Feeling isolated and alone? Have you found it hard to connect with other foster or adoptive parents in your area? Maybe there aren’t many in your area. Even if you do have a great support system in real life, maybe you are looking for more training and resources to help you navigate this journey?
These are just some of the reasons we created Oasis Community!
Oasis Community is here to be your virtual support system that offers 24-7, 365 days a year online access to practical resources, relevant training, and parent to parent support.
If you’ve spent any time on the journey of foster care or adoption you know it’s amazing and beautiful, but also exhausting and isolating at times. The best way to navigate the ups and downs is through a support system. But how do you find one?
We’ve been through more highs and lows on this journey than we could recount. Sometimes it’s filled us so full we feel like our hearts are going to burst open. Other times, it’s taken the life out of us and left us defeated and searching. The only way we’ve made it for more than 15 years is our amazing, grace-giving support system. We believe in the power of this. We believe everyone on the journey needs one. But how do you go about finding the right people for your inner circle of support?
This is a guest post from our good friend Michelle McKinney. She is an adoptive mother and blogger. She describes herself as an imperfect wife and an even more imperfect mom who decided long ago, “Why bring more kids into the world when there are so many here already who need forever homes?” She believes all kids deserve a family. Every single one. You can read her work with HIV advocacy by visiting thoughtsfrommichelleskitchen.com
When you’re in the trenches of the foster or adoptive journey, empathy can go a long way on the path of healing. But what does that look like and how can others be that person of empathy?
Last Monday I traveled with my two littles from Las Vegas to UCLA to have the usual blood work and to get the 2 month supply of life-saving meds like we do every 8 weeks. It’s always a really, really long day. Hospitals and traveling across the desert with kids have a way of taking it out of you.
We’ve often been asked how we made it through 9 years of foster parenting and 14 years as adoptive parents. Our answer is simple: We have a great support system of people who help keep us going. But how do you find a support system like this?
“You’re going to be alright…this is going to be alright,” our friend said to us. “I know it feels like a dead-end street but there’s hope. I’m here for you!”
She was right. More importantly, she was there. Those were two things we were certain of. In our darkest moment on the journey, she looked at us with eyes of compassion, a spirit that understood, and a gentle smile that said “I get it.” We found the strength we needed to get up and keep moving.
Every month we dialogue with foster parents over email, face-to-face, or at speaking engagements, and the the common theme we hear is, “I had no idea what I was getting into.” We understand. Once upon a time, we felt that way. But we learned some valuable lessons that are important to understand before starting foster care.
Adventure. Frustration. Joy. Anger. Hope. Fear.
Six words that evoke so much emotion. Six words that possess power. And six words I would use to describe the past decade of foster parenting for us. It’s been quite a journey. There have been mountain top experiences and valley low trials. Several times, we almost quit and walked away for good.