Posts Tagged ‘adoption’

Embarrassing Parenting Moments


I am a mom of 5 kids.  All have very distinct personalities. I love them each for who they are. But as a mom, there have been times I have wanted to dig a big hole and crawl in it when my child has said or done embarrassing things.  The good news is that we are not alone in this department, but when these moments occur we tend to not be thinking of that.

Here are just a few of the things my kids have done that I laugh about now, but was probably stammering and red-faced at the moment.

My oldest son was always very serious and liked things to be correct in his mind.  One day at the local grocery store we saw a very large woman bending over in the Ice Cream freezer.  We were not getting the best view of this woman.  She was very large. My son, about 4, shouts to me in what seemed to be his loudest voice, “Mommy, that lady sure doesn’t need any more ice cream, does she?”  I tried to move quickly past the woman and act like I didn’t hear him.  However, he wanted an answer so proceeded to say it again…even louder…with a “I’m right, Mommy.  Right? She shouldn’t eat more ice cream.”  The lady then looked right at us and glared.  It was horrible.

Another time was at a boys baseball game.  It was very hot out and a big guy strolled by us with no shirt on…and was a very hairy guy. My son then exclaimed, “Look, a hairy monkey!”

I could go on and on.  I am hoping to hear some great stories from other parents on embarrassing moments they have had with their kids.

Parenting is fun….just keep saying this!

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach– Everything for Adoption




Parenting a Teen that Doesn’t Live at Home


Our 19 year old daughter, adopted from Russia at almost 11, has not lived under our roof for about 8 months now.  We have done all that could to help her with her abusive past in Russia.  We have done years of therapy with a dozen therapists, wilderness therapy for 8 weeks, and residential therapy school for a year.  This has cost us lots of time, energy and of course, money.  But we’d do it all again to try to help her.  (It amazes me when people ask if we regret spending all this money on her.)  The therapy is there and sometimes we see glimpses of it.  She will use it when she is ready.

Last May, we made a family contract with simple home rules for her to follow and we would help her graduate high school and then get her into a cosmetology school. One rule was that she had to come home on school nights. (I know, we are tough…ha!) She broke the rule and had to leave.  She chose to go live with her boyfriend and his family.  She has been there ever since. 

We have told her that we still help her with future schooling if she can get a job and her GED.  Neither has been accomplished.  Sleeping until late afternoon each day might play a role in this somewhat.  We do get along better now that she isn’t home with us.  I have a hard time not doing the ‘lecturing’ about getting a job and an education.  I try not to.  She knows she needs to do these things to go to cosmetology school.

I am still her mom and love her.  I wish she was making better choices…but am glad that many really bad choices she was making a year ago are not being done much any more…at least to my knowledge.  I don’t get panicky phone calls in the middle of the night any more, which is a big relief.

It is hard not to think like a mom and worry about your kids though. My older 3 boys have all left home and gotten jobs after college.  I still have my 13 yr. old son who has some learning difficulties but is a great kid.  He seems to want to do the right things, most of the time. He takes his punishments willingly when he gets in trouble and seems to learn from his mistakes.

I pray that our daughter finds herself and finds the motivation she needs to do the things a girl her age should be responsible for.  It is hard to say NO to her when she wants new expensive clothes or boots.  We want what is good for her but she has chosen to live away from us and needs to learn how to fend for herself now.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption

Tough Love


It has been almost 3 weeks since our teenage daughter was asked to move out of our home because she could not follow simple home rules that we need in place to live as a family.  There have been moments she has called and asked for help and I have offered advice but will no longer drop everything and run out to get her.  She didn’t like this at first, but seems to have figured out that she is living independently (at least from us) and has to figure things out on her own.  We haven’t heard or seen her very much but I get the feeling she is beginning to feel the urgency of how she needs a job to begin paying for all the things she needs.

I hope so!

Our home has been more peaceful with less stress, especially in the evenings when we were used to the phone ringing at all hours from her. We can maintain a normal family existence with our sons this summer..going to ball games, the pool, having sleep overs with their friends, etc.

Am I sorry this had to happen?  Of course.  It was not our choice but we had to put some rules in place to save our family from falling apart because of the stress she was adding when she lived here.  She had the choice to cooperate with our simple rules and we’d help her get to independent living if she cooperated.  She chose not to. 

I am sure this is not the end of the story.  We are still concerned with her well-being and will help her once we see she is trying to move on the right path again. So, in the mean time, we will continue to pray for her to make good choices this summer. Tough Love practices are not easy, that is for sure.

I have had a lot of well meaning people tell me that we are doing the right thing, and a few that have told me how awful I am for posting this here.  I have given it a lot of thought and while I don’t like exposing our life (and our daughter’s) to the world, I have found in most instances by sharing our story I have helped others deal with similar pressures in their lives.

I have faith that our daughter will some day come to her senses and will start using all that therapy we have supplied her with all these years.  In the meantime, we will be strong….for her…and for the rest of our family.

Have a wonderful summer!

Deborah Mumm

Everything for Adoption

The Darker Side of Adoption


If you read this blog, you know I love my kids…all of them. You know I am a huge believer in Adoption and finding families for kids who need families. I love reading the happy stories of adoptive families who treasure their adopted children.  I watch the YouTube videos of kids being adopted, internationally and domestically and I smile! Our video can be found there.  And, while it is a happy/feel good video, it does not show the whole story of the years after the adoption date.  Our Adoption Video

For years we took our kids to therapy, special school programs and other services to get them help for the issues they came to us with from Russia orphanages or dysfunctional Russian families. Our son has some distinct learning issues but is caring, funny and enthusiastic about life. His issues I can deal with.  This year I am homeschooling him with the hope he can attend the local middle school next fall in a special ed program for kids with learning issues like his. He still sees a therapist to help him with social behavior issues and coping skills…but for the most part is a normal active kid for his age.

