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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingMar. 24, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Secondary Trauma: How Your Child’s Special Needs May Be Affecting You

We know that children who have come from difficult places experience trauma, but what about you and I as parents? How do we handle the secondary trauma we experience as a result of the day in and day out battle of parenting them? “Listen, you’re blood pressure is just too high. You need to lose some weight, eat healthier and get some exercise. Getting out for a workout will lower your stress level too. I know you can find just a few minutes in your day. On your way out, stop by the front desk and schedule an appointment for […]

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Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingMar. 17, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Foster Care and the Father Who Never Says Goodbye

The knot in our stomachs wound tighter as the elevator climbed to the eighth floor. The doors slowly squeaked open, and we made our way down the long hallway. It was a dreary November morning, and the gray from outside seemed to be spilling in through the window panes and casting a sad fog over our hearts. The meeting room was filled with toys of all kinds — stuffed puppies, plastic dinosaurs and baby dolls with cheerful but worn faces, all telling the tales of children, birth parents, and foster families who sat in this room before us for their […]

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Advocacy, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysMar. 6, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Get Your Hands Dirty

Life is messy. We’d all agree on that. And if you don’t, are you breathing? Even without the weight of someone else’s problems, our own worlds seem heavy at times. But add in another human being and it’s only a matter of time before…BOOM. Explosion of opinions and emotions and drama. I mean, it’s just too much. It’s convenient to turn away from someone else’s crap because the curse of our culture is the ability to choose comfort. So most people do. Some by nature. Others by habit. And most without realizing the devastation they are bringing by disengaging. Then […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Family Support, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysFeb. 6, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Help! I’m Fostering A Teenager Who Pushes Me to the Edge

One of the most difficult aspects of foster parenting is caring for teenagers who have come from difficult places. The many issues that come with this territory can be too much to handle at times. But, there are a few key ways to parent with success. I could feel hear heartache through the words in her email. With each line I read, my heart sank a little deeper for her. A single mother in her 60s. Forty years deep into the journey of foster care. More than 200 children through her home in that time. If anything I should have […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysJan. 23, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | What is Foster Care Like?

Multiple times over the past two years, people have shyly asked “What is foster care like?” Mostly, the people asking were considering foster care themselves. And they needed to hear the good, the bad and the ugly before they jumped in any deeper. I understand how they felt. I wanted the same thing when we were praying through the enormous, life changing decision; someone on the inside to bare their soul and lay it all out there for consideration. It helps take the edge of the unknown. What is foster care like? Foster care is letting go of life as […]

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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingJan. 20, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Can I Ask You Something? (Part 1)

People usually have a lot of questions when my foster journey comes up. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. 1. You’re not married, so how does that work? Well, since I don’t actually have to bear the child, that cuts down on a lot of front-end complication of becoming a single mom. When I accept a placement, the social worker will bring the kid(s) to my house (usually, it’s same-day delivery). But really, after the first bit, it pretty much works the same way as any single-working-parent situation. And as much as I love […]

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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingJan. 13, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Their Hearts Matter

“Guard your heart,” they said. I almost bought into it too… …and I understand where they’re coming from. Protect my heart. It’s the only way. Love half-way so that my heart can’t break. If I don’t let myself love this guy with all the love in my heart, there is less of a chance that I’ll hurt in the end. I know they’re just worried about us, worried that our hearts will break. They love us, they don’t want to see us in pain. This little man who we have fallen so deep for… To think about him leaving… is […]

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

Make a Difference Monday | The Weight of Saying “No”

Today, I am a foster mom who is overwhelmed; brought to tears and on my knees in prayer. I have spit-up on my sweater; I haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep in 7 months, and I’m holding a crying baby as I type. But these things aren’t the reason for my tears; they do not play a role in my broken heart. Why the sadness? Why the heavy heart when all in my life appears to be going so well? Because two weeks ago I said “no.” No to the phone call asking us if we’d like to adopt two […]

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Children in Foster Care, Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, ReunificationJan. 6, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Foster Kids Don’t Have Birthparents

Yesterday I was driving my six kids to a foster parent training class when one of my children said, “I want to see that Kung Fu Panda movie. The one where he finds his REAL dad.” I felt my stomach tighten and I locked eyes with my oldest child in the rearview mirror and I heard him mumble, “Oh boy” because he knew exactly what speech was coming and what questions the child who said “real dad” would have to answer. I know it’s just a movie and these are just pretend panda relationships, but in our family we have […]

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Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysJan. 2, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Happy New Year {Hey Moms. Let’s not judge.}

Last New Year’s Eve, we sat around our dinner table and each took turns creating goals for ourselves, and for our family—well, except for our little one. He’s a bit too young to determine goals. For him, the goal might have been to eat more candy, and I’m pretty sure he did just that (aka: parent fail). Anyway, after deciding what we should work on for the coming year, I sealed up the slip of paper in an envelope titled, “Family Goals” and stuck it on the refrigerator. There it stayed for the last year—no one thought about it, looked at […]

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