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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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The Forgotten PodcastSep. 24, 2018

More to Me: Foster Care Through the Eyes of a Teen

Saty Cornelius grew up in a fostering family—her parents have fostered more than 50 children. She is one of seven children, including three sisters through adoption. Knowing, hearing and living the stories of some of her foster siblings gave her incredible insight into the trauma, struggles and sometimes unexpected emotions kids in care often experience. The combination of her dream to write a book and her personal connection and passion for foster care has resulted in More to Me, a fictional, but very realistic, story of a teen girl and her younger siblings who find themselves navigating the confusion of […]

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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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The Forgotten PodcastSep. 10, 2018

Confidentiality in Foster Care: Why It Matters

Anna Kathryn Ellzey knew that as a foster parent she could not share pictures, names or details of the child in her care. But that didn’t stop her from sharing a photo of him and her biological daughter as they sat together—a cute picture of only their legs. She simply wanted to share her joy at having him be part of their family. But she realized that on the other side of their happiness was his birth family’s pain and heartbreak. That’s when she realized that confidentiality was about more than keeping a child’s face hidden: It was about protecting […]

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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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