Archive for the ‘siblings’ Category

Hidden Adoption Story

Here is a great story shown recently on 20/20 about a famous US Olympic gymnast who learns her parents had a secret…they let her younger sister be adopted by another family. It is a powerful story of how ‘nature’ can be as powerful as ‘nurture’. It also shows that being adopted can be the hope a child needs.

This is a great story of hope….

Deborah Mumm

In the Dark–for 4 Days!

Hello fellow readers.
It has been a few crazy weeks but felt I better write about the 4 days we had without electricity. Early on a Monday morning this July a quick storm blew through our area. The winds picked up so fast and the sky got so dark that I ran to Alex’s bedroom and woke him with the order, “Let’s get to the basement fast!” He picked up the cat as we headed to the basement. Soon, the lights flickered and then went out. The storm disappeared and we were fortunate that no damage to our home or property was done. But trees in the area were everywhere…many of them snapped in half.
We kept the house closed up to retain the cool air but after the first day, it got too warm to keep it closed. Kellen pulled out some game boards and he and Alex and I played the Game of Life.
As time went on, I got some coolers with ice and sent a lot of our food to my son, Travis. Kellen went over there as well…since they had air conditioning. So, I didn’t feel so bad about sending our food there, since I know that Kellen would eat a lot of it.
We slept in the basement each night but by the 4th day it was beginning to smell like a basement, and was dark and musty. I was getting very tired of having no food to cook, no phones, no lights, no fans, and worse of all…no internet.
The good news…I cleaned out both our refrigerators. They look great…except empty.
Thursday afternoon our power came on. The generators around the neighborhood were shut off. (Those were pretty noisy as we listened to them with our windows open.)
Neighbors did come out and chatted with each other…and that was nice!
I did realize how reliant I am on electricity. I really missed it. I sure hope we don’t have that happen again.
Have a great day….

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach
Everything for Adoption

Coming Home!

This past week 2 daughters came home…to their ‘forever families’.

Tania with Alex

One was my teenage daughter…who was adopted into our family almost 7 years ago! She obviously found her forever family with us. However, last year she started to think she didn’t need a family. She wanted to do whatever she wanted, come home whenever, and never follow any of our rules. We took control with the situation by sending her to a Wilderness Camp and then a therapeutic boarding school, where she discovered she wants and needs a family…more than ever! She is working hard to learn coping skills and life skills so she can make good choices when she comes back home.
She came home for a long weekend this past week. She had written a long list of all the things she would accomplish while here. Things like—spending quality time with family, saying good night before heading to bed, coming home on time when with friends. She did them all…and was a joy to have around—the entire weekend! She was very proud of herself, and we love her for that!

Bringing Home my Sister

Our friends across town just brought home their new daughter from China recently. She is 5 and beautiful. Her older brother, by just a few months, was adopted from Russia. They are so cute together. I know they are going through a lot of changes in that house as they get used to another little person living there…one that doesn’t speak English and just came from an orphanage. So, I know there will be ‘melt-downs’…as she adjusts to a Whole New World. There will be melt downs by her brother, who adjusts to sharing his home and parents with a new sister…one that touches and plays with his stuff! I wish them the best of luck. I remember the chaos of the first 6 months adjusting. But it is all worth it.

Sometimes we just have to remember what we are working for. Helping adopted kids is not easy. They do not run to you and thank you for adopting them and changing their world. They have melt downs, they cry, they complain…and sometimes they break your heart. But they are your children, and you love them and care for them. They hug you and love you. Hopefully, when they are adults they will truly understand all that you did for them…and will appreciate it more fully. Until then, hang on for the ride of your life!

2 Daughters…coming home to the family that loves and wants them!

Deborah Mumm

The BodyGuard

As you must know from my previous posts, we had to send our 16 year old off to a Wilderness Therapy Camp. Because of the horror she experienced in Russia as a little girl, she needed the intense therapy of the wilderness to find herself and regain some self esteem again.
In the car the other day, Alex asked when Tania would come home. I commented she had to learn how to make safe choices and learn how to belong to a family before she’d be able to come home. His eyes lit up when he came up with this idea. He suggested that we hire Lance Armstrong and have him come here to protect Tania…like a bodyguard.
I told him that was a great idea, except that Tania needs to learn to make her own choices now. She is almost 17 and needs to learn that her choices have consequences. Lance is pretty busy these days and probably doesn’t have time to be someone’s bodyguard. Once Tania can make safe choices and can think for herself and not do whatever her friends suggest, then she will be ready to come home.
He seemed satisfied with that comment. However, I do feel bad that he misses his sister. I wish things were different so she could be here with us. I saw all the pictures of her classmates all dressed up for Homecoming this weekend and wish she was one of them. Hopefully, we’ll have our day for that. We need to see her get stronger first…able to face the world and peers with confidence…because we can’t live our lives with a bodyguard.

Deborah Mumm
Everything for Adoption

Our Family has Grown!

