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Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingOct. 19, 2018

Forgotten Friday | How Foster Care Is Changing Me

I’m an expert on change. Not because I ever wanted to be, but simply because it’s what I know. It’s my close counterpart and my experience qualifies my expertise in this area. When I started this season, I believed I was doing a good thing. I was being obedient to the call on my life to simply say yes to the unknown. The future felt bright and full of hope. I was the hero. I was the one doing the rescuing; the first responder bringing relief and recovery to those trapped on the road to nowhere. Then Jesus wrecked me. […]

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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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Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingOct. 12, 2018

Forgotten Friday | Hast Thou Not Seen?

I’m trying to sulk about my foster care frustrations today. It was such a perfect day for it. Cold, pouring rain. The day after both a holiday weekend AND my son’s birthday when the let-down of all the celebration drops you into the gutter. The good news is that good friends don’t let you sulk. They are understanding of the challenges in my life, but don’t let me wallow. Much encouragement, more prayer–that’s what I get. And that’s what I need! Also, I turned on Pandora and Fernando Ortega started singing Praise to the Lord the Almighty: Praise to the […]

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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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