Adoption When It’s Not Easy – MBFLP 225

Adoption is a picture of God’s love for His people. It literally saves lives and it rescues children from terrible situations. It’s not as simple as choosing a pet from the store, though, and adopted children often have problems that continue into adult life. This episode, we talk with Shauna Lopez, an adoptive parent who’s dealt with traumatized children in her own home. Learn what to prepare for if you’re considering adoption, and how to come alongside and love families who are in the process themselves.

Adoption When It's Not Easy

Recently at the Teach Them Diligently conference in Waco, Texas, we had the opportunity to interview our friend Shauna Lopez. We met Shauna, her husband Abel, and their family in our travels several years ago, and we’ve stayed in their home. A few years before we met them, they had a difficult experience adopting three young boys, and Shauna agreed to share some of what they’ve learned.

(You can read their whole story on their website,

One of the concerns we have is that Shauna and Abel’s experience is not uncommon, but it’s not widely recognized. Children who have been through trauma react differently to parenting.

“People think that’s an exception to the rule, and it isn’t. People don’t realize that trauma in any form alters the brain, but especially in children who have been taken from their parents,” Shauna said. “It alters the brain chemistry and it alters their development.”

Trauma has a tremendous impact

Others observe that any adoption, even within a family, starts with some sort of catastrophe. Children don’t end up adopted unless there’s been some loss, some trauma, or some trouble in that young life.

“And that’s really the thing,” she continued, “because when a child undergoes trauma, it undermines new trust. … When we adopted three-month-old twins, we thought they’ll only ever know us as their parents. But that wasn’t true, because they had a family for three months [after they were born] plus nine months [in the womb]. So for a full year they had a whole other family, whole other sounds, whole other voices, whole other stressors and non-stressors in feelings. And then to go from hospital with mom, three days later taken from that environment, those smells, those voices, those environmental contributors, to a foster mom for three months — different sounds, different smells, different voices–and then placed in our home–different sounds, different smells, different voices. And we think ‘What’s the big deal?’”

“Their brains are rapidly developing during those times. And with trauma after trauma after trauma–and all of those things are traumas to a young child–it changes the chemistry of their brain and the way that they respond. How on earth could they expect to feel safe when everything keeps changing over and over?”

Understanding children with trauma and the families who adopt them


Discipline will be different with adoptive kids

“So you can’t take the typical parenting advice about discipline for a young child and apply it to a child who’s been traumatized. … When we deal with children who have been safe from the beginning, those kids know they’re okay. They know they’re safe, they know everything’s going to be all right. They have that trust. But when you deal with a child who has been traumatized, where that trust has been taken away–if it was ever even there–…sometimes, they don’t have that trust that no one’s going to hurt them. Instead they freak out. They ‘fight or flight.’ They literally go into self-preservation mode even as young children.”

“We’re not saying don’t adopt. Adoption is amazing. God adopts us. It’s God-ordained. It honors God. It represents Christ and the church. It’s wonderful. What we’re saying is be prepared. Not just what the state requires of you, but beyond that. We have to go beyond that.”

To find out more about loving children with trauma – and ministering to the families who adopt them – listen in to the rest of the program!

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Healing from Trauma

This week, the discussion focuses on how the brain is resilient and can be healed from the effects of trauma in a person’s life. Dr Jan will be joined by a colleague, Ruth Young. Ruth has been a NeuroDevelopmentalist for 15 years, is a pastor’s wife of 37 years, and an author of many article on the NeuroDevelopmental Approach and a great study guide, Release From Fear. Ruth was a victim of childhood abuse and knows firsthand the healing effects of the NeuroDevelopmental Approach in her own life as well as those in her practice. She will share how this approach can have an amazingly positive effect on those who have suffered traumas from any of the many causes, including adoption, abuse, neglect, fever, surgery, vaccinations, and pre-mature birth to mention a few.

Many families that adopt a child later find that their child behaves oddly or reacts in an overblown way to typical everyday life events that are hard to understand. The brain’s number one responsibility is to keep us alive; it will do anything, even to the point of compromising itself, to accomplish that goal. The good news is that the brain can be regenerated and healthy parts of the brain can take over the function of the damaged part. It just takes specific stimulation to the brain over time to make that happen. In this episode, you will learn some positive steps you can take to help yourself or the people in your life who may have experienced trauma.

