Although Chiyomi had worked with resource and adoptive families for over a decade and understood their joys and struggles, I simply thought that parenting in this arena was like any other. We adopted two of our children and soon faced many struggles as a dad raising them. I initially thought that I was simply a "bad parent," unable to discipline my children in the way they should go. After repeated encouragement from my wife to get help, we finally decided to attend a conference in WA for adoptive families.
At that "Refresh" conference, they gave everyone in the auditorium "Me Too" paddles and instructed us to raise them whenever we related with a story or testimony that was being shared. I literally related to every story that was told and was struck by the sea of paddles that were raised. I recognized for the first time that I was not alone and that I was understood.
And my encouragement to you is the same - You are not alone and we want to help provide support! Raising a foster or adoptive child is such a privilege but is not easy. That is why we are here. Please join our Together Groups or attend a future Hope for the Journey simulcast because I believe it will make a world of difference for you. We hope to see you there. Terence