Parenting challenging kids is hard!

We get it. Parenting children from hard places is even harder. Trauma rewires the brain. Families often stay stuck in survival mode. Feelings of normalcy are elusive. Man, have we been there.

We’ve been through the trenches of trauma. What has gotten us through? Commitment. Humor. A mindset of lifelong learning, adventure and staying the course. Unapologetic SELF CARE.

FULL CATASTROPHE PARENTING

is a spinoff of a coping skill Chris learned as she was recovering from a severe accident which left her with life-changing injuries. Stuck and in pain, Chris read the book Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD, and learned the importance of mindfulness in the journey of parenting. A total shift in outlook.

Like permanent physical disability, trauma permanently rewires the brain. Children with histories of trauma (adoption, foster care, abuse / neglect, attachment challenges or any developmental insult) continue to live with lifelong issues that require a mindset shift. Often, this may feel like grieving. It can feel sad and daunting. We may feel so overwhelmed that we want to call it quits. Yes, we know it can be that bad! We are here to offer you a helping hand. Not because we’ve got all the answers. But because we’ve been there. Some days, we’re still there. But we’ve gained a whole lot of tools along the way and we can help.

Get ready to hold on for the ride. It can be treacherous. But it can also be rewarding. It’s the thrill of FULL CATASTROPHE PARENTING.

About Us

 

Chris

A “recovering idealist”, Chris considers herself a student of all types of trauma. The adoption of her son in 2009 landed her knee-deep in issues of developmental trauma, which have continued to have a life-changing impact on her family. Chris has sought to better understand collective and generational trauma and its effect on individuals after suffering a life-defining accident in 2011 and becoming a trauma patient herself. Chris has written about these experiences and has been published in the Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Tiny Buddha, Living With Amplitude Magazine, Able Outdoors Magazine, CPTSD Foundation and The Mighty; and her story was featured on the Today Show, CBS Channel 58 News, Milwaukee Magazine, in The Institute for Healthcare Improvement blog, and The Conversation Project. Chris is also a regular blogger for Psychology Today.

Before becoming a parent, Chris worked as a social worker and counselor with adults in the criminal justice system—many of whom had histories of trauma. Chris has Master’s Degrees in Social Work, Counseling and Theology, and while these clinical degrees have been helpful, most of the knowledge and wisdom she has gained has come from her own life experience and learning to listen. In her later years, Chris’ gained the invaluable skill of sitting with painful emotions, providing spiritual care in the hospital setting. Grief. Loss. Fear. Abandonment. No stranger to these feelings within herself, Chris began to embrace them as vehicles to understanding the histories of her children and the trauma that is so pervasive in our world today.

Scott

Sandwiched somewhere between the titles of “comic relief” and “stabilizing force” of the Morgan family, Scott derives great pride from weathering life’s storms, even if it has been vicariously. Through the double-whammy of his wife’s life-changing accident and his young children’s intense needs occurring at the same time, he came to appreciate the stresses of extreme parenting, the unique struggles of being an adoptive husband and father, and the very real need for self-care.

Scott has entered his 30th year as a school psychologist and has worked in urban, suburban, and rural schools, and with all demographic groups of children. Further, he is deeply experienced with the special education process, from diagnostics to intervention. Outside of his more usual professional duties, he has enjoyed mentoring young people in a variety of extra-curricular activities. Not only has he worked with difficult students, he has lived this with the fallout from his two adopted children’s abandonment, such the attachment-challenged behaviors of his son. This has been an ongoing process that rarely “turns a corner”, but rather mutates and shifts along with his children’s developmental changes.

Jade

A recovering perfectionist and seeker of the latest makeup techniques, Jade is a high schooler who continually strives to understand herself better. Jade was adopted from China as a toddler, and as she grew older, she began having a lot of questions about herself. Feelings arose from deep inside that were scary and strong. Jade is smart, does well in school and is a helluva good rock climber. As the teenage years hit, so did an aching desire to understand her past. She is brave and wants to talk about these things—to help people better understand what it is like to be an Asian adoptee of White parents in America.

Kai

Kai is a survivor. After almost dying in his orphanage, he joined the Morgan family in 2009 and has scrambled ever since to make headway in the world. A mere 13.9 pounds at 21 months old, Kai has made tremendous developmental progress with the help of a village of people in his life and the advances of medical technology (growth hormone therapy). Now a teenager, Kai loves skateboarding, STEM classes and technology. He is still learning how to trust, but is doing a remarkable job (when he isn’t bothering his sister or if he isn’t annoying his classmates). The journey of attachment is a marathon, not a sprint.

OUR MISSION AND MESSAGE AS A FAMILY IS TO BE TRANSPARENT. TO SHARE OUR STORIES, SO YOU TOO, CAN BE A TRANS(formative)PARENT!

Media

Chris has written about these experiences and has been published in the Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Tiny Buddha, Living With Amplitude Magazine, Able Outdoors Magazine, CPTSD Foundation and The Mighty; and her story was featured on the Today Show, CBS Channel 58 News, Milwaukee Magazine, in The Institute for Healthcare Improvement blog, and The Conversation Project.

Podcast

Welcome to the Full Catastrophe Parenting Podcast!  We are Chris and Scott. Two imperfect people who have truly been through the parenting gamut. Like you, we’ve struggled. A lot.

We have held on for the ride and we are STILL HERE. Has it been hard? You bet!

We will share our struggles. What worked, and what didn’t.  We will interview others offering some wisdom about topics relevant to self-care, trauma, parenting and other issues. We know it takes a village, and we’d like you to be a part of ours.

If you’re a struggling parent, you’re welcome here. If you’ve ever wanted to give up (but were afraid to admit it) you’re welcome here. If you’re fed up with the promise of quick fixes, diagnostic labels or turns of the corner that never materialize, you’re welcome here. Moms, dads, professionals and caregivers in the trenches…you rock. Join us as we celebrate this messy, hard and grand adventure.

You can find FULL CATASTROPHE PARENTING anywhere you listen to your podcasts. Just hit “subscribe” to get each new episode delivered directly to your inbox.

(The Full Catastrophe Parenting Podcast is listed on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, I-Tunes, Amazon, and most places where you can find podcasts.)

HAVE a PODCAST IDEA? Want to be on the podcast? Pitch us your idea!

Speaking / Consulting

Chris and Scott have both presented extensively on the topics of trauma, loss, and resiliency. Chris has done keynote presentations for healthcare institutions, social workers, schools and other organizations. Scott has over 30 years of working in the field of education as a school psychologist, conducting countless staff development activities for educators and other professionals. Connect with us if you’d like us to present or consult with your organization. We’d be honored to talk with you about how we can meet your needs. 

Mentorship / Coaching

Scott and Chris are available for couple’s mentorship or individual coaching. Scott is available for educational consultation regarding IEP’s (Individualized Education Plans), parent / student educational advocacy. We also can help point you in the direction of resources to help fit your needs.

Book & Newsletter

Chris’ book (title in the works) is in the finishing stages. Sign up to our newsletter below to get updates, or e-mail chris@adoptiveparenthelp.com for further information.

Contact Us

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