Subtle reminders can trigger a flood of painful responses to perceived threats. Even without the cognitive memories, even in tiny babies, even in children years removed from the traumatic events. Trauma is sneaky and pervasive like that. And often it hides behind its favorite cohorts: rage, fear, detachment, anxiety, hyperactivity, withdrawal, and physical ailments to wear like a protective mask over the root of pain underneath.Read More
We are deeply impacted by trauma. If you have experienced trauma firsthand, you understand this. Trauma has a way of sticking with us—even when we wish it would just go away. Sometimes the effects are conscious—we can’t stop thinking about the trauma. Other times, the effects are unconscious—we might be jumpy or anxious, but don’t understand why. In a similar way, trauma can impact almost every aspect of our kids’ lives…Read More
“It has been great working with Stand Up Eight. For my husband and I, it was a chance to refocus our trauma-informed parenting, reminding us of strategies that would bring about connection. The activities strengthened our family as well as helped us reflect positively as parents. Our family relationships were positively impacted by the support, encouragement and wisdom of Stand Up Eight. Thank you!”
-Chrissy, mother of 3Read More
Let’s get reading! Here is a compilation of books on Adoption, Foster Care, Trauma and Healing, Attachment, International Development, Race, Kids books, and so much more. Although we have read some of these books, many of these books have come as recommendations from adoptive/ foster parents, professionals in each of these fields, development workers, etc., and are books we have not read. Thank you so much to the many people who gave us these incredible book recommendations, we are excited to read them alongside you and learn with you!Read More
My name is Brittaney. I'm a midwest girl turned loyal New Englander. Former foster kiddo, current foster mama. I’m married to my sweet husband, Justin, and this coming November we will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. Over the last three years we have fostered three amazing kids and hope to adopt our son out of foster care late this summer. Foster care has always been apart of my story. I was adopted out of foster care when I was seven and was gifted this beautiful life that I am incredibly proud of. I have always wanted to gift that to someone else one day, which lead me to becoming a foster parent.Read More
Nearly three years ago, Aaron and I encountered a major life change. Suddenly, three incredible kiddos moved in with us for an indefinite amount of time. And then those three kids became five, then four, then five again… then suddenly six and now seven. Oh yes, you read that correctly. Today, Aaron and I share our five-bedroom home with seven incredible children that our whole world now revolves around. And we’re happy to do so because these kids belong together – they’re siblings.Read More
My name is MK Hill. I’m a 29 year old single foster and adoptive mom living in Memphis, TN. I began my foster care journey 4 years ago after returning home from a year of living and working abroad in 11 different countries. Before that trip I had traveled to Guatemala over 20 times and even thought I would move there one day to work in a children’s home long term. I have always longed to open my home to vulnerable children and after encountering one woman in Memphis, my life was forever changed.Read More
I had a hard abusive childhood and it was really dark and difficult to navigate by myself. As I grew up, I became committed to not letting others sit in that same kind of darkness by themselves. This is why I started fostering, because I wanted to help families become whole, healthy, and healed. I’m Shea, I am a life coach for people who have been touched by trauma, as well as a foster mom, a biological mom, and I am also a single parent. My biological daughter is thirteen years old and I have long-term placement of a 5 month old baby boy. I received my foster license in January 2018 and have had 10 kids in my home since then.Read More
We’ve fostered 17 kids and adopted our two sons, ages 13 and 7. At this point, my husband and I only foster sex-trafficked teens and LGBTQ+ youth- two demographics of kids in care that are unfairly overrepresented. We just had our 15-year-old foster son reunify after several awesome months with him.Read More
The statement that we have made over and over again throughout our journey is that just because something looks right, doesn’t mean it is right. Red flag after red flag, our family’s perfect international adoption seemed to be crumbling before our eyes. We should have seen the writing on the wall. “Our daughter” is not an orphan, and out of ignorance we nearly molded her into one.Read More
If you care about family unification and children getting out of the foster system I want to encourage you to invest in the parents. The best way to help parents resettle with their children is to be willing to be their to mentor and guide them if possible. Be a positive influence in their lives where they've maybe never had any. When we receive new children into our care we think about the moms and dads, how would they be feeling? You can do little things like text pics of the kids to mom several times a week, have the kids make her birthday gifts and Christmas gifts, make videos during the week and send those to mom to encourage her. Find ways to let mom know you aren’t trying to “take” her kids away from her but rather that you believe in her and want her kids to remember her.Read More
This summer we had the opportunity to visit the Harris’s in San Antonio, TX to see how they are doing, a year into adoption. Adam and Tiffany and each of their kids carry a humility about them and a willingness to share the good, the bad and the ugly, and we are so honored that they continue to let us be apart of their story!Read More
Two boys. Elementary school aged. Today.
