Posted on Leave a comment

Chapter 5 – Parent Discussion – You’re beautiful- that’s for sure.


If you have already read the Chapter 5 – Kid Discussion, you know that our family saw this as a thrilling chapter. It’s the complete opposite of the paranoid-filled and fearful first four chapters with a hint of OCD thrown in for good measure. This chapter is all about the senses. It’s about the excitement. It’s about freedom.


Even though Harry is being introduced to his amazing “new” life, he can’t seem to escape his identity in the old life. While everyone is in sheer wonder at meeting him, all he can think about is how uninformed he is about the magical world. He feels silly and dumb. Toward the end of the chapter he has spiraled himself into a low funk. It takes Hagrid to bring him back to reality.

fink-hogwarts-adoption-tennessee-harry-potter  doughnut-foster-parents-adoption-tennessee

It’s easy as a parent (forget the foster/adoptive title) to get down on yourself. The biggest difference really being in a foster/adoptive situation that we (parents) were not naturally bonded to our children. However, that doesn’t mean that our families are any less connected. It simply means that our families have to work at the bonding process.

Along the journey to creating a family a lot of things get in the way that wear you out. There are special behaviors that your foster/adoptive child has, our own issues from the past, special physical or mental needs, and then there is just issues of getting through everyday life. Suddenly, one day you look in the mirror and wonder if this is how you wanted to look as a parent. From there it is easy to slump down in a dizzying spiral of self-accusations and disappointment.

Just like it wasn’t right for Harry to define himself with a small portion of his life it isn’t right for us to do that either. Here are some attributes of a foster/adoptive parent that I would say are generally true:

  • Brave – many people talk about fostering or adoption but few go through with it
  • Compassionate – most likely the reason you wanted to foster/adopt was your sympathy for kids without a forever home
  • Resourceful – most foster/adoptive parents have to think of creative ways to help our children with their unique behaviors

Those are just a few of the many qualities that make you a great foster/adoptive parent. And yes, there are other qualities that make you a great parent. If you can’t seem to find those qualities, you need to find a Hagrid that will tell you about those qualities on a regular basis.

Now It’s Your Turn:

  1. What are at least 3 qualities that make you a great parent? person?
  2. Who are the people in your life that remind you of the great person you are?

Help others with the conversation:

What is something you do to treat yourself to a some quality time away from the kiddos? Bubble bath? A date night? a movie? Let us know and give the rest of us some ideas. We also want to hear your thoughts and ideas from this chapter.


Parents’ Discussions:

Ch. 01 | Ch. 02 | Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Kids’ Discussions:
Ch. 01
| Ch. 02Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Posted on Leave a comment

Chapter 5 – Kid Discussion – What Makes You So Special Anyways?


Diagon Alley. I don’t think that I have met anyone that has read The Sorcerer’s Stone that didn’t want to walk through the magical archway behind the Leaky Cauldron and enter this magical shopping district. Compared to his time at the Dursley’s home, this trip to Diagon Alley had to be better than great for Harry. With the opening of the new Diagon Alley theme park at Universal Studio Orlando, a lot of people are getting their chance to see how excited Harry felt when entering the magical world.

diagon-alley-snitch-foster-care  butter-beer-diagon-alley-family

What was it like to be there? My kids think it would be neat to be led to a vault piled high with gold, and it goes without saying that each of them wants a Nimbus 2000. Each of my adopted children has their own opinion also on which animal Harry should have gotten to take to Hogwarts.

There are so many exciting things to talk about in this chapter. While my kids and I talked about the chapter, though, we noticed someone that was unhappy during about half of the reading. Harry. Nearly everyone in Diagon Alley knew who he was and thought that he was simply amazing. However, Harry didn’t think he was special at all. He concentrated on things that he didn’t know about the magical world. He felt dumb and silly.

After dinner my family talked about Harry’s sad feelings for a bit. My kids, who have been through the foster system, feel that it is easy for kids to look at the bad things about themselves. It’s easy to feel like you’re the weirdo at school because you don’t live with your biological mom or dad. When you have a problem lying to adults or hitting people or stealing food, it’s easy to think that you’re not special. It’s easy to think that something big is wrong with you.

My family went around the dinner table and had everyone share at least one thing that made a person around the table special. You know what? Everyone shared something, and no one was left out. We discovered once again that each of us is unique. Each one of us is important to the family.

One of my kids has a cognitive disability. It would be easy to just say they are the kid who can’t read simple words, do simple math or tell time. He/she gets angry easily and feels the need to argue all the time. However, there is so much more to a person than the things they struggle with in life. My kiddo is also incredibly kind-hearted, very talented in the arts, is a conversationalist and very detail oriented. If you needed help cleaning your room, you would want this child who makes sure that everything is sorted.

It’s easy to focus on the bad things, and that’s why it’s good for your family to let each other know the special things that make each person great.

Now It’s Your Turn:

  1. What do you want to see or do in Diagon Alley?
  2. Which type of animal would you take to Hogwarts?
  3. What do you think makes Harry special?
  4. Take a few minutes with your family. Have each person share at least one thing about the other members that make them special.

Help other families:

Share one thing in the comments below that makes you special and unique. We would also love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments.


Kids’ Discussions:
Ch. 01
| Ch. 02Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Parents’ Discussions:

Ch. 01 | Ch. 02 | Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17