“Eloquent . . . raw and real.” Natalie Ford, Ph.D., Truett-McConnell University
“A must-read.” Judge Juanita Stedman, Together Georgia
“Hard-won wisdom.” Rhonda Sciortino, author of 30 Days to Happiness
“Practical perspective.” Irene Clements,
National Foster Parent Association
“Excellent and profound.” Pastor Demensio Barton, We Are One Ministries
"Compelling and candid." Emily Acker, CEO, Hillside, Inc.
Raising Other People’s Children recounts the lessons that my foster children taught me about raising children who had lost their intact biological families, and how I put those lessons into practice when I married and helped raise a blended family.
The book sets out the principles that I learned about parenting children who came into my life after suffering abuse, neglect, or the loss of divorce. I understood that I was not the person who was supposed to be in their lives, but that I still could forge a strong and meaningful relationship with my children as I helped them heal from their losses.
In the book, I explain why commitment is more important than love, why raising our children’s self-esteem requires allowing them to fail, and why we cannot leave them believing that they are no more than the sum of their trauma. It is a frank and compassionate discussion of the challenges and heartaches involved in raising non-biological children, and the uplifting story of why I would do it all over again.
I make my living as a lawyer, but what I do is take care of other people’s children. For more than 40 years, I have been working with traumatized children, starting when I was a preteen helping my parents with their summer camp and church ministries. In the years since, I have served as a juvenile court probation officer/social worker, group home parent, criminal prosecutor, non-profit volunteer and Board member, and attorney defending youth-serving organizations.
My most important roles have been foster parent and stepparent. I never had biological children, but I have managed to collect 7 children and 10 grandchildren. Along the way, my foster children, stepchildren, and grandchildren have taught me the life lessons that are the core of my speaking and writing — the lessons that I wish I could have learned from a parenting manual rather than trial and error.