issue no. 11 | Summer 2020
an alumni publication of Lifeline Childrenâ€™s Services
Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel & Mary Hartzell
Building Bridges of Hope by Sue Badeau & Chelsea Badeau
Safe House by Joshua Straub
In this book, psychologist Dan Siegel and child development specialist Mary Hartzell explain how our traits as parents evolve from our own childhood experiences. It details how parents can better relate to their children by understanding the source of their own emotional reactions. Exercises at the end of each chapter help the reader gain further personal insight and self-awareness.
This is an adult coloring book for parents caring for children who have experienced trauma. The text provides effective strategies, tips, and tools for helping children journey from pain, confusion, and stress, to the hope and well-being associated with healing.
This book helps parents focus on providing a place of emotional safety for their children. Scientifically linked to kids who live, love, and lead well, emotional safety can serve as a strong foundation from which moms and dads lead. The book helps parents win the war without getting overwhelmed in the daily battles; discipline in a way that builds relationship; cultivate responsible, self-regulating behavior in children; and feel more confident and peaceful as a parent.
Running Scared by Edward T. Welch
Healing the Wounded Heart by Dan B. Allender
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
A book that helps those in the grips of fear, something all of us have experienced at one time or another.
An updated version of the 1989 book, â€œHealing the Wounded Heartâ€? helps men and women come to terms with sexual abuse from their past.
This book vibrantly illustrates the wide range of moods children experience. Parr pays special attention to the ever-changing, sometimes nonsensical, emotions we all feel.
A Letter from Herbie PRESIDENT & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
We are thrilled to finally see summer arrive and be able to provide you with this issue of Journey magazine in your mailbox. We have weathered the spring — this one which has been particularly harsh, potentially lonely, and most assuredly filled with anxiety for all of us in different ways. We are not promised tomorrow and never know what it may hold. Life is in the hands of our great God, and we cannot control who will live or who will pass from this earth through our silence or social distancing. There is no guarantee that we won’t lose our jobs, or that our car won’t break down, or that our house won’t sustain damage from severe weather. We can’t control the spread of any virus which prematurely takes the lives of our immunosuppressed loved ones or wrecks the global economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic thus far, I have watched as the vulnerable in the United States and around the world have become more vulnerable. The stories have gripped me to the reality of all the aspects of the pandemic, but ultimately led me to my knees acknowledging that the greatest way to help was to cede control to the Lord who never sleeps or slumbers. Yet, in all of the harrowing things we faced this spring, we are continually and presently reminded that our great God is the One who knows the future and exactly what tomorrow will bring. In his Gospel account, Matthew assures our hearts and souls of the truth that our heavenly Father knows exactly what we need. In Chapter 6, verses 33-34, Jesus says, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Throughout this season, as I have personally sought God’s Word for myself, my family, and our staff, I have been reminded of the truth that the Word of God is living and active. Words divinely inspired and recorded 2,000 years ago relevantly soothe our souls today as if written for a people sheltered in place during a raging virus. Through it all, our great God is sovereign and we are reminded that His glorious gospel is the cure our world so desperately needs. In this issue of Journey, a publication specially crafted for our alumni families, we’ll look at the topic of counseling and therapy. You’ll find articles highlighting the various forms and modalities of counseling; a Summer 2020
feature on our (un)adopted® partners and how they use counseling principles in their ministry to vulnerable children; guides and tips for how to find a qualified therapist in your area; and reminders for why and how counseling can be beneficial for every family, in every season of life. During the COVID-19 social distancing order, our staff has worked from home for many weeks. Through the change in office scenery, we maintained our commitment to expectant mothers, vulnerable children, and adoptive and foster families. We also pivoted the way we provided counseling services and utilized web-based video platforms to continue to minister to families and individuals in need of therapy. Our licensed and trained counselors completed countless sessions with families through this season and we’re thankful to have had the opportunity to provide this service even from afar. The Lord again was so abundantly gracious to supply us with the people and technological resources to change the structure of ministry and adjust to the increasing needs of our families and vulnerable clients. During this time, our precious birth mother counselors worked overtime while entering into hospitals in order to be present and personal with these precious women. Please continue to pray with us as we serve the most vulnerable children, women, and families. Unfortunately, this virus and accompanying economic slowdown has affected them the most severely and the need is far greater than when we began this new year. We hope this issue brings you encouragement and insight as you walk through another season of life at home, maybe with children that are struggling with behavior issues or attachment. And we pray it provides you with tips to move forward to find a therapist that fits your situation. As you prepare yourself and your family for tomorrow, don’t forget to first turn to the One who holds tomorrow, and every day after that, in His hands. In Him,
Herbert M. Newell IV President/Executive Director
Journey L I F E L I N E C H I L D R E N â€™ S S E RV I C E S 100 Missionary Ridge Birmingham, Alabama 35242 Phone: 205.967.0811 Website: lifelinechild.org
E D I TO R I A L MEGAN SIMS Contributing Editor JENNY RIDDLE Contributing Editor
NEISHA ROBER TS Editor
SHANE ETHEREDGE Art Director MEMORY SMITH Layout & Design
C O N T R I B U TO R S Heath Beckham, Lynn Beckett, Neisha Roberts, Jenny Riddle, Laura Armstrong
W H AT I S J O U R N E Y ? Journey is an alumni publication dedicated to our families that have been through the adoption or foster care process. This is a way to stay in touch with Lifelineâ€™s ministry, to celebrate along with other families through milestones and stories, and to encourage your walk with Christ and the well-being of your family in the days ahead!
