A Journey of Adoption

A Journey of Adoption

A Journey of a Couple’s Heart to Adopt

In this episode of Forti-fy, you will hear the heart of Ashley Kellogg who chronicles her family’s 10-year journey to their first adoption – and how their ever expanding family now includes the addition of 5 special needs children, in addition to their biological 6, making a very lively and bustling home!

 

Be sure to check out the plethora of helpful resources listed below that Ashley has provided!

Resources Discussed in the Episode:

Adoption Resources

 

Gateway Woods is a local agency in Leo that works with foster care and international adoptions providing homestudies and other adoption services

https://www.adoptiongateway.org/

 

Hand in Hand is a local agency in Albion that provides domestic and international homestudies and other adoption resources

https://www.hihiadopt.org/

 

Children’s Bureau is an Indianapolis based adoption agency that works with foster and adoptive families for homestudies and other adoption services

https://www.childrensbureau.org/

 

Special Angels Adoption is an agency that provides services for special needs adoptions.

http://www.specialangelsadoption.org/

 

The National Down Syndrome Adoption Network provides support for birth and adoptive families of children with Down syndrome

www.ndsan.org

 

Reece’s Rainbow advocates for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs by raising funds for adoption grants  

https://reecesrainbow.org/

 

Empowered to Connect website has a podcasts, a blog and training resources for foster and adoptive parents

www.EmpoweredtoConnect.org

 

Facebook Pages: 

Indiana Foster and Adoptive Parents

Parenting with Connection

China Adoption Questions

 

Conferences:

ReplantedConference.org is a virtual conference providing hours of training for working with children from hard places

TapestryConference.net is a virtual conference for foster and adoptive parents

EmpoweredtoConnect.org runs yearly conferences for foster and adoptive parents

 

Books: (This is a great list for ALL parents!)

The Connected Child by Purvis, Cross and Sunshine

The Connected Parent by Qualls and Purvis

The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel

No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel

Love Me Feed Me by Katja Rowell

Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray

You Can Adoption Without Debt by Julie Gumm

Feel free to reach out to Ashley at: mommykellogg@hotmail.com 

She would be happy to answer your questions!

What Small Steps Can You Take to Live in Harmony with Your Habitat?

What Small Steps Can You Take to Live in Harmony with Your Habitat?

Wait! Before you throw that in your trash can….

Honestly, although we throw our trash in the can and haul it to the curb, there is no magical place where trash goes “away”.

Where should you be throwing your toxic chemicals, light bulbs, batteries, paints, appliances and electronics? Even food?

Is it possible for you to reduce your waste?  Yes! With just a few small changes we can make a big difference in the world we live.

Neil Miller, Communications and Outreach Coordinator for Allen County Department of Environmental Management,  provided SO much great information in this podcast episode.

Listen in to hear so many great “trash tips” from Neil; then, check out the rest of this blog post for a truckload of resources!!!

Resources Discussed by Neil

There is so much information on the ACDEM!

Just click! 

 

Information on Composting

To learn more about where to recycle plastic bags, visit:

Interested in connecting with some local “Zero Wasters”?

Check out this facebook Page:

 

Neil’s recommendations for “Zero Waste” products:

“A great resource for many zero-waste products including silicone “Ziploc” bags is EarthHero.com – we refer to it as the zero waste amazon! They also carry a fair amount of zero-waste items at Target. A well-recommended brand of silicone bags is Stasher – they can be pricy, but when you consider the reuse and the money you save on purchasing disposable ones, it can be worth it!

Click HERE

Click HERE:

Here are the bamboo utensils and reusable bags that were discussed:

Composting Services

Click on picture for website

Neil provides these sites for further Solid Waste districts in NE Indiana:

Allen County residents can contact us via our website – acwastewatcher.org

Wells County: https://wellscounty.org/solid-waste-districtrecycling-center/

Adams County: http://www.adamscountyswmd.com/

Huntington County: https://www.huntington.in.us/county/department/index.php?structureid=38

Whitley County: https://www.whitleygov.com/department/index.php?structureid=24

Lagrange, Dekalb, Noble, Steuben – http://www.niswmd.org/

Thanks, Neil!

 

 

Are You Stuck? How To Start Moving Forward

Are You Stuck? How To Start Moving Forward

Moments in Life

The above picture was taken less than 48 hours after I received the phone call from the Nairobi embassy letting me know of Kyle’s passing, and after viewing the many headlines:

I had flown to Colorado as soon as I was able. The morning after I arrived, Kyle and Hope’s home was filled with kids running to and fro. Hope had invited some former foster kids and their mother over, in addition to some close friends and their children.

