What Every Foster Parent Wants To Tell You (But Probably Never Will)

This is a guest post by our good friend, Rachel Lewis. She is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. After a 5-year battle with secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, she now has three children in her arms and a foster son in her heart. She is passionate about helping women feel heard and understood when building their family gets a little bit complicated. You can read her wonderful blog at The Lewis Note. She also offers a free resource, ‘Your BFF Guide to Miscarriage: 5 Ways to Comfort a Friend Through Pregnancy Loss’ here. Connect with Rachel on Facebook, or join her private Facebook group Brave Mamas — a support group for anyone who had to struggle to build their family. 

Ever find yourself banging your head against the wall as you try to gain understanding from outsiders? Ever wish someone could put into words everything you’re thinking as a foster parent? Thankfully, this post does just that.

For starters, we’re pretty tight-lipped. And not always by choice.

Foster parents have ALL the responsibility of being a “real” parent (hello 2 am feedings!) without any of the rights. And that includes the right to share our child’s story.

This particular limitation is to protect the privacy of our foster child. Which I absolutely understand. But it also means foster parents bear the brunt of our children’s stories, and have few people we can share them with. Are we freaked out about a visit because we *happen* to know that dad has a history of violent behavior? Probably. But all we can say is, “I’m nervous” and we can’t always share why. Are we dealing with the repercussions of a child who experienced starvation and neglect and are struggling to manage ALL the issues that come with food? Yep. And you might look at us and wonder why we are being so hypervigilant on the issue. Trust me, we wish we could tell you.

How This Whole Adoption Journey Began For Us

The Honestly Adoption Podcast - Season 8, Episode 78

It’s our Season 8 finale of The Honestly Adoption Podcast and today we’re talking all things new book, and how the Berrys began this whole adoption process in the first place…

We will be finishing up Season 8 of The Honestly Adoption Podcast by celebrating this week’s book launch for our very own co-founder and host, Mike Berry. Guest hosting on the show today is Matt McCarrick, who interviews Mike and asks all the questions you’ve been dying to know about the book, the launch, and where this all began.

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On The Darkest Days, There Is Hope!

On our adoptive and foster parenting journey, we’ve had lots of dark days. Sometimes many more than days of light. The amount of times we’ve felt like giving up and laying down are simply uncountable. But we’ve found unending hope…

Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

“Your son has FASD!”

Dark.

“This hearing is continued. And we’re reinstating visitations.”

Disillusioning.

“Hi, I’m your son’s principal. Just wanted you to know that he’s in the office again for punching another student and cussing out the teacher.”

Hopeless.

“Ma’am, we caught your daughter stealing again. We have no choice but to press charges.”

Defeating.

How To Find Hope On The Foster And Adoptive Journey.

Adoption and foster care can be filled with loneliness, desperation, and defeat. We know you love your kids, but it’s hard when you have to walk through your child’s past trauma with them. Can you really find hope in-spite of this? The answer is, yes. It starts by understanding something powerful and true.

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“I don’t think I can take one more day of this,” I said, glaring at the table, with a clinched fist and gritting teeth. My friend agreed. Many colorful words were exchanged between us, that morning, as we sat talking in a restaurant. The steam from our coffee snaked and twisted through the air, disappearing, as if hope was slowly disappearing with it. We shared similar wounds. Both of us had children adopted from foster care and both of us were in very dark and desperate situations. We both loved our kids deeply, but recognized that, out of their trauma, they behaved in certain ways and it caused our exhaustion to abound.

Do I Have What It Takes To Care For This Child?

It’s a question we all wonder: “Do I have what it takes to care for this hurting child?” I believe with all of my heart that we do. We’ve got this. And here’s why…

I know you.

And I know what’s going through your mind right now.

Those questions and fears that bounce around your mind like a pinball in a pinball machine???

Yeah, I have them too! Trust me.

How To Provide A Healing Home For Wounded Children

The Honestly Adoption Podcast: Season 8, Episode 73

It’s never easy for a child, who’s been through significant trauma, to step into a home they’re unfamiliar with. Oftentimes, it only deepens their traumatic experience. It might leave you wondering, “Is there any way to provide a healing environment for this child?” The answer is, yes. Here’s why…

You’ve been asking and we listened!  We are thrilled to welcome our good friends, David and Jayne Schooler from Back2Back Ministries, to the show today. They bring valuable insight and in-depth expertise to the discussion. Today we are talking about how to provide a healing home for children who have been deeply wounded.

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How To Overcome Trials On The Foster Care Journey.

The foster care journey is filled with beauty, heartache, excitement, and loss. It carries so many emotions that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, or as if you’re not making a difference as a care giver. Fortunately, there is hope. On today’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast you’ll discover how true this is…

Jamie Finn knows foster care. As an active foster parent, she consistently cares for multiple children (mostly babies) at a time. She understands fully the ups, the downs, and everything in between when it comes to the emotions you’ll experience. She’s here today to tell you, foster care is worth it. Even when you have to say goodbye, this is worth it. Check out our interview with her now…

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Resources & Links:

Jamie Finn is the creator and writer behind the wildly popular foster parenting blog, Foster The Family. She is also a speaker and advocate for foster parents and vulnerable children worldwide. You can learn more about her awesome outreach by visiting her blog here or connecting with over Facebook here.

Question: Have you felt overwhelmed on the foster parenting journey? Share your story with us in the comment section below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

4 Ways Adoption Has Made Me A Better Human Being.

Almost 2 decades ago, we first discussed adoption and I resisted. Thankfully, my heart changed. Today, I’m a better person because of adoption. Here’s why…

I awake early on a Monday morning to begin my typical weekday routine in my household. Quick workout at our local gym, buzz home quickly while I chug water, arrive home and wake kids up, head to the kitchen to make lunches, simultaneously start breakfast, give a check to backpacks, gently remind my kids to get up again, warm the car up for carpool, consider pouring ice cold water over the stragglers who are still sleeping, then kiss the heads of the ones who have made it downstairs in relatively good time.