W H AT WO U L D YO U L I K E TO S E E I N YO U R N E X T I S S U E ? We love hearing from you! Send us what you would love to read about in the next issue of Journey to firstname.lastname@example.org.
M E E T O U R C OV E R FA M I LY Heath and Jamey Beckham live in Birmingham, AL. Their two boys joined their home biologically and their daughter through adoption from Shanghai, China.
COUNSELING: NOT SHAMEFUL - HOPEFUL
JOURNEY THROUGH THERAPL AYÂ®
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS FIND WAYS TO COUNSEL
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT FIT
WHAT TO DO THIS SUMMER
Welcome HOLTZ FAMILY Costa Rica
PYNE FAMILY Hong Kong
RHOTON FAMILY Honduras
LEE FAMILY Colombia
COOPER FAMILY Haiti
ALLEN FAMILY Bulgaria
HENDERSON FAMILY Hungary -4-
Home SCHMUCKER FAMILY Costa Rica
BURLESON FAMILY Texas
HART FAMILY Hungary
SMOLIK FAMILY India
MCLAGEN FAMILY Haiti
CARRETE FAMILY Hungary
JOHNSON FAMILY Colombia -5-
Not Shameful-Hopeful by Neisha Roberts
Big or small, long-running or newly discovered, everyone faces challenges that could benefit from some time in counseling. But just as numerous as the challenges themselves are the reasons why counseling is often avoided: “I don’t have time.” “My child is just fine.” “I don’t want my friends to worry about me.” “My parents don’t think it’s necessary.” “I don’t like sharing my feelings with strangers.” “We can’t afford it.” “I’m ashamed to admit that I need help.” These are all genuine responses children and adults give in order to evade counseling. At the same time, these reasons reflect various stigmas associated with needing therapy. Stigmas definitely do exist and it’s important to acknowledge them, according to Ashley Yeager, one of Lifeline Children’s Services’ family therapists. But it’s important to remember that counseling is not a shameful option; it’s a hopeful option. “People that come to counseling are not messed up and they are not bad people,” Ashley shared. “Counseling is there to help people better themselves and to find the ways in which to do that. It can be for big or little things. Everybody can use counseling to help them think through the things they’re dealing with.” People might seek counseling for various reasons — financial problems, health issues, changing jobs, loss of a loved one. At Lifeline, we know from experience that families that have adopted domestically or internationally, or care for children through foster care, face unique challenges and often need help. The process of fostering or adoption is always hard, plain and simple. It can create completely unexpected challenges — within a marriage, between siblings, or in the family as a whole. That’s not because a parent or family member has done anything wrong or “failed in their role,” according to Angela Mains, licensed professional counselor and Lifeline’s Counseling Services Program Director. Sometimes parents can feel like they are “not a good enough Christian” or that they “don’t trust God enough” if they choose to seek counseling. The truth is, “kids are coming into families with suitcases and suitcases of challenges that have developed a long time before entering into their forever home,” Angela shared. Parents may be doing everything Summer 2020
SOME COMMON FEELINGS ADOPTIVE OR FOSTER PARENTS HAVE: Mom or dad doesn’t feel attached to their child and feel shame because of it. Mom or dad feels like someone else would have been a better fit for their child. The children act differently than anticipated.
right that they know how to do, but this special family dynamic is not necessarily instinctual — it’s most likely not the way they were parented themselves, she said.
“Parents can often feel so isolated or like they are the only ones struggling. But no, they are not alone. Those feelings are hard … and it’s good to acknowledge it.” It can be intimidating to seek counseling, for reasons listed earlier. Families courageous enough to pursue help will need patience to dive into the very painful areas, while allowing God to heal those that mom or dad or child may not want to expose. At Lifeline, the Counseling & Education team uses various modalities of therapy to help children and adults move together toward healing because one tool doesn’t always work for every family. Therapies include: TrustBased Relational Intervention® (TBRI®), Theraplay®, Marshak Interaction Method, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), Play Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), TraumaFocused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Safe and Sound Protocol. The team also offers in-home or in-office intensive therapy services for families that may need more than a one-hour-per-week meeting. Another common roadblock families face is when the child doesn’t want to go to therapy. Ashley encouraged, “It’s totally normal for a teen or older child to not want
to come and speak to someone about hard things. We help normalize that and let them know we understand. We welcome that feeling or thought. We know they wish things were different. We try to utilize things like play therapy to help build a relationship with a child first and help them feel safe. We want them to know that counseling can actually be fun.” In the middle of the trials and heartache, the Counseling & Education team most want families to know that counseling is just one more tool in the toolbox for holistic health. “We are on your side and we empathize with the things you’re going through,” Ashley shared. One alumni mom said of Lifeline counseling, “Knowing there are people on your side who are not judging you but giving grace and helping you make it to the other side … it feels like a hope hug.” If you’re facing challenges today, no matter how seemingly minor or significant, Angela suggests considering how you’ve already addressed the issue and if those steps have been effective. “If you’re repeatedly trying those steps and they are not working for you, it may be good to seek help. Call us so you can hear an outside perspective that may help you process what you’re going through. Remember, as believers, we are not meant to walk through trials alone.” Contact the Counseling & Education team by visiting lifelinechild.org/lifeline-counseling or calling (205)-967-0811.
