5 Tips to Ensure Your Park Visits are Safe for Your Kids

Parks are a wonderful place to spend time with your children, and without even thinking about it, they offer many wonderful benefits to child development. It gives them a chance to burn energy, develop their gross motor skills and improve their strength and coordination. It is also an opportunity for them to build relationships with others, learn to share space and be patient for their turn.
There are many types of parks for various ages and every community has different policies for their upkeep. I want to discuss some safety precautions you should consider when visiting your local park to keep your kids safe and will allow you to relax and let them enjoy themselves.

1. The Walk Through
Before you let your child play on a park structure, give a walk through around and on the play structure. It really doesn’t matter where you live, whether it is a lower, middle or an upper class neighborhood, teenagers often hangout at night on the park structures when they have nowhere else to go. Give a look for any broken glass, signs of drugs/needles anything that may put your child at risk.
If you do see something dangerous like glass or a needle, immediately call your community government/city council to come clean it up. They will have trained staff with safety protocols in place for cleanup and needle receptacles if required.


2. Foot Protection
If there is sand at the park, I would avoid flip-flops and suggest footwear that gives more foot coverage. Because you can’t see what’s in the sand, even a sharp rock or animal feces may lay under the sand surface. Running shoes are ideal and even Crocs or a thick soled sandal is better than flip-flops. This will also give them more stability while climbing on the structure.

3. Even when the weather isn’t very hot, kid’s burn a great deal of energy and can easily become dehydrated. Always have a bottle of water on hand.

4. Sun Protection
I know this goes without saying, but even on a cloudy day a child is exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. Use sunscreen regularly and more often if they are at a water park. Wear hats that protect their face and neck and any other appropriate clothing depending on the weather.

5. Small First Aid Kit
The smallest cut or scratch can ruin a park visit if you aren’t prepared. Have a small Ziploc bag with just a handful of essentials in it; band aids, antiseptic cream, gauze and perhaps tweezers. If you are far from home you may have to consider a few additional items. Here is a nice compact First Aid Kit from Amazon that is affordable and has all the essentials.

Keep your local government posted if you see any maintenance issues that may be dangerous or require repairs. Also, if you see any suspicious activity around your parks; strangers hanging out for extended periods of time or teenagers using your parks with disregard in the evenings, alert your local authorities.
These are just a few tips that will help ensure your park visits are safe and enjoyable.

Feel free to check out my blog for more helpful blog posts! http://www.amomsadventure.com


Celebrating Music with Your Kids

Create a Lifelong Connection through Music

From a very early age, kids respond to music; they wiggle and squirm, move their heads, hum or sing along. They love music and how it makes them feel. It is such a wonderful way for a child to get physically moving, learn interesting information; different styles, various instruments, different ways to make music. It can help improve memory, instill patience and help build confidence as they share the information they learn. It is also an amazing way to connect with your child.
Today, I’ll share with you how to create your own music day at home. These activities are probably best suited for children 3-8 years of age. It may take a little planning but once you have everything organized, you can pull out your material on a planned date or a rainy day.kids

Here are a few topics you should cover and helpful tips to make it a great musical day.

1. What is Music
Explain how music is sounds that are usually made with your voice or instruments to create even more beautiful sounds that make us want to sing, dance or clap along.

2. Who Enjoys Music
Let your kids know music is universal and enjoyed in every culture. Let them hear samples you have pre-selected from around the world. Ask their opinion as to whether they like it, would they dance to it, what instruments do they hear being played?

3. Ask Them How they Can Make Music With their Bodies
Snapping their fingers, clapping their hands, tapping their feet or making noises with their mouth are just a few they might mention. Have them make sounds with their bodies while you play music.

4. What Instruments do your Kids Recognize by Sight or Sound?
Kids love to share their knowledge. It gives them pride. Print out instruments from the various instrument groups; brass, string, percussion, woodwind, keyboard. Play music for them that will feature one instrument and let them guess which instrument it is. Another game is to show them a picture of a particular instrument that they must guess which category it belongs to. I printed pictures of various musical instruments and laminated them so I could use them on many occasions.

5. What are Musical Notes?
Let them know that musical notes have two jobs; tell us how low (deep) or how high a sound will be (pitch) and how many beats (length of time) a sound should be held. Here is a great page to help your kids learn about note values.

