Have extraordinary experiences For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dena and I’m a parent of two children, now adults, through adoption. I originally started writing this whilst on vacation at Disney World in Florida last …

Therapeutic Vacationing Read more »

In the world of therapeutic parenting and developmental trauma, we hear a lot about shame. Professionals write lots of great articles about it. This is my perspective as a mom. When I first read about shame in our kids, I …

Shame: One Mom’s Thoughts Read more »

My son’s behavior has been improving. It’s really quite incredible when I think about the progress he has made in such a short amount of time. There has been no hitting. No biting. No long-lasting rages. Very little swearing. Still. When …

When My Son Cries for His Birth Mom Read more »

One day as I scrolled through social media, I saw that several different friends had shared a video of a kid doing something sweet, one of those heartwarming things that everyone likes to share. At first I smiled and thought …

That kid must have been raised right Read more »

A new season is upon us. The glow from the dawn of the new year is on the wane. For some of us, it is in the company of the resolutions to which we swore our allegiance before we climbed …

Tis the Season of Everyday Celetastrophe Read more »

For years, I felt frustrated by parents and therapists suggesting I just read fill-in-the-blank  adoption books by fill-in-the-blank authors. I’d already read all of those parenting books. I’d highlighted them and made notes in the margins.

But the well-worn copies on my bookshelf didn’t seem to help. Sometimes the most worthy book suggestions even seemed to hurt our family.

Dinner is served A couple days before Christmas, I make spaghetti sauce. On Christmas afternoon, I move the pot of sauce from our refrigerator to the range and warm it while preparing pasta from a blue box. Matt slices grocery …

Christmas Spaghetti Read more »

Relationships or things? Which one are you focusing upon this holiday season? To be honest, my family’s first Christmas 20 years ago was over-stimulating. An emotional roller coaster. My six adopted children unwrapped one gift after another – many from …

Christmas Reinvented: The 12 Days of Connection Read more »