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RUNFORONE5K.ORG Summer 2020
U N L I K E LY P L A C E S
I n t e r n a t i o n a l Pa r t n e r s F i n d Wa y s t o C o u n s e l Stor y by Neisha Roberts In a general sense, counseling looks like someone meeting with a licensed professional in an office setting for therapy. But what about in the far-reaching parts of the world where that’s just not realistic? It’s a question Lifeline Children’s Services’ (un)adopted® team mulled over for years. For adoptive and foster parents, Lifeline seeks to inform and build “therapeutic parents” — enabling moms and dads to learn the concepts of counseling that will help bring about healing in a child, explained Whitney White, Lifeline’s International Education Counselor based in Georgia. For (un)adopted, Lifeline’s international strategic orphan care ministry, one goal was to take this same model to international partners in places like Uganda, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, India, and Guatemala. “It’s not a far stretch, then, to implement these same principles to help equip and train ‘therapeutic caregivers’ — those who serve and care for countless children in homes and ministries around the world,” explained Whitney, who co-wrote Lifeline’s Caregiver Education (CE) curriculum with social worker, Allison Fuqua. CE has been shared dozens of times to train caregivers directly impacting children who have no living relative or come from extremely vulnerable environments. The curriculum equips caregivers with the skills needed to produce an environment of healing for the children in their care. The 10 modules, which include lessons on attachment, trauma, self-awareness, and making good decisions, help “get below the surface with children and help them know who they are individually and how they interact with the world around them.” Since its launch, CE has been shared in 12+ countries including the DR and Guatemala, to help support the therapeutic practices these (un)adopted partners have already set in place. For example, at La Baliza, a Niños de la Luz boys’ home in the DR, counseling often looks like “casual conversations while doing our daily activities with the kids,” explained Jon Haslett, who founded Niños in 1994. “We’ve found that being heard by someone who truly cares for them seems to do a lot of healing in and of itself. … Using a strengths/needs therapy concept has helped our staff handle difficult moments with the kids with compassion and more of a positive approach.” Jon and his team also use forms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but with a spiritual emphasis, he shared, teaching the children to look to Scripture and to Christ for truth and peace. Although most of the counseling that takes place at La Baliza is more organic in nature, the staff do have Summer 2020
deliberate sessions with the boys, either as a group or individually, to counsel them on various matters. “We believe these times are vital for kids coming from difficult situations, mostly because they have been neglected, unheard and the majority have been completely rejected by loved ones and society,” Jon said. “These counseling methods help us bond with the kids and help them feel safe. … Something comes alive in them when they experience someone truly caring for them, and when they learn about a God that loves them unconditionally.” In Guatemala, at Village of Hope (VOH), the staff cares for children coming from sexual abuse and those who are HIV+. Four fulltime Christian psychologists work with the children, especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), by using Eye Movement
Village of Hope, Guatemala Summer 2020
Desensitization and Reprocessing, a treatment designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. The caregivers also utilize art therapy, play therapy, and horse therapy. Amy Block, who founded VOH with her husband several years ago, said, “We have found that different children find healing through different therapies. … We believe counseling helps the children by putting a name to their feelings and working through past trauma.” The children who stay at VOH often do not have a living relative, or if they do, the family members are sometimes the very people who have produced trauma. “We get the privilege of being in a child’s life and loving her where she is. We try to be an example of the Lord’s unconditional love and live out the gospel in front of them,
support them, and help point them toward the only One who will heal them fully — Jesus.” (un)adopted is honored to walk alongside partners like VOH and La Baliza, where the leaders are already making gospel-saturated efforts to help children heal. And through CE, Whitney shared, Lifeline is able to see even more caregivers “from any background, not just those with degrees and licensures in counseling,” be equipped and empowered to create safe and healing environments for children in their care. “It’s really the same intention of what we do in a counseling office, just on a much wider scale.” To learn more about (un)adopted and find ways you can join the story of ministering to children who will never see adoption, visit lifelinechild.org/unadopted.
La Baliza, Dominican Republic -9-
A L UMNI FAT H E R S H A R E S A B OU T FA M I LY ’ S
J OU R N E Y TH RO U G H T H E R A PLAY
Written by Heath Beckham & Compiled by Jenny Riddle
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he Counseling & Education team at Lifeline Children’s Services has the privilege of working with many amazing families. Because staff members are specifically trained in ministering to families and children with trauma backgrounds, they can offer a variety of counseling modalities that are particularly helpful for adoptive and foster care families. We talked with one of our alumni fathers who participated in counseling with Lifeline. His story is one of numerous examples of how God can bring healing through the use of trained counselors who are attuned to the way God has wired our brains and how He can redeem pain in our pasts. Heath and Jamey Beckham are parents to three children: John Henry, 16; Luke, 14; and Ellie, 8. After beginning the adoption process in 2012, the Beckhams brought Ellie home from Shanghai, China, on Christmas Day 2013. Heath shares about their transition into a family of five: Like all Lifeline adoptive families, we had done the pre-adoption training and felt like we had some idea of what to expect once we returned home. For the first few weeks to months, we felt we were in survival mode. We experienced the expected struggles of having a new toddler who didn’t know us or understand us and had never been part of a family before. The weeks turned into months, and those months were full of struggles that impacted every relationship in the family; nevertheless, we pushed on, praying things would get better for all of us. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that things weren’t getting better. Mine and Jamey’s relationship with our two biological children as well as with each other was strained. At that point, we knew we had to have some help. Being in the healthcare field, I think we both thought we could fix this problem ourselves, but we couldn’t. We needed help. We contacted Lifeline and asked about counseling. We utilized their counselors and scheduled time for TheraPlay®. The sessions involved Jamey, Ellie, and me meeting with the counselor. At first it was a little strange to be sitting on the floor and playing games in counseling, but eventually we all became more comfortable. We participated in these sessions for several months, learning new ways to interact with each other. Eventually we saw some improvement and a decrease in the frequency of really hard times at home. Our time in counseling taught us how to respond when the going was tough and how not to do more damage with the wrong actions, words, or responses that often come easily in challenging situations. Prior to our experience, I had always thought of counseling as sitting and talking about your thoughts/ feelings with a counselor. This was different; it was much more physically interactive. It helped us to learn how to communicate to a child that they are safe, secure, and loved. If I had to do it all over again, we would have gotten help sooner. It was not until every relationship in our household was affected that we sought help.
