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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingMar. 24, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Secondary Trauma: How Your Child’s Special Needs May Be Affecting You

We know that children who have come from difficult places experience trauma, but what about you and I as parents? How do we handle the secondary trauma we experience as a result of the day in and day out battle of parenting them? “Listen, you’re blood pressure is just too high. You need to lose some weight, eat healthier and get some exercise. Getting out for a workout will lower your stress level too. I know you can find just a few minutes in your day. On your way out, stop by the front desk and schedule an appointment for […]

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Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysMar. 20, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Foster Care Means More

Foster Care means more mouths to feed more hineys to wipe more fingernails to clip. It means another car seat to buckle another nose to wipe another body to bathe. Foster care means more visits to the doctor more appointments to keep more gas in the car. It means more laundry more dishes more sweeping more working. It means more vomit more snot more tangles more poop more pee. It is more agencies to deal with more systems to navigate more people in your business more government to answer to. Foster care means more uncertainty more desperation more complication more […]

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Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingMar. 17, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Foster Care and the Father Who Never Says Goodbye

The knot in our stomachs wound tighter as the elevator climbed to the eighth floor. The doors slowly squeaked open, and we made our way down the long hallway. It was a dreary November morning, and the gray from outside seemed to be spilling in through the window panes and casting a sad fog over our hearts. The meeting room was filled with toys of all kinds — stuffed puppies, plastic dinosaurs and baby dolls with cheerful but worn faces, all telling the tales of children, birth parents, and foster families who sat in this room before us for their […]

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Advocacy, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysMar. 13, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Lines in the Sand

photo credit: Lars Plougmann via photopin cc There are two meanings for drawing a line in the sand. One is that you make a decision not to cross a certain point. No more movement forward, not one more step past it. The other meaning is that a firm decision has been made and you cross that line and never go back. Isn’t that interesting? One line. You either stop right before it or go full-force through it. We’re staring at that line right now. Actually, we’re staring at a lot of lines. Lines in the sand, drawn by God. Our […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingMar. 10, 2017

Forgotten Friday | 5 Deescalation Tips for Moms of Kids who Rage

The other night I got to speak to a group of potential foster parents who were just about to finish their training classes. They had really great questions about the realities of foster care and a realistic understanding that training classes are just not able to address all the potential scenarios you’ll run into as a foster parent. One woman asked a great question about how you deescalate kids who are really angry. Over our years working with kids from toddlers to teens we have found what works and what doesn’t when dealing with angry children. I want to share […]

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Advocacy, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysMar. 6, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Get Your Hands Dirty

Life is messy. We’d all agree on that. And if you don’t, are you breathing? Even without the weight of someone else’s problems, our own worlds seem heavy at times. But add in another human being and it’s only a matter of time before…BOOM. Explosion of opinions and emotions and drama. I mean, it’s just too much. It’s convenient to turn away from someone else’s crap because the curse of our culture is the ability to choose comfort. So most people do. Some by nature. Others by habit. And most without realizing the devastation they are bringing by disengaging. Then […]

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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, Reunification, Vulnerable ParentsMar. 3, 2017

Forgotten Friday | The Ache of a Mom Heart

Parenting is hard no matter how you approach it, but there are a lot of things that biological parents take for granted—like knowing your child’s full history. The state gives you all the information they have, but sometimes information is scarce, and you have to become your own private detective. You study your child for clues about their past. You look for trigger situations. You have to figure out if they have any allergies or major food aversions or favorite traditions. Sometimes you have to go hunting, too. Since so much of life is lived online these days, you actually […]

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Advocacy, Family Support, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysFeb. 27, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | A {Locked Out} Lesson

Sometimes, you need to be thankful for the silver lining within the chaos. Today, I’m simply thankful that Charlie chose to lock me out of the house AFTER the adoption specialist was here, as opposed to being locked out when she arrived! (Do you know how tricky it is to continually switch from a stern discipline voice to a sickening sweet voice in the hopes you can convince a 3 year old to open either of the doors he has locked? A threat of putting ALL his M&M’s in the garbage finally did the trick.) I often post about foster […]

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Advocacy, Children in Foster Care, Family Support, Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, Ways to ServeFeb. 24, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Stop Confusing Your Calling with His Commands

As I grew into adulthood, I often wondered, prayed about, wrestled with and sought counsel over my calling. I looked to the lives of so many valiant souls that crossed my unsettled path for direction and motivation. What was I going to do with my life? What was my calling? My calling? My calling? That word was so weighted and I felt trapped. I thought there was a right or wrong decision. The process of discerning my next steps–all of my steps–felt final. Then the what ifs followed. What if I chose the wrong calling? What if I wasn’t hearing […]

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Advocacy, Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysFeb. 20, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | A Daily Funeral

I have to listen to an audiobook or podcast while I do housework, or I’ll get distracted. Or sometimes I’ll just put on a soundtrack and sing every role of a Broadway show. (Don’t mind me, neighbors! I’m just in here defying some gravity while I load the washing machine!) On the afternoon of Easter Sunday in 2011, I was listening to audiobook about adoption. As various people shared their thoughts on the subject, one shared that she would struggle connecting the same way with an adopted child as she would with a biological child. I remember thinking to myself, […]

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