Blog Archives

Category: Encouragement

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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Education, Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysApr. 17, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Ten Ways to Prepare to be a New Foster Parent

Foster parenting is an experience unlike any other, and it is one that requires steadfastness, resilience, and love. You have finally decided to make the jump into foster parenting. Foster parenting is a tough calling and will take you through the complex beast that is child welfare, but it is also one that will teach you many life lessons. Here are tips to help you prepare. 1. Read, listen, and ask. Read as much as you can about fostering: Read it all—the good, the bad, and all of it in the middle. Foster parenting blogs are one exceptional way to […]

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

Make a Difference Monday | What My Foster Son Taught Me About Hospitality

When He first came to us, the house was a mess and dinner wasn’t ready. We didn’t have much time to roll out the welcome mat, and only Anna and I were here to greet him. But of all the guests I’ve had in my house, this little one has taught me the most about offering our home to others. He’s taught me that the mess doesn’t matter. He could care less if the toys are put away and the fact that I haven’t deep cleaned the fridge in months doesn’t bother him in the least. He is at home […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Forgotten FridaysApr. 7, 2017

Forgotten Friday | My Parenting May Seem Strict, But I Have A Few Good Reasons For It

The glares, stares, and judgmental glances. We’ve seen it all in our 15 years on the adoptive and foster care journey. Particularly as we’ve worked hard to parent children with major special needs. While we owe no one an explanation, we have some solid reasons for parenting our children the way we do. It’s a mild September afternoon in Central Indiana where we live. My family and I have spent the past hour watching my oldest son play football for his 7th grade team. Another game, another victory. This team is so good it’s scary. As the clock tics down […]

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Encouragement, Family Support, Make a Difference MondaysApr. 3, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Foster Mama, Find Your People

Having six kids under the age of ten is strangely similar to living life in a petri dish. There are simply not enough Clorox wipes to touch every snot-smothered surface during this time of year. Between public school, daycare and the church nursery, we are maxed out on the merging of germs. DONE. We have surely met our medical deductible for the year and it’s only March. I have a parking spot and exam room with our family’s name on it reserved at the local pediatrician’s office. I’m lying about that but we should, just sayin’. We have been friends […]

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Adoption, Children in Foster Care, Education, Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingMar. 31, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Are You Afraid of Your Child’s Big Emotions?

The first few years of our marriage I didn’t attune well to my wife’s emotions—especially when she got excited about something. As an expressive person, she jumped, laughed, ran around, and screamed with excitement—all while I stood with a simple smile on my face and would say, “That’s great honey.” That response, or lack thereof, always threw a wet blanket on her excitement. I definitely wasn’t attuned to her emotions. Then we got a little guy who also has big emotions. Some of this is his personality, no doubt. But most kids from a hard place come to us with […]

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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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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, 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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