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EVERYDAY ITEMS & THERAPLAY Everyday objects like aluminum foil, bubbles, or crepe paper are used in a Theraplay session to encourage healthy touch, engagement, and structure. Lifeline’s trained counselors demonstrate how to implement these activities and, in turn, show a child and parent how to use the items at home to keep the learning process going.
Our responses to difficult times were often making the problems worse; clearly, some of the trauma to all parties involved could have been avoided or lessened if we had started the counseling process earlier. The hard part is knowing when you need help. My encouragement would be to ask if other relationships are being affected or if you are struggling in the relationship with your adopted child for any reason. If you are wondering, â€œShould we pursue counseling,â€? then you should call and be evaluated. You have nothing to lose and likely a good bit to gain. The irony that we have been asked to give our thoughts/experience about anything to do with parenting is not lost on me as we have done many things wrong and by no means have it all figured out. But, seeking help through counseling has been one of the best parenting decisions we have made. The Beckham family understood that seeking help did not mean defeat, inadequacy, or failure; instead, Heath and Jamey knew counseling could empower them to be tools of healing for their daughter as well as all of the relationships in their home. Counseling brought hope for healing and allowed their family to grow and nourish instead of inflicting and deepening wounds with one another. If your family may benefit from help through counseling, visit lifelinechild.org/counseling. Summer 2020
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MODALITIES OF THERAPY
TRUST-BASED RELATIONAL INTERVENTION® (TBRI®) Therapeutic model that is attachment-based and trauma-informed, designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. It is used in orphanages, courts, residential treatment facilities, group homes, foster and adoptive homes, churches, and schools. THERAPLAY® A dyadic child and family therapy developed more than 50 years ago that focuses on structure, engagement, nurture, and challenge within a parent-child relationship. MARSHAK INTERACTION METHOD Structured technique used to observe and assess the overall quality and nature of the relationship between caregiver and child. DYADIC DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOTHERAPY (DDP) Psychotherapeutic treatment method for families with children who have been adopted or fostered and have experienced neglect and abuse in their birth families and suffer from significant developmental trauma. PLAY THERAPY Structured, theoretically-based approach to therapy that builds on normal communicative and learning processes of children, using play to help children express their troubles. EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION & REPROCESSING (EMDR) Psychotherapy treatment designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. TRAUMA-FOCUSED COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (TF-CBT) Evidence-based treatment for children impacted by trauma, especially sensitive to the unique challenges of posttraumatic stress disorder and mood disorders resulting from abuse, violence, or grief. SAFE AND SOUND PROTOCOL Auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience.
N E W A R R I VA L S ! lifelinechild.org/store
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lif el i nechi l d . o rg / g i v in g d a y Summer 2020
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How to Find
THE RIGHT FIT by Neisha Roberts
VISIT LIFELINECHILD.ORG/COUNSELING FOR A LIST OF LINKS TO ASSIST YOU AS YOU SEARCH FOR A THERAPIST.
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ou’ve tried all the things you know to try with your new 8-year-old son to help him feel safe and welcome in your home. You’ve taken language classes to learn more than the basics. You’ve visited and revisited the training materials you were given in the adoption process. You’ve prayed, my, have you prayed. And yet, there are still seemingly insurmountable hurdles your family is facing. You confess your need for help. That’s a big step. A courageous step. So where do you go from here? Who is qualified to help your unique family dynamic? How can you afford counseling? What are your options? We’re glad you asked. Not every counselor is created equal. It takes a trained professional to understand the unique challenges a family built through adoption or foster care will face. Lifeline’s Counseling & Education team is extensively trained in areas related to trauma and attachment and we’re an approved provider for Alabama DHR in Jefferson, Etowah, and Shelby counties. We accept private pay and some health insurance plans. There are also team members located in Cary, North Carolina, and Athens, Georgia. Because our families are located across the country, we want to help equip you to also find counselors in your area. Not sure what kind of therapy your specific situation necessitates? Here are a few generic examples of adoptive and foster families that have sought counseling (names and specifics do not reflect any particular family). If these seem all too familiar to you, consider reaching out to one of Lifeline’s Counseling & Education team members today. Kate was adopted as an infant from another state and happily joined her forever family. As she grew and matured into a cute little pre-teen, she exhibited several sensory issues, having extreme difficulty with bright lights. As the family prepared to welcome another child into their family through adoption, they first sought counseling to help address the seemingly minor sensory issue related to traumatic experiences. Together, the counselor and parents discovered there was a much deeper trauma Kate was facing, even though she’d been adopted as a baby. A common phrase the Counseling & Education team uses is: “Adoption begins with loss,” reminding parents that no matter the age a child enters your home, they are bringing their own unique set of histories, traumas, and baggage. Several years later, Kate is still in counseling, alongside her parents, and is learning about her own identity as she enters into her teens.
