Posts tagged The Archibald Project
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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How Learning About Sex Trafficking Changed My Life

When people first hear about sex trafficking, most assume that children are abducted and then sold into the industry, when in fact traffickers are incredibly resourceful, convincing & manipulative when luring their potential victims.  A victim’s heightened needs or perceived needs are not being met which causes the vulnerable to look elsewhere. By establishing a superficial relationship and using various techniques, the trafficker will gradually manipulate them into the commercial sex industry. They take time to familiarize themselves with the victim’s individual vulnerabilities such as shelter, food, attention, love, acceptance, friendship, money, etc., in order to convince the victim that those needs will be met by him/her. 

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Cherish Uganda

When we received the call to see if we had a bed for a little girl we did what we always do – ask questions and gather as much information as possible. This child, like many of the other emergency placements we have taken into our STCF (Short-Term Care Facility), has experienced more horror than I will ever experience in 10 lifetimes.

“She is HIV+ and living in Kampringisa. She was a street kid and we believe her parents are dead. We do not know where she came from, so we have no idea of the whereabouts of any extended family. Can you take her? Because of her HIV status no one will take her.”

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Prevention Is The Best Medicine

“If my life circumstances were different, this could have been my story. In 1982 I had an injury that required 2 hospitalizations, and without the amazing care I received my future would have looked completely different. During my time at the hospital, I witnessed the incredible compassion of the nursing staff. I was so moved by their kindness and care, that I was inspired to become a nurse!”

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How To Keep Families Together in Rural DRC

“I’ve always believed that kids best thrive in a family. So from the beginning, Restore Elikia was formed to work on community development.. all with the aim to prevent children from ever becoming orphans. Despite our clean water, food security, health promotion programs, and educational grants to vulnerable children, there are still some kids that just can’t remain in their home situations. As I watched the first kiddos come through our doors for permanent care, it felt like we had failed. I knew then, that while they couldn’t stay at home, we HAD to make Elikia be as close to a home as possible. I truly believe that health and healing aren’t possible if a child feels isolated or alone. They need a family to show them unconditional love. SO, Restore Elikia isn’t a traditional orphanage…”

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How Restore Elikia is Empowering Mother's to Raise Their Kids!

“One of the ways we partner with these mamas is through our vulnerable women’s training program at Restore Elikia. At risk women of all ages participate in training classes for several hours a day, three times a week for an entire year. We focus a lot on how they can keep themselves and their children healthy through basic hygiene measures, family planning with spacing of children to allow for appropriate length of breastfeeding before weaning, and how to maximize nutrition and diversify diet with limited resources…”

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A Love That Motivates and Moves You Past Fear

Since the crisis broke out in Syria we’ve been following the reports and asking ourselves, “How can we help? What are the practical ways that we can respond?” When we look throughout history we see it is not changed by those who accept the world as it is. Who resign an issue to “that’s not my problem.” History is written by those who let themselves be consumed with empathy for others and let love motivate them to create change. It’s love that will motivate us to go far beyond where comfort could take us.

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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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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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A Life of Passion and Purpose in Foster Care

Years later, here I am, Alexis, a passionate foster momma. International adoption had always been plan A for me, not foster care. When my husband, Todd, and I began dating he jumped right on board with that plan. We began looking into adopting internationally when we were 21 and 22. We were accepted into a program, but when my husband decided to return to school, we decided to put a hold on adopting. 

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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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Twins Fostering Together!

“I didn’t know twin sisters could foster together!” We hear this statement often as we tell our story and, honestly, when we began to pursue foster care, we didn’t know if we would be allowed to foster together, either!

I'm Kelli Hoeckner and my sister Kimmee and I are identical twin sisters and we’ve been fostering together for almost one year! Oh, and did I mention we're 25 years old?

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