Blog Archives

Category: Reunification

Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, Prayer, Reunification, Vulnerable ParentsOct. 15, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | Finding Joy in the Little Things

Something about babies always makes people smile. Their supposed innocence, adorable baby rolls, toothless grins, contagious laughter, and the freshness of their smooth skin and simple being all in one miniature person. Joy. Smiles. Perfect strangers will reach out and touch (and even kiss) babies they have never seen before. Once, I had even witnessed a stranger sit herself down at the table with Baby S and her birth mom to start a conversation. What makes that ok? Somehow, personal space doesn’t exist for babies. As I sit at yet another birth parent visit in a quiet mall food court […]

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Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, ReunificationAug. 6, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | Saying Hello to the Next Goodbye

We lost a baby a week ago. Not to death, but to life. A new life. One without us in it. With one last kiss, my lips sank into his soft cheeks and his life with us was over. I closed my eyes and tried to breathe him in, knowing when I opened them again, the world would look and feel very different. Every minute, every memory thus far was filled with me–with us. I was still his mama for a few more fleeting moments. I opened my eyes and forced out a smile as I passed him back to […]

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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, ReunificationJul. 13, 2018

Forgotten Friday | Not My Own

Your skin is darker, your eyes are bigger, You are not my own. Your hair is curlier, your smile brighter, You are not my own. Your laugh is sweeter, your cry is deeper, You are not my own. You are not my own today, nor not my own tomorrow. Forever you will be, not my own. This is where my heart is tonight: heavy, deep, numb. The thoughts of you are so present in my mind, the burden so heavy on my heart. Who am I to you? A mother? A babysitter? A temporary caretaker? Just a stranger? These questions […]

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Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, ReunificationJul. 9, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | How to Support Reunification, Even if You Don’t Want to

If you are a foster parent, you know the word “reunification” comes up a lot. As it now stands, there is a federal law that mandates courts and child welfare agencies to work towards reunification with a biological parent upon children entering care. The law gives fifteen out of twenty-two months for efforts to rectify the reason that children entered care and to assure safety once placed back in the home. People often say, “I could never foster because I could not give the children back.” This is a reasonable response, but it is possible to support the reunification process […]

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Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, ReunificationMay. 21, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | Yesterday’s Gone

After court yesterday, I didn’t want to go home. Not in a dramatic way, but I wanted to be out in nature and surrounded by people. So first we walked in a park, then we went shopping. My husband had our two youngest in the cart, and something distracted me, so I wandered off. My littlest didn’t, of course, understand that his life had been dramatically altered by a man’s word just hours before. He doesn’t know that in a few days, he’s leaving forever the only home he’s ever known in his 29 months of life: 872 days and […]

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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, ReunificationApr. 20, 2018

Forgotten Friday | Gone.

Our precious Big D is gone. After living life together for seventeen months, gone. Most days it feels surreal. I wonder if he’s really gone. Or if he was ever really here. Knowing the truth, but feeling a variation of it. I feel like it can’t be true because I’m not yet devastated. And every other time I’ve said goodbye to a foster child, it’s been devastating. I miss Big D every day. I miss him asking if we could stop at the corner store on the way to school. I miss finding his grin and showing him mine when […]

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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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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, Children in Foster Care, Family Support, Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, ReunificationFeb. 10, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Praying for the Case Plan: Reunification Is the Primary Goal

Family and friends– I get it. We prayerfully make the decision to bring another child into our home and by doing so we unintentionally indirectly ask more from you in our relationship. Without warning we ask you love and accept a child we do not tell you much about. We assume you are willing to do this just because you share life with us. We indirectly ask you to celebrate with our home when things are good. We ask you to support us when things are rough. And, we sometimes put you in a situation to grieve the loss of […]

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Advocacy, Children in Foster Care, Education, Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, ReunificationFeb. 3, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Foster Children Need the Church

One of the bravest women I know is the woman who gave birth to my son. She was young, it was her first child, her life was unstable, and she hadn’t made all the best decisions up to that point. In fact, some of her decisions would have lasting consequences for her and her unborn child. Yet she remains one of the most courageous women I know, because she let this little one grow inside her, not knowing what the future would hold. When it would have been perhaps “in her best interest” or “more convenient” to visit the abortion […]

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