6. Musical Crafts
Here are a few simple instruments your kids can make easily and at little cost.
Shakers – Use an empty Pringles can and add some beans for a great shaker.
Drums – Use coffee cans as drums. Cut a strip of construction paper the width of the can and tape it around the circumference. The kids can then decorate it by coloring it or using musical related stickers. Let the kids paint a couple of wooden spoons for their own personal drumsticks. Instrument Cut Out – Often craft stores will carry large cut outs of musical instruments your kids can decorate. We have used a large cut out guitar on occasion, which the kids loved.

7. Ya Gotta Dance!
After all your talk about music they will be very excited to let loose. Ask if they have song requests. It is so easy now with YouTube to type in any song for your listening and dance pleasure. Don’t be shy, hop up there with them. Let them see your passion and enjoyment for music.

8. Musical Snacks
Don’t forget some fun musical snacks. Check out your local housewares department for musical cookie cutters or get creative out of your own cupboard.musical cutters

9. Song at Bedtime
Another great way to incorporate music into the day is to sing a quiet song or lullaby at bedtime. Children don’t care how you sound. They just love to hear their favorite tunes with mom or dad’s voice.

One thing about music, it is timeless. The tunes may change, but the enjoyment of music will always be there. If you reach your children through music, it will be part of a lifelong conversation. You may not have passion for their heavy metal or hip hop when they are in their teens, but you will find yourself humming to the same tune at times or they will tell you about an upcoming concert. Music is a great way to engage and stay connected with your children.

Grief is like the coat of many colors..

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When I started this blog I wanted it to be about the many happy adventures I take with my family! The fun adventures. I didn’t think for one minute I’d be writing about this adventure! My friends who are bloggers talk about how freeing and relaxing writing is for them. So I’m hoping that is what happens for me!

On February 21, 2016 my life dramatically changed and I will never forget where I was or what I was doing. I received a phone call from my sister saying, “sit down I have to tell you something and it’s bad”. Seriously, I thought it was something to do with her immediate family. Then she told me our Dad had passed away unexpectedly. Shock and disbelief doesn’t explain my feelings. Yes, I had been through death with other family members and close friends. Nothing quite prepared me for this. The days ahead were like a dream. I was going through the motions but devastated inside and didn’t feel like talking or “entertaining”. I knew my dad would want the day to go on and to let his friends and family gather and be together. My sister and I took each day as it came and tried to be graceful and thoughtful to his friends and family. We did everything we thought he would like. Honestly, I wanted it to all go away and forget it was happening. The first week I could barely sleep, eat and when I did fall asleep I would wake up to tears scrolling down my face. In all that I have read this is a normal reaction. But still it really stinks!

My dad and I had a sometimes complicated relationship. He said I was stubborn like my grandma-his mom. I always took it as a compliment because my grandma was a wonderful, caring and loving grandma. No matter what happened he was still my dad. Like any other little girl you want your dad in your life in whatever capacity that is. In the last 10 years or so we had started to really started to communicate and truly get along. I know he was as grateful as I was. My daughter thought he was the “cool” Papa. She thought he jokes were funny (even though I didn’t all the time) and enjoyed spending time with him. Obviously, as I aged I started to understand more of what he had went through in his younger years and why certain things happened or didn’t. He was the weekend dad the fun dad. We would go on vacation in the summer with our entire family and those were some of the best times. I’m so grateful for those memories.

My parents divorced when I was 2 years old. My mom was the one I identified with and was the one that I immediately went to for just about everything. My dad seemed to understand that and didn’t raise any issues with it. He didn’t raise any issues with much. Even when he passed he didn’t raise an issue. He quietly went to sleep and didn’t wake up. I’m thankful that he went peacefully and went to heaven on his own terms. However, I am mad because we didn’t get more time. We had more places to go and jokes to tell. Even if the jokes were stale and we had heard them a zillion times. I wish I could here them again.

I referred to Dolly Parton’s song, A Coat of Many Colors in the title because to me grief is like that. One day you feel one way the next day it’s different. Hoping with each day that passes it gets easier somehow. I’ve been told time is the only thing will help ease the pain. What I do know is that I not only miss my dad being here in this world but also miss all of the things that we will not be able to do and see. Lastly, I am incredibly sad that my daughter now has one less grandparent. Leaving her with only 1 grandparent. That my friends is what really makes me sad.

