Effectively Calm a Child During a Meltdown

Effectively Calm a Child During a Meltdown

How to Calm Your Child During a Meltdown

Do you know how to calm your child during a meltdown?  BTW… I am referring to your kid’s meltdown… not yours.  That’s another blog post.

If you have an adopted child, a child with cognitive differences, or if you’re just in a tougher season with your kiddo, the relevance of this question is even more profound.

Calming Our Kids’ Meltdowns Requires Calming Our Own 

Raising a higher-needs child can be exhausting.  

And the reality is that the way that our child’s cognitive differences show up on any given day can definitely impact the severity of our momma fatigue.  Right?

Our kids’ tantrums and meltdowns are exponentially magnified as we battle our own internal dialogue and unmet expectations.  For the mom in the trenches, finding a way to calm her child during a meltdown can feel impossible.

Help Calm A Child During Meltdown

My Own Hot Mess

Girl, I know this because I’ve lived it.  While in the thick of my son’s daily tantrums and meltdowns, I was a hot mess.  And while I would like to say that by using the word hot I’m refering to my physical appearance, let’s just say,

“Yeah, right.”

At that time, I considered the day a win if I was able to get a shower in and brush my teeth.  Please tell me you can relate.  Sadly, that was my reality.

Make It Stop, Please.

And while I often said this in jest as a way to try to make light of my desperation, deep down I just wanted to get away and hide.  Anywhere.

Just to MAKE.IT.STOP.

All of the parenting strategies I knew to use were absolutely useless.  I felt helpless, overwhelmed, and as if I was going crazy.  I had no idea how to calm my child during his meltdowns and rages.  Let alone calm my own.  Ouch.

Shifting Perspective On Discipline

Before adopting our son, I would never have believed my family would end up where we had in that brutal season.  In my “perfect parenting days,” I would have looked at me and my kid and thought,

‘That mom has zero control over her child.  She needs to get it together.’

At least that is what I would likely have believed deep down inside.  Once my son’s volatile behaviors began to display themselves at 18 months old, our family was completely rocked.

Me in particular?   Shattered.  To hear more, listen in to the interview with my friend, Wren Robbins.

A Mom Living In Constant Anxiety

All that I thought I knew about being a good Christian mom failed. 

In fact, each technique and strategy that once worked with my girls was useless and completely ineffective with my son. Everything I depended on to anchor my identity as a good Christian mom dissipated.  

As a result, confusion and anxiety became the driving force of my life.

christian special needs moms positive parenting course

The Christian Parenting Books

In my earlier parenting years, I read every Christian parenting book I could get my hands on.  If one of my girls dared to have their version of a meltdown, I brought order quickly.  A firm voice or swift consequence and those perceived infractions were done (most of the time).

“Absolutely not.  Not appropriate.”

Those scathing words did the trick.  The girls acquieced and it was over.   And I was proud of this accomplishment.  Good Christian momma, right?  (Insert sarcasm.)

christian mom positive parenting, adoption

Unhealthy Expectations

In hindsight, I can see that my perspective on parenting was pretty skewed from the beginning.  I was determined to parent my children the EXACT OPPOSITE way my parents had raised me.  (Sorry, Mom and Dad.  It took me too long to figure it out.)

In my home, there would be love, stability, consistency and discipline. Dang it!

God clearly had greater plans for our family than to be a behavior modification lab.  And so He delivered our baby boy into our home.  

Unregulated Child Led to Meltdowns

Once mobile, our son screamed and steamrolled his way through our home every second of the day.

  1. scaling walls,
  2. escaping the house,
  3. hitting,
  4. scratching,
  5. biting and
  6. throwing and smashing glasses, frames, dishes, etc…

Did I mention screaming?  Oh… not sleeping ever?!!    There wasn’t a single parenting strategy that helped calm him during his raging meltdowns.  Nothing I could do to gain any control.

RELATED Podcast Episode: Why We’ve Got To Parent Differently

Desperate To Stop The Meltdowns

Every I knew to do as a good Christian mom, as an educator, failed miserably.  Not one peaceful way to prevent him from getting into whatever it was he wanted to ingest or play with.

