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Category: Make a Difference Mondays

Foster Care Affects on Kids Already in Your Home, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysMay. 22, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | “You’re a Good Mom” {Perception & Misconception}

“You’re a good mom.” I hear those words very often, and nearly everywhere I go–Costco, Target, church, the grocery store, the doctor’s office…you get the idea. And I suppose the strangers’ words come out naturally when they see a gal with a 16-month-old on one hip, a 21-month-old on the other, a three-year-old tagging alongside. But while I hear the words, they aren’t being said to me. The words are being said to my 16-year-old daughter, Kaitlin. Kaitlin, my oldest child who–along with younger siblings Connor and Kylie–has spent six years sharing her home and life with foster siblings. She was 10 when […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysMay. 15, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | I’m an Inadequate Dad

“We don’t have a dad in our family,” L. remarked to me one night as I put him to bed. That’s right, bud. “But that’s kind of dangerous because dads are stronger than moms.” Yeah, that’s true. “So what if there was a bear and a wolf and a coyote?” If there was a bear and a wolf and a coyote, we would go inside and lock the door. “Oh, yeah. That would work.” It’s something that comes up from time to time. L. craves attention from and the reassuring presence of men. Just today I was helping him climb a […]

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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, Make a Difference MondaysMay. 1, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | And Then It Got Real: My First Foster Care Experience

It started when our local Baptist Association hosted an Easter egg hunt for foster families. They were kind enough to include prospective foster parents for the event, so I was attended as well. After parking near the other cars, I watched as foster moms pulled up in minivans and mega-vans and SUVs, most with multiple kids of different races piling out. I smiled as little ones toddled around with Easter baskets bigger than they were, thinking about how real this whole thing was becoming. These were blue-eyed and brown-eyed and chubby-cheeked darlings, no longer case studies or statistics. Here were […]

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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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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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Advocacy, Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Journey Bags, Make a Difference MondaysMar. 27, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | The Journey of the Bag, the Boy, and Beyond

The baby boy was just under 4 weeks old when we picked him up from a doctor’s appointment and brought him home. It would be another day or two before a caseworker was assigned to the little guy. By the time the caseworker visited, we had already bought diapers, wipes, formula, a diaper bag, and other essentials. The baby’s birth parents had sent two tubs of clothes–enough to keep him clothed for quite a while. When the caseworker brought a backpack full of items for him, I was very appreciative. I also felt a little guilty; surely, there was some […]

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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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