Foster Parents~Let Your Love Shine Brightly in 2016!


I’ve heard your pain, your hurts and your worries and I have felt them myself. Being a Foster parent is not an easy job. As a matter of fact, it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.

Nobody fully understands what it entails and nor will they ever completely get it…unless of course, they too are given the heart to walk the hard road of fostering for themselves.

These children come in all different fashions when they arrive at our door. They can be any or all of these things when we are finally introduced. (fear filled, fragile, desperate, beaten, neglected, starving, anxious, confused, shaken, hyper, mischievous, hurtful, calm, depressed, etc.) They often face other struggles because of their life circumstances. (Attachment disorders, learning disabilities, sleep disorders, post trauma disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome, severe anxiety, processing disorders, and so on)

We don’t just open our doors and everyone blends perfectly together. We cautiously open our hearts too. And when we do that just right, so many other things start to unfold. We long to really “know them”  so we can care for them just right. The unknowns about “who they are” and “what they will be like” brings on our own set of pre-placement anxieties. We wish we had all the important information upfront. And we somehow accept that we may never really know much of anything. (What have they gone through? Will we be all that they need to heal?) So many things matter in how we move forward, yet little is ever answered. We help them transition the best that we can. We set out to love unconditionally and try not to have preconceived expectations. We are on call 24/7. So therefore, we live a life of spontaneity. Organization becomes second nature and we learn quickly to utilize resources when a call comes. We usually over think things, analyze everything, and have only a handful of people (or less) that we can talk to…about everything.

The life of Fostering is a hard one. It’s exhausting emotionally and physically. It is definitely not for all. It makes our hearts ache, our heads spin and can turn things upside down in our families for awhile. But…it is desperately needed! It’s rewards are great! And it is making a difference, one child and one family at time! And in the midst of some crazy days/nights, weeks/months, and sometimes years…as we do what we are called to do…somehow, someway, the blessings manage to outweigh each and every struggle and heartache.

We may not see the progress or healing while they are in our homes, but we claim it for each child and family.  We have faith and it outweighs a failing system. We cannot do it by “our power” so we trust an unfailing God and “His power” to do all things.  We seek the Lord as we keep pouring out. He fills us daily, so we can keep our focus and move forward with every struggle. We pray His perfect plan unfolds in everyone of our Foster children(s) lives. And sometimes His plan is a forever home through adoption.

Remember…You (WE) are not “just a Foster parent.” 
We are comforters in the middle of the night, when a child wakes with night tremors or wants their Mom. 
We are therapists who hear the things that would break anyones heart. 
We try our best to speak wise words of love and truth…when at times we are struck to complete speechlessness.
We become reporters, when a child opens up for the first time. Or there is visual evidence of wrong doing.
We are transporters as we caravan repeatedly to appointments, court dates and visitations. 
We quickly become patient advocates as we seek every service and resource for a child’s medical needs. 
And….We are professional child advocates as we fight for the help our child(ren) need in school, with daily tasks, or life in general.
We are often the first real example of a parent (mom or dad) and it’s imperative that these children have one. 
We can improvise and change routines or plans in a split second. 
We are a quick learners and we learn things about our child(ren) and…ourselves daily! 
We multi task and meet the needs of our husbands, bio kids and that of your placements. (which all bring there own challenges) 
We appear to be super mom to others, but often we feel alone on your mission to save the world…one child at a time. 
We sit for long hours at appointments, in court, at therapy and visitations, and sometimes still work other jobs outside of the home. 
We are happy doing what we are called to do despite the chaos at times. 
We are creative and fun loving…
We are motivated and determined. 
And…We are so much more!!

I know YOU…I am You!

You have cried in the quiet

And yelled privately at the system

You encourage yourself to keep going

And question everything you do

You have doubts

And you talk yourself out of them

You are happy with baby steps

And ecstatic with big ones

You jump for joy when you sleep all night

And you try to catch up on sleep when you don’t

You shoot to move mountains

And are satisfied when you help a molehill move

You love the smiles and laughter

And you look forward to new goals

You get discouraged when trust is broken

And you hurt when a child leaves

You prepare your bios from the loss that’s to come

And you protect and guard your own heart without even knowing

You worry about outcomes

And you wonder about plans

You love each and every crazy minute of your life

And….You love and provide so much more!!!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! You are like me. And WE are like so many others. And WE are all called to love!  To live life and help others to live their lives better. To make the world brighter! To make a difference and then some! 