Our teenage daughter, coming here at almost 11, is another issue.  She has caused us a lot of heart-aches. The hopes and dreams for her may never be fulfilled.  She has had more therapy than most people would ever give their children.  While this has helped, she may never care for us as her ‘family’. She is more concerned for her friends and the next party or social event…never concerned about the future. We have finally just accepted her as she is and we realize she may never need us for anything more than getting her needs fulfilled from us. It is very disappointing and we are heartbroken that our dream for a daughter to love and love us is probably not going to happen for us.  We still love her, but I almost feel guilty that we can’t wait for her to graduate high school and move out on her own.  I never felt that way with my three older sons.  I actually cried when they went off to college and moved out.  I missed them so much…and still do.  But our lives will be less stressful and happier once this child moves on.

I never wanted to admit this…or write this.  I know there are other adoptive parents out there who are also saying,”Why did we do this?”  I know you take a risk with a biological child too, but an adopted child comes with a lot of unknown factors and some are just not correctable.  I do think the risks are higher the older the child at adoption. 

I am guessing I’ll get some comments and feedback from this post, but I needed to put it out there.  Am I glad we adopted?  Yes.  However, we went for Alex and probably should have not felt the need to bring home his older sister.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  Would I go back and change it? Probably not.  We love her too, but it has been an extremely rough path for us and we keep praying we can all stay strong until she is on her own.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption



You Know You’re an Adoptive Parent when….

Adoptive Parent
I see that I posted this in 2008—but felt it needed to be seen again.

I copied this off someones blog when we first started our process and have just now gone back and re-read it. Every one is completely true of us!

You know you’re an adoptive parent (or should be) if:

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.

2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.

3. You can’t watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.

5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.

6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child’s “real” parents.

7. You have ever been “pregnant” with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.(2 years!)

8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.

9. You have ever taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.

10. You believe God’s heart is for adoption.

11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.

12. You know what the word “Dossier” means, and you can actually pronounce it!

13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Author Unknown

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach
Everything for Adoption

How do you do a Homestudy?


There are stacks of paperwork you’ll have to complete before you can officially adopt a child. The major work is in the Home Study. This does not have to be a difficult thing to do…as a matter of fact, I rather enjoyed doing the Home Study when we adopted.

Here is an article I wrote on How to Do a HomeStudy —

I hope this makes you feel better about it!

Have a great day!

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Moving Your Child to a Safe Place


We have made our decisions…and as a parent I can say that sometimes decisions for your child’s safety and well-being are not always easy ones.

Our teenage daughter, who was adopted at age 11 from Russia, with a history of severe child abuse and neglect, began to make bad choices this past year. She began to hang out with troubled kids and was making some bad choices. We worried late at night when she didn’t come home. She decided to know longer listen to us or follow our rules.
We are not rich people by any means. As a matter of fact, since our double adoption six years ago we struggle to get ourselves out of the debt these adoptions cost us. Mind you, we love these two kids tremendously and don’t regret adopting them. They are valuable members of our family. It was appalling to find that help for our troubled teen would have to come with a huge price tag. We are working to find ways to help us pay for all the treatments we are using for her, and have a lot of hope that we will get some help. Sometimes it takes a determined parent to make the system work for their child.

Our daughter is finishing her 8th week at Open Sky Wilderness in CO this week. She has lived without any simple luxuries like running water, bathrooms, a bed, a warm house and more. She has lived in a tent for 2 months…and completed a 24 hour solo on the mountains! We have been told that if there were awards at the graduation she would be getting Most Improved. That is amazing for us to hear.

However, is she ready to come home? No. She has learned to cope in the wild, but still lacks coping skills with the pressures of friends, school and day to day living at home. So, in other words, she is essentially safer in the wild than at home.

This weekend we will travel to CO for Parent Therapy sessions and then to meet our daughter…who we haven’t spoken to, other than weekly letters, in 8 weeks. We will have some intense sessions with her for 2 days, live on the mountain with her, and then experience her graduation ceremony. After that we will take her back to a hotel where she can have a much needed shower. We hope to go out for a nice hot meal and then spend the evening together as a family. The next day my husband and I will be taking her to a therapeutic boarding school…7 hours from our home.

At this small cozy home-like setting she will take classes, learn to cope in a home and will start family therapy with us. Our daughter cannot go to the big institutions for troubled kids. Those places are very dorm-like with large lunch halls. This would be like sending her to another orphanage….like so many times before in Russia. So, the small, nurturing environment is where she will thrive.

This does not come without a huge price tag. We will continue to work out ways to pay for all this so we can get our daughter back…so she can learn to accept her past and learn how to move ahead. She is an extremely bright and creative girl with tons of potential. We know it and know we are doing the right thing to help her to find that girl and those talents.
I thank all my readers for their positive comments and support as we go through this tough time.

As I briefly watched Marie Osmond this morning on the Oprah Show….confiding her thoughts about her 18 yr. old son’s suicide this year, I couldn’t help but think that this possibly could have been me going through this someday. Our daughter was depressed and confused…not knowing who her real friends were. We knew we had to take immediate action with her before she made really bad choices that would ruin her life. Having a trouble teen has no boundaries. Well know people like the Osmonds have lived with it…and ordinary people like us have too.

To see more about the Open Sky program—which I HIGHLY recommend—- Open Sky


Deborah Mumm
Everything for Adoption