So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

If you give a foster family a chicken dinner,

They might have extra time to spend with their foster child.

When they have extra time to spend with their foster child,

They’ll spend it taking a walk, looking at flowers.

When they spend it on a walk looking at flowers,

They learn more about each other because they aren’t feeling stressed by dinner prep.

When they learn more about each other because they aren’t feeling stressed,

They are able to work on forming a healthy attachment.

If they’re able to work on forming a healthy attachment,

They’re creating a foundation for lifelong relational health.

If they’re creating a foundation for lifelong relational health,

Sometimes it feels too risky and the foster child will push them away.

When it feels too risky and the foster child pushes them away,

The foster parent will need to work through their own feelings of rejection and lovingly draw closer to the child.

When the foster parent can lovingly draw closer to the child, the child may realize they are committed even when things are tough.

If the foster child realizes the foster parent is committed, they may feel safe enough to open up.

When the foster child feels safe enough to open up, the foster parent can respond with empathy and can help meet their physical needs.

When a foster parent responds with empathy and offers to meet their physical needs, the child may feel ready to eat.

And when the foster child feels ready to eat, she may ask for a chicken dinner.

Being a foster parent is one way to help a foster child, but it isn’t the only way. This work takes a team approach and sometimes the best thing you can do is bring dinner. You may wonder how dinner helps, other than just the physical provision of food, but the time you invest in making that meal is time foster parents can invest in relationship building with the child. There are so many other examples– bringing diapers, having groceries delivered, praying for the child and family, dropping off coffee for an exhausted mom, taking their bio or adopted kids on a fun adventure so the focus can be on the foster child, providing childcare so the family can go to court.

I think there is a wrong impression that doing something for foster kids requires actually being the one to invest in the foster kid. What many of us know is when you invest in the foster FAMILY or the foster PARENTS you are actually doing the best thing possible for the foster child. They need to bond with those parents. They need to feel safe and loved by consistent adults who can provide nurture, structure and stability for them. They don’t need a rotating parade of adults in and out of their lives to say nice things to them. When you can build into the foster parents, the foster child will reap the rewards.

These kids need foster parents who don’t burnout. They need experienced foster parents who have learned how to work with the system, have successfully built relationships with biological families, and have gained parenting wisdom by working with kids from trauma. Having an involved and educated support structure is one way we can prevent burnout in our foster families.

If you are part of that support structure, take pride in what you’re doing! Claim it. Tell other people how you are involved in the work of foster care by bringing meals, showing up with emergency pacifiers when the brand the family had on hand wasn’t working, and helping facilitate date nights for the foster parents (gift cards they can use for a date night in after the kids have gone to bed is a great way to handle it if they aren’t ready to leave the foster child with a babysitter yet.).

We recently attended a picnic thrown by a local church for foster families with our agency. The dinner was great, but what was even better was being able to just sit with other families who understand what we’re going through. The foster, adopted and bio kids were able to play with other foster, adopted and bio kids. This is so beautifully normalizing for our kids. While the church who provided the food may have thought they were just providing a meal, it was SO MUCH MORE than that for the families involved. It was a rare opportunity to relax with people who know our struggles and joys.

We need everybody to show up for these kids. Think about your unique gifts and passions and how you can use them for foster kids (make a blanket! paint a nursery! take a family photo! give guitar lessons!). Everybody can do something and maybe what you can do is make a chicken dinner.

For more information about foster care or volunteering with foster children in Nebraska, contact Christian Heritage.

photo by Rebecca Tredway Photography

Maralee Bradley

Maralee is a mom of six pretty incredible kids. Four were adopted (one internationally, three through foster care) and two were biological surprises. Prior to becoming parents, Maralee and her husband were houseparents at a children’s home and had the privilege of helping to raise 17 boys during their five year tenure. Maralee is passionate about caring for kids, foster parenting and adoption, making her family a fairly decent dinner every night, staying on top of the laundry, watching ridiculous documentaries and doing it all for God’s glory. Maralee can be heard on My Bridge Radio talking about motherhood and what won't fit in a 90 second radio segment ends up at www.amusingmaralee.com.

Loving My Children’s Other Mother

In: Adoption, Foster Care, Kids
Loving My Children's Other Mother www.herviewfromhome.com

A few days have passed since the whole world shouted out how amazing their mothers are. I was not left behind. Beautiful cards and flowers decorate our home. However, it’s the sweet faces around my table that are the most beautiful part of my life. Our lives together have been hard-fought. We are a family built by unexpected pregnancy, foster care, adoption and choice. It never fails on days like these where celebrations and cheers ring out that I am aware my celebration is the sound of heartbreak to someone else. This particular Mother’s Day was different than most. I...

Keep Reading

When it’s Time to Stop Being a Foster Mom

In: Adoption, Foster Care, Kids, Motherhood
When it's Time to Stop Being a Foster Mom www.herviewfromhome.com

I’m still not okay with calling myself a “former foster mom.” It just doesn’t feel right. My heart is still so in the world of foster care as I support families in the trenches and continue to deal with post foster care issues with my kids. After five years in group home work and 7 years as foster parents, I can’t imagine a time when foster care won’t be on my heart and in my mind, but for this season we are not active foster parents.  This has been a weird loss of identity that I’ve struggled to put words...

