Lisa's Story

​My journey to connected relationships started a long time ago.  Friends of ours had nieces and nephews enter the foster care system and asked if we could help them out.  God stirred our hearts and, in 2009, my husband and I became certified foster parents.  We saw that many children needed a loving and stable home until family reunification became possible.  Having fostered many special needs children, of whom some had severe trauma, it became apparent there was a need for a deeper understanding of how to handle childhood behavior.  Although there were county and agency trainings on potential behaviors of the children in our care, the training did not help us fully understand how to effectively support the children with their trauma behaviors. 


Our ninth foster placement was a beautiful six-week-old baby boy.  Immediately I noticed he was different from the other babies we had fostered.  He didn't sleep, didn't like being touched, was constantly headbanging, always moving, and needed 24/7 supervision.  He crawled out of the crib at nine months old, and he hardly slept.  That means we hardly slept!  Everything in the house was locked up to keep him safe.  We saw several specialists and, finally, he was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Sensory Process Disorder.  We moved furniture out of the living room and removed everything from the walls to have a safe space for him to play in.  My husband and I were constantly taking turns to ensure he was safe.  At the same time, he captured our hearts with his unbelievably fun, smiley face and extroverted personality.  When asked if we would adopt him, we said "yes!"  This started our life of endless therapies, interventions, and IEP's.


It was later that I experienced my first panic attack.  I knew these behaviors were not right as they felt completely out of control.  I had my biological child and two other adopted children, and there had to be an answer for all this craziness I was experiencing.  I started to search for how to help him, help me, and help others experiencing the same things we were going through.  My marriage was suffering, my other kids were reacting to his behavior, and nothing seemed to be working.  Yet, here I was giving my all trying to fix the behavior, feeling alone, tired, and frustrated in this journey.  I did everything the therapists and doctors told us to do while seeing little results.  I even had a doctor and some therapists tell me they would never adopt a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and would never themselves be able to handle the behaviors we were experiencing.  NOT helpful!


A specialist suggested that I look into Diane Malbin's work with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  In 2013, I attended a workshop to learn the Neurobehavioral Model and understand how to make accommodations for children with behaviors that look different than other children.  We then participated in a training in Trust-Based Relational Intervention by Dr. Karyn Purvis.  This started my understanding of the foundation of how to connect with a child;  however, there was still a piece of the puzzle missing.


In 2019, my husband passed away from a brief battle with a rare form of cancer.  It was then that I started to pray about what was next for me.  By God's intervention, I had the privilege of talking with Tina Feigal, M.S. Ed., the author of both the book and theory of Present Moment Parenting.  She invited me to walk alongside her to learn how to be in the present moment with a child.  In December of 2021, I became a Certified Parent Coach in Present Moment Parenting.  It was life changing!  This was the missing piece I was looking for!  I have seen all my children blossom by putting all my training together and applying what I have learned.  The tenets work!  I am more in tune with my child's emotional needs and my own emotional needs while seeing tremendous growth in my family. 


Life is hard.  As a parent of children who have experienced trauma and have special needs, I understand what this chaos looks like and how healing and order can become part of your home.  I want to help other parents who are struggling.  In 2021, I began to pursue my degree in nonprofit management and obtain my certification in Present Moment Parenting.  My passion is to help you know how you can connect with your child to help you have the relationship that you have wanted.  


You are the advocate for your child's healing. Present Moment Parenting gives you, the parent, the skills and tools to connect with your child.  We will help you begin to understand what your child is communicating by their behaviors, enabling you to help your child feel safe and connected to you.  Your efforts will help build their self-esteem, reduce trauma, and regulate their body, reducing behaviors. Present Moment Parenting works if you are committed to restoring and being in a relationship with your child.  You will receive no judgment here.  Just an empathetic ear....willing to give you the tools you need to help you be the best parent you can be. 


Let me walk with you on your journey.




Image by Deniz Altindas


Certified Parenting Coach, 2021

Anu Family Services, Inc./ Center for the Challenging Child

QPR Suicide Gatekeeper Certificate, 2021

QPR Suicided Prevention Gatekeeper Program

The Body Keeps the Score-Trauma Healing with Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., 2021


The Wisdom of Trauma with Dr. Gabor Mate, 2021


Trust-Based Relational Intervention Caregiver Training, 2015

Fetal Alcohol and Other Neurobehavioral Conditions:

Understanding and Application of a Brain-Based Approach, 2013

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Consultation Education and Training Services (FASCETS)


Family Life Coaching Association