3 Things I’ve learned from Direct Sales

So I’m taking a little bit of different “spin” on my blog today. I decided to start posting occasionally on “personal” topics that are actually things I’ve personally experienced or learned through my life journey. This post relates to business.


The 3 things I’ve learned throughout my journey with direct sales are as follows:

1. The first and most important concept to me is MINDSET. Perseverance is one way to think about your mindset. In any business you have to keep a specific mindset. Giving up can’t be an option. By Dictionary.com. The actual definition of Perseverance is steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. So if you truly think about that word and live it daily then quitting is not even an option for you. To keep on course a plan or schedule will help keep consistent behavior and activity. Keeping the plan simple and fast will help keep daily activity and consistent behavior that will turn into habits.

2. Have Goals or Intentions. Having daily, weekly and monthly goals will create habits. As we know habits will create more activity and return on investment. Writing daily goals in a planner is an excellent way to stay on track and be held accountable. Checking off them as you do them will help you realize what you’ve accomplished. Focusing on daily goals will undoubtedly lead to achieving long-term success with whatever the goal is. List making can be a savior. Keeping it realistic and prioritized is also key.

3. Regardless of the size of your business or if you are starting a new one you have to take your business serious. Setting hours, goals and a plan of action is key. It is easy to get distracted. Getting up and getting “ready” is truly the most effective way to start your day. Having a delegated work space will help eliminate distractions. I find playing music and turning my computer on first thing helps to set the tone so to speak. Ignoring the surroundings and having “my list” close by helps to stay on track. Again, keeping your mindset, goals and taking your business as serious is key to a good start to working from home.

Tips to Maintain Productivity While Working From Home

Our ideas of how and where people should work are constantly changing, and the recent push towards a healthy work/life balance has more and more people looking for ways to take control of their work lives. For many, that means finding opportunities to telecommute and work from home whenever possible.

If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Working from home saves you the commute to and from an office, it allows the you the flexibility to arrange you work hours around your life, and it means you can work from the comfort of your own space. For business owners, allowing employees these opportunities can mean reduced costs on utilities and money saved on smaller office spaces.

Of course, there are drawbacks – one of which being that not everyone works effectively from home. For some, the many distractions available within their homes make it difficult to concentrate on the work at hand. When it feels as though there are always floors to be mopped, dinners to cook and DVR’d shows to catch up on – how do you maintain productivity while working from home?


Create Your Workspace

The first key component is to create a workspace that is conducive to actually working. Plenty of people over the years have found that they are productive and creative right from their own beds, but let’s be real; that isn’t the norm. Most work-from-homers need to have a space that is specifically designated for work in order for them to get into that groove. Often this means a space that comes equipped with a desk and any equipment you may need to successfully work (printers, fax machines, photography equipment, etc.) while also being separate from some of the greater distractions in your home – i.e. you may want to set your desk up somewhere that you can’t see the television from.



Shut Off Your Phone

Obviously, if you receive a lot of unexpected phone calls for work, you can’t just shut your phone off. But absent that, there may be benefits to at least turning the ringer down. When you work from home, friends and family can make the mistake of thinking that you are forever available to chat or hang out, and as a result – your phone may be ringing off the hook with personal calls during work hours. The best way to eliminate that distraction is to turn it off. So if you have the willpower, hit those buttons and hide your phone away in your desk for a few hours.


Set an Alarm

It’s not uncommon at all to get caught up in the day-to-day duties of running a home when you should be working from that home. Maybe you can’t stop thinking about the dinner you still have to prepare, or perhaps you have convinced yourself that a quick cleaning of the kitchen will clear your head so that you can better focus. If you find yourself unable to work until you attend to those distractions, make yourself a deal. Set an alarm for 15 minutes, and once that alarm goes off – force yourself back to work. Or do the opposite, and set an alarm for an hour, with the promise to yourself that you can attend to your other duties once that alarm goes off.


Utilize Technology

It may seem that technology (social networking and cable television) are among your greatest distractions when it comes to working from home, but there are ways to use that technology to your advantage, as well. For instance, you can set parental controls on your television so that it can only be turned on after work hours. And with your computer, you can do something similar – limiting the time you can spend on websites that aren’t work-related during the day. Sure, you are the one setting the limits, which means that theoretically – you could bypass those limits at any time. But sometimes, all we need is the reminder that we shouldn’t be doing something, for us to redirect or attention back to what we should be focusing on instead.

