Carrie helps parents through their own grief and trauma resulting from parenting traumatized children.
Carrie and her husband Bob struggled with infertility and miscarriage before adopting their now 30-year old son Brendan, as a newborn. They welcomed their now 28-year old Katie 15 months later. They completed their family by adopting Sam from Vietnam when he was 3 1/2.
Things became rocky as Sam struggled to fit into the O’Toole family. After 8 years of therapy, special education, surgeries, prayer, doctor visits,
hospitalizations, multiple diagnoses (RAD, PTSD, Developmental Delays, etc.), Bob and Carrie made the heart-wrenching decision to relinquish custody and place Sam into another adoptive family from their church. This family was falling apart! The ripple effects of estrangement from extended family members, and judgmental attitudes from people they thought would be there for support, almost took this family under.
The last 13 years have been a time of healing and growth.
After a decade of personal, marriage, and family therapy, Carrie’s counselor and psychiatrist suggested that since she had already done all of the work, maybe it was time for her to go to school and earn her counseling degree. So she did!
Carrie graduated from Liberty University with a M. A. in Human Services, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy. Not wanting to open a practice, but desiring to help people, she earned her credentials as a Board Certified Life Coach and Attachment-Based Intervention Specialist through The American Association of Christian Counselors. She is certified as a crisis responder, with credentialing in Grief Following Trauma, and Spiritual and Psychological First Aid.
How our ministry began
Carrie began helping other parents through their own grief and trauma resulting from parenting traumatized children, through Carrie O’Toole Ministries in 2012. She found that some people make the decision to continue parenting. Some place their child/ren in residential treatment facilities, or boarding schools. Some choose to place their child with another family. Either way, these parents suffer. Carrie walks through these difficult decisions, and the emotions that follow, with her clients.
In 2021, Carrie brought on 2 more coaches to help reach more struggling families with hope and healing. Aimee and Jen bring even more experience, expertise, and energy to the ministry. They lead several on-line groups, write blogs, and continue in their education. Aimee is pursuing an Ed.D. in Traumatology, and Jen is pursuing her licensure.
Our team has discovered that the issues facing the parents we work with are similar to another group of people: Parents of children coming out of trafficking. Although we haven’t experienced this personally, the symptoms of children with RAD can be similar to those who have been trafficked. We are prepared to offer the same hope and healing to these parents.
We work on the front lines, bringing hope and healing to the traumatized, for the glory of God.
We look forward to reaching more people with the hope and healing of Jesus.
Who we help?
Parents and family members of traumatized children, who typically include:
Adopted, foster, step parents, biological parents, and parents of trafficked children, and other family members. Trauma has no boundaries. Please don’t let this list keep you from contacting us, if you don’t fall in this description! Reach out!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1:4