“No, Buddy.  You can’t eat batteries.”

Then it followed.  The sound that prededed that sudden burning sensation travelling across my face.

“WHACK!”

His frustration tolerance was non-existent.  The slightest resistance to his efforts resulted in aggression and rage.  Most often, it was towards me.

Suffering Leads to Good Even If It Sucks

We were living in a war zone, navigating grenades at every turn.  Despite being surrounded by a loving Christian community, I felt so alone.  Drowning in shame and isolation,  I believed that I was a failure as a parent.

I was devastated for my husband, my two daughters and for my boy.  His hourly meltdowns were too much for me, for the girls, and for him.

He was suffering just as much, but to most people, he looked like a “normal” little boy who was being a brat.  This couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

Shame, Marginalization of Way Too Many Kids & Families

Ultimately, my family lived in what felt like hell for years.  The term emotional anguish doesn’t do it justice.  And here is the thing:  My family wasn’t alone.

There are millions special needs families in our country living this life of chaos, fear and shame.  Whether through biology or through adoption, when kids don’t behave the world wants them to, entire families suffer.  Often alone.

Trauma.  It’s real and it’s pervasive.  FASD is real.   

And it needs to be ripped out of the shadows and exposed for what it is in the foster and adoption world.  (Again, another post.)

christian special needs moms positive parenting course

The Need For True Self-Care

“Parents take way too much credit when their children are doing well. They take way too much credit when their children are doing poorly.”

Rather than checking myself into a mental institution for what promised to be a mini-vacation, I decided to make a different plan.  In order to prevent myself from setting the house on fire because I was about to lose it, I made an appointment for counseling.

Side note:  No one panic… I was never going to set my house on fire.  Hyperbole is a powerful literary technique.  That’s the way I roll.

Making the Call

One winter morning after a few hours of desperately trying to maintain some level of calm in the house, I hit a wall.  I was so overwhelmed,

  • with his screeching.
  • knowing my daughters were struggling in the chaos,
  • and with my own distress

I sent out a mass S.O.S. text to my tribe of girlfriends and asked for a Christian counselor referral.   Within an hour I had an appointment scheduled.  

Seeking help in the form of counseling was a game changer in my story as it is for so many women.

christian moms, strong willed children, trauma-informed parenting

Hell to Humble

God used that time of absolute hell to humble me.  It broke me in a million tiny pieces.  My prideful butt was so black and blue from the beating that my son’s behavior inflicted upon me.

In true form, God took those million pieces, gathered them up and delivered me into Christian counseling.  The late Dr. Karyn Purvis wrote in her book, The Connected Child,

When an adult is avoiding her own history, entangled in her past, or disorganized about her losses, she can’t accurately assess and respond to a harmed child’s reality. 

 

Meltdowns- Moms Have To Deal With The Root Of Their Own

Unquestionably, I had a lot of my own emotional garbage to weed through.

Apparently, I needed a major kick in the pants to make that initial call.  Needless to say, my astute counselor and I have done some serious work these past few years.  One of the many nuggets of truth she has offered to me has been this.

We as parents take way too much responsibility for the successes and failures of our children.

It took me awhile to chew and digest this, but it finally clicked.

Inability Saves My Family

My inability to control my son saved my entire family.  Ultimately, could I prevent my 3 year old from running into the street every single time he tried?   Nope.

We couldn’t prevent him from using a broom handle to unhook the chain locks to escape the house.  Try?  Yes.  Guarantee success?  No way.

Force him to sleep and to “obey right away?”   Yeah right.  

Moms, Kid Meltdowns & The Lie Of Control

I had zero control over him then and have zero control now.  In order to effectively parent my son, I had to completely shift my perspective on parenting and discipline.   

I had to wake up to the notion that my boy’s cognitive differences made his ability to self-regulate well a very difficult task.

A Secure Mom And Kid Meltdowns

A Complete Shift Led to Big Changes

Historically, I viewed childhood behaviors as do most in our culture: through the lens of all behavior is willful.  Once I recognized my son’s cognitive needs and differences, I was able to see his need to be taught how to behave in a way that he could process and recieve.

