Adoption Resources

Let’s Talk Adoption!

A little background…My husband and I used to run a nonprofit for Foster and Adopted Families where we provided parent consultations, trainings, including Trust-Based-Relational-Intervention trainings, and holistic testing and care.  We both have done several trainings in whole-child, trauma-informed paradigms….even had this adorable logo and everything ;).  While we don’t do this anymore, I have had experience helping hundreds of families, mostly moms!, understand their kids better and feel better equipped as an adoptive parent.I know you might be thinking, “Well this may not be for me because we adopted our little one when they were a baby!” or even “My biological kiddo is showing a lot of signs of struggling!”  This post is for you too, I promise!

There is a lot of science and reasons for kids not behaving in “expected” ways.  This isn’t scary.  This doesn’t mean something is “wrong”.  And let me say from first-hand experience as a parent of three kiddos by way of adoption- The quicker we can get away from the ideals and paradigms we have in our heads, the faster we can bring hope and healing to ourselves and our kiddos!

So to help facilitate this, I’m posting an Adoption Resources Starter Kit of sorts…what I would have wanted to know before I adopted or fostered my kids!

  1. 1. In this video (below), I go through basic things that would have been helpful to have a good grasp of, tools we wish we had from the beginning, etc.  Every child who comes to you by way of another family has experienced at least a couple of these “Risk Factors for Development” that I get into in the video below.  Don’t worry- “risk factor” isn’t scary.  Our kids come to us with all sorts of unique challenges and issues and that makes them all the more valuable and lovable if we, as parents, can learn to change our minds about what we thought parenting would be like!  It doesn’t have to mean anything other than their brains work a little differently and we can learn how to work with them instead of trying to change what we cannot change!  Feel free to message me after you watch- there’s a follow up video on digestion/ food topics related to our kiddos too!
  2. 2. This book, The Connected Child, should be some kind of required reading for anyone thinking of adopting or fostering!  It’s even helped many biological-only parents better understand how to parent in a way that kids can thrive in!  I always, always recommend this book to new adoptive parents!  After you read this book, other books I recommend are The Out of Sync Child and The Whole Brain Child.  These two books are great resources as you begin to parent and move forward with understanding your kids even further.
  3. 3. And finally, if you ever need a professional, I would only reccomend those who have some knowledge or have been trained in TBRI through the Texas Christian University Institute of Child Development.  This information is the most holistic kind of approach out there and is so helpful.  The full list of TBRI-trained professionals can be found here.  The TCU website is also a great resource and you can purchase many videos and trainings as a non-professional there as well!

Gluten Free, Vegan Apple Crisp

We recently moved to Asheville, NC and I must say- one of my most favorite things about this city is the Farmers Markets!  We have one that we can walk to and their selection of fresh apples were immediately purchased to make our favorite gluten-free, vegan treat. 

This is an old recipe that we have easily made gf/df/all the frees- and my kids even love to help make it since it’s such an easy recipe ?  My favorite kind of apples to make this with are Honey Crisp or Pink Ladies!

Also, cinnamon seems to be a spice that loses it’s “cinnamon-ey-ness” quickly in the cupboard, so the addition of non-GMO Cinnamon Bark Vitality Oil from Young Living gives it tons of extra cinnamon-ey flavor!


  1. 6-8 apples, peeled, and diced (see picture below for the perfect size!)
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon (can also use 2 tsp cinnamon if not using the oil below)
  4. 5 drops cinnamon bark vitality oil (can use 8-9 drops and no ground cinnamon also!)
  5. 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (King Arthur Brand is my favorite GF blend!)
  6. 1 cup organic cane sugar
  7. 6 large, rounded tablespoons of vegan butter (we use Earth Balance)


Preheat oven to 350 F.

  1. Cut the apples and place in a 9 x 13 glass pan.
  2. Mix the water, cinnamon, and cinnamon vitality oil and pour over the apples in the pan evenly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and the sugar together and use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter.  (if you do not have a pastry blender, you can use a fork)
  4. Cut the butter in until it resembles a crumbly mixture with small pea-sized crumbles like below- and pour over the apples in the pan.
  5.   Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until the apple mixture is bubbly and the topping is crisp!

Enjoy it with some dairy-free vanilla ice cream or coco-whip on top!

