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.”

Re-framing Travel

8 months ago our family decided to join a mission trip through our church to Guatemala.  While it fell into the "mission" category, it was hailed as family friendly and a great option for first time international travelers.  3 of us fell into that category, so we...

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What Christians are Not

6 years ago I sat at Wahoos Fish Taco with a co-worker who wanted nothing to do with God.  He respected my belief, but wasn't shy about challenging it either.  I liked this about him.  He was refreshing.  The snippit of our conversation that day that I can't set aside...

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Why So Much Focus?

It's easy to get wrapped up in the role of special needs parent.  And it's also easy to wonder if you spend too much time in your role.  Others wonder that aloud for you when you're really lucky.  Today has been a prime example of a day when I'm left laughing at the...

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In Our Family, We….

My tall drinka water husband and I have a lot of ideas on how we want to raise our kids. They shouldn't be super glued to screens. Elmers at most. We want to travel and expose them to God's unending and unbelievably amazing creation. They're taught to put others and...

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Brown, Flaky & Beautiful

I just got back from walking around my parents' neighborhood pond in the south Chicago suburbs.  My son was squeaking the way he does at a baby gosling while I surveyed the dead reeds and grasses.  I'm really drawn to "dead" nature.  Almost like I want to reassure it...

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Lay It On Me

When we discovered our son had sensory processing difficulties, we (I) went berserk trying and buying ALL the sensory tools known to woman.   It's a lot of tools friends.  And money.  How many were a slam dunk?  Maybe 3.  We went through 4 chew necklaces (they call it...

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Until recently, I thought I had come to a place of really truly understanding myself.  I would have claimed a sufficient amount of self confidence, self awareness in times of trial, ability to cope effectively with twists and turns....I  was in a good place...

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Finality of a Diagnosis

Ry and I sat in yet another bright and cheery medical office at Children's Hospital this morning.  This particular room was purple and blue.  While we've been confident over the past 3-4 years of Autism being an appropriate diagnosis, we haven't gone through the...

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Muddy Shoes

I had to purchase 4 pairs of shoes for our darling son this month.  FOUR.  You see, he has recently discovered a magic fairy tale land down by our river, just steps from our house.  His commentary on this special place of retreat? "So Mom.  To get to our secret land...

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