Finding Emergency Childcare

As a mom owning a business, life never gets dull. There are so many perks to being in charge of your career, not the least of which being that you are able to have some flexibility when it comes to the time you spend with your kids. Unlike those who are chained to a 9 to 5 desk job, entrepreneurial moms are able to make their own hours, often working their schedule around their children’s schedule. And that is a very cool way to live as a mother.

But all successful businesses also require a certain level of dedication and commitment. Which sometimes means being able to drop everything and chase opportunities for new clientele or partnerships aimed at improving your business whenever those opportunities arise. When it is your business on the line, you occasionally need to jump in order to remain competitive.

So what do you do when those opportunities arise in the middle of times when you were otherwise planning on being with your kids? How do you quickly make arrangements for emergency childcare so that you can get to where you need to be?



Have Your Backup List

Ideally, you would already have a backup list of people you can call on for help when these situations come up. Friends and family who are already more than willing to step in and take care of your littles whenever you may need. Having that list of people in mind means easing some of the panic when opportunities come up that you just can’t turn down. It also means your children being able to go to people they already love and known, which can help to ease some of the sadness they may experience over a few hours away from Mom when they were otherwise counting on being able to play with you.


Contact Local Daycares

Certain daycares may have drop-in hours or availability for last minute childcare situations. The key to this is knowing which of the daycares in your area allow for this before you find yourself in the situation of needing emergency childcare. So set aside one afternoon to make some calls, and make note of the local daycare centers that allow for drop-ins. Then, take the time to visit each of those locations on another free day, just to make sure you would be comfortable leaving your child there in the event of an emergency. Knowing ahead of time what your options are, can make all the difference in being able to seamless navigate these situations when they come up.


Ask for Referrals

Even if your friends and family aren’t available to watch your children, they may be able to provide referrals and references for someone who could. Perhaps your friends down the street have a babysitter they just swear by. Or maybe your parents know a young girl from their church who is great with kids. If an emergency comes up and you seem out of options, make a call out to your network for any referrals they may have.


Get Creative

And then, there are the times when you just have to get creative as a mother. Obviously, your children having safe and reliable care trumps any business opportunity that may come up. If you aren’t able to find an option that seems like it would work, try to think through ways to keep your child with you while still attending to whatever opportunity has come up. Perhaps you could explain your situation and suggest a meeting at McDonalds, where your child could play in the play area while you chat at a table nearby. Or maybe you could hold the meeting at your house, setting up your little one with crayons and paper in the other room. Obviously, these aren’t ideal options – but sometimes, you have to be willing to get creative in order to get everything you want!



Returning to School as a Mom and Business Owner

Most people think of continued education as being a young person’s gig. And to an extent, they would be right. There are actual studies on this; most college courses are far more suited for a learner in their early 20’s, than for a mom in her 40’s. The truth is, the older we get, the harder it is for us to retain new information. Which is not a knock on getting older. It just… is.

Still, there is something to be said for having a passion for knowledge. And even more to be said for being willing to continually improve upon yourself. As a business owner, there are always opportunities to learn and grow; while finding ways to also better grow your business along the way. Most of us probably didn’t think about taking courses the first time around that could be beneficial to what we are doing today. And even if we did, there are always evolving ideas and opportunities for gaining further knowledge.


Which is why it can be such a great idea to return to school as an adult, particularly if you have hopes of bringing your business to the next level. But navigating those additional challenges, on top of running your business and being there for your family, can be hard.


Set Yourself up for Success

If you have your heart set on returning to school, the first thing you need to do is be willing to acknowledge the additional challenges you have in front of you today. You have far more responsibilities than you ever did before, and you are likely always being pulled in 10 different directions. Which means that trying to pull off a full course-load, on top of your family and business responsibilities, probably isn’t realistic. Rather than taking on more than you can chew, why not start with a single class and see how that fits into your schedule? You can always add more the following semester, but in the beginning; it is better to start out slow as you gain an understanding of your capabilities.