That was the only information my husband and I received just days after we finished our foster care certification. We hastily built bunk beds (thank you, IKEA!) and got booster car seats, anticipating with excitement and dread (if I’m being honest!) the world-shift we were about to experience. But for five days, the boys didn’t come. Every day was going to be the day, but by the time we put our 10-month baby girl to sleep every night, the boys still hadn’t arrived. Finally, we got a call saying that the boys were not going to be placed with us. Instead, we were asked if we were willing to receive a 12-month old in three hours and pick up her baby sister from the hospital several days later? We looked at each other -- and the now irrelevant bunk beds and booster seats -- and said YES.Read More
“Nate, he’s coming!”
“Noah clap your hands so he can hear you!”
“Noah!! How’s your day Noah?”
A week ago I got a message from Tiffany Harris, adoptive mama to Nate, who’s adoption we documented last summer in Beijing. Nate was adopted from Bethel China, less than a year before his 14th birthday. In China, when children living in orphanages turn 14, they age out. Due to Nate’s blindness, this meant Nate would go live the rest of his life in an institution. Let that sink in.
When we arrived in Beijing, we got to spend some time with Nate and his foster brothers at Bethel China before he met his forever family. One of the boys living in Nate’s foster home was Noah. Noah and Nate are best friends, and although not biologically related, they are brothers.Read More
My name is Jen Tallon, and I’m a single 44-year-old Texan in the process of adopting my 8-year-old daughter from the Republic of Congo.
I am currently on a plane to Congo to meet my daughter for the very first time feeling so excited and very nervous. It is such a surreal moment that I’ve dreamt about for such a long time. I’m very mindful that this is a huge moment for my daughter, Mavie, as well. Our meeting in person is the beginning of a massive life change for both of us! I have doubted all I know about kids, my qualifications to be a mom and whether or not she will even like me!Read More
As we forged through the unfamiliar waters of adopting from Liberia, we became aware that our son, Asa, was very sick. His entire little life had been spent in and out of the hospital fighting malaria, pneumonia, measles, and other diseases. And so upon our return to the United States we began seeking answers, and eventually received the diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a terminal genetic disorder characterized by the degeneration of your muscles.
Never in a million years did we expect the words Muscular Dystrophy to be words that would come into our story.Read More
So here I am, writing a blog post for an organization that I’ve loved for years, about a topic I never, in a million years thought I would write.
What happens if you don’t like your adopted child?
Here’s the deal, nobody goes into adoption thinking, ‘I’m not going to like my kid.’ Most people walk into adoption with heart eyes, determined spirits and a faith that cannot be shaken. But a very real side of adoption is that many adoptive parents struggle to attach and bond to their children.Read More
My children would never have come to heal and find their preciousness without a trauma-informed parenting approach. Our traditional understanding of parenting would never have reached them and helped them heal from their past experiences. In fact, I believe if we would have parented them with traditional strategies, we would have caused even more trauma. They are not perfect, but they are connected to us and they take our instruction. They were once orphans, and now, transformed as our sons and daughter, and our family will always be a place of rest, support, and hope for them.Read More
As a therapist who specialized working with adoptive and foster families, the most consistent concern was how to help a child with behavioral issues. Parents would be confused and baffled by their child’s behavior. They would feel sad, angry, and scared. They wanted to help their precious kiddos, but they didn’t know what to do. If you find yourself in a similar place right now, you’re not alone.Read More
Sometimes I believe ignorance can manifests itself into a form of hope that drives humans to do hard things. It’s when the road gets hard that our hope is broken and our ignorance becomes humble wisdom and we are left with 2 choices: Continue down the path we’ve chosen or follow our desire for comfort and peace and ultimately quit.
Adoption is more often than not, the harder path to chose. It can be uncomfortable, painful, and etch away at every part of your being.Read More