Malcolm, born in another country, entered his forever family at the age of 12. He was just learning English so counseling, in the traditional sense, would have been very difficult to implement. Malcolm exhibited a different personality and preferences than mom and dad had ever anticipated, and it left them feeling rejected, no matter how hard they tried. Because language was a barrier, the counselors utilized Theraplay®, which doesn’t require language, but offers some repairing experiences to help build connection between parent and child. For Malcolm, this therapy helped repair earlier experiences that both he and his parents had missed out on by not being together from birth. It gave Malcolm experiences of care and safety that he desperately needed. Today, mom and dad are much more attuned with his needs. They understand that Malcolm’s responses are often out of fear, not because he doesn’t love or want them as his parents. Violence is a very common response for children coming out of trauma, and it tends to be directed toward moms, our counselors shared. For mom, Kristin, it felt like she just had to deal with the aggression and take it in order to help her child heal. She understood it was a fight, flight, or freeze response from her child and sometimes just taught herself to endure the punches, kicks, and screams. But over time, it became too much (emotionally and physically) for Kristin to accept and she began to react in fear. She felt she needed to endure, but unknowingly only perpetuated the cycle of fear, anger, and shame. Through counseling, Kristin was equipped to respond therapeutically to help quiet the situation. Counselors used a variety of therapeutic interventions to help calm the child’s state so she could learn to use her words, rather than her fists. The counselors spent a concentrated amount of time working primarily with Kristin. It’s a slow healing and growing process to move away from aggression, but Kristin and her daughter are making big strides. Taking that step to seek help can be empowering and bring healing for your entire family. Remember, counseling is just another tool in your toolbox. Contact us at: email@example.com or 205-967-0811 or visit lifelinechild.org/counseling.
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WH AT TO D O
Compiled by L ynn Beckett, Angela Mains and Neisha Roberts Pull out the water toys, the s’more sticks, and trampoline — it’s SUMMER! After a long, difficult spring, summer couldn’t be more anticipated. For families built through adoption and foster care, summer can be a fun adventure in bonding and attachment. Try these entertaining activities out together that help build trust, eye contact, and healthy touch. • You’ve Got Mail — Utilize a personalized mailbox to connect with your child throughout the week, allowing for expression in a non-threatening manner. Take a box and attach it to your child’s bedroom door (or anywhere that works for you). With construction paper, create a “flag” and add your child’s name or the word “mail” to the top. During the week, add a special note to the box and raise the flag. Your child can be encouraged to do the same in return. Once in a while you can drop in a “coupon” for something special, like “No chore day” or “You choose the movie night.” (from Kelli Wild) • Cotton Ball Hockey — Get down on the floor on your hands and knees with your children and blow cotton balls back and forth between you, trying to get the ball under each other’s arms. (Theraplay®) • Follow the Leader — Your family members can stand and form a line holding on to the waist of the person in front of them. The first in line chooses a particular dance move or action, and everyone copies. The leader moves to the back of the line and a new leader chooses a new action, and so forth. (Theraplay®) • Shaving Cream Game — Get out your aprons and let your child experiment with shaving cream. This is a great tactile experience. (“The Out-of-Sync Child” by Carol Stock Kranowitz) • Plastic Bag Kite — On a sunny day, get outside and bring a plastic grocery bag, string, colorful ribbon, scissors, and a stapler. Cut the string about three yards in length and attach one end of the string to one (or both) of the handles of the plastic bag. Cut the ribbon (one yard in length) and attach it as a streamer with the stapler. You now have a very inexpensive and fun kite on your hands. • Human Jungle Gym — Let your kids climb on you or pretend to be zoo animals that are swinging on dad’s tree branch arms. • Child Weight Lifting — Let your children be your weights for bench pressing while lying on a carpeted floor, or do bicep curls with your kids. Caution: Be careful not to hurt yourself in this process … or drop your “weights.” Summer 2020
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UMMER • Donut Dare — Since it’s summer, enjoy those yummy treats you may try to avoid in the normal day to day. Hold a donut on your finger and have your child see how many bites they can take before the donut falls off. Of course, if you want it to be a bit healthier, you could use a pineapple ring. • Marshmallow Fight — Each person gets a stack of marshmallows and tries to throw them at each other (using pillows as a shield). You can do the same with crumpled up paper. • Bubbles — Bubbles encourage laughter and eye contact. You can catch them, count them, or chase them around with your child. • Fort Building — Build a fort together (inside or outside) with pillows, blankets, or towels. This is a fun and easy game to do with older children and can easily be done even in a hotel room or at a relative’s house if you’re traveling. • Stand for Orphans® — Join us to take a socially distant stand this summer and find creative ways to make a difference in the lives of children around the world. Hop on social media and participate in the lemon challenge or showcase your talent. To learn more and for other fun ideas, follow @standfororphans. It’s good to also consider that children who have joined your family through adoption or foster care also need some routine throughout the summer months. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind in the middle of all the fun: • Try to maintain some form of routine or regular schedule for your days. • Consider the individual needs of each child in your home, adopted or biological. • Plan activities during the day that use large muscle groups such as swimming, biking, or swinging to promote balance and a sense of spatial orientation. • Intersperse rest time or calm activities so that a child is not overstimulated. • Stay hydrated and well fed — it will help keep meltdowns at bay. • Make frequent stops if on a long car ride to provide much needed deep muscle activity. • Over prepare your child for a new activity before the event. The Fourth of July can be overwhelming if a child does not know what to expect. These are just a few ideas to start the fun in your family’s summer. Summertime is a great opportunity to encourage play, and promote healing at the same time. Summer 2020
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Mark Harrelson (5 yo) came home in August 2019. He used to have a fear of water, but not anymore!
