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A Recipe for Caramel Corn and Fall Talk with Your Foster-Adoptive Family


Fall is quickly approaching. I’m anxious to make one of my favorite sweet treats “Microwave Caramel Corn.” This is an especially fun activity to share with my grandchildren and one that you can use to share some great quality time with your foster-adoptive children or grandchildren.

Microwave Caramel Corn


  • Popcorn
  • Butter or Oleo
  • Brown Sugar
  • White Syrup
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla


  1. First of all we need to pop 3 to 4 quarts of popcorn and place in a very large microwave-safe bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl combine:
    • 1 stick butter or oleo
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup white syrup
    • ½ teaspoon salt
  3. Bring to a boil in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes on high.
  4. Then add:
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  5. Stir and pour this mixture over the popcorn.
  6. Then cook in the microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes. Remove, stir and cook for another 1 ½ minutes.
  7. Spread on wax paper to cool.


Talking About Fall With The Grandkids

Now comes the best part, of course. Eating it and sharing memories of bygone days with my grandchildren!

Fall brings memories for me of going to the woods and picking up hickory nuts with my Mother or collecting leaves and insects with my siblings for school projects.

And then there are Halloween stories. One of my favorite Halloween memories is the party we went to when my two children were small. The kids and I dressed as ghosts and their Dad dressed as the “Ghostbuster” complete with the boom box playing the theme from that movie.

Another older memory is from my childhood. Growing up in the country my siblings and I didn’t often go “trick or treating.” But one Halloween my sister and I decided our little brother needed to have that experience even if we couldn’t take him to town. We sneaked him to another room with our father watching TV in the living room and being unaware of what we were up to. We dressed our brother as a witch, walked him out the back door and around to the front door. We instructed him to wait a few minutes while we made our way back to the living room and then to knock on the door. Living in the country our front door was rarely used. Anyone who knew us used the back door. When our father heard that knock he naturally assumed it was someone who didn’t come to our home frequently. He opened the door and greeted my brother in the “most cordial” manner and made sure we had a sweet treat to give him. It wasn’t until our brother removed his mask that our father realized we had “pulled one over on him.” We all had a good chuckle over this and a lasting memory that I can now share with my grandchildren.

Now It’s Your Turn:

Use these questions to spark conversation. The important thing is to share your stories and memories with your child or grandchild and learn more about their likes, dislikes and history.

  1. Have you ever had caramel corn before? Do you like this better than regular popcorn?
  2. What is your favorite fall treat or Halloween candy? Have you ever gone Trick or Treating?
  3. What has been your favorite costume? What do you think would be the perfect costume?
  4. What is your favorite color of leaf in the Autumn? Have you ever made a craft with colorful leaves?
  5. Parent: Tell you child something about Trick or Treating when you were a kid.



*Transfiguring Adoption and its bloggers do not claim ownership or to have created the recipe contained in this blog. Caramel corn recipe was obtained from an acquaintance on a recipe card over twenty years ago.*



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A Quick Tip to Boost Your Foster – Adoptive Family’s Trip to Universal Studios


Take the Trip from Fun to WOW

We took our first trip to Universal Studios Orlando after all of our children had been adopted from foster care. I remember asking people how we could make this adoption celebration special. I actually got this response a lot:

“A trip to Universal Studios is special all by itself.”

Yes. Yes. I understand that a trip to Universal is amazing. However, these are my kids. They have been through all sorts of abuses and neglect. They waited for years in the foster care system to officially be put into their forever family. This needed to be a celebration where the kids felt like they were the center of the world.

There are many things that we can tell your foster-adoptive family about to make your first trip a memorable one. However, when your family is trying to be budget conscious, you want to find those special touches that are:

  • Complimentary
  • Personalized
  • Actually is a Souvenir of the trip


Complimentary Pins

While these badges are not a secret, they are not openly advertised by Universal Studios that we have seen. There are two types of complimentary badges:

  • General Celebration
  • Birthday Celebration


Here’s the deal. All you have to do is simply tell a staff member what to write on the pin and viola – you have an instant souvenir that you can wear around the park. As an added bonus, don’t be surprised if staff members around the park read your badge to offer congratulations or happy birthday.

Where can you obtain these pins?


  1. Customer Service – Universal Studios Side
  2. Customer Service – Islands of Adventure


  1. The main gift shops by the front of each park
  2. Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley (only witnessed them there once)
  3. The Blue Man Group Kiosk close to Jurassic Park in Islands of Adventure


How will you personalize your pin?

  • Adoption Day
  • Jan’s 1st Visit
  • 9th Birthday
  • Foster Family

Email us or comment below for more suggestions or tell us how you made your trip to Universal Studios. 


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A Foster- Adoptive Family Under Construction


The last few weeks our home has been in complete disarray as construction is taking place in several rooms, upsetting the rest of the house with belongings and furniture out of place along with building materials and dust. We’ve also had house guests pretty well the whole time. (That was NOT in the plans!) The projects have been delayed by “a series of unfortunate events,” as all construction projects seem to be, and we’ve had to roll with the punches. We’ve lived in construction before, but mostly BEFORE kids and without house guests and in a much larger home with more space! We’re easy-going people, and we adjust and move on. It’ll all be worth it in the end when we have a home that’s more functional for our large family.

“I want people to know this is not how we normally live and this is not what our house is becoming.”

As easy-going as we are to the process of construction, some may say I am a neat freak, a perfectionist, and I don’t always function well in chaos. I feel the need to tell anyone who walks through the door that things aren’t normally like this, ESPECIALLY our new licensing worker as we are working to get licensed for foster care for the first time as Tennessee residents. (Yeah, unfortunately moving across state lines means you start that process all over.) Indeed, I feel a compulsive urge to hang signs proclaiming “under construction” around our home. I want people to know this is not how we normally live and this is not what our house is becoming. This is temporary as we work towards something better.

Last night I fell asleep thinking about how this parallels our life as a foster and adoptive family. I have often felt an urge to hang signs from our family stating our status as “under construction.” Even as the construction has been going on in our home, as a family we have had to face some pretty ugly issues that have surfaced from one child’s past as behavior which has hurt others dear to us. We have been heart-broken for the others involved, for our child, and even ourselves. I want others to know that this child has been damaged by other people in life. This damage has taken the child down to being bare, ripping off the drywall, cutting up wiring, and tearing up the carpet. This child is not living life as in a normal home. Trauma has caused the brain to be rewired and the child to think, learn, sleep, eat, interact with others, and all other functions of life differently than a typically developing child.

“As we live life, we might feel compelled to hang signs around our children’s necks declaring that they are under construction, that the damage was not done by us, nor is it the children’s fault.”

Our children’s lives are truly under a complete and total renovation. The original designs and architecture of their development have been destroyed as in a natural disaster, whether it be a flood, volcano, earthquake, fire, or tornado (death, loss, neglect or abuse–physical or sexual). As we live life, we might feel compelled to hang signs around our children’s necks declaring that they are under construction, that the damage was not done by us, nor is it the children’s fault. As foster or adoptive parents we are building new brain connections, relationships, behaviors, coping mechanisms, and more! We may have to outsource plumbing or electrical to experts in those or other fields. We may not feel competent to do certain aspects of the job like finishing drywall or laying tile. We sometimes even have to keep others out in order keep them or our child safe.

Many people are unwilling to live in a home while it is under construction, as others may be unwilling or unable to be a part of our family’s lives during the process. Living life as a foster or adoptive family is not easy, but we have a vision, a vision of life renovated, reconstructed. How beautiful we hope it will be in the future!