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Category: Make a Difference Mondays

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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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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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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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, 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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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysOct. 16, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Achieving Confidentiality in Foster Care (Part 3)

This is part three in a series discussing the importance of confidentiality in foster care. Read Part 1. Part 2. Please know, I did not come to this place easily, nor did I want to arrive here. I’m a photographer, and I happened to have the two best cheeks on earth living with me. I longed to share photos, I longed to share specific prayer needs, and I also just longed to share him. I just knew that if people experienced his precious, sweet perfection, they would be less inclined to fear foster care, and more inclined to sacrifice everything to love […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysOct. 9, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Confidentiality and Identity in Foster Care (Part 2)

This is part two in a series discussing the importance of confidentiality in foster care. Read Part 1. We had a sitter once who asked about a friend’s newly adopted child, not by the child’s name or status as a son or daughter, but by the child’s ethnicity. In that very moment, I realized that I needed to be much more confidential about the reasons our foster child was in our care. Because the reasons he came into care did not define him then, and they don’t define him now. Those obstacles are not his identity, nor is the fact that […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysOct. 2, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | That Time I Was a Christmas Villain (Part 1)

This is part one in a series discussing the importance of confidentiality in foster care.  If you work in the medical field, or in social work, law, education, etc… you know this: Confidentiality matters. It matters for very obvious reasons and for SO many reasons beyond what is completely obvious. I’m writing about this topic from a foster parenting perspective… One that I didn’t always understand or hold for myself… at least not until I became a foster parent and loved not only the child in my home, but also his mom, his brother and sister, his grandparents, his great […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Make a Difference MondaysSep. 25, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Compassion fatigue.

​ A couple years ago, in the midst of ​fostering our firsts, I crashed. Parenting a sibling set of three suffering severe neglect and trauma, I felt like a toddler trying to run a marathon. I’d never buckled a kid in a booster seat, let alone refereed backseat pinching and screaming matches while driving. What I lacked in experience, I made up for in determination. I was all in. Until I was all gone. My love and care were met with pain and anger. Again and again. My home had become a warzone with ten-year-olds tantruming and five-year-olds swearing. At […]

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Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysSep. 18, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | I Can’t Convince Anyone to Be a Foster Parent

A few years ago, we were scheduled to go onstage at church and talk about our experience as foster parents. We were only three months into this foster care gig…and why wouldn’t we be the perfect couple to speak into a microphone and convince others to follow in our footsteps? When asked, I didn’t realize it would end up being on a morning where everything felt so hard. Our 4 ½-year-old foster son was still wearing diapers. He would hide and poop, despite all our best efforts to potty train and bribe and encourage and incent. He was a trauma […]

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