Working with birth parents can be tough but rewarding

Shay and AbbySomeone asked recently if it bothered me when our adopted son calls his birth mother “mom.” I confidently answered that it does not bother me. However, this was not always the case.

When we started our journey to becoming foster parents, we were scared of our foster son’s birth family. Shay, our little guy, was placed with us when he was 2 days old. We were lucky enough to adopt him shortly after his second birthday. What exactly we were scared of, I don’t know. Maybe we were scared of losing Shay, whom we loved so deeply, being taken advantage of, being hated or not being good Continue reading →

Fly with the eagles: Learning to soar as a foster parent

Fly with the eaglesI don’t know about you, but before we became a foster family we knew NO ONE who fostered. As a family of four, we were taking a leap of faith into this unknown world. We had so many questions and very few answers. Fast forward eight years and we now have an extended family of wonderful people, all because we became foster parents!

Each of our early experiences were learning experiences that allowed us to develop our wings. You see, the thrill of soaring first begins Continue reading →

My experience as a same-sex foster parent

My experience as a same-sex foster parentAs a two-mom household, we have always been concerned about our children facing discrimination because their parents are lesbians. Recently, Shay (our 6-year-old adopted son) was told he could not have two mommies by a classmate. He informed his peer that he in fact has three mommies, his birth mother, my wife and me. Shay was placed with us when he was 2 days old and we were lucky enough to adopt him shortly after his second birthday. We have always been very open with Shay about his adoption, Continue reading →

Showing grace on my foster son’s 1st birthday

My foster son just celebrated his first birthday! I have held him in the midst of sleepless nights, rocked him when he was sick, fed him his first foods  and have watched him meet milestones. He has his own room in our house and his pictures are on our walls – he has completely stolen my heart. Still, this boy is not just mine. This sweet boy, this member of our family, has a family beyond ours.

My foster son’s first birthday is a major milestone. It’s not just about me, and it’s not just about him, but it’s also Continue reading →

Dear foster parents, you are the little bit more

You are the little bit moreDid you know in professional golf the average margin of victory over the last 25 years, in four major tournaments, came down to just two strokes over four days of play? Olympic athletes, who have trained their whole lives for just one moment in time, get either Continue reading →

DuKatz family to be honored with the 2015 Adoption Excellence Award

rsz_dukatz_img_2559==We are proud of all of the foster adoptive parents we work with through Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, but today we want to spotlight one special couple who was recognized nationally for their efforts.

Betsy and Gene DuKatz recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive the Adoption Excellence Award presented by the Department of Health and Human Services. The pair won under the category of Family Contributions, which focuses on the personal contribution of parents who have significantly impacted the life of Continue reading →

Communicating with biological parents: Be a part of the whole story

communication-2As a teacher, nowhere in my contract does it say I have to meet with parents outside of the workday, send texts, emails, notes, letters or call them on the phone. As a teacher, I cannot imagine it any other way. The relationships I build with the families of my students help in every way to make their children more successful. When all people involved are communicated with, when the Continue reading →

 Confessions from a “trauma momma”  

blogWe first met our daughter when she was 3 months old – a tiny, bald, screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs little baby. She was scared, she didn’t recognize the voices she was hearing or the new smells of someone else’s home, or this other Momma’s arms she was in. As excited as we were to meet her, to get to cuddle Continue reading →