Adopted and Staying Healthy: Dealing with an Information Gap

Nurturing our children’s health is an important parental responsibility. We choose their food with care, ensure that they see the doctor when they’re ill, provide medicines when needed, and encourage activities that contribute to their health and general well-being. We keep accurate records of vaccinations and any diseases and injuries that befall our kids. We […]

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Adoption Awareness Means Attuning to Adoptee Experience

Deep listening builds awareness and leads, to attunement which nurtures connection and empathy which is experienced as the feeling of being loved for/as oneself. We made a promise to our kids when they joined our families to be a safe, loving, permanent family is to embody the elements of Adoption-attunement. One of the best ways we can honor that promise is to immerse ourselves in the elements of Adoption Attunement.

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Awareness. Adoption. Accuracy. Affirmation.

National Adoption Awareness Month is in full swing. As a reminder, the purpose of #NAAM is to raise awareness of the many foster children who need permanent families. When it comes to adoption, adoptees are the experts. They live adoption 24/7, 365 days a year for their entire lives. For those of us who have […]

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911 Parenting: Responding to an Emotional Meltdown

A friend who happens to be an adult adoptee shared a recent event from her family life. Her child is normally a “put together” kid who navigates the minefield of high school cliques and power struggles well from the vantage point of an LGBTQ person’s perspective. Unsurprisingly this means learning how to deal with snide, […]

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Kids Need Families

Next month our country will observe National Adoption Awareness Month which was created specifically to encourage the adoption of children languishing in foster care. How can we support this important mission? Ensure that any posts, messages, etc. that you share keep the focus on foster kids. Resist the need to celebrate any adoption-related stories that […]

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Performance Reviews, Progress Reports, and Parenting Goals

Most of us face performance reviews on our jobs. While not a pleasant experience, the periodic assessments can help us determine important information: an employer or senior management’s satisfaction with our performance, an opportunity for salary adjustment based on performance, a determination of skills growth (or need for new skills,) a snapshot of our trajectory […]

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To Love Our Real Child We Must Release the Child of Our Fantasies

As Intentional Parents. we hold the belief that adoption is not an event but rather a journey. We accept that adoption operates as a permanent factor that shapes and influences who our children are, how they think, respond, grow, and experience the world. We understand adoption complexity and we strive to attune to our children’s […]

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Loss: An Uncomfortable Truth

    Learn how the coaches at GIFT Family Services can help you and your family navigate your adoption journey. We've faced our share of family challenges and crises, ridden the metaphorical rollercoaster, and our families have not only survived; they have thrived. We offer experience, neutrality, and understanding.   Listen to our podcasts on Adoption-attuned Parenting. […]

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It Takes a Village.

What draws us to assist others in times of crisis? Is it simply the hard knowledge that “There but for the grace of God go I?” Is it empathy? Religious conviction? Or simply fundamental human compassion? Regardless of the why, human beings are drawn to assist others when they are in trouble. We put our collective shoulders to the obstacle & press a collaborative shove.

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Adoptive Parenting Perspective: How Being Adopted Informs My Parenting

We are privileged this week to have this guest blog written by Lynn Grubb. She is both an adoptee and an adoptive parent. She lives adoption from both sides of the relationship equation! Enjoy, listen, and learn!  Lynn Grubb is an Illinois born adoptee, and a 50-year resident of Dayton, Ohio.  She is President of […]

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Book It! New Titles to add to Your Family Adoption Library

The coaches at GIFT Family Services are passionate about creating and identifying resources for adoptees and their families. We consider books an effective communication tool for adoptive families. Over the years, we have compiled an extensive collection of book reviews. Books provide an important resource to adoptees, parents, teachers, etc. They provide insight, introduce models […]

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What Do You See? Who Do You See?

Personal growth in people is easily overlooked. Behavioral changes frequently go unnoticed, unacknowledged & unprocessed. People tend not to update their “relationship software.” They tend to presume old patterns will continue unchanged & as immutable as if carved in stone.

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The Power of Saying, "I Love You."

Everyone knows that children feel BIG emotions: anger swirls into fury, disappointment collapses into despair, happiness erupts into delight. They wear their emotions on their shirtsleeves where everyone can easily read them. One might easily dismiss their feelings as childish, trivial, or inconsequential; that would be a mistake. Their emotional life is as important and […]

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Family is a Treasure; Treat Them with Care

School is out for the summer here which draws to mind a question: How can Intentional Parents glean the best that this interlude can offer families? Released from the burden of homework, academic projects, and extracurricular activities and all the stress and time constraints that accompany them, we have a chance to create something special. […]

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Making Space for Remembrance and a Complete Picture

As our observance of Memorial Day remains fresh, it calls to mind the pain of loved ones lost in defense of their country. We feel an upswell of grief, yearning, and remembering. In the context of this blog, thoughts of loved ones lost take on a different slant. It reminds us of how adoptees experience […]

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The Complete Family Picture: Who is Present? Who Is Absent?

My GIFT colleagues and I have just returned from our annual retreat. Because we live in different states, we believe it is important to get together and reconnect. It’s one of the ways in which we invest in our relationship both as colleagues and as friends. It’s also a clear example of our practicing what […]

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Intentionality, Conflict Resolution and Prioritizing Relationships

All relationships experience conflict. Healthy relationships are characterized not by the absence of conflict, but by the effort expended in addressing conflict, repairing emotional injuries, rebuilding broken trust, and cultivating an ongoing commitment to one another. Pasting a happy face over unresolved conflict allows emotional wounds to fester and ultimately destroys both connection and trust. Equally damaging, are expectations that rely on the other person’s ability to read our minds, to intuitively know what we need and want. It takes courage to speak up and say, “You hurt me,” especially if we admit this not in the passion of anger but rather, with a clear head and a willingness to expose our vulnerability. Sharing this message requires courage and reveals an emotional investment in the relationship. Sharing the truth and hearing the truth requires both persons to be emotionally vulnerable.

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Adoptee's Birthdays Blend Laughter and Tears, Joy and Sadness

For many adopted children, birthdays can be overwhelming as it awakens powerful & conflicting emotions. Their birthday is inextricably linked with the primal loss of their first mother & extended biological family. I suspect that many kids do not even understand why they feel so conflicted on their birthday nor do they understand what might drive them to create chaos and turmoil in the midst of all the celebrations...Just as assuredly as a puff of breath extinguishes the candles on a birthday cake, adoption snuffed out one version of life for all of us and replaced it with the one which we have lived for several decades. Perhaps we will never know if this was "best." At this point in time, it is simply what is and we have made peace with that fact even as we all understand the profound "cost" of that reality.

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Successful Families Take Care & Build a Strong Core

The business of family is the care and protection of its members. We succeed or fail together. As Intentional Parents, we strive to be purposeful in our choices and actions particularly when it comes to our children. We must always keep in mind that our relationships with our spouses and partners predated the arrival of […]

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The Burning Truth When Things Really Are on Fire

My husband had the admirable ability to remain calm in the face of upheaval and chaos. As a person strongly influenced by emotions and with a deep need for “safety”, his equanimity was like my life raft in a storm. Ironically, this same “unflappableness” occasionally also drove me crazy. Sometimes when I felt like our […]

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Sally: 612-203-6530 |  Susan: 541-788-8001 |  Joann: 312-576-5755 |  Gayle: 772-285-9607