Whether you are a part of the foster care community, passionate about serving or simply interested in learning more, we are here for you!
Saying Goodbye: Navigating Reunification as a Foster Parent
Saying goodbye to the child you've been caring for is one of the most heart-wrenching times as a foster parent. Every foster parent knows to prepare for this time, but that doesn't make the reality easy or the pain less.
As you prepare for them to make this transition well, it can be overwhelming to know what or how to do it. What are the right words to say? How do I help them navigate their feelings?
And then, if there are other children in the house who are staying—whether they are biological, adopted, or have a different case in foster care—they, too, have to navigate the hard goodbye.
So many hearts to care for, not to mention, your own.
Jenn has some incredible insight and practical tools to guide us towards these hard goodbyes with honor and intentionality.
Two Sides Of Reunification: A Dad and a Foster Mom
The journey to reunification is never an easy road. The emotional toll of the process is draining, yet there is beauty in the restoration of families. Today, I get the honor of introducing you to a dad who has walked a very difficult road but has been an overcomer in many ways, including working through the foster care system to reunite with his precious little girl. Jay's story is incredible. He shares what his life was like growing up and how he found himself involved with the foster care system. And as a special treat, Liz, the foster mom who cared for his little girl, joined us in the conversation too! She shares what it was like to meet Jay for the first time, and what their relationship looks like today. This conversation was an encouragement to my soul, and I know it will be for you too.
Raising a Multiracial Family as a Black Foster Dad
I love being in the host seat week after week. Each conversation and story is an invitation toward growth and understanding! Today is no different, as my guest, Peter Reeves, shares his perspective. Peter is a pastor, leader, husband, and dad. He and his wife stepped into foster care over a year ago after battling years of heartbreaking infertility. Peter recognizes that his perspective is uncommon; he's a black man raising white children. He shares what that's like with us, but he also isn't defined by this. I can't wait for you to hear him talk about how he intentionally navigates being part of a multiracial family in 2020.
Seeing the Beauty in Diversity
There is a lot of pain and turmoil throughout our nation for our black and brown brothers and sisters. I've been wrestling with it, trying to be still and listen as I continue to learn. I've been having conversations with friends who are gracious to share their experiences with me. As a white adoptive mom of brown and black kids, I know that I have an added responsibility to prepare my kids for what culture may say to them. I realize that I can't speak to them from my personal experience on this specific issue, which is difficult for me. I already hurt for them with the pain and loss they experience surrounding their adoptions, and knowing that they may also be affected by racism hurts. I'm thankful for tools like Trillia Newbell's children's book, God's Very Good Idea, that help me frame our conversations around God's truth. In our conversation together, and in her book, Trillia centers her thoughts about race and diversity around God, his good designs for people, where it all went wrong, and why there is still hope.
The New Foster Parent Experience
Today we're diving into foster parenting expectations! Austin and Larisa Savage, a great young couple, joined me in the studio to talk about what their foster parenting experience has been so far. They are one year in, and their story comes with a unique twist, but one thing is for sure, foster parenting has not been what they expected! Preparing for the unknown is hard, but I think this conversation is a great step in the right direction. I often say about adoption, "Expect the unexpected." The same is true for foster care. Refining expectations is the name of the game! Austin and Larisa have walked where you are going, or maybe already are, and they're ready to share their experience with you!
My Spouse Isn’t Ready to Be a Foster Parent
Two hearts moving towards the same end goal at the same speed isn't always the way it works itself out in marriage. God has wired each of us differently, and there is beauty in that. And yet, when one spouse has a deep passion that the other doesn't share to the same degree, it's challenging to know how to move forward. We see this in the decision of whether or not to become foster parents. Sometimes, both spouses agree, but more often than not, God nudges one spouse forward before the other. What do you do then? Jason Johnson and I have some thoughts that will help you navigate this windy road. It never feels good to be the nagging spouse, and it also isn't fun to be the one being nagged. We can actually come out stronger and more united as a couple if we're willing to slowly take steps forward in this important decision, and we're ready to share more about what those steps are.
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I have found this podcast inspiring, encouraging and challenging. I have been challenged to do things differently, think differently and encouraged to keep on going. I have been inspired to talk and to share our journey in the hope of bringing foster care out of the darkness in our country. I am so thankful for The Forgotten Initiative, for Jamie and for all you do for foster care not only in America but all over the world.