Don’t miss the handout attached here with key points from the podcast and links to pertinent resources and discounts.

Homeschooling and Adoption – HIRL Episode 139

Free homeschooling podcast about adoption with our guest Tricia GoyerSince the very beginning of the Homeschooling in Real Life podcast, our listeners have been requesting that we do an episode on homeschooling and adoption. Why did it take us so long? Because just the right person to address the topic came along and we feel we couldn’t have given you anyone better!

Guest Tricia Goyer is a prolific author and homeschooling mom, and she and her husband have adopted seven children in the past few years alone! We think you’ll be encouraged and inspired by their story, and we hope it helps you to hear the joy that comes from obeying what God asks of us.


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Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades.


Are you ready to listen to Fletch and Kendra get real about homeschooling? Press the PLAY button below.

Adoption and the Homeschool Family, Part 2 – HIRL Episode 65

Free homeschool podcast about adoption.On the last episode we sat down with our good friends Jeremy and Michele White to have a serious discussion about adoption. We discussed the beginning of their homeschool journey, why they chose to adopt and the changes that happened as a homeschool family.

On this podcast we dig just a little bit deeper. The White’s second adoption did not end as they had planned. They open up about their story and share their journey with our listeners. This couple is not afraid to get real and share how the gospel allowed them to push through the hardest times in their marriage and family life only to come out of a failed adoption with a heart and a passion for adoption just as strong.

Learn about Kendra’s latest addiction and Fletch’s current favorite podcast on a quick edition of everyone’s favorite quiz show: Q and A with K and A.

Lastly, Fletch and Kendra unveil their Fall lineup of topics. You won’t want to miss what is coming.

3:08 – Introduction
16:08 – Part One –  Ninja Jesus/Adoption Talk Intro
20:29 – Part Two – Interview, Jeremy/Michele White
33:04 – Part Three – Interview, Jeremy/Michele White
40:06 – QandA with KandA – Addictions/Podcasts

Show Notes

HomeschoolingIRL Coffee Tumblers – Check out these cool tumblers from HIRLer Cyndi Newman


Please visit our sponsor: HEDUA, creators of The Well Planned Day Planner


Please visit our coffee sponsor: Caroline’s Coffee for 10% off any order.

Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from Preschoolers and Peace and for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades of Homeschooling In Real Life.

Adoption and the Homeschool Family, Part 1 – HIRL Episode 64

Free homeschool podcast discussing the real issues of adoption.We have had several listeners ask us to address the topic of adoption, and while it would be really easy for us to produce a podcast explaining how to adopt and the benefits involved when a family adopts, we wanted to tackle all of the issues a family might be experiencing when bringing a child into the home.

In this two-part series, we sit down with our good friends in real life, Jeremy and Michele White, for a serious discussion about adoption. In this first episode, we discuss the beginning of the Whites’ journey, what led them to adopt, and how adoption ultimately changed their family and their homeschooling. We hope this story is a blessing and an encouragement to everyone who listens.

3:09 – Introduction
14:47 – Part One –  Discussion
18:02 – Part Two – Interview, Jeremy/Michele White
36:21 – Part Three – Interview, Jeremy/Michele White

Show Notes

HomeschoolingIRL Coffee Tumblers – From HIRLer Cyndi Newman


Please visit our sponsor: HEDUA, creators of The Well Planned Day Planner


Please visit our coffee sponsor: Caroline’s Coffee for 10% off any order.

Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from Preschoolers and Peace and for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades of Homeschooling In Real Life.

Adoption and Foster Care


Foster Care and Adoption is possible when homeschooling

Are you considering Foster Care and possibly Adoption? Are you fearful about how to do that whether or not you homeschool? Many face that same fear. But, it is possible to follow the path of Foster Care and/or Adoption of God is leading you down that path.

Today, my friend Aurie from Our Good Family wants to encourage and equip you to begin this journey. Her family has (currently) Fostered 9 children with two currently in their home in addition to their two biological children while homeschooling.

During this podcast, Aurie shares the truth about the journey – it’s not easy, but it is filled with grace and joy.

So, press the play button and begin this journey or be encouraged if you are already walking the path of Foster Care and/or Adoption

In addition, you can find resources on Aurie’s blog:

You can find Aurie on facebook, twitter,and Pinterest as well as her blog.