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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysNov. 20, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | The Other Ending

Our first foster case ended with a beautiful reunification. Mom worked the plan. The plan worked. It was an emotional escapade that had its fair share of curve balls but in the end, on the day we drove her home, we felt like we finished well. Like what we had given her was our best. Our love was authentic and our work was complete. No one warned me of the other ending. I remember my first other with vivid color. I sat on my striped loveseat with a packed suitcase by my front door, windows open, as my eyes frequently […]

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Advocacy, Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingNov. 17, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Recognizing Signs of Sexual Abuse as a Foster Parent

Foster parents have a duty to be an advocate for the children in their care. Often, these children come from troubled homes and have been victims of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. While signs of physical abuse are fairly obvious, indications that a child has suffered sexual abuse can be less clear. There are several indicators of sexual abuse, that, taken as a grouping or pattern, should prompt foster parents to inform a pediatrician and law enforcement. Four Possible Signs of Abuse The signs below would be considered post-abuse, as opposed to signs that abuse has very recently (within 24-48 […]

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Adoption, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, ReunificationNov. 13, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Speechless: Are you open to keeping this child permanently?

“Are you open to keep her permanently if her parents end up not completing their plan?” After a momentary plight of speechlessness, I managed to stutter a few words to the new social worker that I could not give her a concrete answer. I really had to wrestle with this idea of permanence. After nine years of fostering, how did I forget that this question would always be on the horizon if the birth parents did not complete their requirements for reunifying with their child? None of our foster children have ever stayed and we feel that God has called […]

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Children in Foster Care, Education, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingNov. 10, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Understanding Reactive Attachment Disorder

Our kids (both adopted from foster care) have Reactive Attachment Disorder. Kids with RAD engage in intense power struggles with their caregivers because they have learned their previous caregivers didn’t do a good job of meeting their needs. For our kids, here’s what these power struggles look like: If we give our kids a two-step instruction, they do the second step before they do the first step. If we ask them to put on their coat before school, they’ll put on their backpack instead. I laid out a lightweight coat for my daughter last week during our 50-60 degree weather […]

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Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, Ways to ServeNov. 6, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | 5 Ways to Really Bless the Heart of Someone Who’s Struggling

I distinctly recall the first time someone “blessed my heart”. You know the type: the staged whisper (southern accent optional), big smile and—this is key—behind your back. I was standing in the world’s longest post office line and I had stupidly forgotten to go to the bathroom before I decided to run this brilliant errand. I had all three of my boys with me (cue warning sirens) and I was holding a huge box for a friend that I was shipping internationally, complete with 4,124 forms filled out in triplicate. There I was, shifting from one foot to another, and […]

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Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingNov. 3, 2017

Forgotten Friday | You’re Going to Cry

Considering foster care, but worried about the risk it may pose to your heart and your family if you move forward? Perfect. I’m glad you’re here! And since you’re here, let’s go ahead and get one thing straight… You’re going to cry. Let yourself. Because there is nothing joyful about families being torn apart. Broken homes and broken bodies are not a laughing matter. Because you might be the fifth family the one year old has lived with, and she will have a hard time attaching to you, she’s never learned to attach, and the idea is overwhelming for her […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysOct. 30, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | A Trauma Mama Watches “Stranger Things”

I don’t watch scary movies. Ever. At all. I’m not interested in being scared for fun. The daily diaper changes and the ever-present laundry question “what is in that pocket” are about all the suspense my body can handle. So I was not that interested in watching “Stranger Things” in spite of all the positive reviews. I am a married woman, so I am not the sole possessor of the remote control and one night found my husband fully engaged in the first episode. He continued to watch through the series and I joined him for bits and pieces as […]

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Children in Foster Care, Education, Forgotten FridaysOct. 27, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Why Won’t Your Foster or Adopted Child Look You in the Eyes?

My son is just now beginning to look me in the eyes when I talk to him. He is almost seven and has been in our family for six years. Sometimes I gently hold his cheek and ask him to look at me. He seems to try, but he looks at the ceiling, to either side, glances at my eyes for a split second, then quickly looks away. I feel sadness rather than anger or frustration. My father heart longs for his trust; for him to feel safe with me. As I said, he is looking into my eyes now […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysOct. 23, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Let’s Celebrate! Series Finale of Confidentiality and Foster Care (Part 4)

This is part four in a series discussing the importance of confidentiality in foster care. Read Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Foster parents, let’s celebrate the children in our care! Let’s celebrate BIG! Let’s celebrate often! And since we know celebration can and does exist outside of social media, let’s celebrate privately. Y’all remember that time I was a Christmas villain?  Please know this: I needed to celebrate my brand new foster son that Christmas morning, and he needed to be celebrated. He was worth celebrating, and we were overjoyed for such an opportunity. It wasn’t the photo that broke confidentiality, […]

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Education, Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingOct. 20, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Speaking back to the stereotypes of foster parents

I came across this video on the interwebs made by What Would You Do?, one of those hidden camera shows that stages scenarios in order to see what kind of reaction they receive from onlookers. This particular staged situation portrays foster parents as greedy people only in foster care for the money who treat their foster kids as second-class children. The video is a little over eight minutes long, but it took me about 20 minutes to watch; I had to walk away a few times because it made me so mad. Here are three reasons why I take issue […]

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