This allowed me to respond to his meltdowns not from a place of offense, but from a place of support.  Instead of freaking out and coming down hard on him, I could meet him where he was with grace.

Kid Behavior Doesn’t Define A Good Mom

So many women believe a huge lie.  It says that something is wrong with us if our kid doesn’t behave the way the world wants them to.  

We literally become offended by or surprised by our kids’ meltdowns and tantrums (especially when in public).

In the face of “bad” behavior, we become trapped by the urge to stop the behavior.  

Fear is a Liar

This is not good, Momma.  By parenting from this place of fear, we end up missing the real issue and the cycle often continues.

Dr. Purvis put it in her book, The Connected Child,

Only a secure mother can say, “Tell me what hurts, sweetheart,” and listen attentively and respectfully to the answer…. Only a secure mother can find the heart of the highest-risk child.

Scripture tells us that God seeks after the heart, right?

Dr. Purvis’s words may be hard to process, but I know from experience how true they are.  My own insecurities and fear made navigating my son’s meltdowns exponentially more difficult.

Perspective Shift Game Changer

We have seen HUGE changes in my son’s behavior since my shift in perspective.  From willful disobedience to not yet equipped.

Game changer.  Miraculous changes.  He is not perfect by any means.   No one is.  But we’ve seen huge gains in my son’s ability to calm himself when he feels out of control.  Even in the year since this blog post was first written, my boy has come so far and I am so grateful.

christian special needs moms positive parenting course

Stop The Narrative of  “Inherently Bad”

My heart hurts for all of the kids who grow up believing that they are “inherently bad” because they can’t seem to get it together.

  • I’m never enough.
  • I’m always a disappointment.
  • What’s wrong with me?

Just think about how many adults we know that live in the dire wake of growing up believing themselves a disappointment.  

We all know someone.  And the truth is that that someone may just be us.

The Cycle of Meltdowns & Mental Health

That someone may be in the grocery store right now standing by in horror.  She is watching her child kick and scream because he wants candy.

She may be dripping with sweat and covered in shame as she navigates all the lies that tell her she is not enough.  I’ve been there.

Have you?  Are you there now?  Isn’t it enough already?

Special Needs Moms- Together

It’s ok to parent our kids differently, Sweet Momma.   We can do this together.   Let’s change the narrative for our…

  • higher-needs
  • highly-sensitive
  • neurodiverse
  • trauma-impacted
  • ADHD
  • Autistic
  • sensory sensitive kids.

Friend, I am convinced that all moms need a parenting growth mindset.  For the sake of our kids and our sanity, let’s be willing to at least examine it.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

Special Needs Adoption Story- Podcast Interview

Special Needs Adoption Story- Podcast Interview

Our Special Needs Adoption Story: My First Interview

I don’t think I will ever forget that day when I shared my family’s story of special needs adoption publicly.  Click here to go straight to the interview.

It was about a year ago, on a Saturday morning.  I did my best to prepare myself mentally to share our story with my new friend, Rachel.

It seemed that we literally just arrived to this “other” side of that season of absolute hell.  Not an exaggeration.  I never thought we would make it out of that season.

And there I was, getting ready to share publicly what for years I had desperately tried to hide.

christian special needs mom, podcast interview

Special Needs Adoption: Hiding 

I remember grabbing my laptop from the dining room table and quickly sneaking up the stairs.  I prayed,

Please don’t see me.  Please don’t see me.

Apparently, I was still hiding.  Honestly, hiding had become a necessity.

Most moms know the intrusions that happen the second we get on the phone.

Or when we try to use the ladies’ room alone.

Inevitably, it happens.

MOM!!!  Mom!!  Mommy!!  Where are you?

And while the evading the typical kid interruptions was certainly part of my story, it was for a more profound reason that I needed to hide that morning.

Honestly, any mom raising a child who struggles with executive functioning issues knows that her child’s interruptions are rarely benign.

They are typically explosive.  Yes, we had definitely made HUGE strides in the expected number of volatile meltdown detours.

