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Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingJul. 21, 2017

Forgotten Friday | 9 Tips for Successfully Navigating the Child Welfare System as a Foster Parent

The foster care system is complicated. But there ARE things that foster parents can do to more effectively navigate it. If there is one thing most people involved with child welfare can say about the foster care system (US), it is this: The system is complicated. But there ARE things that foster parents can do to more effectively navigate it. Here are just a few: 1) Don’t buy into the myths. There are many negative opinions about foster parents, case managers, attorneys, biological parents, and the system as a whole. Unfortunately, some of these opinions have turned into myths about […]

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The Forgotten PodcastJul. 17, 2017

Season 3, Episode 5 | How Jim Daly’s Story of Foster Care Became a Passion to Help Others

Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, shares his personal journey of being a child in foster care and explains how going through that painful time created a passion in him to work on behalf of children in foster care and how, even as an adult, he still feels the effects of foster care in his life. We spent the night on the floor that night, covering ourselves up in clothes out of the boxes and the next day, I was off to foster care. –Jim Daly Jim’s story Jim was four years old when he first experienced “the […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysJul. 17, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | When You Understand Trauma, You Understand A Whole New World.

It took us a while to get there, but after years of parenting children from traumatic places, we finally had our eyes opened up. It became a game-changer for us, and our parenting. There are only 3 things I would go back in time and change if I had the power to do so. The first was field day in 6th grade. The event was cancelled due to rain and all students who decided not to come to school were excused. But I didn’t know this so I got on the bus anyways. Fail! The second was when I began my first […]

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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingJul. 14, 2017

Forgotten Friday | A New Direction. Again. Some More.

After Nathan and I changed course to pursue domestic adoption, and then had the surprise visit from the Haitians, we settled into Christmas celebrations and anxiously waited for a phone call from our state agency to fill us in on next steps. We are not good waiters. Not like as in a restaurant. As in waiting. For stuff to happen. For people who have the information to tell us what our lives might look like in the future. So after a week, we called them. They reported that the next step was to take a mandatory training class which would […]

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

Make a Difference Monday | True Confessions of a Foster Mama

I’m drinking my daily cup of coffee…finally. Ahhhhh, the therapeutic effects of a warm cup of joe resting in my palm. Feels so good. I had to reheat it in the microwave, gasp, because now its almost bedtime. I would have sipped it down this morning but my body refused to move to the rhythm of my alarm dinging and vibrating my comfy bed. I was up every 2-3 hours holding another mama’s baby. My husband and I are supposed to work in shifts through the darkness of the night. But since I heard the cries as he snored puffed […]

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Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingJul. 7, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Painting a Portrait of Our Foster Family

I’ve spent a good bit of time browsing stock photography sites in my career, and to be honest, 90 percent of stock photography is ridiculous. My current favorite stock photo is titled “Woman Riding Rhinoceros in Rural Field.” It’s everything you’re imagining and more. When you search “family” or “parenting” on a stock site, you get all these stereotypical, idyllic images of a mom, a dad and a couple kids at the table laughing and eating a healthy salad. But there’s nothing stereotypical about my family made up of my foster son, L., and me. I’m like, “Where’s the picture […]

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The Forgotten PodcastJul. 3, 2017

Season 3, Episode 4 | Mother to Many: Doing Life with Nine Children

Kirsten Smith believes her past experience prepared her for her present reality, although “nothing could fully prepare me to be the mother of nine!” She grew up with an idea of what foster care was, and after college she worked as a social worker with families in crisis, aiding in reunification, but also seeing the effects of child abuse and neglect. “It was a hard job,” she says. “I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know why God put me here.’” A few years later she realized that some of her own children came from those scenarios. I would rather have people […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, Vulnerable ParentsJul. 3, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Liberty — part one

The roads of the small town would’ve been saturated with plump pumpkins, hay bales, and corn husk figures on that day in late October 2010–intersections and front yards plastered with signs advertising Fall Festivals for chili-cook offs, costume contests, and children’s inflatables, as the crisp air wafted cotton candy and caramel apples. The woman was likely surrounded by her two young sons, their hearts bursting with excitement, as they awaited the birth of their infant sister. She probably labored in the conventional blue-dotted gown, her bottle-blonde hair perhaps pulled back loosely into a ponytail. Life is ironic. No coincidences or […]

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Advocacy, Family Support, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingJun. 30, 2017

Forgotten Friday | The American Mission Field

We spent some time last week with a few missionaries. They were at church as part of an annual celebration of support and awareness for worldwide missions. We met in small groups for a picnic and some shared personal stories from their ministries. A question was posed to one of the missionaries, “What is your greatest need right now?” The answer didn’t amaze me, it actually affirmed my suspicions–native workers. This guy was from a foreign country and his greatest need was for his own people to become aware of and respond to the needs in their very community. That’s […]

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Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysJun. 26, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Imagining Life Without Our Foster Princess

Our foster princess sat in her bed last night and after we went through our nightly ritual of Bible reading and song singing, it was time to say our prayers. Without hesitation she asked God, like she has done every night for nearly 26 months, if she could stay with us forever. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t silently say the same prayer at the same time. I can’t imagine my world without her in it. I can’t imagine not hearing her giggles. Watching her kick her butt with her feet when she runs. Listening […]

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