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25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas

An Advent Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Families

Watch this video first!

This is how the devotional works.


Welcome to your twenty-five day countdown and survival guide. Raising children from hard places is challenging. Surviving the holidays with a smile on your face while parenting is even more challenging, that’s whyI wrote this handy little Advent book. Don’t stress. It’s not a huge to-do, not more than a paragraph or two each day. Easy peasy and encouraging. So, take a minute each morning and read. This year, let’s not just survive the Christmas season, let’s thrive!

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Every year the calendar flips to December and we parents hit the ground with skis on and head down the slope to things to do and places to be before that magic goal day on the calendar, December 25th.

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We want to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of the Savior. We may have a depth of understanding of the season that our children do not see. They deal in the tangible of what they can see until the spiritual foundation is raised. Some of us are parenting hurt children who have come from hard places and have no foundation of celebration. Christmas activities may seem strange or act as triggers for their past. This thriving tip devotional is full of practical suggestions to help with some of the anxiety of the season and make it more joyful for children and parents alike.



"25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas, is a unique tool to help adoptive families throughout the busy and often hectic holiday season, especially as it focuses on specific needs that children impacted by trauma can experience. Adoptive families have unique challenges, which often become magnified during the holidays. Kathleen’s experience as an adoptive mother has enabled her to provide an insightful perspective that many other adoptive families can relate too. She does this in a way that also incorporates specific scripture that connects very well to the concept of adoption. This spiritual connection can help families reflect on the adoption story of Christ, as a way to help their family bond and form traditions through their own adoption stories. Parents will be able to read along on a day to day basis and reflect on their own experiences, while reading encouraging words from a fellow adoptive parent. The tips that Kathleen suggests offers comfort for adoptive families as they learn how to best navigate through the holiday season in ways that fit the specific needs of their child and their family as a whole."

Molly McCartney MSW, LICSW, CTT

Psychotherapist/Adoption Therapist and Adoptive Parent

"With the adoption of 4 children from Ukraine, our family grew to 8 kids. Homeschooling, decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, and a calendar full of extra activities often made for a less-than-joyful holiday. Christmas sadly felt like a let down when my heart's desire was to focus on Jesus - the reason for the season, but I felt like I barely survived the season. Until now! Kathleen Guire's 25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas is a holiday miracle! This devotional helps me to focus on the real meaning of Christmas while keeping in perspective the unique needs of a family filled with kids from hard places. Now I don't just hope to survive the holidays - with this devotional in hand - I plan to Thrive!"

-Sandra Flach: Adoptive mom, Executive Director of Justice For Orphans, host of the radio program Orphans No More, and ETC Parent Trainer.

"The advent devotional, 25 Days of Thriving through Christmas: An Advent Devotional for Adoptive and Foster Parents, provides an insightful, practical and encouraging resource for parents navigating the advent season. The book fills a void for adoptive and foster families as to ideas and guidance of not just surviving the Christmas season with children who have come from different backgrounds/experiences but to “thriving” during the season. With applicable daily Scripture readings to practical suggestions, this tool for helping families will become an annual tradition!"

- Kimberly Taylor, Adoptive Parent

Your Instructor


Kathleen Guire
Kathleen Guire

Kathleen is an author, speaker, mother of 7 - four through adoption.Kathleen has written Positive Adoption: A Memoir chronicling her childhood story intertwined with the story of the adoption of her children. She has also written: Five Things: A Tiny Handbook for Adoptive/Foster Families, Defining Home (A novel), 25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas: An Advent Devotional. Kathleen is a certified Empowered to Connect Parent Trainer, which relies heavily on the model TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) created by Dr. Karyn Purvis and her colleagues at TCU. You can find more about her, including over six hundred articles she has written about adoption, home, house and family at https://thewholehouse.org.



Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
This course is open from the end of November until the end of December. It is only available for Advent.
How long do I have access to the course?
You only have access to the course for the Advent Season. If you enjoyed the course, check out the other courses on The Whole House! We'd love to have you!

Every year is a fresh blank slate to fill with Christmas memories. This year was one of those. You may not feel like it right now, your house may be a mess. Christmas has worn you out. Right now, take a moment and breathe deeply. Ponder the season. Look back through the tips and count up how many you used. Guess what, even if you only did ten or five, you did more than you would have done if you hadn’t read this Advent Devotional. Go YOU!

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I hope the chapters each week deepened your faith and expanded your understanding of adoption. Not only are you chosen and loved, but so are your children, regardless of their past. Adoption makes kings out of carpenters. Adoptions transcends all bloodlines. Just as Joseph is really the father of Jesus, you are the parent of your adopted children. Adoption is for those children who need a home to flourish in so that they may fulfill their destiny. It’s a father like Joseph that children need. A man who follows the call and doesn’t look back.

Hi friend,

Thanks for investing your time into this course.

If you'd like to learn more, check out How to Have Peace When Your Kids are in Chaos - the book and the course.

Want another free course? Check out Five Things for Adoptive and Foster Parents here! Grab a copy of the book here.


Take a few minutes to browse the articles on TheWholeHouse.org, check out the The Whole House Podcast, including the midweek coffee break - Positive Adoption, and sign up to follow by email so you don't miss anything.

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