However, there was still the possibility of at least one that hour.   I needed to prepare.

christian special needs mom, podcast interview

The Closet As A Refuge

Once on the landing of the second floor, I held my breath and tiptoed into my master bedroom.

Locking the door behind me, I settled myself down in the middle of my walk-in closet.

Yep.

Nestled in a pile of jeans, dresses, and shirts that apparently I liked enough to try on that week, I sat.

Clearly I didn’t like them enough to put them back on their respective hangers, but that is beside the point.

Learning to Be Prepared

Earlier that morning, I had dragged my teal cushioned ottoman into my closet in preparation for that moment.

Yep… the outside-the-box mother that I have become transformed the ottoman as the perfect “desk” for my laptop.

And… it fit perfectly in my closet.

Christian special needs parenting, adhd, autism, adoption

The Space to Share Our Special Needs Adoption Story

The reason behind the extreme precautions?

‘Lindsay, why were you hiding in your closet?’

Well, that would be because of my son.

I hid in my closet in order to share my family’s story… because of my son.

Relying on uninterrupted time is never a wise decision in my house.

Adding that extra layer of sound-proofing in the event of one of his full blown meltdowns was an absolute essential last summer.

The Interview- Mom to Mom

My now sweet friend, Rachel Olson of the Sweetest and Toughest Podcast, interviewed me that day… we discussed so much.

when traditional discipline doesn't work

Hidden Special Needs Exist

Mommas parenting children with cognitive differences are in every community.

Often, however, they are isolated and alone.  I know because I was and am one of them.

Except now I don’t hide in shame and judgement.

This is why I am sharing EVERY valuable strategy that I WISH I had known when I was completely alone.

At one point, I was depressed and had no hope for our family’s future because I did not know what to do.

I’m sharing because somewhere today there is a momma hiding in her closet.

Except she is not hiding for an interview, she is hiding because she cannot bear to face another day living in a warzone.

Share this episode of The Sweetest & Toughest job with her and let her know that there is so much hope!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

Adoption Story: Meeting & Saying Good-bye to His Birth Mom, Part 4

Adoption Story: Meeting & Saying Good-bye to His Birth Mom, Part 4

Meeting Birth Mom- Infertility to Adoption

This is the conclusion of our story of infertility to adoption where we meet our son’s birth mom for the first time.  If you haven’t already done so, please read Our Adoption Story Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to catch up.

To say that meeting our son’s birth mom was emotionally intense is an understatement.

There was so much more to it though.

That morning a NICU nurse reached her gloved-hands into a sterile incubator.  She lifted a newborn out of that protective plastic enclosure and placed him into my shaking arms.

Just 18 hours earlier, he was delivered into the world by an incredibly brave and desperately broken woman.

There was no way to prepare for the depth of pain and confusion that would take place over the next 3 days.

Meeting Birth Mom

Crossing the threshold of her hospital room, Ian and I found ourselves engulfed in an anxious tidal wave.

There we were face-to-face.

For the first time, we saw the woman whom God would use to bring us another little deliverer.

Beyond the point of exhaustion from the year-long emotional hurricane that we had just survived, I was on the verge of a break down.

The fact that I was just snuggling her newborn son was too much to process.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

adoption, birth mom, infertility

My inadequacy

Our eyes met and without another thought, I rushed to her bedside.

She looked desperately broken. I immediately reached for her hands.

The tears streamed down both sets of our cheeks.  I thanked her profusely for allowing him to live.

We live in a culture that would have encouraged her to end his life before he was born.  Yet, even in her brokenness, she chose to let him breathe life.

I poured out my gratitude and shared how much God loves and treasures her.  Nothing I said seemed to do justice.

My inability to say or do anything to make her pain go away magnified the pit in my stomach.  I knew God was going to have to intervene in a very obvious way.

Normally a happy-go-lucky extroverted sanguine, I had nothing to offer.

Buried beneath grief, sadness, confusion and a tiny amount of relief, I sat in the void.

I knew very early on that I would be unable to hold it together much longer.  There was no way I would be able to keep the conversation going for the next few days.

