Blog Archives

Category: Encouragement

Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingJul. 21, 2017

Forgotten Friday | 9 Tips for Successfully Navigating the Child Welfare System as a Foster Parent

The foster care system is complicated. But there ARE things that foster parents can do to more effectively navigate it. If there is one thing most people involved with child welfare can say about the foster care system (US), it is this: The system is complicated. But there ARE things that foster parents can do to more effectively navigate it. Here are just a few: 1) Don’t buy into the myths. There are many negative opinions about foster parents, case managers, attorneys, biological parents, and the system as a whole. Unfortunately, some of these opinions have turned into myths about […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysJul. 17, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | When You Understand Trauma, You Understand A Whole New World.

It took us a while to get there, but after years of parenting children from traumatic places, we finally had our eyes opened up. It became a game-changer for us, and our parenting. There are only 3 things I would go back in time and change if I had the power to do so. The first was field day in 6th grade. The event was cancelled due to rain and all students who decided not to come to school were excused. But I didn’t know this so I got on the bus anyways. Fail! The second was when I began my first […]

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Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysJul. 10, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | True Confessions of a Foster Mama

I’m drinking my daily cup of coffee…finally. Ahhhhh, the therapeutic effects of a warm cup of joe resting in my palm. Feels so good. I had to reheat it in the microwave, gasp, because now its almost bedtime. I would have sipped it down this morning but my body refused to move to the rhythm of my alarm dinging and vibrating my comfy bed. I was up every 2-3 hours holding another mama’s baby. My husband and I are supposed to work in shifts through the darkness of the night. But since I heard the cries as he snored puffed […]

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Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingJul. 7, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Painting a Portrait of Our Foster Family

I’ve spent a good bit of time browsing stock photography sites in my career, and to be honest, 90 percent of stock photography is ridiculous. My current favorite stock photo is titled “Woman Riding Rhinoceros in Rural Field.” It’s everything you’re imagining and more. When you search “family” or “parenting” on a stock site, you get all these stereotypical, idyllic images of a mom, a dad and a couple kids at the table laughing and eating a healthy salad. But there’s nothing stereotypical about my family made up of my foster son, L., and me. I’m like, “Where’s the picture […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Family Support, Foster ParentingJun. 23, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Water

Twelve and fourteen… that’s how many years it took these two beautiful kiddos to gain more life experience, faith and wisdom than this mama has gained in thirty three years. Five days…that’s how long it took them to turn my life and my heart upside down. No, not upside down…right side up! One month ago they sat, waited and wondered…half an hour from their home as water seeped through the doors and windows and filled its halls and rooms, taking most of their material belongings, drowning their homework, clothes, furniture, memories… “It’s a total loss…” Those are the words their […]

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Encouragement, Family Support, Foster Care Affects on Kids Already in Your Home, Make a Difference MondaysJun. 12, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | How To Help Typically Developing Children Cope With Raising a Non-Typical Child

One of the biggest issues adoptive parents face, is helping typically-developing children cope with the struggles and behaviors of non-typically developing children. But there is a way to find balance. When our first daughter was born, everything was just as it should be. She was full-term. Her birth-mom did not drink or smoke or use drugs. She took her pre-natal vitamins and ate a healthy diet. Our daughter was placed in our arms just minutes after birth. From the moment she entered the world, all was right. She developed appropriately. She walked and talked on time. She ate all the […]

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Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysJun. 5, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Wanted: Parents Willing to Get Too Attached

*It has been more than two years since I wrote this post and it ran on The Gospel Coalition and CBMW blog. At the time, we were preparing to say goodbye to our son. Now, years later, we have finalized his adoption into our family. We are grateful to God and amazed by his faithfulness, provision and working on our son’s behalf! I pray our story would encourage you and cause you to ask whether you too could risk getting “too attached” for the sake of a child in need. – – – – – – It has been almost one […]

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Encouragement, Family Support, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysMay. 29, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | How My Friends Taught Me to Grieve

I sat down to write something today, but then the doorbell rang. It was a delivery for my family of an edible bouquet. Seriously, is there anything better than something beautiful and also edible that comes as a total surprise from people who love you? So here I sit with tears about the sweet ways my friends have stepped up and loved my family well and instead of whatever it was I thought I might write today, this is what I want to tell you about. My family has been through a tough time the last few months which culminated […]

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Encouragement, Make a Difference MondaysMay. 8, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | I quit my full-time job, but I’m not a failure

I’ve made some terrible choices in the last 30 years. The 90s were a decade of poor choices for me–I mean, JNCO jeans, body glitter, and white tube socks with Doc Marten wanna-be sandals?!? My poor choices expand beyond fashion and reach into more significant realms like alcohol consumption and $0.25 tacos at dive bars. Fortunately, I’ve managed to wise up with age and have made a myriad of good choices, but the one resonating with me the most lately is my decision to step away from teaching. Now hold up: If you’re expecting one of those rant-y, passionate here’s-why-I-left-teaching […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysApr. 24, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Foster Moms

Foster moms, Two years ago I didn’t know anything about you, what you were capable of, your level of perseverance, or the wide range of emotions your heart fought every day. Two years ago I looked at you with admiration and anticipation… Because two years ago I sat and I waited… and waited and waited and waited on the arrival of our first long-term foster placement. Today that baby boy I was waiting to meet is much more than a long-term foster placement. He is my son. We experienced so much in the year and a half between the day we […]

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