So let the difference your making be inspiring. Let your story be told.

Let your love shine brightly in 2016!

Remember, We are so much more then what the world sees as “JUST a Foster Parent”.  

We are a Gift to a child..a Blessing to a hurting family… and a crucial piece of stability to a system that needs our help.

We are changing the world… 

We Have Gotcha…and We Will Never Let You Go!

Happy Gotcha Day!!

We Have Gotcha and We Will Never Let You Go!

You didn’t grow under my heart. You grew in it!

(A letter I wrote but never mailed to her biological mother) 

Dear Bio mom,

She was your child first…and we are sorry that you were unable to care for her. We really are.  I know that you love her.  There is no possible way that you couldn’t. She is amazing!  She is one of our greatest joys!  The Love you had for her just wasn’t enough. It didn’t keep her safe, nurture her and provide for her needs.

She has your eyes and your nose.  She does some things just like her siblings.  And her dance moves are especially like her oldest sister.  We will always remember the love and time spent with all three of your girls in our home.  It was hard because the visitations became damaging, caused confusing and went on way too long…

Your oldest daughter really wanted to be with you.  It was so strange the devotion and obligation she had towards you. (You, the one who hurt her) Separation and attachment disorders are so crazy.  She didn’t even know how to attach to anyone but you, because of it.  So, when the courts ruled, we really struggled with the decision they made for us to transition her back to you. Nineteen months in our home and then it was like a bomb went off in our hearts…And you got another chance to parent.  Not all five of your children…but just one.  And the struggle was and is…still real for you.   

Your actions and your choices, completely rocked their entire worlds.  They were so innocent…so young…so helpless.  It was scary for them. What were you thinking when you left them hungry, dirty and in danger?  Who did you think would keep them safe when you left them in vehicles and motels alone?  Or in stranger’s homes?  You made them learn to fend for themselves.  They all knew many survival techniques when they were removed.  They had no choice but to learn on their own…how to survive…while you lived.  So selfishly. 

She was sickly and confused then.  She has struggled in so many ways since we opened our home and heart to her EIGHT years ago.  She was a frail and extremely tiny 18 months old. You had rocked her world…over and over again.

We rocked her world too!  Every night…before bed…for over two years…as we held her and sat with her into the night. We rocked her. We comforted her. We stayed awake through the tremors and the sleepless nights. We put her back in her bed over and over again…and avoided stepping on her wherever she lay in the night. We still have “all night drifting parties” often.  I wonder, will she ever sleep well? But I know by God’s grace she will… 

We wished we could have kept some of the doors open with you. But we knew what was best for her, and this just wasn’t an option. We were open to keeping connections with her other 3 siblings. They make her light up when she sees them. It make our hearts happy too.  After all, it isn’t their fault they were separated.  They did nothing to deserve what they received.  We may live forever having to change that thought process in her mind.  But we will do whatever it takes!  

We were never here to take her away from you. We were a part of a system to help you get yourself together.  We offered a safe and loving environment for 3 of your children in order for you to do so. We always work towards reunification and we will never really understand why you never accomplished that.  But we forgive you. I hope and pray you learn to forgive yourself… 

Our role as Foster Parents was to care for your child while you worked hard toward goals placed upon you by the court. We were here to support you and we encouraged you to reach them. Time kept slipping away…court date after court date…You never took any steps towards achieving the goals placed before you.  Not even for your children. 

I had felt sorry for you, because she never asked about you. But now, as she has gotten older and we have talked about you many times…I am thankful she didn’t ask more when she was younger. It seems harsh, but it is best that her memory of you is so vague. She understands it was your choices that were bad and not anything bad that she did. She also knows, accepts and understands that God has worked things out for her. She has such a forgiving and kind heart. It saddens me that you may never know her beautiful heart. One that prays for you and others.

We are thankful God spared her from even more hurt. He has worked in her favor and on her behalf many times. She is His child first…and she didn’t go through an experience of great loss.  We are all she knows and remembers….and His plan has been perfectly unfolding for her all along.

I need you to know that nothing that I could have said or done would have ever helped you get your children back. The choices that you made determined her future. A future that ended up with us as her parents. It is a future of…love, family, assurance, comfort, encouragement, care, persistence, safety, devotion and hope. The greater Hope that she has is eternal. She knows who’s she is! 

