THE BLOG….my happy place.

Welcome to my (Gwen Vogelzang) personal blog. Read about my experiences as a special needs adoptive parent, our family life, and the story behind publishing our first book “If I Squeeze Your Head I’m Sorry.”

So Now What?

So now what?  Where from here?  Work, school, church, health, justice, equity, political divide, family structures, travel….nothing is outside the realm of these unanswerable questions.  This thing we refer to so broadly as “life” is a tipsy-turvy, up in the air,...

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Ask. Listen. Repeat.

Last night, as I ate dinner, prepared by an invisible human at a lovely establishment I didn't have to clean up, a friend asked me a question. "What's the hardest part of your parenting journey?" I paused. First and foremost, I needed a sip of my smoky martini, mixed...

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When Talking to us Infertiles

I know, "infertiles" isn't a sensitive term. You're right and you can definitely NOT refer to me as such. But I can use the term on myself. Now that we have that out of the way.... I've never been pregnant. The lines on the stick have never intersected with each...

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A Church Home in West MI?

Its been a year since we pulled our 2nd Penske beast into our 5 acre long driveway in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Almost to the day. So much of this past year has been a blur of silky smooth transitions that really should have been more pot hole in nature. The silk is not...

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I Love a Good Label Maker, BUT….

Every morning my feet hit the floor, or are pulled to the floor from my early rising daughter, the world tells me, in no uncertain terms, that it's confused and torn and bleeding.  Headlines are cap locked and urgent.  Words like "oppression" and "white supremacy"...

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The Myth of Safety

There's this new and growing camp of parents and students.  It's one of the very worst camps to belong to. 20 years ago, this camp was formed here in the US, but it remained really exclusive. Today, you could build a city around it. Our Denver community makes up a...

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Our Mitten Move

We love us some Michigan vacations.  It's the week we look forward to most each year - renting a lake house with family, digging in the sand, dodging the mosquitoes with incessant incest repellent, swimming out to the sand bar, picking blueberries, treating the a/c...

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When Consequences Don’t Work

Have you discovered what happens when consequences don't work for your child? Many basic parenting techniques reflect a consequence and rewards system for behavior.  Johnny didn't get ready for school in time and played with his chickens instead of eating breakfast. ...

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None of This is Tidy

Whether the misguiding was the fault of the people we trusted to lead us, or our own for not digging and researching and reading and asking, it doesn't matter. None of this is tidy. 11 years ago, when we decided to start our family through adoption, we knew nothing. ...

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