Anniston Marsh came home in August 2019. Here sheâ€™s enjoying her first Kona Ice. She is a social butterfly!
Judah Hamiter (2 yo) celebrated one year home on February 15.
Hallee Joy Napier recently turned 2. Her favorite things to do are dancing and walking her Chihuahua. - 18 -
N AV I G AT I N G T H E C O M P L E X I T I E S O F A B I RT H PA R E N T R E U N I O N At Lifeline Children’s Services, we believe in walking hand-in-hand with families through every part of their adoption journey. At times, this path may include an adoptee or a birth parent seeking to meet one another. When a Lifeline birth mother or domestic adoptee reaches out to us to inquire about such a reunion, we engage them and the adoptive parents with insight, support, and counseling. In each step of a domestic reunion journey, Lifeline provides necessary counseling that assists each person in recognizing and processing the various complex emotions and situations that occur. Laura Armstrong, Lifeline social worker and reunion coordinator, explains the important role that Lifeline’s reunion counseling plays: “We realize and respect that a search and reunion can be done alone without the support and counseling of the placing agency. However, we believe there is no reason for either the adoptive parent, birth parent, or adoptee to go through the search and reunion process alone. It is a journey that can be full of many complex feelings and emotions. As those emotions are experienced, we desire to be a safe place where people can navigate the unknown waters successfully.“ Our counselors see each member of the adoption triad with empathy, and we honor each person’s story. Counseling and support from Lifeline during the search and reunion has been proven to help adoptive and biological families in the following ways:
Help parents understand their child’s desire to connect to his or her biological family Assist parents in dealing with their own emotions about their child’s search and reunion
Help birth mothers and/or fathers to manage feelings of loss, fear, guilt, and anxiety that can be triggered because of the search and reunion Address concerns about how being reunified would impact what their life looks like today
• • •
Help adoptees cope with feelings about adoption, identity, and their relationships Help adoptees decide if a search and reunion is truly desired or if non-identifying information from the file is most satisfying at that time
Counseling will also identify any negative/unhealthy motivations for pursuing a search and reunion such as wanting to express anger or resentment; a feeling of brokenness that needs to be fixed; not being able to resolve a sense of loss; or being pushed by someone to proceed with a search. Searching and reunifying with a birth parent or child can be beautiful, but, no matter the outcome, the emotions and reality of the process are highly complex. Lifeline wants to walk with everyone involved so that each person is cared for, supported, and known by someone who understands. For more information on domestic reunification, call Lifeline at 205-967-0811 and ask for Laura Armstrong.
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MEET OUR COUNSELORS All of Lifeline Children’s Services’ counselors are trained in various modalities of therapy to tailor fit the best treatment plan for you and your family. ANGELA MAINS, MA, LPC Angela has served at Lifeline since 2012 and is the Counseling Program Director. She specializes in the area of attachment and trauma and is a Fully Certified Theraplay® Therapist and a Registered Play Therapist. “I love working with families to help them gain insight into themselves, discover the blocks to intimacy that may exist, and find a deeper sense of joy and relationship with one another and God. I enjoy the creativity I can exercise in using so many different approaches to do that.” ASHLEY YEAGER, MSW, LICSW, PIP Ashley has worked as a social worker for eight years, practicing family therapy for about four years. She focuses on the area of attachment and trauma. She enjoys using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Theraplay® and Play Therapy techniques in counseling. “I first became a Clinical Social Worker because I enjoy helping people grow and meet their goals to enhance their well-being. Even from a young age, I recognized the relational brokenness in our world and knew the Lord gave me the passion and ability to aid in these situations.” KEMONIA BROWN, MA, ALC, NCC Kemonia has been in the counseling field for two years and recently joined Lifeline’s Counseling & Education team. Her specialties include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, and Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) principles. “I’ve always had a strong passion for helping hurting people find hope and healing. Even though becoming a therapist was always a dream of mine, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue after losing my parents at the age of 12 and visiting a counselor of my own.”
WHITNEY WHITE, MED, LPC, BC-TMH Whitney has served at Lifeline for nine years and mainly works with international adoptive parents. She utilizes various modes of therapy including Theraplay®, TBRI®, and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. “I love helping to equip parents to be ‘therapeutic parents’ for their children. At a fairly young age, I learned that counseling was a profession I felt confident I was able to do. I was amazed that helping people and supporting people could be a job and knew it was going to be a good fit for me.” KATIE YADUSKY, BSW, MSW, LCSWA Katie has been a social worker since 2016. In 2020, Katie transitioned to serve as a family therapist. Katie focuses on adults and children with common challenges like trauma, attachment difficulties, grief, anxiety, and depression, and is trained in Theraplay® and Corrective Attachment Therapy. “I love caring for and bringing hope to adoptive and foster children and their families through effective therapeutic solutions.” LYNN BECKETT, LBSW Lynn has worked as a social worker since 1981 and became a TBRI® Practitioner in 2016. She focuses on preparing and equipping foster and adoptive parents, but also works with them post-placement period. She utilizes TBRI® principles, along with Corrective Attachment Parenting & Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, and Empathy guidelines.“My father was a great role model for me and as I saw him volunteer and care for the needy … I felt led to work in child and family welfare. It has been my earthly father’s example paired with my heavenly Father’s mandate to ‘care for the least of these’ that has kept me in this work for more than 30 years.”
