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..
I never knew a smile as big as Robb’s. Or one to last as long. Or sound as much like pure joy.
It’s hard to define whether it’s a laugh or a smile. Regardless the whole thing ca..
Most who consider foster care question whether they could love a child and then watch them leave. And that question shouldn’t be minimized. Your heart can’t prepare for that real..
Language is a funny thing. And funnier when you have two Myers-Brigs certified feelers who are also professional communicators.
Yes we over-analyze everything we say. And then d..
So far in 2015, I’ve had a couple minor headaches, a cut finger, and a few sore muscles from playing softball in my 30s. The picture of health you might say.
My picture was quit..
Mary Lee, recently honored by the White House as one of twelve Foster Care Champions of Change, was once a foster child. Having gone through the system, she now advocates for kid..
I had said “I love you” before Jonathan but I don’t think I really knew what I meant till I met him. And I certainly didn’t know what it meant to be on the receiving end.
“Foster kids don’t need a pipeline. They need a platoon. They need a steadfast, permanent community—a bastion of supporters and caregivers that will not constantly shift. The att..
Earlier this year, we cared for a teenager in foster care for a weekend. She is a remarkable artist; her pen and ink renderings draw the viewer in with astonishing clarity.
New York Times’ Motherlode blog is featuring Meghan Moravcik Walbert, a foster mom. Here she tells of her heart’s ache after getting a call to care for a child her family isn’t e..
The powerful sequel to ReMoved.
Our church is kid-friendly. To put it mildly.
Over half of our congregation is under 12 years old. Which makes for a service filled with sweet giggles and the occasional cries o..
Wisdom on a tough topic. A counselor friend responds in her blog to my “Head and Heart” post about what we might do when asked “Who do you love more?” These conversations are the goal of this site…together finding ways to engage and love kids better. I’m learning and I’m grateful.
Shortly after our first placement of three siblings, dear friends threw us a shower. One note read: “If it takes a village to raise a child, we want to be part of your dense urba..
Without question, this is the best 13 minute glance into foster care there is. Have tissues ready.
The sequel comes out June 15.
After making it through a 3 inch binder of state laws and checklists, the abundance of don’ts and absence of dos was adding up. So for our house rules, we decided to keep it posi..
Words mean different things to different people. For instance, “marzipan” to me is an almondy confection. To my husband, it’s the name for everyone whose given name he can’t reme..
We can all love kids in care better when we love them together. Here are some ideas about ways you can get involved. Some are St Louis-focused. Search in your area to see what op..
In a long line of mini-vans and suvs at 4pm sharp, I waited. Watching as little ones walked out the big doors hand in hand with a teacher or aide until they spotted their beloved..