Goodbyes are hard.
I’ve been saying lots of them lately. To the community that has loved me well for two decades. To a city where I finally actually know where I’m going. And ..
Our life is a little atypical these days. We commute to St Louis 4 days a week for our jobs, then hop on a plane Thursday night and head home to Atlanta for 3 days. And do it all..
I’m over-sensitive. And have been for 36 years.
Awkwardly, I’m actually most sensitive about being sensitive.
But foster care and adoption are a close second.
So it shou..
From our very first placement to our most recent, foster care has prodded, pushed, and sometimes even dragged me.
I’m not quite sure where I am now.
But I can look back and..
In private adoption, you often have to write what’s termed a “Dear Birthmom” letter. You introduce yourself and try to connect with an expectant mom who is considering making an ..
In a perfect world all moms would be equipped. We would all have the resources we need when we need them. We would be free from addiction, have safe and adequate housing and clot..
Last week I had the honor of sitting in a courtroom as a 17 year-old-girl stood up to the man who abused her for much of her childhood.
I didn’t know her then and could do not..
It’s not new to me that assumptions aren’t a best practice.
But it is new how terribly sneaky they are.
We found a few when we got married. And now foster care seems to be ..
In the down weeks and months, the times when we aren’t actively caring for foster kids, I lose my mind.
Reality fades away and I imagine a world where Jonathan and I have some..
I haven’t written about this for a few reasons, but mainly because I don’t want it to be a distraction.
Foster care isn’t about our infertility. It has never been. We didn’t s..
A beautiful sixteen-year-old walked into our lives and home on Monday night.
Like every other child who has been placed with us, she didn’t want to move.
But here she is. H..
Sometimes at bedtime, a foster kid weeps, “I am separated from everyone I love.”
And though we love him more than words, I know he is accurate, too. Because he wants the love ..
We’re getting more calls.
And quite frankly this is one of the worst parts of foster care. When we hear that a child needs help but then realize that we can’t step in. That we..
Over four years of fostering, we’ve learned a thing or two. Nearly always the hard way.
One lesson we’ve gotten wrong more than I care to admit reminds me of our fir..
And then five days later they were gone.
Two dear girls came into our life and home on Friday and then walked back out the front door on Tuesday.
We had heard they would st..
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, ..
The idea of fostering again is daunting.
For lots of reasons, but my heart keeps coming back to one. Starting over.
After 18 months of growing love and building trust, our ..
When I tell people I’m a foster parent, the most common and often well-intentioned response can also be the most painful.
I hear it all the time.
“I could never be a foster..
Most things in life feel relative. Our wealth. Our worries.
It’s hard not to measure our lives on a bell curve to see how we measure up against the other lives around us.
Jonathan had other girlfriends before me. Quite a few serious ones actually. Here and there they come up in conversation. And I don’t mind. I think they helped him grow into the ..
We got a dog. Which has turned out to be one of the very best life choices we could make.
Our sweet ten-year-old chocolate lab came to us less than a month ago and w..
I always wonder at sunsets. The brilliant colors. The impossibly large canvas. The masterpiece of it all.
And then a moment later, gone.
It seems to be a daily reminder of ..
We changed our world to foster Big D for seventeen months and his brother for nine. I quit my job (and luckily found a more flexible one). We put hobbies on hold and personal goa..
Our precious Big D is gone. After living life together for seventeen months, gone.
Most days it feels surreal. I wonder if he’s really gone. Or if he was ever really here. Kno..
A year ago I knew Big D was leaving. We walked into court ready to say goodbye.
And then he didn’t. We didn’t.
Instead we played soccer and visited the ocean. We watched ea..
I remember when I was single, I ached to share my experiences with someone. Whenever I traveled, I tried to bring family or friends. If I went alone, I often sought to make a new..
We’re moving. And I couldn’t be taking it worse.
A couple weeks ago, we decided it was time to be closer to our church community. With family on both sides hours away, we year..
We were robbed. Someone jumped through our window and into our home without our permission. They rifled through our belongings. Opened our drawers. Pulled down our bedspreads. An..
I find that most people don’t know much about foster care. But then again. Neither did I.
3 years ago, I was just as likely as anyone else to ask the wrong question or not a..
Reading about the ban on immigrants and refugees, my heart, like many of yours, mourns. For the people we are turning away and for the posture our country is taking toward outsid..
Often we debate what’s in the best of a child. Number of activities? Dinner routines? Discipline methods?
But rarely do we debate who is in the best interest of the child?
Foster care isn’t what I thought. But of course it isn’t. Expectations rarely meet the breadth and depth of human experience.
Trauma leaves a greater mark than I knew on these..
We often talk of finding the right balance. Eating a balanced diet. Achieving work-life balance.
Frankly, I don’t believe in balance. It’s all tension.
A teacher once expla..
At Christmas, I go all out. I love getting and I love giving.
One year I aspired not to really want anything and told my husband as much. This was our very first Christmas tog..
I like control.
I like to choose what’s going to happen, when and how. Yes, yes. More of that, please.
Instead though, I chose to parent. And in parenting, we give up contr..
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 tr..
Holidays. The single word holds so much.
Beautiful memories. Painful flashbacks. Vulnerable hopes. And impossible expectations.
For some, it’s twinkle lights and festive ch..
This time court was harder. Scarier.
I’ve been there and done that a half dozen times, and mostly it feels the same. But this time. This time something was different.
I find foster care nearly impossible to talk about. Which is part of the reason I write. And write so little.
It’s not for lack of passion or purpose. Or by any means, emotion..
The past week, Big D has been going to the nurse’s office daily complaining of headaches. Sometimes once, sometimes twice.
Like any parent, I try to find the right balance of ..
I lay there with my arm across his back. Cuddled up next to my dear foster daughter as she tries to hide her body in the wall.
Every night we snuggle here, reminiscing about t..
I hesitate to say it out loud, let alone to write it. If I name it, surely I’ll jinx it. But we’ve ached for this for so long that I can’t not.
For the first time since fo..
People often ask, “How long will Big D be with you?”
The answer of course affects everything. School. Work. Home.
My best guess is one day or hundreds. That might seem dram..
I’ve never been into video games. I never had a Nintendo growing up and have never really cared to since.
Oregon Trail in typing class was probably the closest I got.
So often I feel wrecked by foster care. By all that it entails. Taking children from their homes, their moms, their lives. Facing the traumas of why they were removed and the que..
I’ve found my end. The place where something has to give.
A week away with my husband gave us the space we needed to breath. And the distance we needed to see.
To see that ..
Parenthood of all sorts draws attention. Advice. Criticism.
Fostering is no different. Except there’s a lot more mandated reporters.
When the state has custody of a child, ..
Months ago, our youngest foster son’s case worker fought to have him removed from our home to a more structured environment, a residential facility. This seasoned social ..
The past several months we’ve been on the great school search.
It’s proven to be quite the puzzle. Like you do, we’re considering all the normal factors – location, diversity,..