I was faking it as best as I could, but I was on the edge of collapse.  Her internal torment was its own presence in the room.

Devotional Christian Special Needs Mom

Meeting His Birth Mom- The Confusion

The earthquake inside of me was an 8.0 on the Richter scale.

Our baby boy was still 100% hers.

Despite knowing this was not her first adoption placement, my awareness that she could change her mind left me shaky.  I was so scared and anxious about losing our child and yet, I was also deeply saddened for her.

His birth mom was broken in spirit.

She was a brave woman.   Sacrificing her role as a parent, she knew her baby needed to be the first priority.

She was a selfless woman who suffered incredibly for the sake of her baby’s life.

In her mind, she was a wretch. She didn’t realize that she was an instrument of God.

The emotional tension enveloping that hospital room was sucking the breath out of us all.

Her desperation for peace was evident to all.  My desperation for finality had to remain quiet.

The finality in birth mom’s mind

And then it happened.

“Do you mind if I go and see him?”

She tentatively asked me the next afternoon.

“Do I mind?’

In her mind, all was final.

While I was doing my best not to lose it due to the uncertainty of it all, she mentally signed the paperwork.   In her mind, she released her rights to Little Man over to us that first day.

He was still her child and not legally ours.

Uncertainty

Didn’t she know what a basket case I was?

Ian and I felt like imposters every time we entered into the nursery, cradled and held HER baby boy.

Didn’t she know that I was scared to death that she would change her mind?

Her inquiry revealed the reality that in her mind he was already our child.

Demoralized, hurting and yet so decisive.  I will never be able to erase her face from my mind.

secondary infertility, domestic adoption, miscarriage, christian mom

The Tightrope of Meeting His Birth Mom

Ian did his best to walk the tightrope between two extremely irrational and hurting women.

The next two days dragged on moment by moment.  It was as if every moment was a race through quick sand.

If it weren’t for Ian, birth mom and I would have likely gone insane.

Yep.  It was my introverted husband who end up maintaining the conversations with her.

During the time we spent in her hospital room, he was the one to build a safe relationship with her.

Sports saved the day. My hubby is obsessed with sports and we soon realized that our birth mother was also a sports fan.

It was amazing to see my husband connect with her.

The two of them engaged in light conversations.  They bantered about various sports teams and star players.  Scores, statistics and clutch plays from years past were the topic of conversation.

It was my introverted, prefer-to-not-have-to-talk hubby, who held the room.

When she fell into deep grief, Ian dragged her out with some sports jargon that I don’t dare to interpret. She understood and would begin to engage again.

The Signature

Friday morning arrived almost tentatively.  It was as if the sun itself was aware that both a death and a life were coming.

The dichotomy of adoption played out that morning.

As she signed the paperwork, a death occured.

The slightest hope that she would be able to parent was annihilated with the stroke of a pen.

And with that same signature came new life in the form of a family which just grew by one.

christian mom, special needs parenting, adhd, autism, discipline

New clothes

His birth mom lumbered throughout her hospital room as she attemped to clothe herself in jeans and a sweatshirt.

She released the well-worn hospital gown to the floor as if she was releasing her shame and condemnation.

As only a mother could, she gifted her child a fresh start that morning. It was her turn to start anew as well.  Ultimately, that was and is my prayer for her.    

“Is it alright if I see him one last time?

She asked my permission to see him again.

Just typing those words brings back the muddle of angst which penetrated my soul at that moment.  Her overwhelming sadness tormented us all.  It breaks my heart just thinking about her anguish.

At the time, I was still shocked that she had ever felt the need to ask my permission.

Her humility was a bucket of ice-water poured suddenly on one’s back.  It was striking and numbing at the same time.

“Of course you can see him,” I reassured her.  

She and I slowly walked back to the nursery.  The journey slapped her in the face repeatedly as the hallway walls were plastered with portraits of babies and their mothers.

I will never forget the words she spoke as we trudged towards him.  

“Please don’t ever let him think that I don’t love him.”

My heart broke in two for her.

In response, I promised her that he will always know how much she loved him.

