So, yesterday we talked a bit about trauma and how it can lead to scars on kids.   Kids who aren’t as resilient as adults.    Kids who will, in many situations, carry those scars for a long time.    You can read it at So What?  Part 1.

Part 2 is going to talk a bit more about how I’m going to be involved in doing “something” about those scars and how you can get involved too…….

For those of you who don’t know me very well, let me give you a little background……

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart and best friend for 29 1/2 years.   We have 5 kids – the youngest two were adopted from Haiti almost 11 years ago.   After spending a number of years supporting the orphanage that we adopted them from, I left a career in banking and went to work for the orphanage raising awareness and funding from here in Michigan on a full time basis.    I did that for 3 1/2 years until that position was eliminated last May.

During those years as an adoptive parent, I’ve learned many many things but a couple of them that I want to share with you:

  • Very few people can truly understand the journey that parenting children from hard places is.   It’s a journey of joy, of healing, of sadness, of pain, of doing things differently.    Therefore, it’s often a lonely road.
  • Adoptive parents are some of the most ordinary but amazing people I know.    We are not perfect, we are far from it.   We’re screw ups, we’re failing, we’re hurting, we’re just ordinary people who have answered the call to give love to someone who needs love and to be family to someone who doesn’t have a family that can and does care for them.
  • There’s a group of people who work for an organization called Adoption Family Support Network.   Originally, my interactions with them were mainly through events and social outings.   But more and more I got to know them and realized how much more they do.    They do a lot of “walking beside” adoptive families and helping them through the tough times in life.    Whether that be connecting them with resources, being a listening ear, connecting them with other adoptive families, training, whatever it takes to smooth out the bumps in adoptive family life.

After discussion, planning, swapping ideas and more, I’m proud and excited to join forces with The Adoptive Family Support Network.   My official title is “Adoptive Parent Consultant.”    The real title doesn’t matter – what matters is that I’m going to have the opportunity to help adoptive families who might be struggling or lonely or not knowing where to go or…….

As those of you who have known me for years,  my passion for troubled kids has been a long standing “thing” with me.    This is such a “right fit” for that – because I get to help others who share that passion.

So what does that mean?    A couple of things:

  • AFSN recently got some substantial grants and have moved from being a 3 county organization to being statewide.   So anyone who lives in Michigan can take advantage of the support that we offer.
  • The written and electronic information that we put on Facebook, (https://www.facebook.com/AdoptiveFamilySupportNetwork) and on our website at www.afsn.org  is available for anyone anywhere.
  • There is an AFSN Group on Facebook – it is a “secret” group – but friend me on Facebook and then ask me to invite you.    It’s a great place for anyone in any area of adoption, foster care etc. to talk, share ideas, learn from others.    We’d love to have more of you join!

It also means that I’m going to be doing more writing on here (and elsewhere) about adoption, about parenting children from hard places and other ways to make a difference for kids with scars.    So the focus of this blog is going to shift a bit.

If you want to chat about this more, call me, e-mail me, use the “contact me” button on the side of this page.

It feels really good to join forces with the people at AFSN and to get to work with families who are doing amazing things in ordinary ways……..

These kids need to heal from their scars.   We get to help with that.

I hope you’ll join us.

Tom