Court comes tomorrow. It feels heavy. With black robes and huge desks. Loud gavels and police officers.
Looming decisions on who will go where, when. Mere moments defining ent..
In foster care, so much ends with a question mark. For everyone.
Nobody knows the future. Or understands the past. The latter often informing the former.
But foster care si..
Hello 2016. This year, I’m already minus one job and plus two kids.
More homework and legos. Fewer pdfs and meetings. The same amount of coffee.
After diving into so much c..
Most things in life require sacrifice of some sort. To get one thing you naturally have to give up another.
I knew that going into foster care. Obviously this was going to req..
I can’t recommend “To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care” strongly enough. Author Cris Beam’s in depth research and beautiful storytelling reveal honest p..
In September, we welcomed David and Jordan. Introductions were quickly followed by trampoline jumping, wrestling and general merriment.
While we enjoyed the fun and games, Jon..
24 hours after walking out of my office for the last time, two handsome, healthy boys walked through our front door.
Smart, athletic and fabulously funny, these brothers quick..
I quit my job. I told my boss, turned in my resignation letter and read the floor-wide announcement email.
It’s official. But it doesn’t feel real.
Two years ago I transitioned..
Strider Wolf, a five-year-old fella from Maine, has a story shared by Sarah Schweitzer of The Boston Globe. It’s worth reading. Worth watching.
As I begin to describe it, I find..
I write a lot about the hard of foster care. The unanswered questions we face, the unthinkable pain children suffer, the unyielding difficulties the system creates. But each time..
Foster care is filled with questions. And very few answers.
Complex psychological questions about how to best love a hurting child. Deep philosophical questions about who should..
This weekend I watched the movie Know How. It’s described as a “musical written and acted by youth in foster care. Their lives. Their stories. Their voices.” After reading about ..
I’m learning to fly. It is a brand new skill, like learning to read.
In four months of practice, I’ve had four instructors. Akin to having four kindergarten teachers in one se..
Nobody wants to spoil their child. Indulging every whim or fancy until it’s expected. Demanded.
We have internal and external battles about what the right balance is. Waffling w..
Between long term placements, we often do what’s called “respite care.”
We get a lot of questions about it because friends see us with kids for just a few days. For instance, we..
Today, we attended the adoption hearing for a sibling group of three – our very first long term placement. After being in care for 2 years and 8 months, they were finally, offici..
Once upon a time, I thoughts my ways were fairly ordinary. Assuming most everyone liked what I liked and thought what I thought. Then I got married.
It turns out we’re all diffe..
Last year, we cared for three siblings who weren’t fond of the police or African Americans and made it known in no uncertain terms and with several unsavory ones. It was an attit..
The topic of money is nearly always a difficult one. And even more so when you multiply it by a factor of caring for children taken by the state.
Welcome to foster care.
My husband Jonathan and I recently took a class focused on caring for kids with trauma. This was the advanced class. Not because we were advanced, but because we learned so much ..
Our five-year-old foster son Nick insisted we take the training wheels off his bike. His strong will was obviously up to the task, but his teetering legs were still using those e..
There are a lot of hoops to becoming a foster parents. 30 hours of class, multiple home visits, interviews, background checks and recommendations to name a few. At times, we wond..
Being a foster dad comes with great challenges and great joy.
One of the chief joys is singing with our kiddos.
I can’t hold a tune in a tin can, but they don’t complain.
While the news often highlights foster parents using it as a means of income, most all the foster parents I know are hoping to be used rather than use. Some were thrust into the ..
A year ago we were preparing our three foster kids to be filmed for “A Place to Call Home,” an award-winning weekly tv segment featuring children who are legally free for adoptio..
Martian Child was released nearly a decade ago, but I missed it. Honestly, even if I’d seen the movie, I would need to watch it again. I see foster care differently now that I kn..
With foster kids, we often know very little. About them, their background, their story. We might learn why they came into care, but that doesn’t offer a good picture of who they ..
Trust doesn’t come naturally to most foster kids. Many little ones, abused or neglected by the very ones called to care for them, learn early that promises are too often empty. M..
Figuring out schools is a big issue. And while not unique to foster care, several factors can complicate the equation.
Naturally, we aspire to keep kids in their current school…
Within 24 hours of coming into foster care, every child is required to have a medical check-up.
It’s a basic way for the state to ensure kids are healthy and getting the care th..
Five days later they were gone.
Two brothers stepped into their first foster home on Friday, and out of it on Wednesday. Into and out of our home.
And while we feel their a..
Two children taken from their home arrived in ours Friday night. It was their first night away from their mom. Ever.
The five-year-old wept as the case-worker helped him through..
We heard about using “compromises” with kids from several real parents. You know…the people who have been caring for kids for more than a few days.
It sounded like a great way t..
A single teacher, Julie, shares her inspiring story of pushing through her fears to invite foster kids into her home.
“As a teacher I’d seen foster care kids come through school..
I’ve heard of pregnancy brain, but having never been pregnant myself, I could never quite relate. Until foster care.
During our first placement of three siblings, Jonathan and I..
We were at the dollar tree again. In the toy aisle of course. The kids were examining every piece of cheap plastic in hopes of finding the one that might not break within the fir..
The Connected Child was recommended to us more than once as the go-to book for foster care and adoption. And rightfully so.
It teaches invaluable dos and don’ts that love and em..
Kids love their parents.
Not because their parents are great or even necessarily competent. It’s not merit-based or skill-dependent.
The names “mom” and “dad” carry a conne..
We have twenty nieces and nephews. And a subscription to Land of Nod.
We weren’t foolish enough to think these things would make us great foster parents.
But I did think they w..
Our first call came at 3am. A two and a four year old were being pulled from a meth lab and needed a home within the next hour. Could we take them?
All of a sudden we were more ..
A year ago St Louis, and most of the nation, was up in arms because of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. And rightfully so.
Regardless of our tho..
I love Pixar. And its latest flick Inside Out is no exception. I’m a big feeler so it is no surprise that a movie where feelings are the protagonists is an instant hit.
Nick was five years old with fifty foot walls when he came to our house. He had little need for my husband or me and frequently asked us to leave him alone. Always with a “please..
A week into our first placement and we were headed to a family reunion 5 hours away in Arkansas. Not the best laid plans. But in foster care, our staunch dreams often gave way.
Statistics. We have a love, hate relationship. They give you a good picture of reality sometimes. But always with a box. And usually not one anyone would like to be inside.
Jen and I were up in her room. Her timeouts always spent together. Partly because it’s recommended by experts for kids with trauma history. Partly because she wouldn’t stay in he..
Lemn Sissay, an award-winning poet and playwright, shares at TEDx his painful and powerful story. From growing up as a child of the state to searching for his birth family. His i..
I took all three kids to the police station to thank an officer. Knowing the police had been present at painful times in their lives, I wanted to them to build positive associa..
I didn’t cry the day Jen, Victor and Nick left. They were our first foster kids. Our first kids period.
I was so exhausted. At the end of all the ropes. My body couldn’t even pr..
Another Place at the Table is Kathy Harrison’s beautiful narrative of her experience as a foster parent. She shares the ups, downs, heartbreaks, hopes, joys and pains of caring f..