Keep Reading

Dear Foster Parents: Please Remember The “Older Ones”

In: Foster Care, Kids

My husband and I have recently shared the news that we are in the process of becoming foster parents. I was as excited to celebrate this news with family and friends as I was to celebrate the pregnancies of our two babies. I have been overwhelmed by the love and support we have been shown. So many of our people have reached out to offer words of wisdom and kindness as we prepare for this beautiful and heartbreaking journey ahead of us. But I was upset by a comment I received the other day over the phone. “Just watch out...

Keep Reading

Siblings’ Plea to Be Adopted Together Has Gone Viral and They Live In YOUR Town

In: Adoption, Foster Care, Kids

Foster care and adoption are sort of my thing. I follow, approximately, every single foster care and adoption page on the internet. So when a foster or adoption story goes viral, I see it over and over again. Once it was the story of a foster mom who broke down when she found her foster son’s toothbrush. We all cried over that one. Another time it was the ten year old boy who pleaded with a church congregation for someone to, please, adopt him. “I’ll adopt you!” I cried, along with every other mother who watched. This week it was...

Keep Reading

Sex Trafficking is YOUR Problem (and one thing you can do to help)

In: Foster Care, Kids
Sex Trafficking is YOUR Problem (and one thing you can do to help) www.herviewfromhome.com

I’m going to be really honest with you about the evolution of my understanding of sex trafficking. I’m wondering if maybe it’s been your process, too. Step 1: Sex trafficking is a really bad thing that happens in other countries where there are brothels and American businessmen pay for sex. Somebody should do something about that. Step 2: Sex trafficking is a really bad thing that happens in my country where desperate women with drug problems trade their bodies for money and dangerous pimps make money off of it. We should do something about that. Step 3: Sex trafficking is...

Keep Reading

I Can Be The Attention He Has Not Received: Our Foster Care Journey

In: Foster Care, Homeschool, Kids
I Can Be The Attention He Has Not Received: Our Foster Care Journey www.herviewfromhome.com

This two-year-old beats at my leg and I scoop him into my lap. He has spent the last ten minutes indiscriminately throwing objects within reach and screaming drooly screams and thrashing his body to slam cupboards or furniture or whatever will bring an appropriately satisfying crash. In short, we’ve been riding out a typical two-year-old meltdown. But he’s not a typical two-year-old. He’s a foster kid with zero calming strategies. There is no pulling him back from the ledge he has emotionally stepped off. There is only existing in this space together and being there to hold him once exhaustion...

Keep Reading

Ready To Be Done With These Multi-Colored Maps? There’s One More You Have To See.

In: Adoption, Foster Care, Kids, Motherhood
Ready To Be Done With These Multi-Colored Maps? There's One More You Have To See. www.herviewfromhome.com

My eyes have probably seen these multi-colored state maps a thousand times over the past week or so. I was fairly vocal on social media about this election, but even I finally got to the point where I. am. done. with it all. I even contemplated staying off of Facebook for a while, but, I mean, what kind of person do you think I am? I am of the opinion that, no matter who you voted for, we should all just share a collective vat of wine and never talk about parties and swing states and campaigns ever again. The...

Keep Reading

Today I Hate Foster Care

In: Adoption, Foster Care, Kids
Today I Hate Foster Care www.herviewfromhome.com

Can I be honest? Today I hate foster care. I hate what it has done to people I love– adults and children alike. I hate how hopeless it has made me about the government’s ability to do anything right. I hate how good people in the system get burned out by how impossible it seems to make any kind of positive change, but bad people (foster parents, caseworkers, lawyers, etc.) can do this for ages because they don’t really care. I hate that I encourage people into this hard work and then they get wounded and I feel in some...

Keep Reading

The Children in Our Hearts: A Foster Care Story

In: Faith, Foster Care, Kids, Motherhood
The Children in Our Hearts: A Foster Care Story www.herviewfromhome.com

My husband and I said we would never foster a child. We thought it was something we just weren’t called to do. It would be too hard. Have you ever noticed that right around the time you start adamantly declaring that you can’t and won’t do something, God steps in? He reminds you that you have simply forgotten that His power is made perfect in your weakness. We moved to Uganda right around Mother’s Day. A few hours away from our new town a baby girl, whose mother passed away, was born right around Mother’s Day. A few short weeks...

Keep Reading

The Harm of Viral Parent Shaming: Why I Won’t be Sharing that Photo

In: Foster Care, Kids
The Harm of Viral Parent Shaming: Why I Won't be Sharing that Photo

I saw the pictures today. The pictures of a girl who had her hair pulled by a man (presumably her dad) while they walked through Walmart. The explanation underneath told of a heated exchange between this man and the woman who took the photo and then it escalated to a conversation with police. It is clear that the woman who took the picture feels she was the only one to stand up for this girl and she wants these photos to go viral.  I disagree. (And for that reason, I am not providing a link to these pictures here) I...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime