There is such a big need today for valuable and encouraging resources speaking the truth that children in foster care are dearly loved!
Mike and Kristin are so excited to welcome their good friend, Jamie Kaeb to this 82nd episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast. Jami is the director of The Forgotten Initiative and The Forgotten Podcast. She and her husband have an interracial family with seven children by birth and adoption, both international and from foster-care. Believing that “awareness leads to action,” Jami and the Forgotten Initiative have just written a new book series to encourage children within the foster system to know that they are dearly loved and cared for. She hopes these books will bring awareness into churches and schools so that even more people can be equipped to help provide love and care for vulnerable adults and children.
Notes and Quotes:
Tell us a little bit about The Forgotten Initiative and how it came to be?
It was after seeing a space for kids at a foster agency that had bland walls and broken toys and nothing there that said, “You are special!”…we asked, “Can we make a space that says, ‘You are special?’ to these kids?”
Its not that the church doesn’t care, it’s that they just don’t know how to help.
The whole purpose of The Forgotten Initiative is to mobilize God’s people to action, so that the agency worker, the foster parent, the vulnerable adult and the child in foster care can know that they are not alone and can experience the love of Jesus through God’s people.
We do what we can to equip the people of God to serve.
Can you tell us a little about the idea behind these new books?
It started with asking, “How can we get more resources into the hands of the church?”
What developed was a three children’s book series, based on different ages.
There are many people involved in our children’s lives: case-workers, judges, police officers, foster parents – a lot of people who come in and out of their lives and who aren’t necessarily staying. We want kids to know that there are a whole lot of people who love them and that ultimately, Jesus loves them and put these people in their lives to help.
Check out Jami Kaeb’s new children’s book series: Who Loves
Book 1 is a board book titled “Who Loves Baby?”
Book 2 is called “Who Loves Me?” and is written for 3-7 year olds and to be read with an adult.
Book 3 is called “I am Loved” and is a small chapter book for 7-10 year olds and is a deeper dive into some of the emotions and questions that might be experienced by a child in foster care.
What were some of the thoughts about how you presented case-workers in these books?
Caseworkers often get a bad rap but so many of them desperately care about these kids. They want to help kids and help families. They are one of the groups we serve at The Forgotten Initiative. We need to support all of the members of the foster-care community.
How do you envision these books being used?
Our first audience is the child. Secondarily, we want to see these in foster homes and hope that all foster parents will have read these books. We’d love to see them in agency offices and also in churches and schools as awareness tools for those who don’t yet know. They are for everyone!
Can you share a little about the time when you felt like God was saying “no” in your foster and adoption journey?
It was ultimately no, upon no, upon no. Through that God said, “It is not about you.”
It was after that that He really changed our perspective.
That whole journey was to prepare us for foster-care and for The Forgotten Initiative.
Going through (a) failed adoption was also extremely painful…but ultimately God had shown us that the American way is to fight…but He had a plan…I feel very blessed and grateful that God has allowed us to see some of the picture of “why the no?”
The no wasn’t the end of the road it was just a blip in the road. It was just a course correction.
I remember ultimately coming to the point that ‘If we don’t go and step out in adoption again it’s because we are afraid of being hurt,’ and I am really afraid of being hurt, but that wasn’t good enough: We couldn’t say no because we were afraid.
The ‘no’s’ have not only changed me, they’ve shaped our family, they’ve shaped the course of our entire life and so, ‘no’s’ and the waiting are hard, hard… but there’s purpose.
What’s one thing you would tell our listeners who might find them in a place of hearing “no”?
You are not alone.
Ultimately God’s plan is so much bigger than our plan. A no doesn’t mean you’ve failed, or the system has failed. He has a bigger plan, and he is never going to leave you, and will walk with you through this.
Resources and Links:
Question: What did you think of today’s episode? Do you have any questions for Jami? Leave a comment below to let us know! You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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