I want you to know I am deeply sorry that you were ever in this situation to begin with.  I know you still struggle.  So, we will continue to pray for you. You can still do right, make good choices and get your life together. The same Eternal Hope that she possesses is obtainable for you too through Jesus.   

You chose to give Birth!  That is definitely something to be proud of!  You chose life for your babies!  We will forever be grateful for your decision to do so.  Life is always…always a gift!  And one of the lives you birthed became our precious Gift! 

So today…..

Eight years ago exactly…(at 2:00 pm)

The court saw it in was in your child’s best interest to have all parental rights terminated! It was a sad day for you. I know it had to be. My heart broke for you.

But it was a beautiful day for all of us…and with a broken heart, I also rejoiced!

                            It became her very first Gotcha Day…

                                                                   And one of many more to come!

Forever grateful,

The Adoptive Mom


A Week of Camp That Never Ended

What Royal Family Kids Camp is to me…(And became to our family)

It’s more than a safe, loving environment for a group of Foster Kids to enjoy a week away from their less than deserving life situations.  It’s more than a fun filled, organized camp setting, suited for their many special needs. It’s more than the decorations, props and or perfectly thought out themes. It’s more than the hands on crafts, activities, pool time and fishing. It’s more than the Birthday party, talent show and fun events. It’s even more than the opportunity to overcome fears and trust unknown adults. It’s more than the laughter and tears. It’s more than the songs sung, skits watched and stories shared. It’s more than the new bibles, prayers, praise and encouragement each child receives. It’s just so much more…….

This camp is more than what any of its directors, counselors, therapists, nurses, and activity, music and service leaders could ever accomplish on their own.  God has chosen the people and the campers that come. Each team member and camper is handpicked and a part of Gods amazing work and plan.  Over and over again I have seen Him use team members to minister directly into a child’s life. They offer Hope, Trust and Love! God’s amazing Love that heals, ministers and transforms lives for His glory and His purpose!  These things are so evident, freely welcomed, and embraced by everyone at camp. No one can escape the presence of the Lord and the Love that shines straight from the creator of all things good. It’s Gods camp!

It takes obedience from each team member as they take the first step in wanting to participate and make a difference. It takes sacrifice. Sacrifice of time, income from their jobs, and separation from family. It takes a heart willing to render to unknowns. It takes a willingness to step out of comfort zones. It takes surrendering to agenda’s and expectations. It takes an openness to allow the Lord to work however He sees fit. Team members from different walks, backgrounds and with various personalities. Yet each and every one of them is prayerfully and then carefully placed by God. As the days go by, a week at camp becomes a masterpiece that unfolds in the lives of everyone! A beautiful one designed by the hand of God. This masterpiece, and the precious moments in creating it, are engraved on everyone’s hearts forever!

Over ten years ago it became even bigger than the “one week at camp” for me and my family.  It prayerfully, and out of complete obedience, became the beginning steps for my husband and I to forever step out of our comfort zones and into many unknowns. By the grace of God we made decisions that quickly became our “new lifestyle.”  It has since been a daily decision and sometimes a difficult one, to change children’s lives forever. It took just one phone call to our area Department of Social Service Department. That one call made our “Beyond Royal Family” begin and it has changed our lives forever! 

I guess you could say….In a way….We have daily been living a kind of “Royal Family Kids Camp.”  Over and over again we have welcomed a new “Royal Family Kid” in our home, in our lives, and in our hearts forever. With every short and long term placement, every transition of a child, every emergency removal and or respite call, (Respite is an overnight break for another foster family) and with all three of our adoptions we have “lived camp”.  It’s “Gods camp” in our family too!

Camp is full of many “firsts” for the kids. And believe me…we too have had many things occur for the “first time” with children in our home. God has perfectly placed children with us and given us everything we have needed in caring for and loving them. I can’t imagine life without every one of our precious Gifts! I call their names out in prayer often, and I know God is always fighting for them! He sees their needs and is working things out for them according to His plan. His plan does not include harm and is perfect for every child.   Plans

I am so thankful He chose us to be a part of so many beautiful lives….I will forever be grateful for my very first week at Royal Family Kids Camp over ten years ago.  I will forever be grateful for the way it changed my families lives forever! It is a week that has never ended for us 🙂

I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone. If the Lord moves you….Go with Him! Do it prayerfully and in obedience to what the Lord is asking of you. It will always be right when it is done following after Him! Trust Him and the power of His anointing on you…You too can forever make a difference in a child’s life (and or) in others lives! 

