Observations on the Road of Life

This unfolding pandemic will forever alter our lives and divide time into a distinct Before and After. Our only choice is to confront the situation with intention. Life flows unrelentingly forward. Although we can remember and reflect on the past, we can never live the same moment twice. Similarly, we can ruminate and imagine the […]

Read More
Difficult Situations, Difficult Conversations

Our families, our country and the world at large is currently facing an unprecedented challenge. We are collectively facing a Difficult Situation of unparalleled proportions. The survival of many people directly depends on the collective actions of all. Each of us is challenged to think of the greater good when we decide how we will […]

Read More
Parenting Beliefs Create a Mindset and Guide Our Actions

The coaches at GIFT work to help families acquire the skills and knowledge that will enable them to succeed at Growing Intentional Families Together. We believe in being intentional and conscious about the values and beliefs that guide the way we live and raise our families. Our parenting beliefs create a mindset and guide our […]

Read More
Luck, Gratitude, and Adoption

During this month folks who are Irish—literally or metaphorically—celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Like many holidays, a non-sectarian sense of fun has overtaken the religious aspects of the day's origins. So what does St. Patrick's Day have to do with adoption? The "luck of the Irish" comes to mind. Luck...a term easily tossed around. And often […]

Read More
Parental Certainty, Blindness , and Humble Pie

We’ve all experienced moments which left us embarrassed and needing to be accountable. Humble pie is never tasty and yet life serves it up regularly. (Honesty compels me to admit it is precipitated by my own actions and choices.) Last week I found myself dining on a particularly unpalatable slice that offers some insight on […]

Read More
The Super Power of Parenthood: Be Fully Present

We’ve all experienced moments in our lives when we needed someone to be there for us. Often, we’ve had the misfortune of being let down, abandoned to face difficulty on our own. Yet when people truly s answer our call, show up and connect with us, we experience the deep grace of feeling seen, heard, […]

Read More
Looking Adopted, Thinking Adopted

An adult adoptee I know described a recent conversation she had with the eight-year-old daughter of a coworker. Somehow the child learned that my friend was adopted. This shocked the little girl because my friend didn’t “look adopted.” In her child's mind, she assumed that adoptees would exhibit an identifiable appearance that would be instantly […]

Read More
Protecting Our Kids: Coronavirus Isn't their Greatest Hazard

As of February 3, 2020, eleven cases of Coronavirus have been diagnosed in the United States. Thousands in China have fallen ill and 361 have died.[1] As responsible parents, we worry about the risk to our own children and ponder how we should respond. Statistics reveal that the current risk to our children is small. […]

Read More
One Key to Succeeding as an Adoptive Family

So far this month this blog has examined several priorities for parenting success in 2020. At the risk of being overly obvious, we must consider ourselves and the relationship with our spouses/partners one of our first priorities. It is this key relationship we build between us that becomes the hub around which family relationships revolve. […]

Read More
2020 Vision for Intentional Adoptive Parents

Please forgive the pun. Still, it feels apt to consider how we can develop 2020 vision regarding our parenting. This blog focuses much thought and energy on ways we can strengthen our families. We strive to immerse ourselves in Adoption-attunement* and thus to develop a High AQ* (Adoption-attunement Quotient. See these past blogs 1, 2, […]

Read More
A New Year, A Fresh Perspective: Addressing Adoption Myths

Adoption Myths Adoption myths persist because we find comfort in the reassurance they offer. They reinforce people's belief systems. Some myths reassure adoptive parents that their families built through adoption will fulfill all their idealized dreams about parenthood. Other myths linger because they overlay a veil of positivity that hides the challenges and complexities that […]

Read More
Happy New Year!

HAPPY  NEW  YEAR! May 2020 Bring Great Blessings

Read More
Coaching: Hands Together for the Climb

Parenting demands unparalleled devotion of love, time. and energy. Adoptive parenting is like traditional parenting on steroids. Often, adoptive parents find themselves facing circumstances and challenges which they never observed in their families of origin. Where can they turn for guidance, understanding, and partnership? Read GIFT coach, Sally Ankerfelt's insights. We, coaches, Gayle, Joann, Sally, […]

Read More
Which Sign Are We Displaying? Welcome or No Vacancy?

We ponder the message of “No room at the inn.” Flip the "no vacancy" sign to "Welcome!"Our children's sense of belonging arises out of our acceptance which “simply allows them to be fully authentic…to feel loved as they are…and make sure that was the loudest thing [we speak.]" -John Pavlovitz

Read More
Rejection Casts a Long Shadow

Anyone who is intimately familiar with adoption recognizes that it includes a profound experience of both/and: both losing and gaining a family, both heartache and joy, both rejection and welcome … The most commonly recognized aspect of rejection in adoption centers on the child’s feeling rejected by his birth mother. (This painful emotion occurs regardless […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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.

Read More
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 […]

Read More
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, […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More

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


GIFT, Growing Intentional Families Together, adoption

SUBSCRIBE TO THE GIFT NEWSLETTER