Thursday, July 14, 2016

Our ninth child and opening up the blog again...

I closed this blog down a few months ago. I found an online attack on me and my family, and truthfully, I just wanted to hide. Maybe that's silly. I don't know. I just know that it hurt so badly to have total strangers judging the situation with Johanna...especially when they didn't even know her whole story.

Regardless, I'm a better place now. I've talked in length with Johanna, and she's very comfortable with sharing parts of her story that encourage other families through older child adoption, so I'm reopening this blog. I've removed a couple of posts regarding her time in residential care, for her own privacy's sake. If you've found this blog because you're looking for older child adoption resources or help, please email me here. I'd love to chat with you.

Remember, I blog more frequently at Perspectives in Parenting--my little spot on the net to talk about Grace, Connection, and Jesus in our parenting.

The biggest news for our family is the recent addition of our ninth child. Andrew joined our family through a disruption situation, and you can read part one and part two of his story here.

We moved into a missions house in March, and will be moving to South Africa in April! Our hearts are already there and we can't wait to begin the next phase of our ministry soon. Sometimes it seems like a dream--moving to Africa, working with orphans.

Brent and I celebrated 18 years of marriage in June. That seems like a really long time. Not in a bad way, just in a wow-it-still-feels-like-yesterday kind of way. He's helped me become a better person and I'm thankful for his love and laughter every single day.

It feels nice to hit "publish" again. :)



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Check out my new blog!

Hello, friends! I've missed posting here, but after much prayer and the encouragement of my husband, I've started a brand new blog!

Find it here: Perspectives in Parenting: Grace, Connection, and JESUS

The Bergey Bunch was heading in so many different directions (family updates, adoption, parenting, ministry, etc) that I was struggling with knowing where to focus. Perspectives in Parenting is a brand new blog with a focus on Christian parenting.

You'll find tabs on everything from older child adoption to co-sleeping, special needs parenting to child training techniques, connected discipline to missions and ministry parenting!

Eliana (13) even has her own section just for teens and she's gathered quite a bit of attention with her new posts on modesty and choosing friends wisely. :)

For the very first time, I've shared publicly about how I was almost aborted. You won't want to miss that post!

If you've enjoyed the Bergey Bunch over the years, make sure you go FOLLOW my new blog right now so you don't miss a single new post!

I also have a Facebook Page for Perspectives in Parenting. Don't forget to "like" the page so you can keep up with new posts, pictures, and join in the conversation. :)

I will still be blogging here with family updates and pictures. Blessings to you, my sweet friends! Hope to see you on the "other" side at Perspectives in Parenting!

Selina Bergey

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Crazy Day (Day Camp, July 2015)

Because of our deputation ministry, our summers are different than before.

There's no long break from school. 

We homeschool year-round in order to allow time to finish our work while traveling so frequently and attending so many missions conferences. We've visited zoos and science museums in just about every state we've been to so far and that's been one of the fun parts of the "traveling life". :)

Anyway, one of the highlights of this summer for our kiddos was a Day Camp at Eastside Baptist Church in Mebane, NC. Not only does this church support our ministry, they also have full hook-ups for our travel trailer and have allowed us to park there several times. Since we were parked there during their yearly Day Camp, they invited our children to attend.

They had a blast every day, but CRAZY DAY was definitely their favorite day. :)

It was a fun memory from this summer. :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, Titus!

Titus turned ONE today.

Sigh. A whole YEAR, gone, just like that.

We weren't near family or friends, so we just celebrated with the children. Titus didn't seem to mind (but Mommy wishes everyone could have been here to enjoy our little boy).

Nathaniel bought Titus a light-up ball. It was a HIT.


The siblings may have been more excited than the birthday boy. (OH, the joy of big families. So much love going around!)

"What is the creation that you are PUTTING RIGHT IN MY REACH???"

"Oh my---I can touch it! And eat it! YAY!!!"

"HEY---I wasn't done with that yummy, messy CAKE!" :)

His toes. Sweet, tiny little toes.

His favorite part of the party? The BUBBLES!

Titus, you were loved, wanted, adored, and cherished from the moment of your conception. You are the best thing that has ever happened to our family. We adore you and rejoice in this, your very FIRST birthday!

The Bergey Bunch :)

Titus Alexander Bergey, One Year Old Pictures

He's gorgeous. He's cuddly. He's chubby and soft and spunky. He brings JOY to the entire Bergey Bunch. 
We love you, Titus Alexander!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Surviving to Thriving: Refreshing Tips for Successful Older Child Adoption

I wish that parenting came with a perfect "how to" handbook. I REALLY wish adoptive parenting came with that handbook. :)

I've been asked to share what we've learned so far in our adoptive parenting journey. Most of this applies to adopting an older child, but some of it is helpful with the younger crowd as well. Johanna has encouraged me to blog these things, and I plan on getting her to participate in the series. (We've got a great plan for an interactive video, too!)

There are so many things we wish we had known when we first brought Johanna home, things that have literally made the difference between us making it or not. I'm always learning and willing to share what I've learned---so, here goes. :)

(Please remember that I'm not THE expert in this field, and that all of my advice may or may not work for you and your child.)

Let's start at the beginning with number one. :)

1. Focus on the Essentials

Often families are struggling because of a focus on non-essentials.

Here's the thing: Kindness is an essential skill.

Eating oatmeal is not. 

Respect for authority is another esssential.

Throwing toilet paper into the toilet (and not the trashcan or floor) is not. :)

Communicating needs and feelings in English is an essential skill.

Reading in English is not. 

Bonding and forming healthy attachments with both parents and siblings is an ESSENTIAL skill----Education is not. 

Yes, they need an education. Yes, we want them to "catch up". Sadly, many families focus on catching up with education MORE than they focus on catching up on healthy attachments. 

If you're more stressed about what workbook/curriculum/online program/school your child needs than you are their ability to fully communicate with you in English, you are likely focusing on the WRONG SKILL. 

And here is where you find frustrated families, because a child with no healthy attachment skills will more than likely NOT CATCH UP on their education. So you're pushing, and forcing, and stressing, and the child could care less because the skill they need most is an attachment with you, not an education.

My number one advice for families adopting an older child is for them to FOCUS ON THE ESSENTIALS. 

Early essential skills worth focusing on:

---Kindness to both people AND animals.
---Communication of needs in new language.
---Healthy sleep and eating habits.
---Family rules for chores and safety.
---Playful interaction between family members.
---Loving touch is a GOOD thing.
---Parents are primary and NECESSARY for meeting needs.

Behaviors NOT worth focusing on in the beginning:

---Public behavior (even when it's incredibly embarrassing, lol).
---Gross habits (nose picking, burping at table, wiping snot on their sleeve, etc).
---Hygiene (daily showering, changing of clothes, brushing teeth, etc).
---Food preferences.
---Unhealthy attachment/idolization of past relationships or country.
---Heart change. (More on this one later.)

Now, of course, many of the things on the non-essential list are able to be addressed while still focusing on the essentials.

But anytime you find yourself overwhelmed or upset at your child, ask yourself--"Is this an essential skill I'm stressing about?" 

If the answer is "no", consider easing up, letting go, and returning to the essentials for awhile. :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mother's Day, 2015

I have a ton of pictures to share, from Ethan's 6th birthday to our sweet Mother's Day celebration.....BUT I don't have a strong wifi signal here this week, so I'll wait and upload all of them at once next time I have a good connection speed. :)

For now, I'll share two of my favorite pictures ever! I feel SO blessed to be Mama to these eight gorgeous children! :)

I'm working on Part 3 of the Residential and Results series, and should have it up by the end of tomorrow. Blessings!