Perseverance & Endurance – Qualities of a Champion Runner … and His Adoptive Dad

by:  Julie Beem

indy starIf you read one story about adoption today – this is the one. Your social media feed may be full of news about attachment & trauma, Fetal Alcohol, and PTSD, but don’t miss this article.

I can tell you now this article’s not going to be what you expect. But then again, Andrew Peterson’s life hasn’t been what he expected, and Craig Peterson’s journey through adoption of his six children has not been what he expected.

Yet, these men and their family have persevered and endured.  And here’s the deal – Craig would want me to tell you it’s not about him. Of course, it’s about Andrew … and all he’s endured and all he’s achieved and will achieve. It’s about the important awareness his achievements are bringing about Fetal Alcohol and Early Childhood Trauma. It’s about watching a young man reach for, and obtain, his dream and use his God-given talents.

But it’s also about Craig and his willingness to stand up for and stand beside all of his children. It’s about strong therapeutic parenting and a tenacity that says “I’m going to be your parent no matter what.”
And the thing is … it’s about us too. This story could be the story of countless traumatized children and the therapeutic parents who love them and devote their lives to standing in the gap for them. We all can be especially inspired by this story because we understand, all too well, what is written between the lines – the setbacks, the struggles, the rejections, the loneliness, the dark times full of despair.

I know Craig personally and have seen his devotion to his family, and his passion for helping other adoptive families. He is on our Board of Directors here at the Attachment & Trauma Network. I had the honor of meeting Andrew and two of his brothers this winter at our annual Board retreat. The love that Craig has for these boys was evident (and so was the trepidation of what exactly they might do when meeting new people.) I always feel the exact same way when people meet my daughter!

Thank you Andrew, and Craig, for going the distance and for sharing your lives with the world!

How to vote for Andrew Peterson:
Runner’s World is looking for an athlete to feature on its cover. The man and woman who receive the most votes will be among the 10 finalists considered by the judges. Go to to vote for Andrew Peterson in pre-voting through July 22 and then in final voting July 27-Aug. 16.

D. Craig Peterson is a retired ATN Board Director. You name it, Craig has a story to share in achieving success and learning from mistakes as he raised six children to adulthood...all while maintaining faith and believing in unconditional love. He understands the ups and downs of learning challenges, special education, psychotropic medications, ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, sexual abuse, juvenile justice, residential placement and so much more. In his upcoming book Adopting Faith: A Father's Unconditional Love, Peterson details his journey in raising six children who brought unbelievable challenges from their birth families and the foster care system. His parenting is a combination of typical and unconventional strategies." His blog is here: