Workforce Engagement: Working With Special Needs Parents

Photo Courtesy of iStock.com/Vaeenma

I stared at the director in disbelief.  I was in a meeting with my 3rd line supervisor and he had just told me that I would be required to physically be in the office every work day.  What’s wrong with that, you ask?  Well, he might as well have told me that I was fired because I knew that my time at the agency would soon come to an end.  Let me explain.   Continue reading “Workforce Engagement: Working With Special Needs Parents”

It’s Not Your Fault

Photo Courtesy of the Author

When my oldest daughter (Julia) was born, she was four months premature. She was so small (1lb., 6 oz.), she was considered a micro-preemie and given only a 13% chance to live. She was born the youngest of a set of triplets and within the first 10 days of life, she lost both of her siblings and was herself struggling mightily to stay alive. As a parent, you feel utterly powerless at this point and you also feel a heavy sense of guilt. Continue reading “It’s Not Your Fault”

You Are Not Alone

A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter turned 18.  This is an exciting time in her life as she finishes high school and  prepares for college.  My wife and I are very proud of the woman that she has become; however, her outlook wasn’t always so rosy.  18 years ago, my daughter was in the hospital fighting for her life.  She was born very premature (1 lb. 6 oz.) and the doctors weren’t sure that she was going to make it.

The author and his daughter in the NICU

Continue reading “You Are Not Alone”

Raising a Deaf Child with Additional Needs

This article was originally published in HuffPost on July 12, 2017.

Raising a child who is deaf and has additional needs can at times be very frustrating.  Our oldest daughter is deaf and has cerebral palsy.  After we received her diagnosis, I felt very isolated because I didn’t know any other children who had this particular set of challenges.  When Julia was young, people were kind to us but you could always see the sympathy in their eyes.  Many times, my wife and I felt like we were the only ones (or at least one of the few) who struggle to raise a child with this unique set of circumstances. Continue reading “Raising a Deaf Child with Additional Needs”

A Gift from God

A Dad’s Daily Word

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!  He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5

There are many ways to become a father.  Some come by it naturally, while others become fathers through foster care or adoption.  In my case, I became a father naturally and through the miracle of adoption.   Continue reading “A Gift from God”

Don’t Feel Sorry for Me

This article originally appeared in The Good Men Project on May 16, 2017.

I recently had a conversation with someone and the subject naturally turned to our children.  When I said that I had one child with special needs and two other children, whom we adopted from another country, who needed extra time and attention to catch up on basic educational skills, his first words were “I feel so sorry for you.”  Why I said.  “Because of your poor luck,” he replied.  I told him the same thing that I am telling you.  Don’t feel sorry for me, my kids are doing just fine.   Continue reading “Don’t Feel Sorry for Me”

A Lesson in Parent Leadership: Answering the Call

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I recently read an article titled “I Didn’t Want To Be A Mom, But I Had Kids Anyway” about a mom who initially was hesitant about becoming a parent but after having difficulty conceiving, going through postpartum depression, and the normal trials of motherhood, now has a level of love for her children that she didn’t think was possible.  How did she get to that point?  Simply, she answered the call. Continue reading “A Lesson in Parent Leadership: Answering the Call”