Brandon & Pam get married


Well, most parents pray for this day…the day your child finds someone they want to live the rest of their lives with. My oldest, Brandon, discovered his true love at Ripon College, where they both attended. Story has it that he saw Pam across the campus and wrote the note, ‘Want to go out for coffee?’ on a frisbee and threw it to her. She picked it up and threw it back to him. He tried again…with the same result…her throwing the frisbee without looking at it. Finally he threw it and ran up to her saying he was late to class and for her to keep the frisbee. She finally saw the note on it, met him for coffee and the rest is history.
They are now on their honeymoon!
The wedding was a beautiful hot day in Aug. My youngest, Alex, was the ring bearer but earlier had handed out fans to the crowd that gathered at the outside wedding. The flower girl, Pam’s 3 yr. old niece had a melt down in the aisle as the flower petals did not fall to the ground as she wanted but flew away in the wind. Brandon came down the aisle and tried to save her, but she wanted no part of him so her Grandma had to come and whisk her away so the bride could come down the aisle.
Pam looked beautiful and composed…even though a few minutes ago had a melt down of emotion thinking of what was happening. Brandon never stopped smiling…throughout the ceremony and throughout the rest of the reception.
Each of our kids was in this wedding–Travis and his fiance, Katie, Kellen, Tatiana and Alex. They all looked wonderful up there!
So, as his Mom, it was one of those happiest moments you have as a Mom. Seeing your child truly happy and having the time of his life…and knowing he made a great choice. I couldn’t have picked out a nicer girl for him. She will love him unconditionally and will be his best friend for the rest of his life!
I loved dancing my dance with my son at the reception to the new country song, ‘Crazy’. I stayed pretty composed throughout and that was a major feat! So, now it’s onto Wedding #2 which is in mid-September…not much time to think about it. I will let you know what happens then.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

My Mommy Past!

My Mommy Past


Today I found a small notebook that I had used years ago to write down little things I was doing. I am feeling a bit guilty I didn’t do this more with all my kids. I think the more kids you have, the less time or energy you have to write things down! It sure was fun to read what my days were like when my two oldest sons (now both getting married soon) were just babies. They are 20 months apart so I was busy with babies for a few years there.

Here are a few postings that I thought might be fun to share:

Brandon, 3, announced loudly at church when it was getting close to the end, “All done, Daddy. Go car!” Later in the day, Dennis finished putting together a new swing set in the yard. Grandparents came up to visit. Dennis put on music while Brandon danced for everyone. Travis, 5 months, filled his pants (and infant seat) during dinner…which is always delightful. Brandon then surprised us all by actually pooping on the potty chair…again, during dinner. To top it all off, he insisted that Grandma & Grandpa come and see it. Everyone did and we all clapped and made a big deal out of it. Ah, potty training at it’s finest. (Why do these things seem to happen while we are eating though?)

Brandon is amazing at 3. I love watching his eyes tell it all. The other night he was yelling from his bed, “Mommy, turn off the teapot. Water burning!” Actually the whistling sound he heard was crickets outside. Now every night we have to talk about the crickets. One day I wrote that I loved catching Brandon trying to catch a sunbeam in the house. Cute…
So, you moms out there! Keep a little journal handy and jot things down from your days. They may seem like nothing right now, but once those little ones are not home anymore you will love reading about those ‘little things’. I used to keep a little note book on top of the refrigerator and write down the funny things the kids said. It seemed most conversations happen in the kitchen, don’t they?

As I prepare for 2 weddings in the next 2 months I do enjoy looking back to the days they were small and my life seemed so busy with ‘kid things’. Times change and I am still busy…but with different things now.

Have a great day!
Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach
Everything for Adoption

Moments to Remember with Alex




As you know, we adopted Alex and his sister in 2004. Alex was 5 at the time. He is now 11…hard to believe. He is about 2 years behind in all areas of his life. He is the size of a 9 year old and is just finishing the 3rd grade curriculum. He will be going to a school in the fall that does not worry about what grade level a child is in, as long as he is learning. And he is making great progress. He is proud of himself and we are proud of him.

Alex still has some difficulty finding the right words to express himself. (I do too sometimes, so I don’t really worry about it.) We are used to it but sometimes it is kind of funny to figure out what he is thinking. The other night…after 10 pm…(these late summer nights are killing me!)…he was fumbling around in the kitchen looking for ‘little black rolls with holes’. I had no idea what he was looking for. Soon I saw him with a bowl full of little chocolate donuts watching TV. Needless to say, he got a couple but I put the rest back that night.

Last week Dennis & I took Alex to Six Flags Great America…which is only a mile from our home. We have a season pass so we can go for just a few hours and then go home. It isn’t as exhausting that way. Alex has been telling us for the past year that this is the year he will try going on roller coasters. He has a lot of friends who love the roller coasters and they won’t ask Alex to come with them to Great America because he won’t ride them. Needless to say, peer pressure had Alex thinking he better try riding these if he wanted to go to the park with friends.

As we got on the Whizzer, which is your basic roller coaster…fast with dips but no loops….he sat down in front of me. As we slowly crept up the first hill I was busy admiring the surroundings, the moon, the water rides and telling Alex to look at it all. Suddenly he blurted out, “Mom! Focus!” I could see he was hanging on for dear life and that scenery was not what he was interested in at the moment. It was pretty funny. He actually liked the 3 coasters we went on that night and was happy to brag to his friends of his accomplishment. Will he go again? I am not counting on it, but he might.

Kellen, our Univ. of MO college son, arrived home for a week the other day. I had taken Alex to the grocery store in the morning and was talking in the car on the way home about what he might like to do in the afternoon. He informed me that he and Kellen needed some ‘Boy Time’ and would probably be going to a movie. I asked him about what I could do and he told me that I had to stay home with the cat. Wow…fun! This is what I have been living for, right? Kellen obliged him and took him to the new Toy Story movie. Alex was thrilled to have that time with him.

Just a little while ago, Dennis, Kellen and Alex headed to a Car Show in Volo. Alex quickly said he didn’t want to go, but when I said that Kellen really wanted him to come along, he relented. I know he’ll have fun. He is just concerned he’ll miss some major social event with his friends in the neighborhood. Later, we’ll head to town to watch the fireworks from the park. 4th of July is always a nice weekend. It is hard to believe that we were landing in Russia on the 4th of July 6 years ago. No one celebrates that holiday there….hmmm….we missed it. But we came home with 2 special kids, so it was worth it.

Deborah Mumm
Everything for Adoption