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Advocacy, Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysOct. 8, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | Would you still love me if…?

Almost 11 years ago, I was told that I had HIV. *** As an unemployed, broke college student looking for an easy way to make cash, I thought that donating plasma would be just the thing to put a little change in my pockets. So, I headed off to the plasma donation center. The process went smoothly, and I left thinking that perhaps I could become a regular plasma donor in lieu of finding a “real” job. The girl at the front desk did remind me that the center would call me after completing some testing to ensure that I was […]

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Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, Vulnerable ParentsOct. 5, 2018

Forgotten Friday | It’s Been a Long Time, Birth Mother

It’s been a long time, birth mother. Today marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption of our son; yet, in many ways, it feels like it was just yesterday. I often think back to when you and I were taking turns rocking him during visits. Is this what other mothers formed through adoption think about? Is this how other mothers formed through adoption feel? In many ways, we are stuck in those first moments when little souls entered our lives. In other ways, we feel far away from those moments. To look back through this past decade, I still fondly […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysOct. 1, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | I love you, too.

Before foster parenting, I can’t remember a time when I said “I love you” and it wasn’t returned. When there wasn’t an immediate expression of similar affection. An “I love you, too.” But in foster care, I am learning love isn’t so simple or so easy. Kids already have parents they love. And the love they know often looks different than the love I have been shown. But no matter what it looks like, it is still love and it is still theirs to keep. Some kids ache to go back to a love I don’t understand. Others see their […]

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Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingSep. 28, 2018

Forgotten Friday | When Hope Hides

I’m here again. In a season of shadows and darkness. The light flickers in the distance but it’s dim. I find myself blinking and staring again to make sure it’s really there. Loneliness stands to my left. Fear to my right. And when I look at my reflection, I see failure. I can’t make myself attach to this kid. I want to…I think. But the wall rises around my heart. Protection from pain forces me to come face to face with my reality. This foster care thing isn’t natural. It’s not the way it was supposed to be. I want […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysSep. 24, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | 5 Reasons Foster Parents Need to Attach to their Foster Child

You bring a child or sibling group into your home for who knows how long. You don’t know very much about them. You work at creating as much calm as you can in the midst of a new normal for everyone. Parent visits, school work, possibly counselor visits, and behavioral challenges make the transition challenging. You focus on providing as much as care and support as you can for your new foster child. Yet at the same time, you guard your heart. If you have had much training, you know that your new foster child will come with some attachment struggles. But […]

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Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingSep. 21, 2018

Forgotten Friday | Circling Jericho

Today is my son’s 999th day in foster care. You might think I’m kidding, but I have an online calendar running. 1,000 days tomorrow since we became his “resource parents,” as the state says. I was eight days behind on my kids’ advent calendar (A Jesse Tree handmade by a dear friend of mine that traces the lineage of Christ), so this morning was the story of Joshua. I’m sitting at my kitchen table, stressing about testifying in court…all the while, reading and telling my kids about how the Israelites were in the same situation! (Ok, not the same, but keep […]

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Adoption, Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysSep. 17, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | Everyone Has a Story: Heartbreak and Hope, Part 2

(To read part one, click here) “She changed her mind.” I couldn’t believe it. I knew that this was so very common in domestic adoptions and yet, in this case, baby boy would immediately be put into the foster care system, and his mom did not want this. She had shared this with me before, yet she changed her mind. And her decision was final. I looked over at my friends who were standing outside the nursery. With so many emotions in my heart and tears in my eyes, I slowly walked to them and told them that it seemed like […]

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Advocacy, Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingSep. 14, 2018

Forgotten Friday | It’s not my story to tell.

The two-year-old girls currently living in our home are the exact same height with blonde hair and only a 0.2 pound difference in their weight. I’m a biological mom to one and a foster mom to the other. They’re five months apart, and there has not been a day that I’ve gone into public with them when I’ve not been asked by a random stranger (if not 3-4 random strangers), “Are they twins?”  Usually, I politely smile and say, “No they’re not,” and the little girls continue stuffing their faces while I continue stuffing the grocery cart. My brief answer suffices […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysSep. 10, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | Sometimes I forget she isn’t really mine

My heart broke a little yesterday morning while sitting at my kitchen table during our county social worker’s monthly visit. Our agency’s case manager also met with us at the same time. She mentioned the likelihood of reunification and I nodded as usual, contributing to the conversation how the birth parent visits were going. The next court date won’t be for another few months, but it suddenly hit me that our sweet baby girl, with whom we all have quite fallen in love, might be leaving us sooner than later. Waking up to her morning giggles and putting her down, […]

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Advocacy, Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingSep. 7, 2018

Forgotten Friday | How to Successfully Advocate for Your Children

Your job as a parent is to make sure your children receive the best possible services. Whether this is within your school system, your pediatricians office, or your family therapist’s office. You do this because you care. But what do you do when you feel like you can’t adequately communicate the needs of your child? You’ve probably experienced something like this when speaking to a professional: “It doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with him?” “I understand you believe she has a special need, but she is a great student, well-liked, and makes good grades. We are not sure she […]

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