The Stuff I Learned From My Time As A Case Manager.

Season 6, Episode 51- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

Have you ever found yourself frustrated with your child’s case-manager?  Sometimes it can seem like we are on totally different planets from case-managers when it comes to the many decisions being made about children in our care.  What are they thinking?  Where are they coming from?
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This week, we welcome our good friend, Megan Stroup, Founder and Director of Helen’s House in Marian, Indiana, which specializes in supervised visitations and case management.  Before founding Helen’s House, Megan worked in the Department of Child Services for 11 years.  Megan is also an adoptee and mom of three. Megan shares with us today about her own experiences as a case manager.*  In listening to and understanding another’s perspective, we can all learn to build more positive, healthy relationships with those involved in our children’s lives.

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How To Set Expectations For A Teen Who’s Never Had Any.

You get the call from a case manager asking you to take in a teenager recently placed in foster care. Or you’ve chosen to adopt a pre-teen. Now what? How do you successfully set boundaries for them? How do you ensure you and the child are on the same page when it comes to respect, guidelines, and family values?

Taking decisions for the future

We didn’t wade into the shallow end of a heated pool, so-to-speak, when we began our foster care journey. We were pretty much tossed into the deep end. Our license was completed in a very short 4 weeks and the calls started rolling in. We were often unprepared, which is to be expected. This was also very much the case when we took in our first teenager. While we had served as youth pastors for nearly a decade before our first teen arrived, everything we thought we knew about them went right out of the window when we were suddenly parenting one!

The Stuff I’ve Learned From Raising Children With HIV.

Season 6, Episode 50- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

Let’s uncover some untrue and unfair stigmas about adopting and parenting children with HIV.  Many people are still terrified of this disease but at the same time remain uneducated. Even if you think this disease does not affect you, chances are, both you and your children interact daily with other children or adults with HIV who are dealing with feelings of isolation or depression that come from living with the stigmas of this disease. This is something we all need to think about.

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Listen in as Mike interviews Michelle McKinney: blogger, wife, adoptive mom of 4, and one of our amazing Care Team Members from Oasis Community. Michelle shares what she has learned about HIV as she and her husband, Mark, have moved through their adoption and parenting journey.  

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Is A Special Needs Adoptee Incapable Of Success?

This is a guest post by Angela Tucker. She is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and is an advocate for adoptee rights. She was recently named ‘Seattle’s Smartest Global Women.’ In 2013, at the age of 26, Angela’s own story of adoption and search for her birth parents was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, CLOSURE, which is available on Netflix, iTunes & Kweli TV. Read her blog here, and connect with her on Facebook here.

Do special needs adoptees have worth? You bet they do! While we understand the reasoning behind adoption questionnaires and preferences for an adopting couple, we also know they place unfair labels on precious children. Children who have very bright futures ahead of them.

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Even though I’m hearing impaired, I am a healthy adult. Even though this wasn’t learned until my late childhood, I was a healthy child.

She didn’t always eat healthy while I grew in her belly. There were no prenatal visits or vitamins. Still I am fine and I’m healthy.

“The Stuff I Learned About Loss And New Beginnings.”

Season 6, Episode 49- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

So much of the adoption journey is surrounded by trauma, loss, and grief.  Many times friends, family, or church members will say things that seem to make it even worse.  Is loss and trauma really “just a part of God’s plan?”  Is getting over grief simply a matter of “trusting God more?”

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Listen in to Natalie’s encouraging story as she and her husband listened and learned about finding wholeness and joy through some hard years of infertility, miscarriage, loss, and grief, as well as adoption, virtual twining, and special needs parenting.

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Kristin will be speaking at the Woven By Love foster and adoptive mom’s retreat on January 20, 2018. To learn more about Woven By Love, click here.

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Date: January 20, 2018
Event: Woven By Love Retreat
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Can You Ever Really Bond With An Older Child?

When it comes to adopting older children there’s often a belief that, because they’ve been through so much, it’s impossible to form a healthy bond with them. We’ve discovered something different.

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In our 15 years of parenting we have had the honor of participating in the lives of 23 children. Most of them returned home or went on to be adopted by their forever families, eight of them have stayed forever. Before I became a parent of an older child, I didn’t think much about bonding and attachment. I am attached to my own parents, brothers and sisters. I have not personally had reason to question my place or belonging in the world. When we adopted our first daughter at birth, we bonded quite naturally.

Why “I’d Get Too Attached To Be A Foster Parent” Just Doesn’t Cut It!

*Editor’s Note- This is a guest post from our good friend Rachel Lewis. She is a foster mom, biological mom and adoptive mom. She started her fostering journey before enduring recurrent loss and infertility, and shares transparently about her journey to creating a family on her blog The Lewis Note. Connect with Rachel on Facebook and Instagram.

There’s often an inclination, when a person enters the foster care journey, to not allow themselves to get attached to the children they’re caring for. They call it a safeguard for when they have to say goodbye. But, this defies the human wiring we have to love, and really doesn’t cut it. Here’s why…

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“I can never be a foster parent. I’d get too attached.”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this. In fact, I hear it almost every single time me being a foster parent comes up. So, I want to clarify a few things…