Rely on Your Support network

You will need the support of your friends and family now more than ever. Make sure that everyone in your life is aware of this new challenge you are taking on, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. That may mean splitting school pickups and drop-offs for your with your spouse or another mommy friend. It might mean asking your parents to watch your little one two nights a week while you attend a night class. Or it could be simply convincing your spouse that you need to hire a cleaning lady now that you have these additional responsibilities.


Schedule in Some Breaks

As packed as your schedule is sure to be over the next few months, don’t forget to factor in time for your children, your spouse and yourself. You can’t work 24/7, nor should you. Remember to set your priorities and stick to them; which means still allowing yourself a night every once in a while to curl up in the tub with a good book, or a weekend to run away with your family.


Be Proud of Yourself

There is a reason not many people return to school after starting their families; because it is hard. What you are signing on for will mean a lot of work and increased responsibilities on your end. But the benefits can be amazing, and the example you are setting for your children is certainly admirable. So be sure to take the time to be proud of yourself. You are working hard, but it is all for a great cause; and it will hopefully all be worth it in the end.

When to Hire a Little Extra Help

As mothers, we tend to carry the world on our shoulders. Particularly as working mothers, who are tasked with balancing home life and work responsibilities all the time. Just like so many women we know, we do it. And we work hard to keep a smile on our faces in the process. But sometimes, still… continuing to juggle it all gets to be too much.

There is no shame in admitting you could use a little help, especially when you have the room in your budget to accommodate that help.


Whether that means hiring a cleaning lady to come every other week, or opting for in-home care for your children – sometimes, we could all benefit from that extra set of hands. And knowing how to recognize when you are at that point is half the battle.


You Realize You Aren’t Playing With Your Kids

There is already the mommy guilt that accompanies being a working mother. We can’t be there for all the firsts, and sometimes our kids have on rely on adults other than us. There are a lot of positives to that situation as well, but even when we know how beneficial it can be for our child to get that outside interaction – it can still sometimes be a difficult pill to swallow.

So the last thing you want is to then be distracted during the times you do have with your kids. But the house still needs to be cleaned, the bills still need to be paid, and dinner still needs to be made. If you find yourself constantly pulled in other directions, even when you are home – it might be time to hire someone to help with the workload, so that you can refocus on your kids.


You Feel Overwhelmed to the Point of Not Sleeping

You certainly aren’t alone if you are at a stage in life that has you absolutely overwhelmed. It happens to the best of us – responsibilities piling up, until we don’t even know what to focus on anymore. Don’t allow yourself to fall into a rut that has you unable to escape, though. If you are having trouble sleeping, feeling constantly cranky or anxious and don’t know how to get ahead – you need help. And that’s perfectly acceptable to admit.


You and Your Husband Aren’t Connecting

Just as you want to cherish time with your kids, making your husband and your marriage a priority is important as well. Unfortunately, most of us are guilty of putting our relationships last – not first. You don’t have to fall into that trap, though. If it has been months since you had a date night, or even longer since you have felt like you had a kid-free conversation with your spouse – it’s time to take advantage of a little help so that you can get some time alone together.


You Just Need a Break

Sometimes, you just need a break. You work hard all week, pour yourself into being an exemplary mom and wife, and you come out the other end tired and unsure of when the last time was that you did something you truly wanted to do. A healthy and happy mom is one who takes care of herself, and it may be time for you to do just that. Handing over the cleaning or cooking duties to another person, so that you can focus on doing something you really enjoy, could actually make you a more engaged and content mother. Plus, there is the added benefit of showing your kids that women can have a lot of passions – and that as much as you love them, you also understand that you are a whole person deserving of self-care as well.

Setting Yourself up to Work From Home

Making the decision to work from home can be exciting and scary all at once. For a lot of people, it is the result of branching out into business on their own – which carries with it a whole other set of implications and risks. And even if you are staying with your former company and maintaining your previous career now from the comfort of your own home, there is still always the concern that you may not be able to be quite as productive away from the office – and that your bosses will notice.

Still, when you can find a way to make it work, there is so much freedom that comes with being able to work from home. Not only do you have the ability to make your own schedule and decide when and how to work, but you also potentially save yourself hours a day on the commute alone.

Working from home is kind of amazing. But you have to set yourself up for success in order to do it well.

So what does that mean, exactly?


