Feb 282015

Hi Friends and Readers,

I like to write about so many different things, and struggle with staying only on the fostering and Reactive Attachment Disorder topics. If you tune in here and don’t see anything about either, go straight to the Resources tab and click on one of those, because there is help there.

I was thinking today about a good friend who wore a particular cologne that nauseated me when I was near her. She was a favorite friend, but that aroma was too much for me, and one day I finally told her that she was making me sick! Sounds like a terrible thing to say, but it was either say it, or avoid her.

There are other “aromas” besides actual smells that we project. Angry aromas, complaining aromas, ungrateful aromas… What is coming out of us can be felt in many ways by those around us.

Some people think that it’s okay to be this way because they are only around kids, and not adults, but children are highly affected by the emotions and attitudes that we project. They count. They have aroma-sensors, too!

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Now that’s a list of good smells! Love my readers, Nealie


Feb 182015

penWhat does this look like to you? Make sure to comment the first thing that came to mind if you have the time. 🙂

I have acquired a cat that has issues. Remember the blog from this summer when we found a dying kitten at a park?  Noodles is now strong and healthy after six months of good care. He has issues with biting things (not people). You usually think of cats scratching, but not him. Noodles methodically  punctures. What you were looking at was yet another ball point pen that literally bit the dust!

When we have children come into our homes, and they come from trauma and neglect, they will have issues. But just like with Noodles, good care and love can go a long way in restoring them to health. Be patient and kind and help them to heal.  🙂 Nealie



Feb 142015

Okay, the weather is beautiful -and frightening, again! I remember something that happened during a huge blizzard almost twenty years ago. Bruce more snowand I were looking for a home, and Sunday afternoons were open-house days when we would go and check out places. There was a house we wanted to see that particular Sunday, and we were excited about it!

The only problem was that a blizzard was raging, and temperatures were plunging. It was such a white-out, that we could hardly see to drive my Jeep down the deepening snow in the streets. Snow was falling so fast and heavy that a person was covered with snow before they walked fifty feet!

We could barely see the brick house through the white, and the “for sale” sign was almost buried in it. We parked on the street and trecked up the drive to a side door by the driveway. Bruce and I opened the door and went in, laughing and shaking snow from our shoulders and hats. We stomped our boots over and over on the rug by the door, and pulled off our coats.

Then we looked around the long and large kitchen that we had walked into, and saw a family of three, sitting at their dinner table, gaping at us! Evidently, the open-house had been cancelled because of the weather. Oops.

That’s how it is when you go into parenting (or foster and adoptive parenting). You laugh and try to see what’s up ahead, and it’s an adventure! Then you realize that what you have walked into is different than you expected.

That’s not all bad, though! In our case, we bought that lovely house, and lived there for ten years. And we have been enriched in many ways from fostering children -most of all, Lilly. So keep shaking off the blizzard that you may find yourself in, look for something to be thankful for, and believe in a big God! Happy Valentine’s Day! -Nealie



Feb 092015

This is an excerpt taken from Chasing Lilly. Even now, I think about it often:

“In our classes Tana, (our trainer), had tried to help us understand with a very helpful illustration. She asked everyone in the room to close their eyes and picture an empty swimming pool.

I obeyed.

She said, “Now, take a bucket of dirt and dump it on the dry bottom of the pool. That dirt is “the bad” in a neglected or abused child’s life. Next, add buckets of water over and over. With each addition of good (or water), the bad (dirt) is diluted. Your job as foster parents is to dilute the dirt with so much love and caring, that the children can eventually begin to live empowered lives with self-worth and healing. Yes, the dirt has still happened, but let the healing water help it not to matter so much.”

I would think about that example many times over the years. There would be days I felt as if I myself had added to the dirt in Lilly’s life, because of my own impatience and anger at times with her behavior. But most days we were able to add at least a cupful of wonderful diluting water, and those have been some of the most meaningful days of my life.”