Blog Archives

Category: Encouragement

Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysNov. 27, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | How to Safeguard Your Marriage While Raising Children with Special Needs

Often, when you’re in the trenches of parenting children with major special needs, the most important relationship you have begins to suffer. How do you keep your marriage healthy in the midst of very difficult circumstances with your children? I met my husband 20 years ago this winter. I saw him across the lobby of the student center at our college campus. I hoped he would notice me and when he did I shook his hand and smiled the warmest smile I could muster on that cold January evening. He asked me out a few weeks later and I was […]

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Education, Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingNov. 24, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Uncomfortable conversations.

I find that most people don’t know much about foster care. But then again. Neither did I. Three years ago, I was just as likely as anyone else to ask the wrong question or not ask the right one. I didn’t know about the importance of attachment or what FST stood for or how the system worked. Today I may still wonder whether the system works, but I get the nuts and bolts of what’s going on. But a lot of people don’t. And so a lot of people ask questions about how long our foster son will be with […]

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Encouragement, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference Mondays, Ways to ServeNov. 6, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | 5 Ways to Really Bless the Heart of Someone Who’s Struggling

I distinctly recall the first time someone “blessed my heart”. You know the type: the staged whisper (southern accent optional), big smile and—this is key—behind your back. I was standing in the world’s longest post office line and I had stupidly forgotten to go to the bathroom before I decided to run this brilliant errand. I had all three of my boys with me (cue warning sirens) and I was holding a huge box for a friend that I was shipping internationally, complete with 4,124 forms filled out in triplicate. There I was, shifting from one foot to another, and […]

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Education, Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingOct. 20, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Speaking back to the stereotypes of foster parents

I came across this video on the interwebs made by What Would You Do?, one of those hidden camera shows that stages scenarios in order to see what kind of reaction they receive from onlookers. This particular staged situation portrays foster parents as greedy people only in foster care for the money who treat their foster kids as second-class children. The video is a little over eight minutes long, but it took me about 20 minutes to watch; I had to walk away a few times because it made me so mad. Here are three reasons why I take issue […]

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Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingOct. 13, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Measuring Up

A toddler sits besides me in a chair clipped on to our large family kitchen table. He’s a baby I didn’t birth and he certainly appears that way. He’s got a story riddled with pain and trauma and transition. His little heart holds enough grief most of us would never want to know. I held him in a newborn nursery while his mother couldn’t, but he doesn’t know that yet. And this is our normal. My youngest children fight to hold a new toddler that is carried in by a case worker after dinner one night. The child has fallen […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Forgotten FridaysOct. 6, 2017

Forgotten Friday | Honesty and Redemption

“What do you want me to do with this? What am I supposed to do with this?” I cried to God as I sat on a bench outside my office. Just a couple hours earlier, I had spent my lunch break on that same bench praying and fasting. Every day in this ministry is hard. The weight is so heavy, I feel like I’m physically getting shorter some days, and I prefer to shrink alone. When I’m dealing with hard things, I tend to isolate myself because that just seems easier. I hide from friends. I hide from family. I […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Make a Difference MondaysSep. 25, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Compassion fatigue.

​ A couple years ago, in the midst of ​fostering our firsts, I crashed. Parenting a sibling set of three suffering severe neglect and trauma, I felt like a toddler trying to run a marathon. I’d never buckled a kid in a booster seat, let alone refereed backseat pinching and screaming matches while driving. What I lacked in experience, I made up for in determination. I was all in. Until I was all gone. My love and care were met with pain and anger. Again and again. My home had become a warzone with ten-year-olds tantruming and five-year-olds swearing. At […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingSep. 22, 2017

Forgotten Friday | How Do You Get Through to a Child Who Doesn’t Think Logically?

We used to think that carrying a piece of drywall around with us so we could bang our head into it every time we had to re-explain something to our kid, or try to reason with him, was the ticket. And then, we discovered a better way to connect. A friend and I were recently talking about our kids when he said something I totally identified with: “Mike, he just doesn’t think. It’s like there’s no ability to think logically. I tell him to not do something and he does it anyway, even though he knows he’ll be in trouble!” […]

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Encouragement, Family Support, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysAug. 28, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | What About Anger Toward My Child’s Birth Parent?

We talk often about forming positive relationships with birth families. But what do you do when you can’t get past the anger you feel toward them? If you know us, you know we are strong advocates for open adoption. We often write and speak in favor of open relationships with a child’s birth family. In our own family we have regular contact with biological parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even brothers and sisters. We feel that if it is possible and safe to have an open relationship with a child’s birth family, you should. Often when we talk about respecting […]

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Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster ParentingAug. 18, 2017

Forgotten Friday | The Agony of Attaching to Foster Kids

Three weeks after I gave birth to my first child, I sat sobbing in a glider. I was sitting in a nursery where everything was new–cute crib, tiny clothes, fresh baby, new life. And with all of the unfamiliar came a surge of scary emotions. She had been screaming for what seemed like hours and my comfort measures weren’t working. After nursing, hushing, bouncing, walking and changing diapers for this little life, my weary arms still held a screaming baby. I suddenly wanted to throw her out of our second-story window or shake her to stop. I was worn out and I didn’t […]

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