Create Your Space

First up, you want to create a dedicated workspace. Preferably your own office. When you have a room dedicated entirely to work, you can actually write that space off come tax time. But more importantly, creating a space meant just for work will help you to get in the right mindset when it is time to start focusing on the job at hand. The reality is, most of us couldn’t readily work from our kitchens or living rooms – at least not without noticing 100 other things we would rather be doing. Walking into an office and shutting the door, though? That helps to set the stage for the work to come.


Set Up Shop

The next step is ensuring you have all the necessary tools of your trade readily at your disposal. For most people, the bare minimum for working from home is a computer and Internet access. Some may also need a dedicated landline for work calls. And if you are going to need to be signing and faxing documents on a regular basis, that means you need a printer and fax machine installed. Take note of the tools you frequently used when working in an office, and prepare to provide the same tools for yourself at home. You don’t want to be running to Kinko’s every day to get the job done.




Maintain a Schedule

One of the big benefits of working from home is being able to set your own schedule, but that doesn’t mean you should fly by the seat of your pants all the time. When you work from home, it is really easy to put work off and tell yourself you will get it done later. There always seems like there is something better you could be doing. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap. To avoid it, try to keep some semblance of normal working hours – whatever that may mean to you. Obviously, there is room for flexibility when emergencies arise, but otherwise; stick to a plan. Tell yourself you will be in your office working by a set time every day, and them aim to always meet that goal.


Be Willing to Accept Defeat

Working from home, while great, isn’t for everyone. Being successful requires a certain level of discipline and focus that not everyone has – and that’s OK. If, after a few weeks, you realize you just aren’t getting the job done from home, start looking for alternative options. Maybe you would be more productive at a coffee shop, or renting a shared workspace. Talk to other’s running their own business, and ask how they do it. Be open to suggestions, and look for the best way to make this situation work for you.

Answering Your Child’s Questions About Adoption

Adoption has been a beautiful blessing in our lives. It has brought us a little girl who truly is the best thing to ever happen to us. She is sweet and funny and I have no doubt she was always meant to be ours!

But with that, there are always complicated pieces as well. Adoption is never totally cut and dry. There is loss there, experienced by everyone in the adoption triad. For my husband and I, we had to mourn the idea of ever being pregnant. For my daughter’s first mother, she had to mourn not being able to keep her baby. And for my daughter, she will have to one day mourn what it means to be separated from that first family.

Even when adoption is so clearly the best thing for all involved, there is still sadness and loss. And as adopted children grow, they learn to express that in different ways – often first by asking questions.



While every child and family is different, these are some of the ways you might want to answer those questions in the future.


What Does it Mean to be Adopted?

When you talk to children about adoption from a very early age, they begin to accept it as just a part of who they are. Meaning, they may never ask what it means to be adopted. But if they do ever come to you with questions along this vein, you can tell him or her that it means you wanted very much to be a parent, and that God (the Universe, fate, or whatever spiritual philosophy you prescribe to) brought you together, knowing that he or she needed a family. Try to spin this in a positive light when possible, and to make it clear you are so thankful you get to be their mommy.


Why Didn’t My First Mommy Keep Me?

It is normal for children of adoption to go through a period of struggling with what it means to have been placed for adoption. Even if they have been with you since birth, there is often a sense of abandonment there to deal with. It is important for you to try to explain the circumstances without cutting down their first mother – as they may grow to internalize some of those descriptions in the future. Explain that she made the best choice she could for the baby she loved, and that she just didn’t feel like she could give him or her the life they deserved. Try to make sure your child understands that placing was an act of love – not one of abandonment.


Will You Ever Give Me Away?

Another very normal fear for an adopted child is that they may be placed for adoption again. After all… if it happened once. It is your responsibility to make sure they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this would never happen. You are Mom and Dad, always and forever. Your child needs to feel secure in that love and family – so do whatever you can to effectively communicate that message.


What Are they Like?

Finally, it is also very normal for children of adoption to express an interest in their biological family. Having an open adoption can sometimes help to answer some of these questions, but when openness isn’t possible – being able to share as much as you can will still help. If you have pictures of their biological family, hold on to those for the times when these questions come up. Answer what you can, and then invite your child to share openly about their own feelings. When you can’t provide much information, you can at least still given them a shoulder to cry on as they mourn how little they know.