Here, I am looking around at all the activity and the Legos all over the floor, my eyes swollen from crying, and my heart in pieces. I was thinking how Kyle would love all the activity – knowing life was still being lived, and how he would appreciate the outpouring of love and support – from flowers to food – by so many faithful friends.

In the early days after a death, you are forced to keep moving due to everything that needs to get done.  But there comes a time when all that activity is over. Life pauses.

This podcast does not specifically focus on life after losing a loved one – that is just where I happened to be when I reached out to Donna.

But at different moments in life – you can find yourself stuck – in any number of areas – for any number of reasons.  Obviously being stuck in weight loss, exercise, or finances does not compare to losing a loved one, however there are still some common steps to moving forward.

In this podcast, Donna and I discuss some of those steps.

Remember:  Give yourself the freedom to give yourself the time, to take the small steps, that ultimately help you to start moving again.

LISTEN HERE:

To listen to the part one of this conversation, click HERE.

Resources Discussed In the Podcast

Donna’s Podcast Episode on the Self Coaching Model 

Although Donna’s Podcast is called Think-Feel-Eat, the “Eat” could also be replaced with the much broader context of “Act”.

In this episode, Donna covers this model:

 

 

 

In this Episode Donna Covers:

A. What is the Think-Feel-Act cycle?

B. What are thoughts?

C. How does Think-Feel-Act differ from the Power of Positive Thinking?

D. We can Think ourselves to Action

Donna has taken the principles discussed by these “experts” and incorporates them into her life coaching – which is why she can help you to move forward!

How To Make Lifestyle Changes That Will Last with Dr Rangan Chatterjee and Dr Ayan Panja

This is the podcast episode that Donna had posted earlier in the year, which I listened to, that focused on

“Feel better in 5”:

 

 

Donna’s Recommended books:

Donna’s Life Coaching

If you think you might be interested in having Donna help you “move forward”, you can sign up for a free consultation call here:

#getforti-fy’d

Down 220 Pounds: Small Steps, Huge Strides!

Down 220 Pounds: Small Steps, Huge Strides!

Donna’s Story

So much great info here!

In this episode of the Forti-fy Podcast, Donna shares her, and her husband’s, 220-pound weight-loss journey. There is so much here we can all relate to. Tune in to hear some great life-style tips!

To listen to Part Two of this conversation, click HERE.

Here are links to all the information Donna discussed in the podcast.

There are so many great resources here!

You can check out a previous blog post on Donna’s weight loss journey HERE

Our Walk With Covid and How It May Help You

Our Walk With Covid and How It May Help You

Our Stories

In this podcast episode, Rachel and I share our recent – not so great – experiences with Covid-19. We do believe that the statistics are probably accurate in  that a large portion of the population may only experience a mild case of Covid-19. However, we think this podcast episode is important to listen to in the event that you, or a family member, turn out to aquire more than a mild case, because it might help you avoid the “hurdles” we went through, and give you a better outcome. 

 

This episode covers the basics of Covid-19, some of the current views of treatment and thoughts on the future of medical choice freedom.

 

Here, I am just going to list a few of the studies I talked about in the podcast.  We would just encourage you to review the information and then consider having a talk with your doctor.

 

These were on the use of Methyl Prednisolone:

 

Pierre Kory, MD, MPA Medical Director, Trauma and Life Support Center Critical Care Service Chief Associate Professor of Medicine University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Testimony-Kory-2020-05-06-REVISED.pdf

“With this knowledge of the specific COVID inflammatory gene activation combined with knowledge of the gene suppression activity of all known medicines they were able to match the most effective drug for COVID-19 human gene suppression.. and that drug is methylprednisolone (this must be recognized, as the ability of other corticosteroids to control inflammation in cOVId-19 was much less impactful. This is, we believe, an absolutely critical and historic finding. Many centers are using similar but less effective agents such as dexamethasone or prednisone”

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7256545/

Also here:

 

https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(20)30740-5/pdf

 

Successful use of methylprednisolone for treating severe COVID-19: (Click below)

“In our study, we found that timely and appropriate application of glucocorticoids could avoid the need for invasive mechanical ventilation and improve the outcomes of critical patients with COVID-19, compared with outcomes in reported studies. “

 

The findings from this case series suggest that high‐dose, short‐term corticosteroid therapy early in respiratory failure may provide a good prognosis of patients with COVID‐19‐related ARDS without critical side effects of corticosteroids.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32893160/

This study shows the importance of the early-stage use of a combination of favipiravir and methylprednisolone in severe cases to achieve a favorable clinical outcome.

https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa601/5840526

In conclusion, early use of a short course of methylprednisolone, an inexpensive and readily available agent, in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 may prevent progression of disease and improve outcomes.