An Introduction

Hi friends! My name is Rhoda and I’m so glad you’re here! I’ve been married to my husband for 11 years (woah, and known him for 17 total), and we have 2 boys Simon, and Grayson! We live in the DFW area, and I teach high school biology and coach track and cheerleading. My current obsessions include a cup of coffee, Jesus, and Enneagram (#1 baby! Hit me up for real, I love chatting all things Enneagram!). ?

Over the last 6 years we have made lots of small lifestyle changes…From working out, to eating plant-based and using less toxic chemicals in our homes and on our bodies. In 2018 I decided it was time to share about how Young Living has changed our family for the better! I’ve thought long and hard about this journey of sharing my personal life with you. I think it’s necessary. This world needs more authenticity in it so that we can learn from each other…so we can heal…so we can make rockstar decisions for the generations to come. So I hope you find what you’re looking for while you’re here. And I hope you enjoy the journey, too!

Find me on Facebook and Instagram @essentiallyrhoda

Let’s hang together!


Hey friend.  I know essential oils may seem weird.  Truly- we have been there too- in a place where we felt like people just wanted to hang out with us, take us to lunch, just to have us “join their team”, or “get started with them”.  It feels yuck to feel like a cog in someone else’s business.  I’m thankful for those experiences actually, because they help me approach our family business in a whole new way.

If I could, i would go sit with you for coffee and listen to your story.  See where I could help, and offer suggestions, knowing that I will never have all the answers!  Sometimes the answer is just feeling like someone else is saying, “Yes, me too!” and that makes us feel less alone!

In the previous post here, I’m shared with you how oils impacted our life in an amazing way.  I know our story isn’t your story, but if you want to hear us say it in our own words, here it is:

But you probably want to know what essential oils even do, right?  Do they work?  What’s the big deal anyways?!  I get it- I wanted to know the same things.  That’s why we also put together this video where David explains the exact science of how oils work for us.  I promise it’s not boring- I don’t even like science and I love listening to him explain it- it’s so cool!  Both his chemistry/ pharmaceutical research & his natural healthcare background give him a well-rounded perspective on essential oils that are pretty interesting!

Ok, so now you know!  If you are more curious now, feel free to drop me a DM on Instagram and reach out there- I’m always wanting to listen and see how I can help <3

Why Oils? (It might not be what you think!)

Hi, I’m Eryn, married to David, and we are adoptive parents.  In 2014, a couple years into parenting we still were overwhelmed (as most parents are ? and had a difficult time connecting with one of our children.  Supporting her needs took more patience and skills than I was equipped with and we were getting better.  Things were getting better, yet I still often felt distant from her.

That November 2014, I went to an essential oils class and got some samples of Lavender and Myrrh from a friend.  Later that same night, my daughter got sick for the first time since we brought her home with us.  She was hardly ever even with the sniffles, but she was really down that night.  I didn’t know what to do because I often felt out of my element with her, but this night I also hadn’t ever seen her feel this bad physically.  So I did some research and rubbed the oil samples I got over her spine and put some on me too.  Now, up until this point she wouldn’t really love snuggling or staying in my lap.  She was often wanting her space and wanting to be mobile.  I got to rock my other kids, but she wasn’t really into that kind of bonding time.

As soon as I rubbed the Lavender and Myhrr on her though, she crawled into my lap and slept, snuggled, settled in with me and stayed with me through the night so I could keep an eye on her.   It was really miraculous for our relationship!  I wept because I had been longing to hold her for so long.

I knew at that point that it didn’t matter if these little EO bottles did anything else, I was getting them just for my relationship with my daughter!  Spoiler- they helped with other things too ?  It was such a TURNING POINT for our family.

At that point I was all in!

I researched the heck out of everything I could and then I asked my super smart husband a billion questions.  He even read textbooks on essential oils (he’s a chemist and a chiropractor) and told me all about that.  This cascaded into a thousand different things that helped my family in ways I didn’t even know were possible.

We used oils more….our family healed emotionally.

We started using more green-cleaning items in our home…things got better for our kids behavior.

We started a business with Young Living because we loved sharing….we now are a stay at home family and get to make up for time we lost before we adopted.

We keep finding new things (still 4 years later!) that we love about Young Living.  If you want to start this journey and see what it will mean for your family- it might be different or similar to my story- now is the time, friend!