of parenting together, this gathering became foundational for
a great deal of future change within me. Each group member
had bought into the conservative Christian parenting paradigm
on some level and was living day by day the painful limits of
such an approach. As adoptive moms, we were all in over our
heads and desperate for a way forward. Several of us
experienced judgment from our communities of faith. Our
kids were not fitting into the formula.
We joined hearts and hands as we studied and
discussed new approaches to being parents and interacting
with our hurting children. For two school years in a row,
several of us met weekly to study, apply, and encourage one
another to change both heart and mind around matters of
parenting. We studied Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline
workbook weekly for one year and then did it all again the
following year. A great deal of hard work and intention is
required to change a mind as well as a parenting pattern. We
walked alongside each other through medication decisions,
therapy, hospitalizations, residential treatment programs, and
the everyday ups and downs of parenting children affected by
With the support of this group, I made great strides
toward changing my beliefs, skills, and behavior in the midst
of a season of complex parenting. We spoke of our deepest
fears and received each other’s pain. We served as cheerleaders
to one another as each of us traveled our own specific paths
with our own specific children. We often role played out loud
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