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200520/Certain-corticosteroid-could-improve-severe-COVID-19-say-researchers.aspx

Notes from that link:

Methylprednisolone was identified as the drug most likely to work; it targeted 27 genes that were differentially expressed in COVID-19-infected tissues versus healthy lung tissues.

Prednisolone was also predicted to be effective at reverting many of the changes caused by COVID-19.“An important finding is that drugs in the same class will not achieve similar effects,” writes the team.

“For instance, methylprednisolone and prednisolone were predicted to be effective in reverting many of the changes triggered by COVID-19, while other closely-related steroids such as prednisone or dexamethasone were not,” write Sorin Draghici (Department of Computer Science, Wayne State University) and colleagues.”

Not all corticosteroids tested were effective

However, the closely-related corticosteroids, namely prednisone, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone, were not effective at reverting the changes. Prednisone only targeted three differentially expressed genes in COVID-19-infected versus healthy lung tissue, and of those, it only reverted one. Prednisone also targeted two genes in the NHBE cells, but it was not effective at reverting either of them.

Neither dexamethasone nor hydrocortisone seemed to be effective in the COVID-19 tissue, although hydrocortisone seemed to have a marginal effect on NHBE cells.

Treatment Combo Successfully Resolves Cytokine Storm in COVID-19

https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/view/treatment-combo-successfully-resolves-cytokine-storm-in-covid-19

“A strategy involving a course of high dose methylprednisolone, followed by tocilizumab if needed, may accelerate respiratory recovery, lower hospital mortality and reduce the likelihood of invasive mechanical ventilation in COVID-19-associated CSS,” the authors wrote. “This historically controlled comparison of a strategy with intensive immunosuppression and close monitoring versus a strategy with supportive care only in patients with COVID-19-associated CSS suggests that clinically relevant improvement of respiratory status is 79% more likely, and can be accelerated by a median of 7 days, that hospital mortality can be reduced by 65% and that the need for mechanical ventilation during admission can be reduced by 71%. These outcomes were robust and, especially if confirmed in randomized trials later on, highly relevant from a medical and societal perspective.”

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This is a video from the Editor in Chief of JAMA on the use of Corticosteroids and Covid-19

Click Here

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What is the role of the IL-6 inhibitor tocilizumab (Actemra) in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

https://www.medscape.com/answers/2500114-197457/what-is-the-role-of-the-il-6-inhibitor-tocilizumab-actemra-in-the-treatment-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

A retrospective review of 25 patients with confirmed severe COVID-19 who received tocilizumab plus investigational antivirals showed patients who received tocilizumab experienced a decline in inflammatory markers, radiological improvement, and reduced ventilatory support requirements.

 

Another IL-6 inhibitor, tocilizumab

The conundrum of interleukin-6 blockade in COVID-19

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanrhe/article/PIIS2665-9913(20)30287-3/fulltext Click Here

 

When analysing factors associated with reduced mortality in those who received tocilizumab, baseline C-reactive protein concentrations of 15 mg/dL or higher emerged as a clear cutoff, suggesting that IL-6 blockade exerts its best effects among patients with an overt inflammatory state. Moreover, Biran and colleagues did not note any increase in secondary infections, thus supporting the safety of tocilizumab in this setting.

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What is the role of the antiviral drug remdesivir in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Click Here

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COVID-19 is, in the end, an endothelial disease

https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/41/32/3038/5901158

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Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19

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https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30937-5/fulltext

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Spotting the Clotting: Hypercoagulopathy in COVID-19

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https://www.emsworld.com/1224381/spotting-clotting-hypercoagulopathy-covid-19

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The Real Reason Post-COVID Myocarditis Is a Worry

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/88487

There might not be any guideline-directed therapy to offer those without overt heart failure, but these post-COVID cases need to be studied to check for functional changes at 6 months and beyond, he said.

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COVID-19 coagulopathy vs disseminated intravascular coagulation

 

https://ashpublications.org/bloodadvances/article/4/12/2850/461068/COVID-19-coagulopathy-vs-disseminated

Severe COVID-19 infections seem to cause a profound coagulation abnormality caused by inflammation-induced changes in coagulation in combination with severe endothelial cell injury, with consequent massive release of von Willebrand factor and plasminogen activators.