Foster Care/Adoption

If you came here hoping for warm, mushy stories of being a saint for adopting from foster care or tales of how once the child was with our family, she was miraculously healed and transformed into a princess, you’ve arrived at the wrong fairytale. In fact, our lives since bringing three children out of foster care into our home has been nothing that vaguely resembles a fluffy, rainbow-filled fairytale. It’s been filled with sweat and tears and occasionally someone’s blood. It’s been trial-by-error and fingers crossed and routines that are open books. It’s been lack of sleep, more than what should be declared normal amounts of appointments (mental health, medical health, therapy, school, social workers and anyone else deemed an expert) and the evening drink with conversations surrounding our internal dialogue of “What did we do this for?” It’s also been filled with monumentous celebrations of things large and definitely small. It’s been overcoming obstacles and disabilities and trying to set the bar higher than last week. It’s been. And it’s us.


Twins and Talkeetna

Series submitted for Memoir Writing class at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies The sun isView full post »

The Dental Walk of Shame

Disclaimer: In no way does our dental experience extend to all dental experiences, nor should it be used to stereotypeView full post »

Breathe in calm, breathe out smile

The piercing continuous alarm disrupts my thoughts as a forkful of spinach omelet travels from my breakfast plate to myView full post »

Morning Anthem: Screams from the Circus

This essay centers around our twin boys, whom we adopted at the age of 2. They suffer the effects of cytomegliovirusView full post »

And the Porcupine Jumps

After my extremely revealing and personal post yesterday, I’ve received many comments, texts, messages and phoneView full post »

Caring For & Loving Porcupines

A dear friend suggested the title of my first book be “Caring For and Loving Porcupines” after I vented toView full post »

Morning Courage | West of Home, South of Sanity

My brain is hauled away from restful slumber by the sound of plastic wheels being dragged across a hard floor above myView full post »

Surf’s Up | West of Home, South of Sanity

Life with special needs children can limit the activities your family can do. Hiking, for example, isn’t reallyView full post »

Special Needs, Special Treatment | West of Home, South of Sanity

Thank you to all of the a$$holes who fraudulently used Disney’s disability policies. You have now made it evenView full post »

Driven to the End | West of Home, South of Sanity

On our third morning in Miloli’i, we woke late and enjoyed a slow morning of packing and cleaning the rentalView full post »

Sinking heart

Our second day in Miloli’i began with a slight wind and warm sun. Taking advantage of sleeping children, I set upView full post »

Night marching like the natives

After spending time with Jess as she met her paternal birth family, Allen, Emma and I headed to our beach house rentalView full post »

Picking through the pieces

Arriving in Hawaii felt familiar for 3 of us. The 4th didn’t remember her first visits to the islands andView full post »

Writing, Public Showers & Parenting

How and why do I write? Living in this large family provides many moments that are meant to be shared (for good reasonsView full post »

RAD Reality TV

I believe when you put your story into the world, it will touch someone. I use this blog as a vehicle for our story,View full post »

Top 10 Favorite Kid Quotes of 2012

“Hey, Allen! Come here! Need your wrench!” says Matt after I tell him he needed an Allen wrench for hisView full post »

Cookies & Calmness

Baking is a tradition for some, harkening back to a favorite dish grandma prepared each Christmas. Baking can beView full post »

Yesterday, I hesitated. Today, I booked the tickets.

When the idea comes to you, you search for the avenues of possibility. You also waste time trying to convince yourselfView full post »

Ho Ho Hugs

We completed our family evening outing last night with a trip to Barnes & Noble. As Allen tweeted, “Only inView full post »

Sharing My Family’s Story

Project.12 The opportunity to capture my family each month and share them with you. Each session inspired by aView full post »

When Life Gets Scary, Make Fake Blood

As a family who faces daily challenges and life struggles, we have developed strategies to overcome our obstacles.View full post »

The Definition of Outrageous

A few weeks ago I was reading to my older kids from Brene Brown’s latest book Daring Greatly and shared withView full post »

Super Family Powers

We are often on the receiving end of comments such as, “You are amazing. You are inspirational. You are likeView full post »

She’s not a fish

I’ve struggled with writing this post for several weeks. Then I decided to wait for an update before publishing.View full post »

Call Me Maybe & Other Tales from the Dark Side

Have you ever wondered what happens when you call a special needs (SN) parent and tell them their child is sick orView full post »

FIRE – family in reality explosiveness

Here’s the thing, no one likes negatives. When someone asks the loaded “how are you?” question, theyView full post »

How Marvelous and Frustrating is My Life

Every time I sit down to write here, I get distracted and the day ends. Distractions in my life come in many forms, butView full post »

First Point

As I watched Jessi close the garage door while tossing something in her mouth, I ran through the scenario, hoping IView full post »

feeding tube finally!

