“We can just love them”: Adoptive Parents on Their Kids with Special Needs

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In honor of National Adoption Month, I’m featuring below an excerpt from Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter by Jennifer Grant. Love You More tells the story of how Jen and her husband David adopted their fourth child, Mia, from Guatemala. The book also does an excellent job of addressing questions, concerns, and myths [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] The Problem with Universal Self-Esteem Boosts

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It has become a cultural cliché, how our children are bombarded with efforts to raise their self-esteem by, for example, giving every kid on the team a trophy. The problem, of course, is that not every kid is a great tee-ball or basketball or whatever player (I can attest to this from experience as a [Read More...]

Let the Kids Keep Their *@$%#^ Halloween Candy!

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This is an updated version of a piece originally published as an op ed in the Hartford Courant in October 2008. As the voices clamoring for the annual theft of Halloween candy from kids grow louder and more self-righteous, I decided to dust this off and run it again. I was emboldened by the New [Read More...]

Do I Still Think Overscheduled Kids are a Myth? Yes…Sort Of

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A little more than a year ago, I wrote that I believe the prevalent notion of the “overscheduled child” to be a myth. It’s not that children aren’t overscheduled; many of them are (at least in suburban and wealthier urban communities where children have many extracurricular opportunities and parents can afford them). The myth, I [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] What My Kids and My Garden Have in Common

I don't have to say "Don't pick the daisies!" because no one in their right mind would want these daisies.

I struggled to find a good photo subject for today’s post. Right now, most of my garden is ugly—dried up stalks, yellowing leaves. The brilliant oranges and yellows of fall foliage are still a few weeks away. My garden’s most prominent feature right now are dry, dusty brown remnants of summer blooms. All living things [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] I Wrote a Book. Want One?

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I will confess something that will be not at all surprising to most of you, especially those who write blogs of your own: My Friday “Snapshots from Oak Ridge” feature is absolutely self-serving. I wanted some regular Friday feature that would be quick and easy, because posting regularly, even if every post isn’t read by [Read More...]

Made by God in Rainbow Hues: On Raising a Gender Nonconforming Child

The Barbies in our house get a little crazy sometimes. Note poor Snow White, who apparently lost her grip and plummeted from the lamp shade.

Yesterday my son came down in one of his more glittery, fabulous shirts—a shirt purchased in the girls’ section of the Gap. I didn’t think anything of it. My son has a number of clothing items that are meant for girls, and this shirt, with a big, shiny, spangly musical note on the chest, is [Read More...]

Finding God at Rock Bottom

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Karen Beattie and her husband went through a difficult few years. She was unexpectedly laid off just as her husband decided to go back to graduate school, leaving them without regular income from employment. After a miscarriage and a bunch of dead ends on their quest to adopt a child, they realized they might never [Read More...]


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