Posts in Foster Care
You are more than a foster kid. -From a former foster kid.

My name is Brittaney. I'm a midwest girl turned loyal New Englander. Former foster kiddo, current foster mama. I’m married to my sweet husband, Justin, and this coming November we will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. Over the last three years we have fostered three amazing kids and hope to adopt our son out of foster care late this summer. Foster care has always been apart of my story. I was adopted out of foster care when I was seven and was gifted this beautiful life that I am incredibly proud of. I have always wanted to gift that to someone else one day, which lead me to becoming a foster parent.

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We Adopted Siblings To Keep Family Together

Nearly three years ago, Aaron and I encountered a major life change. Suddenly, three incredible kiddos moved in with us for an indefinite amount of time. And then those three kids became five, then four, then five again… then suddenly six and now seven. Oh yes, you read that correctly. Today, Aaron and I share our five-bedroom home with seven incredible children that our whole world now revolves around. And we’re happy to do so because these kids belong together – they’re siblings. 

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I'm Single, I'm 29 and I've had 23 Foster Kids.

My name is MK Hill. I’m a 29 year old single foster and adoptive mom living in Memphis, TN. I began my foster care journey 4 years ago after returning home from a year of living and working abroad in 11 different countries. Before that trip I had traveled to Guatemala over 20 times and even thought I would move there one day to work in a children’s home long term. I have always longed to open my home to vulnerable children and after encountering one woman in Memphis, my life was forever changed.

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I Get Too Attached

And the children who leave our home? They deal with the inevitable loss of losing family yet again. This whole thing is–at its core–broken. But, along with their loss, they carry with them the gift of attachment. They take with them the love we poured into them and the picture we’ve given them of what family is and can be. In our getting “too attached,” they get to learn what attachment is. 

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Words From A Single Foster Mom

I had a hard abusive childhood and it was really dark and difficult to navigate by myself. As I grew up, I became committed to not letting others sit in that same kind of darkness by themselves. This is why I started fostering, because I wanted to help families become whole, healthy, and healed. I’m Shea, I am a life coach for people who have been touched by trauma, as well as a foster mom, a biological mom, and I am also a single parent. My biological daughter is thirteen years old and I have long-term placement of a 5 month old baby boy. I received my foster license in January 2018 and have had 10 kids in my home since then. 

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Yes We Said It, We Love Fostering Teens

We’ve fostered 17 kids and adopted our two sons, ages 13 and 7. At this point, my husband and I only foster sex-trafficked teens and LGBTQ+ youth- two demographics of kids in care that are unfairly overrepresented. We just had our 15-year-old foster son reunify after several awesome months with him.

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4 Things I've Learned As A Single Foster Mom

But now I’m a parent - to other people’s children.  I LOVE the parenting part; caring for these children is my greatest joy.  I’ve got a lot of experience with infants and kids and feel pretty comfortable there.  But foster care isn’t regular parenting.  It’s parenting on a roller coaster, with lots of other people involved.  I’m still processing all that I’ve learned over the last year, but here are a few of my takeaways 18 months into this gig…

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Learning To Walk Alongside Birth Families

I find it to be a great honor to get to meet someone at what is quite possibly the lowest place they will experience – having their children removed – and say I am here with you, you are loved, and I believe that you can do this. When I meet a new biological parent, I always try to picture myself getting down low to meet them eye to eye in the place they are currently sitting emotionally. It is too hard to help carry the load unless you get down under it with them.

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How I Got My Kids Back Part 2

Something felt different when Steffany reached out. I knew that she was in desperate need of support but I needed to see a parent who was willing to meet me half way in this journey… and Steffany did just that and more. Watching her fall and get back up and seeing her determination to get her kids back inspired me beyond words.

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Being Pro Foster Care Means Being Pro Bio Parents

If you care about family unification and children getting out of the foster system I want to encourage you to invest in the parents. The best way to help parents resettle with their children is to be willing to be their to mentor and guide them if possible. Be a positive influence in their lives where they've maybe never had any. When we receive new children into our care we think about the moms and dads, how would they be feeling? You can do little things like text pics of the kids to mom several times a week, have the kids make her birthday gifts and Christmas gifts, make videos during the week and send those to mom to encourage her. Find ways to let mom know you aren’t trying to “take” her kids away from her but rather that you believe in her and want her kids to remember her.

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It Takes A Village

Chrsytal Smith created Foster Village with one thought in mind—to give the foster community in Austin a village of support, of people who get it, of people who are present. Now, two years later, Foster Village has become a haven for both children and adults, a space where you can feel loved, supported, and most importantly, seen. With a background in child development and experience in teaching parent-education courses, Smith uses her skills to teach, encourage, and walk alongside foster parents in their journey. 

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Road Trips and Connecting With Foster and Adoptive Families Along The Way!

“We first adopted Elijah, our very first placement who came to us at eight months old. His biological brother Mattais was our next child we adopted who we had brought home from the hospital as a newborn. The surprise call for baby Liam came a few years later, also a newborn from the hospital. We will tell anyone that the love we have for these boys is as if they had come from our own DNA and no less than that. We are now joyfully raising our tribe of three wild, wonderful boys who are now 6, 8 and 10…”

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How To Support Foster Youth

If every child aging out of foster care THIS year had a home, we'd have a societal saving of $6.5 billion in the United States! For every youth that ages out of foster care and enters a world of homelessness, poverty, unemployment or the criminal justice system, the community loses an engaged and contributing member to society. Instead, society gains a lonely adult often in need of continued, expensive public support. Studies show there's an estimated savings of $235,000 in total public benefits, including child welfare and human services costs, per child for every child that is adopted before aging out of foster care.

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Self Preservation is Not a Virtue

My interest in foster care started because of my job as a NICU nurse. My patients came from all over our state, and they were the sick of the sick. We would frequently see patients go home with foster parents while, their birth parents were trying to get back on their feet and create a safe home environment for their children. I mentioned to Clay several times over the last 5 years that we could be foster parents, and he agreed, but we never felt the timing was right. After a year of infertility, I clearly heard the Lord tell me one morning that He had closed my womb so we could open up our home. Clay wasn’t as sure as I was, and was hesitant to agree.

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The Joys of Parenting Foster Youth

From the other room we heard our eldest son whisper, “I know this is scary. When I went to my first home I was scared too. But we are safe and we will feed you and we won’t hurt you at all. I’ll be your buddy.” For the next week, that little boy was never more than two feet away from our eldest son, he was his safe person through that difficult and confusing time. 

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Giving Children Back Their Voices

“My CASA asks about ME. She wants to know how I am and what I need. She comes to see me and just lets me talk or not talk, she lets me do what I need to do and I like that.” - nine year old boy talking about his assigned CASA advocate

Lending my voice to these children has changed my life and I have watched it change the lives of volunteers and children.

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