May 26 – Mark and Dana – Ottawa County

It’s all about the mindset
It’s a natural behavior to praise children for their intelligence or talent, rather than for how hard they have tried. This form of praise is also used among adults.  We identify a goal and receive or give praise when that goal is achieved.  Praise and words of encouragement are positive responses.  But, when they are only given in response for a goal achieved, it promotes a “fixed mindset” – the belief that you either have achieved success or haven’t achieved success.  People with a fixed mindset, when confronted with a difficult challenge; tend to give up while identifying barriers to success.  Mark and Dana have a “growth mindset”, which they apply when parenting, fostering, and adopting children and youth.
Never give up
Dana and Mark have continuously taken on challenges, in spite of setbacks, throughout the ten years that they have served in the role of parents who foster.  They don’t give up.  When they provided care for a male teen in foster care, and later adopted the youth, Mark and Dana viewed every challenge as a learning opportunity.  When they encourage and support biological families through the reunification process, they treated differences of opinion as a way to learn from the perspective of others.  When they parent, Dana and Mark remain focused on meeting the most important needs of every family member.  They foster an environment where all members of the family have a voice and feel heard.
Mark and Dana are committed parents.  They are committed to creating and nurturing lasting relationships, which come from effort and working through inevitable differences.  Dana and Mark are parents who are committed to ensuring that the children and youth in their home are great at being their true happy selves!