No Place To Call Home

Did you know there are around 400,000 children in Foster Care in our Country?

foster parenting

Way too many of these children in care are in need of forever homes and may never receive one. They may grow up and into their adult lives with no place to call HOME. No place to go on holidays. Nobody to help them with life decisions. Many age out of Foster Care and have nobody to encourage them and to continue to speak life into their souls. They often lose important people in their lives over and over again and need people to instill in them that they matter! They need people to encourage them to move forward, heal and become everything the Lord has designed for them to become. They too have a divine purpose in life!

Not just this Month in MAY (The National Foster Care Month) but everyday please remember each of these children in your prayers.  Also pray for the many Foster Parents and Families as they are learning every day the difficulties and also the many blessings of being obedient to the call to Foster and or Adopt. These families have chosen to reach out and reach into the heart of a child. Many of them are in daily need of your prayers and your encouragement.

Lord, open our eyes to the Hurting children around us, in our Communities, our Schools, our Churches, and our Neighborhood and in the World. They are our future and they matter.  Help us to be mindful of those who may need extra encouragement, guidance and love to support and or raise their families. Help us to recognize when it is YOU dear Lord asking us to help, teach, guide or make a difference in a child’s life. May our lives reflect your goodness and may we always extend your perfect love. Give us the desire to do like Christ in every circumstance you place us in. Use us Lord in big ways to change the world, mend the hearts of the hurting, show of your great love, and always bring you the glory while furthering your kingdom!   Amen 

If you would like more information or want to know how YOU can support us Foster/Adopt families or become involved in Foster/Adopting yourself please feel free to message me. Don’t hesitate to move forward if the Lord has placed this on your heart.

Foster/Adopt Parents: There is a “Togetherness” in Our Loneliness

When a child is removed from their home and placed in foster care they come broken and lost. They need someone to love them with consistency, help them put their pieces back together again and provide a safe and nurturing environment so they can thrive.

While this maybe interesting to some of you, I am sharing my heart more directly to those who are or have fostered or adopted children. Who knows it may even speak to those of you who have been considering doing this. This isn’t being written for sympathy. Because those fostering or those who have adopted are not looking for any kind of sympathy. We do what we do because we love what we are doing.  It is simply my prayer that something from our personal experience will spark inspiration, give direction or encouragement to one of you!  I want people who foster/adopt to know…..that in their moments of loneliness, there is still a togetherness!  It comes from others who are going through the same kinds of things. Tough things…..sometimes Really Tough Things!

With each child we’ve had in our home it’s been a different journey.  We’ve had 21 foster children in our home over the last 10 years and three that we have adopted.  And with all of them, we have gone about picking up and putting together their broken and lost pieces in the same ways.  Without God alone as our strength, we couldn’t do it.  He has been faithful in supplying us wisdom and direction.  He has never left us on any part of our difficult journeys.  But that doesn’t mean that sometimes the journey hasn’t been lonely.

The road to adoption through foster care, fostering a child for a period of time, or doing respite (short relief help) for other foster families, can be filled with despair, days of hopelessness and loneliness too.  A great family support system and a church family for support is a must!  But even they don’t ever really understand it.   A great number of people try to figure us foster families out. They even say to themselves….Why on earth would someone willingly take another person’s child into their home with so much brokenness?  And well, we are saying…Why on earth wouldn’t everyone want to help the broken?  Are they not all God’s children first?

Nobody really get’s us foster parents and families.  They don’t really know what to say, how to encourage or what to do to help. So don’t be alarmed if you learn pretty quickly, that it maybe a lonely road at times.  We made the decision early on, that the lonely road was ok with us. We have had to keep our focus on the child’s needs and not our own need to be understood.  Don’t expect others to know what to say, how to help or what you may need from them as far as support.  There will be many times you yourself will not know what it is you need!

The one thing that is absolute was our need for Prayer!  We have received them often and many of them have been answered timely!  We have spent our days focusing on being obedient rather then worrying about what other’s are saying, thinking or maybe even snickering about. Bad foster families are out there, just like bad parents…and fostering has definitely been talked about!   We stood and still stand completely confident in our God.  He alone has supplied us with all that we have needed and more!