Our team understands that sometimes there are financial barriers that come between families and treatment, so all of our counselors accept a reduced rate private pay and some work through insurance companies. Summer 2020
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Thank You to Our Partners Aaron & Mandi Mowery Adam & Whitney White Alan & Amy Botkin Alan & Elise Logan Alan & Dina Long Alex Petty Allison Christopher Alton & Sandra Hardy Amelia Strauss Amy Cobb Amy Kellogg Amy Platt Andrew & Ashley McMakin Andrew & Bridget Patterson Anna G. Smith Austin & McCall Hardison Barry & Lea Anne Parker Barry & Debra Peterson Benjamin & Rachel Winslett Bill & Rachel Curtis Blake & Holly Beth Harris Blake & Shae Wilson Booth & Laura Armstrong Brad Green Brad & Heidi Sapp Brad & Gena Spearing Brad Wood Bradley & Brittany Bowman Bradley & Vicki Wilson Brandi McKinnon Brandon & Kristi Nesler Brent & Meredith Leatherwood Brian & Paula Sewell Brigitta C. Brott Brooke Arnold Browning & Hannah Thornton Bruce & Jane Scott C.N. & Sarah Bailey Caleb Bagwell Calum Hayes Calvin & Kim Turnipseed Cameron & Jamie Clayton Carlton & Brenda Nell Catherine Roy Celes Parks Chad & Lauren Haun Charla Hudson Charles & Cherion Crow Charles Edwards Charles Macgowan Charlie & Holly Taylor Chelsea R. MacCaughelty Chris & Jen Prier Chris & Brittany Welsh Christopher & Rachel Clayton Christopher & LeighAnn Hillman Christopher & Jennifer Pearson Christopher & Leslie Sanders Christopher Simmons Clare Purinton Clinton & Lauren Townsend Corey & Ruth Braun Corley Jr. & Jan Odom Craig & Julia Ogard Croft & Christie Mac Segars Curt & Tammy Stokes Curtis & Kati Wallace Dale & Ginger Wallace Dan & Stefanie Cinadr Dan & Renee Griffin Daniel & Stacie Jackson Daniel & Lynne Knee Daniel & Megan Logan Daniel & Meagan Murphree Daniel & Heather Myers David & Julie Clark David Maddox David & Amanda McNabb David Nelson David & Erin Orr David Scott & Julia Moore David & Melissa Whitten David Zomeren Dennis Kern Diane McFalls Don Blevins Donald & Melanie Roths Dottie Neuf Doug & Gail Acton Doug & Lee Ann Glidewell Doug & Ann Knostman Dustin & Lindsey Teat Dylan & Stacey McSweeney John Feller & Elizabeth Armstrong-Feller Elizabeth Burley
Emilee Johnson Eric & Meredith Mann Eric & Melissa Nelson Erik Clinite Eugene & Heather Preskitt Floyd & Georgia Kay Carter Frank Brocato III Frank Reilly Frank & Kyndra Resso Franklin & Stacy Eaton Fred Morris IV Mary Gwin Morris Frederick & Karen Gregg Garry & Alison Rice George & Jennifer Files Gerald & Sally Friesen Gerald & Barbara Gunn Glen & Donna Martin Gloria Browne Greg & Rene Armbruster Greg & Vicki Kelley Gregory Franks Gregory & Mary Grace Heston Gregory & Sarah VanderWal Greta Gray Hal & Kaysha Clark Harold & Amy Walker Heath & Aimee Comer Heather Wood Houston & Kathleen Hardin Hugh & Regina Mathews Hugh & Beth Tappan Hunter Berry Hunter Evans Hunter & Leslie Nelson J. B. Boatman J. David & Cindy Pugh Jacob & Deborah Goforth James & Anne Marie Brooks James & Courtney Corbin James Doug Patton James & Jennifer Ellis James & Becky Evans James Geise James Helton James & Terri Johnson James & Shirley Long James & Brandy Wohlers Jamie & Karla Thrasher Jared & Kandace Cornutt Jared & Kristina Dockendorf Jarrett & Patricia Nicholson Jason Davis Jason & Stacy Gay Jason & Allison Miller Jason & Kelly Preston Jay & Trecia Gemes Jeff & Dianne Chinery Jeff Schaffner Jenny Brown Jeremiah & Samantha Krienke Jeremy & Amy Bettis Jeremy & Tinyke Cooper Jeremy & Paige Wynne Jerod & Allison Sinclair Jerry & Faye Smith Jessica Rangoonwala Jingjing Rebecca Cai Jody MacCaughelty Joe Pensak John Brooks & Martha Emory John & Lesley Davis John F. Phillips John Francis & Melissa Lawler John & Linda Gaffney John & Tona Justice John & Kristen Machen John P. & Mary Coleman Dobbins John & Lori Pitner Jon & Natalie Gresh Jonathan & Brandi Belcher Jonathan & Justice Duhon Jonathan Henderson Jonathan & Pamela Munger Jonathan & Kelley Perry Jonathon & Cathy Leeke Jordan & Candace Coggin Joseph & Bethany Broderick Joseph Elliott Joseph Gaskill Joseph H & Elizabeth Gillespie Joseph & Becky Hurston Joseph & Jessica Murè Josh & Amy Preskitt Josh & Meagan Smith Joshua & Rachel Steed
November 2019- April 2020
