finding-your-way-adoptive-family

  Summer is in full swing.

  Our kids are out of school and the days are hot, long, and often stormy. How can you find your way through the chaos to sustain an attuned, vibrant connection? This is one of the many things we address with the families whom we coach. We also look inward to our own relationships.

  Over ten-plus years

My colleagues at Growing Intentional Families together have grown to be more than business colleagues who are deeply committed to serving the adoption community. We are also close friends who look upon one another like a second family. A family who live great distances from each other—Minneapolis, Florida, and northern and southern California, to be precise.   Because we value our friendships and our company, we make time for annual in-person retreats. Last month we gathered in Minneapolis.

Retreats 

Help ensure that we sustain healthy mutual relationships and are well with time, energy, and expense. We make time to review our company Mission, Vision, and Purpose as well as to strengthen our relationships. And, like family, we do not always agree on everything and have learned how to forge compromises, ask for and provide support, apologize and repair connections, etc. All of which requires intention, commitment, and effort.

Striving for balance
 
We blend work and pleasure, relaxation, and exercise. Some activities focus on our business. Others focus on our relationships, having fun together, and getting to know even more about one another. Attuning to each other. We discuss what is on our hearts, our minds, and what is happening in our own individual families. We enjoy tasty and healthy meals and conversations that unfold organically without worrying if it has run long or if someone needs to race off to another scheduled meeting.
 
Our approach is multi-pronged.
 
First, spend time one-on-one reconnecting and checking in. Second, share meals as a group. Third, do something fun together. Fourth, get outdoors and move! Finally, get clear on our purpose and how we will work individually and collectively to make them a reality.
 
Healthy relationships
 
Whether relationships are at work or home the way to keep them vibrant and strong takes time, attention, effort, persistence, and commitment. Strong relationships balance giving and taking. Both persons invest in, value, and prioritize the relationship. When we understand how vital that “maintenance” is, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like caring. By nurturing them with intention, relationships stay strong, responsive,  and vibrant.
 
Questions to consider:
 
What ways do you usually use to nurture and sustain connection? How effective are they? Use these questions as a way of assessing the current reality within your family. They can help you find more ways to nurture effective connections.
 
Lately, which child has been occupying the bulk of parental time?
 
How has that impacted the other children?
 
How have we connected with each child one-on-one in the last week? 
 
What way works best for each person?
 
How have we connected with each child one-on-one in the last month?
 
How much time have my partner and I been spending attentively with each other?
 
Are we connecting genuinely or just sharing space?
 
Have we found the time to be with each child individually?
 
Does one or more of them need more?
 
Have we shared a family meal together lately?
 
How have we had fun as a family recently?
 
Has there been plenty of good-hearted laughter?
 
Is one or more of us struggling?
 
Have we tried something new lately?
 
Which Core Values are we strongly living Which Core Values are we compromising?
 
What is my gut telling me and am I listening or ignoring it?

 

Listen to our podcast featuring Adoption Attuned Parenting

Growing happier, healthier adoptive families

 

Read these award-winning books written by our coaches.

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