 1 :: Part 2 :: Part 3 :: Part 4 :: Part 5

This is the last part of our adoption story.  The boys’ sister was born July 23, 2007 – J1 was 12.5, J2 was 10 and J3 was 6.5.  I had been blogging for about 4 years now so much of her adoption story played out here as it happened.

This was our first adoption living in another state.  That might have been why it took longer to have JGirl join our family but also, for the first time, the kids’ tummy mommy didn’t disappear.  She was no better equipped to parent a child – much less care for herself – but they gave her a chance to try to prove she could. It was hard to wait. I hated the fact that her failure meant our gain.  But really she didn’t have a chance.  We know enough of her story to wish she had been given the chance of adoption.  The chance to have a loving family who would help her realize she was worthy of so much more!  🙁  We made her a weather-proof photo album of the boys that would hopefully stand up to the rigors of her life.

In Oregon they have a registry for adoptees. If our kiddos want to reconnect with their birth family they can put their contact info in the registry. If their birth family does the same they will be connected. So far those old enough have not been interested.  But we’ll see what happens in the future. However, I worry unless her lifestyle changes, she won’t be available to meet.  🙁

Our kids are now 21, 19, 15 and 8.  My husband and I have learned so much about trauma, loss and the affects on the brain. We started to learn about TBRI from Empowered to Connect and last summer we were blessed to attend the NACAC conference in Long Beach, CA and hear Dr. Daniel Siegel – it was so encouraging and informative!  We have made it past some of the hardest days with our oldest and want to help other families who find themselves in those circumstances.

I’m feeling so isolated again.  The adoptive parents support group we’ve been attending is probably going to be disbanded due to lack of attendance. We (my husband and I) have been super faithful, but we are the only ones. I can’t go back. I can’t be alone again.

My husband says we’ll start our own group and hopefully others will join us.  But I’m afraid no one will join us.  I am afraid of being alone again.

I need a safe place where someone says “I get it.”  “I’ve been there” and there is no judging or agenda.   Why is this so hard to find?


We’ve had a lot of changes in our life – some of our choosing and some not. One thing I’m choosing to change is I want to start blogging and reconnecting with other bloggers again.  I want to write more about what we’ve been learning about life after adoption, fasd, rad, raising traumatized children, grief and loss and more!  I’m tired of being isolated and alone. I want to use the things we’ve been living through to help others who are walking in those valleys now!

So, if you are new here, let me introduce myself and my family. I’m Amy. I’ve worn many hats over the years, daughter, sister, wife, infertile, employee, boss, pastor’s wife, ministry leader, foster parent, adoptive parent, mourner, student, cub scout leader, boy scout volunteer, homeschooler, SAHM, WAHM, and more!  I’ve been sharing here since 2002. We’ve adopted 4 kids who are now 21, 19, 15 and 8. We also had a surprise pregnancy but our son, Josh, died in Feb 2003. He was 9 mos old.

I’ve been married almost 29 years. Neither of us are perfect but we are committed and both of us realize we are better together!

I hope to hear from a few of you – whomever you are – and make some new friends! And I look forward to reading your blogs so please leave me a link!

Follow “Show Us Your Life” at Kelly’s Korner!

Mother’s Day is a day that has caused pain in years past, but now gives me a chance to reflect on others.

First, and always, I want to honor my mom.  Mom, you are and continue to be among the first I turn to when I need advice or just someone to listen.  I’m blessed you are part of our lives!


Second, I want to honor my step-mom.  We were really blessed when you joined our family. You bring joy and laughter whenever we get to visit with you!


Third, I want to honor my mother-in-law.  Thank you for the gift of your son. I am blessed to have you in our lives.


Fourth, I want to honor those who’ve shared their lives with us and allowed me to learn how to mother by their examples.  I had many years while I was waiting to be a mother and lots of time to observe.  I dare not start a list for fear I will forget someone. But God knows who you were and I pray He blesses you today! Keep it up Mommas!

Finally, I want to honor the birthmom of our four kids.  As I said on Facebook:  To the Tummy Mommy of my 4 kids: I’ll never know you, but I’ve heard some of your story. I pray for your safety. Thank you for choosing life for these beautiful children. I pray you know they are safe and loved. I pray you are comforted tomorrow on what undoubtedly has to be a bittersweet day.


I came here to write a mother’s day post.  And, I’ll get to that because I’ve been blessed in that area – my mom, my step-mom, my MIL, and friends who have led by example or stood in when we had no family around.

But I thought first to look at what I had said in the past about mother’s day.  And I stumbled up on this blog post which started the tears.  Our boys were only 12, 10 and 6 at the time. Sissy wasn’t even born yet, much less on our radar.  I have kept telling myself that our oldest didn’t really implode until he was 15 (and I remember that day like it was yesterday), but this is evidence that we were really struggling to parent him much earlier than that.

Little did we know we were dealing with attachment issues, not just FAS (Fetal Alcohol syndrome) which we didn’t really understand then either. If we had only known then that sending him to his room – away from us – was only reinforcing his belief system that he could only rely on himself.  If only we had heard of TBRI and Empowered to Connect.  If only we knew about trauma and it’s horrible affects on children from hard places.

If only….


I wish more than anything I could go back and do it all over – differently.  But we didn’t know.  I need to remind myself that was 8 years ago!  Some of these concepts weren’t even available or hard to find.  Therapist after counselor after psychiatrist after pediatrician didn’t have a clue so why do I beat myself up over not knowing.

Because of all the lost years.

Because I missed so much loving interactions because I was not going to allow a 3 yr old….a 5 yr old…a 8 yr old…and so on be the one in control.  If I had only understood these were his coping mechanisms.  If only I had understood the concept of shared power.  Of giving him some control to allow him to feel safe.

So what if I know he’s safe.  So what if I can tell him/show him he’s safe.  Until he felt safe, he wasn’t safe.  I wish I had known.

I’m so glad we are helping to start a post adoption support group and a ministry in our church called Parakaleo.  The support group is for families in Yolo County who have adopted.  If you want to know more or learn when the next one is scheduled, please contact me.  The Parakaleo ministry won’t start in earnest until next Fall probably, but the ministry team is already hard at work.  I created a website to share our vision and resources.

So, while I can’t go back and I can’t undo the years I lost.  I can love on my young adult and try to help him know we love him to the moon and back!  I can use what we lived through and change how we raise our other children.  I can try to be a mentor and blessing to other families in similar situations.  Thankful for that!