Please Welcome COLLEEN to RaisingMom.ca!
I am very pleased to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Colleen. We discovered this fall that it was our twenty-fifth “friend-aversary”! What an honour to have shared a friendship for such a long time. One of our first conversations was about how we both loved “Pride and Prejudice” and “A Room With a View”. I knew early on I had found a kindred spirit. The fact that our families have both been formed through adoption is an extra special touch of grace! She has walked the adoption journey ahead of me, and she and her husband, Brian, have been inspirations to my husband and me.
Colleen is a blogger, and writing is one of her many gifts. She has a huge heart for adoption, as well as exploring the parenting journey with honesty and integrity. Since writing is a shared passion, and we both bring many complementary gifts to the table, we have decided to team up and write for RaisingMom.ca together! Between the two of us, we cover the wider field of the domestic adoption landscape – with experiences with private adoption, adoption through social services, and fostering to adopt. The last 25 years of friendship have given both of us a rich treasury of shared memories. We are thrilled to step into this new adventure together!
What Will Be Different About RaisingMom.ca?
I (Erin) will still be doing children’s book reviews about a wide variety of books/topics. I will also be blogging about my parenting journey (life with a toddler and twins, adoption, etc.) Colleen will be sharing her parenting journey, as well as insights gained from her Empowered to Connect training, and thoughts about marriage and life as a woman of faith.
The theme of storytelling is one of the threads holding this website together. Colleen and I first connected over our love of stories, and we often refer to stories as a powerful parenting tool – whether to help squirmy bodies stay seated around the dinner table, help a child grasp a life lesson, learn more about him/herself, or to help re-connect with a child after a difficult behavioural episode.
We believe it is also crucial to share our own stories with each other so that we know we’re not alone. When we share our stories we encourage, we breathe courage, into each other! We empower those around us to step into their lives with greater bravery, awareness, and authenticity. We have found this to be true in our friendship with each other, and we want to pass it on to you! Through our book reviews and the stories we share from our own lives it is our hope that you are encouraged and empowered, that you find purpose and hope and joy as you step in to and walk out each day of your precious life!
Here is a bit more about Colleen in her own words. I know you will learn as much from her and love her as much as I do!
Hi! I’m Colleen. I’m a lot of things – a wife to an amazing husband, a mom to 3 beautiful adopted kids, a recovering goody-two-shoes, know-it-all and rule-keeper, as well as a former teacher and current coffee drinker! That tells you a lot about me, but the most important piece, the one thing I can’t lose and upon which the rest hinges, is my identity in Jesus. The knowledge that I am precious to my Heavenly Father is something I’m still learning to rest in and grow into… His perfect love gives me the courage to step in to my crazy life and walk it out, wherever He takes me!
True to form, I figured I had this parenting thing all figured out when we first adopted. I quickly learned that the trauma that lands kids in adoptive and foster care can predispose them to look at life in fearful and untrusting ways, which can lead to huge challenges in the way they interact with the world. I’m incredibly grateful for the training we’ve received. Empowered to Connect gave us the tools we need to build relationships with our kids and help them heal and grow. Through my conversations with other parents, I’ve learned that our struggles are not unique to us. It is my hope that by sharing the stuff we’re learning we can let other parents know they’re not alone, and give them some of the perspectives and tools that are proving helpful to us as we seek to bring joy and healing and hope to our family.
It is easy to feel ashamed and alone when facing challenges. Wherever you are on your journey, I pray you will know – deep down in your soul – that you are loved, and that there is hope.