Saying Goodbye

My son’s birth mother was and is simply amazing.  In her brokenness, she loved him enough to give him a chance at a better life.

She is the picture of humility and my heart continues to grieve for her loss.

Additionally, our family is indebted to her forever.  She gave us a son.  

Little did we know that God would use this baby boy to radically destroy and transform our family.  And more specifically, me.

To hear more about what happened after we brought our son home, to this interview with my friend, Kelli Belt of the Beauty is Rising podcast. 

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

Adoption Story: Infertility to Adoption… He is Finally Here!, Part 3

Adoption Story: Infertility to Adoption… He is Finally Here!, Part 3

Infertility To Adoption – Part 3

This is part 3 of our journey from secondary infertility to the adoption of son.  If you have not already done do, please checkout Our Adoption Story Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up on our story. 

As we stepped out of the car, the sun glared down on our faces.  We stood on the black pavement of that hospital’s packed parking lot.

It was almost noon on Wednesday.  Actually, it was closer to 11:30 as our meeting time had been set for just before twelve.

Our little boy was born just 15 hours earlier.  My husband and I were passing through Georgia at the moment he arrived.

Hand in hand, we approached the hospital’s main entrance in anticipation of meeting our son.

Mixed with anxiety and excitement, we girded ourselves up for what these next couple of days would hold.

The past year

In the past year, we had been through what seemed like a nightmare.

We had lost 7 pregnancies.

One of our losses resulted in the stillborn delivery of our daughter.  Cradling her lifeless body in my hands is etched into my mind so deeply.

The next 9 months were a roller coaster.  I fell into a monthly ritual of staring at those white sticks with pink positive signs.

Later, I would listlessly watch those plus signs become fainter and fainter until alas, I would bleed.  With each loss came the mixture of shame, pain and anger all at once.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.
infertility, adoption, miscarriage, christian mom, adoption

Infertility to Adoption- A Year Later

We passed through the threshold of the hospital and into the sterile foyer.  My emotional state began to tilt towards anxiety and dread.  Mentally I prepared myself for the next shoe to drop.   The ups and downs of the multiple miscarriages led me to expect the worst.

Ian and I took a seat on the cool leather couches of the waiting area.  We rested our weary bodies for just a few minutes before a lovely lady exited a nearby elevator.

Our nervous eyes met her cheerful and calming glance, and she eagerly approached us.

That sweet lady introduced herself as our social worker.   She then proceeded to review the details of our son’s delivery and his current state of health.

Soon after his birth, he began struggling to breathe.  He had, therefore, been admitted to the NICU overnight.  She gave us a brief overview of our birth mother’s state of health.

Then she asked us if we were ready to meet our son.   We nodded our agreement and began to follow her throughout the hospital.

The sound of our shoes on the cold, hard, lifeless linoleum floor echoed through the hospital corridors.  The journey to the NICU seemed to take forever and with every step I could feel my heart pounding that much harder.

I remember taking a quick peek at Ian thinking, “Praise God that I have him.”

That man is my rock here on earth.  He always seems so chill.  If he were like me, we would be in big trouble.

christian mom, special needs parenting, adhd, autism, discipline

The NICU

As we turned a corner, we came upon two massive white double doors.  The social worker scanned her badge at the door and the door unlocked allowing us to pass through.

After washing our hands thoroughly and dressing in sterile robes, we were escorted into the NICU.

The orchestra of machine-induced beeping noises, welcomed us into the pediatric haven.  Dozens of tiny incubators encased the most vulnerable babes of this world.

Our social worker led us through the maze of dependent newborns to our little man’s incubator.

I remember staring at him for the first time as if I was watching myself on film.

“Oh my word.  This is him.”

I cautiously examined his fragile body.   He was crinkled up with his legs and arms pulled into his torso.

Confusion overtook me as I knew I was “supposed” to feel a certain way when I saw him.  I was “supposed” to instantly fall in love with him as happens in the movies.

However, that was not my reality.  I held his little body in my arms and remember thinking,

‘I am holding a stranger’s baby.’

“I am holding another woman’s baby.”

Deep down I knew that he was still her child.  He could be ripped away from me just as quickly as all seven of those pregnancies.

Although I didn’t want to be, I was emotionally guarded.  Desperately, I attempted to whisk away the emotional distance and fear.

However, I am simply a human being.  I had to “love” this baby as best I could under the circumstances.

No doubt about it, he was still her child.  I needed to respect the truth of that reality and needed to respect her.

secondary infertility, domestic adoption, miscarriage, christian mom

Infertility to Adoption- Beauty From All The Ashes

Adoption is beautiful, but it is at the same time so tragic.

In order for my family to grow here on earth, a broken woman would have to suffer.  She would have to say goodbye to a baby whom she had carried for 9 months.

That contradiction was not lost on me.

Soon after our initial meeting with him came our first introduction to his birth mother.

Nothing could have prepared me for what we were about to experience those next 36 hours.

Sweet Friend, do you have a story of infertility or adoption?  Do either of those topics have a place in your special needs parenting story?  I would love to know more of your story.  Comment below or feel free to email me.

Sign up to receive my one or both of my gifts to you.

To Read Part 4 of Our Adoption Story Click Here

Free Scripture Printables to Be Framed and Encouraged By…

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

adoptive special needs christian mom book

Grab A Copy Of Behind the Behaviors!

For the weary Christian momma who doesn’t know what else to do.

I hear you. I’ve been there. I get it.  That is why I wrote this book.

Know this… God chose you on purpose to raise your uniquely-wired child.  

Grab a copy, be equipped & be encouraged.

Secondary Infertility to Adoption, Part 2

Secondary Infertility to Adoption, Part 2

Infertility to Adoption

Many women have navigated the painful journey of infertility.  Some of gone on from infertility to adoption.  We each have our own story.  If you have navigated these waters, know that you are seen and are not alone.  I hope by sharing some of my journey, you will find some encouragement and hope.

Before we get started, if you haven’t already, please read Our Adoption Story – Part 1.

Grief of Secondary Infertility

After losing my baby girl, I experienced a depth of pain that sucked the breath out of me for months. In that season of grief, I memorized more Scripture than I ever had in my life.  And honestly, it was not because of me.  Trust me.  

Chunks and chunks of Scripture were embedded into the core of my mind and spirit.  

As I look back on it, I now know that this season of time in the Word was just one step in my journey.   It was His preparation for the next tumultuous chapter of our story.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.
adoption, secondary infertility, christian women

Infertility to adoption at dinner

We received the call one evening while my family and I sat around the dinner table.

Looking down at the number, I didn’t recognize it.   I let it go straight to voicemail.

Something stuck out to me because I immediately felt that the person calling was calling me about our adoption.  I just knew it instinctively.

The months prior

After losing our Ryan Adeline, my husband and I spent months seeking intervention from a reproductive endocrinologist.

We chose not to pursue more invasive forms of fertility treatment.  However, I did go through procedures to try to see if there were obvious answers to losing her.

Ultimately, we never found any clear answers about why we lost her.  No explanation about why I couldn’t maintain a pregnancy.  In the end, I had experienced 6 early miscarriages and the late loss of our baby girl.

Landing on the same page… infertility to adoption

The Lord positioned Ian and I to reach a specific conclusion at the same time.  We were to continue our journey of infertility by taking the next step of adoption.

In July of 2013, Ian and I took our two little girls away for some much needed down time in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

It was there that we both landed on adoption as the next step to grow our family.

Infertility to adoption… zero to sixty

Within one month, we had completed our homestudy with a local adoption resource.  We chose not to go with a traditional adoption agency.

The adoption process can take what seems like forever.  I was not in the frame of mind to hand over the process to an agency.  Handing over control of this next stage of our journey to a non-invested stranger was not an option for me.

I needed to participate in the process.

secondary infertility, miscarriage, christian women, adoption, motherhood

The dinner call

It was December of 2013.

Not recognizing the phone number on the screen, I tapped the red “decline” icon on my phone screen.

However, something inside me stirred.  Glancing over at Ian, I caught his eye then whispered to him from across the table, “adoption.”

The mysterious phone number had to do with our adoption.  Something inside me knew that was the case.  Or at least I had hoped.

Excusing myself from the kitchen once we had finished eating dinner, I left Ian and the girls to clean up the table.

I trudged up the stairway slowly and with each step my heart began pounding harder and harder.  (No, not due to the physical exertion of climbing a flight of stairs.)

My heart began beating at an ever-increasing rate as my mind teased through the possible identities of this mysterious caller.

The internal dialogue in my own head was getting the best of me really quickly.  Anxiety rears its ugly head even in the exciting moments of life.

ANXIETY IS BRUTAL… brutal and debilitating but that’s a whole other blog post.

The next steps of adoption

My suspicions were spot on.  A sweet friend from my Bible study group eagerly shared with me what had just transpired.

She had just finished an hour- and-a-half long phone call with her sister-in-law.  Apparently, at the end of their conversation her SIL, an adoption attorney, mentioned that a baby boy was due in two days.  She had casually asked my friend if she knew anyone looking to adopt a boy.

“Lindsay!  This is YOUR son!!”

She just continued over and over with the same words.

“This is your son.”

72 hours from infertility to adoption

The next 72 hours were a whirlwind.

Early the next morning, I received the phone call from my adoption attorney.  After speaking briefly about the situation, she sent me electronic copies of our birth mother’s medical records.

I, in turn, sent them directly over to my primary care physician for his expert opinion.

You see, my family doctor, it turned out, was an adoptive father himself.  He had a heart for adoption and had offered to help us as we navigated the adoption process.

In the past month, he had already looked through a couple of other potential birth mothers’ medical files.  Those adoption situations did not end up leading us to a match.

However, God had clearly positioned us in relationship with this doctor for an obvious reason… for our son.

As is very common in domestic adoption, our birth mother did not have a perfect bill of health.  Nor did she make healthy choices during the pregnancy.   We wanted his opinion on what all of those variables could mean for our future child.

He called me within a couple of hours to give us the go-ahead to move forward with the adoption.

christian mom, special needs parenting, adhd, autism, discipline

Infertility to adoption… community support

Most of the next 72 hours were a blur.  However, there are some moments that stick out vividly.

There were so many clearly visible blessing from the Lord.

That day, my mom (now deceased) and my step-father drove the 3-hour drive to stay with the girls in our absence.

In the US, adoptive families have to get legal permission to cross state lines with the adopted baby. Because of this, we had no idea how long we would be stuck out of state.

The grandparents committed to caring for our girls for at least a couple of weeks.

Quickly I made arrangements for the girls’ next two weeks of life.  I hadn’t thought about where Ian, the baby and I would stay once we arrived.

God took care of that.  A precious friend arranged our hotel stay so I didn’t even have to think about it.

The evening before we left to meet our son’s birth mother and our son offered us another surprise.  As I was frantically packing and preparing a schedule for my two sweet little girls, I heard the doorbell ring.

His hands and feet

As I opened the door, I saw the hands and feet of Jesus right there on my doorstep.  There stood about ten sweet and dear friends of mine.

Each of these women entered my home carrying in her arms some sort of baby gear.

  • diapers,
  • baby bottles,
  • pacifiers,
  • bags and bags of boy clothing,
  • burp cloths,
  • blankets,
  • a stroller,
  • a pack n play,
  • diaper bag, etc.

You name it, they brought it.  We had nothing to do or purchase for our son.  Our job was to get in the car and pick up that little baby boy.

My tribe knows me well.  Praise God that my friends know Jesus even more.

I was beyond overwhelmed by their love and support and still am as I write this.

Infertility to adoption- Darkness leads to light

That very next day, Ian and I would take the next step in our journey from infertility to adoption.  In the darkness of early morning, we would depart from our home.

The ten-hour drive to meet our little boy and his selfless and desperately hurting birth mother would cut to the core.  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

And that is exactly the way it needed to be.

Adoption Story Part 3 Click Here

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

Recommended Reading For Moms Raising Kids With ADHD, SPD, ASD (or No Acaronym At All)