Before we ever give an answer to the Placement Coordinator calling us about a child being removed, we have always prayed first! This is not always to their liking, because they want an answer immediately. But asking the Lord first, if it is his will for us, has been the only way! Waiting on his direction has always proven best.

We’ve remained firm in our faith and grounded in His word. We know that God only gives us what we can handle. And it’s by his strength and not our own anyways.  So, we trust him completely.  With every obstacles, diversity and frustration that comes with a crazy court system and biological family member that can appear out of the wood work. We know that the system may seem out of control at times…..but Our God Never Loses Control!

Be encouraged that in your moments, days or longer times of feeling lonely….you are not ever alone!  God is with you!  If you feel you are the only person in the world….find comfort in knowing their are so many others like you!  They are also fighting battles, mending struggles, sorting out feelings and being a child advocate with concerns just like you!

So, when you ever feel you have no one…this blog is a testimony that you always have someone!  Me!!!!!  My husband and I, our family, and SOOOOOOO many other foster and adoptive parents all over the world really.  We stand united and share the same hearts. We share in your loneliness and totally get what you are doing!   We understand you!   We stand by you!   We support you through your sleepless nights, long court days and the child tantrums that come out of nowhere and last for hours!   So many of us are actually in the trenches trying to heal scars, mend hearts and restore families just like you!

In your loneliness and in your moments of doubt, remember that foster and adoptive parents experience a “togetherness” and an understanding that is shared without having to express any words.  It’s a connection made within our similar hearts. We get each other like nobody else. So, know that you are not alone in your travels. Our God and others will be right by your side no matter where the road may lead you.

With each child’s brokenness that is mended, each child’s family that has been put back together again and for each child that finds his or her forever home…. We Celebrate Together!  There is an unspeakable “togetherness” of people cheering you on!  These people are ones who are doing the same as you. Loving the hurting children in our foster care system despite their own times of loneliness.

So, keep keeping on….and press through bouts of loneliness!

Be Obedient and Believe in Your Precious Call!

Questions were asked…so here’s the answer!

My blog is not strictly about fostering and adoption but I received many questions after my last blog. I thought I’d give some of you a little more insight about us.

My husband and I have fostered 22 beautiful children and have had the amazing opportunity to adopt three. We’ve done everything from respite and emergency removals to transitioning children into other adoptive homes. We have also helped with a reunification of a child back to her biological parents. I’ve worked closely with DSS in our county and the counties that surround us. I have been apart of leading Foster Parent Pride training and doing some Home Studies for prospective Foster Parents. I have not always seen eye to eye on things within the Department of Social Services, but I have always been committed to the hurting children involved in the system. Recruiting, training and mentoring parents quickly became my passion.

Our families lives forever changed when we made the decision to forever change a child’s. We have never been the same since our first call ten years ago. It is something none of us will ever forget. It was our first child placement. With that call came our first opportunity and decision to adopt. Every child that was placed with us over the years was from a different situation and each have had their own struggles. But they have ALL given us the same rewards. Rewards to great to describe….

My husband and I totally believe we were created with a purpose to love those who may seem unlovable to others. We seek guidance from the Lord for every decision and with meeting every child’s specific needs. With every difficulty we have faced we have been greatly blessed! And go figure, we do it to bless the children!  But that’s how our God works! He blesses us ten time more when we are obedient and choose to bless others!

It has never been an easy task. Parenting is difficult no matter what. Adopting doesn’t solve all the problems the child has encountered from his/her circumstances. They have almost always dealt with neglect, abuse or trauma.  But adoption does give “new hope” to a child that is in need of a forever family and home. It is only the beginning. There are many hurdles to overcome no matter what. The separation and loss that they experience is real and needs time to heal.  I believe in being their voice (because they haven’t had one) and not only do they deserve one, but they NEED one.

If you are interested in knowing more about fostering or adoption through your local Department of Social Services, have any questions, or would like me to be praying for you specifically, please go to my FB page (there is a link on this web page) and message me.  

For those of you who are already fostering or have adopted, I would encourage you to seek any available resource to help you parent. I also believe it’s imperative to utilize every resource available to meet the needs of the children you’ve been entrusted to love and care for. 

For encouragement—Some people will never understand your heart and you cannot let negative (about you or the children placed with you) to settle in your mind. Not even for a second. You don’t need their approvals. God has your back. He sees your struggles and he knows your heart. He will never leave you or forsake you.  Keep keeping on. Love and keep loving. And as you do you’ll continue to make the world a better place.