Joshua & Katherine Ungerecht Justin Green Justin & Elizabeth Ann Hall Justin & Brianna Kaldenbach Justin & Cathleen Koole Karen Shearer Karen Thompson Katy Harbin Keith & Conner Brooke Dryden Keith & Peggy McKey Ken Friday Kerri Gatlin Kevin & Erin Barker Kevin & Ansley Gwyn Kevin & Tabitha Lovell Kielyn Smith Kristen & Kenny Anderson Kylee & Shea Harrelson Lance Black Shannon Larry Johnson Larry & Kathleen Laughlin Larry & Maddi Vaughn Larry & Lynn Ware Laura Nelson Lauren Shifalo Lawrence Lavalle Lawrence Vaughan III Lee & Eugenia Burch Les & Kelli Wright Libby Walden Lincoln Vallett Linda Hubbard Linda Thompson Logan & Bethany Davis Logan Littell Louis & Kasey Belva Louis Dugas Luke & Savannah Burleson Mark Bonastia Mark & Lisa Bond Mark & Karen Boswell Mark & Sylvia Goldman Mark & Meredith Henry Mark & Joy Larson Mark & Cathy Limmer Mark & Terri McCutcheon Mary Jarvis Matt & Kadie Laughlin Matt & Anna Turner Matthew & Mallory Carrington Matthew & Kristina Day Matthew & Emily Hinshaw Matthew & Beth Lodes Megan Gilmore Melissa Mazer Merritt & Christina Cullum Micah & Jamie Steele Michael & Jenny Bailey Michael & Amy Catania Michael & Ashley Edwards Michael & Brooke Gibson Michael J. Petrunic Michael Luke & Krystle Stanley Michael & Noelle Pickering Michael & Lois Temple Michael & Andrea Thaggard Mike & Kari Cuenin Mitch & Laura Watkins Mona Guraya Mona Silvey Mycah & Kyle Rhodes Natalie Hochstetler Nathan & Kim Currie Nathan & Allison EuDaly Neal & Cynthia Goodrum Nicole Mazzarella Nita Christopher Padmarani Varadarajan Patrick & Carolyn Allen Patrick & Libby Daugherty Patrick & Kristen Hines Patti Vincent Paul & Jessica Maholm Paul & Leanne Rogers Paul & Laurie Sheffield Paul Todd Ralph & Lynn Parrish Randahl & Beth Daniel Rhonda Wright Richard A. & Betty Johnson Richard & Amy Buckley Richard D Jr. & Carolyn McRae Richard & Connie Kinney Richard Merritt Richard Preusch
Lifeline Children’s Services, Inc., is an accredited member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountablity.
Richard Spurlin Richard & Johanna Vest Richie & Lane Fortenberry Rick & Denise Morton Rick & Paula Werts Rob & Dana Hofmeister Robbie & Ann Maura Hinton Robert & Melissa Beard Robert Jr. & Rachel Cannada Robert G. & Sandy Stoller Robert Horton Robert & Casey Martin Robert & Margaret Miller Robert Nuttall Robert & Aimee Whitlock Robert Wise Jr. Robert & Calee Yoe Rodger H. Peterson Roger Gibson Roger Yanko Ron & Tina Anders Ronald E. & Mary Ann Cuenin Russell & Madhura Hallman Russell Morgan Russell & April Palmer Russell T. Nelson Ryan & Heather Cain Ryan Corder Ryan & Shannon O’Guin Ryan & Hannah Grace Thorn Sam G. & Erin Roberts Sam & Danya Hogue Samuel & Beth Chang Samuel Lane Scott & Keri Adams Seamus & Laura Loman Sean & Erin Floeter Shane Byrd Shawn Garth Sherry Whitlark Stacy & Alisa Sprayberry Stafford & Gwen Childs Stephanie Cashin Stephanie Jones Stephanie Lindsey Stephen & Ginger Blake Stephen Nelson Stephen & Elisabeth Rosenblatt Steve & Kimberlie Miller Steven & Caroline Bobo Steven & Rachel Smith Steven & Michelle Wright Stuart & Theresa Lumpkins Susan Watson Susie Farley Suzanne Clay Tabitha-Chloe Grimstead Teagan & Kirsten Nusser Terry & Lauren Marsh Terry & Susan Miller Thomas & Kathryn Petersen Thomas & Skip Stallings Tim & Deanna Crist Timothy & Linda Flowers Timothy W. Harris Timothy & Carol Wickstrom Todd & Beth Bomberger Todd & Aimee Cowart Tom Kennedy Tracy Bird Tucker & Morgan Burke Tyler & Allison Crow Tyrieke & Deborah Morton Verick & Crystal Burchfield Vick & Ava Yates Victoria Whitworth Visuvasam Cornelius W. Earl Cooper W. Jacob Ryals Wade Edwards Walter & Candace Teem Warren Barber Wayne & Diane Graefen Wayne & Ann Liang Wes & Jordan Caudell Wesley James Will IV & Sarah Beth Slappey William & Dawn Azok William & Diane Carrol William & Kim Christenberry William McKenzie William & Kristen Virgo William & Sandy Whitten Wilson Hightower Zach & Maggie Thomas
100 Missionary Ridge Birmingham, AL 35242
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Take the Stand and showcase your talent! Post a video of your talent to social media with #standfororphans, and challenge 3 friends to donate and pass along the fun. To learn more and get other ideas for hosting a stand, follow @standfororphans STANDFORORPHANS.ORG