Nick received his feeding tube on April 4th after 2 months of being fed by an NG tube. Seeing him in the recovery room,View full post »

Taking “I can’t hear you” to an all new level

We have an obnoxious habit of telling Matt, “I can’t hear you” when he asks for something. AndView full post »

Fulfillment or Psych Assessment Checklist?

I finally managed to remember to bring my camera with me to the grocery. To be honest, it’s tagged along forView full post »

Pint-sized perfection

The twins are in second grade this year, which in the Catholic faith means First Reconciliation and First EucharistView full post »

when the lesson learned isn’t the one you envisioned

It has been one week since Little Guy returned to Alaska…. And 5 months since our adoption saga began. Along theView full post »

Quoting Dr. Suess & adoption decisions

This past week has been a whirlwind for us as a family. We arrived in Alaska to meet Little Guy and planned for him toView full post »

“How many are in your group?”

We’ve been asked this question several times on this trip and I smile at Jessi’s response. There are 7 ofView full post »

seeing behavior through an abused & neglected child’s eyes

Matt has a habit of darting. In new environments, he’ll run. Not just a simple jog, but more of anView full post »

the absolute children’s hospital survival bag

After spending a week with Nick at Texas Children’s, I am seriously considering patenting the absolute hospitalView full post »

Did I ever tell you…..

About our close encounter with California’s Napa Valley law enforcement? California has a significant litteringView full post »

GPS and hearing aides

We have GPS in our cars and our phones. Why can’t we have GPS in hearing aides and cochlear implant BTEs??? WeView full post »

Celebrating National Hobby Month and Healing Steps

January is National Hobby Month and Circus Vorholt will be sharing some of it’s favorite hobbies with you overView full post »

photographing your own family Part II

This story began HERE with Part 1 and our attempt at family photos. I thought taking them at home would be my bestView full post »

he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

The road is long, with many a winding turn that leads us to who knows where, who knows where But I’m strong,View full post »

respect, roast beef and reciprocation

I have book OCD. Ask any packing and moving company that’s been blessed with an assignment to help our circus PCSView full post »

photographing your own family is…..

Challenging, difficult, exhausting, draining. If you are lucky, you can come out of the experience with some sanityView full post »

10 things the twins have taught us

As my children resume their schooling careers this week and I revel in the welcomed silence that now envelopes meView full post »

monday morning coffee weekend recap

It’s been a busy weekend at Casa Vorholt, but then again, when is it not? We watched the movie Soul Surfer twiceView full post »

waiting in a room

Waiting rooms are my arch-nemesis. I walk in prepared with children who’ve received rule warnings before exitingView full post »

crazy RAD love

Michael and I went to see “Crazy Stupid Love” this weekend and enjoyed it’s message of fighting forView full post »

a week in the life of a child with cp

Nick did well for his first Botox injection this past Monday. No pain, at least none he could tell us about. HisView full post »

skin color does matter

age 9 This week I witnessed Jess sunbathing after an hour of swimming. To her credit, she applied SPF 50View full post »

KISS the mentally challenged child

5 facts about Nick:   he loves NASCAR he will hug you he screams – ALOT he fixes mac-n-cheese he is severelyView full post »

when’s dinner?

Would you like to come to dinner? All seven of you? It’s a simple question. A simple question followed by hoursView full post »

Small head, big heart

One of our adopted sons, Nick, has microcephaly, which means his head size is much smaller than normal. Consequently,View full post »

Life with cochlear implants

While messaging a fellow parent regarding cochlear implants this morning, I found myself reflecting on what life isView full post »

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