You’re More Than A PB&J Mom

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have become a daily meal at our house. I even remember as a kid that’s all I would eat for lunch. Seriously, they are easy to make and just so darn delicious. But today the PB&J sandwich made me question if I’m a “good mom.”

I’m 37 weeks pregnant with my second baby; which means everything hurts. My hips are constantly in pain, I pee at least 6 times a night. I battle insomnia at night while struggling to stay awake during the day.

Today, I actually had some energy to do a few chores. To me, that means clean the whole house. But my body only allowed me to Vaccuum and sweep the floors before my back was screaming at me. I felt so exhausted afterwards. I couldn’t push through the pain. My anxiety was escalating just by looking at the mess around the house.

Finally, I put my daughter down for her nap. I decided to rest myself but by the time I started to fall asleep my happy toddler was at my bedside ready to eat lunch.

As I walked in the kitchen I struggled to keep my eyes open. I was tired and all the energy I had to muster was only good enough to make a PB&J for my daughter. That’s when I broke down into a deep cry for about 5 minutes. “You’re a bad mom”, “you can do better”, “Aurora deserves a better mom” all flooded my mind. I felt completely overwhelmed with failure and I didn’t know how to find the energy to do more. In the midst of my crying, my beautiful 3-year-Old ran and hugged my leg with all her strength. “Mommy, it’s okay.”

Even though she didn’t understand why I was crying she reminded me in that moment that she loves me. She reminded me that a 3-year-Old doesn’t measure by perfection. They measure by love and how those around them are a part of their everyday lives.

I may have made the millionth PB&J but to my daughter it was something to look forward to. She never saw it as a lack of effort on my part but a treat to enjoy.

My husband called me right after my breakdown. He reminded me that I’m not a bad mom. He told me I’m 37 weeks pregnant so it’s okay not to be able to do everything. He told me to be patient until after I have our baby boy. Then I can become supermom again. (He knows me so well because that’s exactly what I want to be. Even at 37 weeks — supermom).

To the moms like me (pregnant or not) struggling to make more than a PB&J — you’re a good mom. You’re doing the best you can within your circumstances. Your babies love you and really do enjoy that PB&J. Give yourself grace and remember that what you make for lunch doesn’t define who you are as a mom. It’s the time and love you put into your kids that really makes a big difference.

My Journey with Prenatal Anxiety and Depression

Dear Foster Daughter, I Couldn’t Help You

Moms, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

When Little is Good Enough

To the Foster Mom without Kids This Mother’s Day

It was exactly a year ago that my husband and I got the call, “You are certified foster parents.” After 4 months of training, LOTS of paperwork and home studies we were finally able to welcome foster kids into our home.

In the last year we’ve had 8 girls come in our home. The youngest was 7 and the oldest 17. A few stayed a week while others stayed almost a year. I never expected my life to be changed so much by letting these girls into our home. We mostly fostered teen girls this year and it was pretty fun. They taught me slang words, how to contour my face, what the latest fashions were and some even laughed at my jokes. But among those amazing moments there was a lot of low moments. All of them left me with my heart broken a little more each time. Sadly, this Mother’s Day I will be celebrating without any foster kids and that makes me sad.

I recently watched the HBO documentary, “Foster” that premiered this week. The part that left me in sobbing tears was at the end when the single foster mom gets cards, hugs and appreciation from all of her foster kids. I realized that no child I have fostered in the last year will be here for Mother’s Day. Yes, it’s probably conceited of me, but as a mom/foster mom I want to be told sometimes that I am making difference. Why? Because that is my hope as a foster parent. However, I won’t know if I have made a difference for MANY years if at all.

Our last foster teen left about a week ago because she chose to no longer to be in our home. While I have a very beautiful daughter of my own and a son in my growing belly, I will be morning all my girls who are no longer here.

I will mourn because I don’t know how much of an impact I had on them. I will mourn the loss of them because I don’t get to hug and thank them for making me a foster mom. I will mourn them because I may never see them again. I will mourn them because I don’t know if they are safe. But among the mourning I will remember the laughs, the jokes, the new things we taught them while in our home and so much more.

To other foster moms who won’t have kids this year — I feel you. My heart goes out to you. Especially those who don’t have children of their own. I pray you give yourself a moment to mourn the loss of these kiddos who are no longer with you. But like me, try to remember the fun times. Maybe one day we will know the true impact we had on these kids.

To my former foster kiddos who may read this one day: I  want you that Steven and I will always love you as our own children. You guys brought so much joy in our lives and we will be forever changed. If you ever need a home away from home we hope you consider ours. I pray we see you guys again one day!

 

Dear Foster Daughter, I Couldn’t Help You

Dear Foster Daughter,

The day you moved from my home broke my heart. You weren’t the first one to leave but your departure made a massive impact on my life. We struggled to understand each other even though we were just alike. We stressed over the same things and yet could never find a comfortable balance for our relationship.

I worked so hard every day to give you what you needed. I made personal sacrifices to make sure you were being heard. But I still wasn’t doing enough. I still made you mad. I still made you cry. The reality is I couldn’t help you.

That phrase is hard for me to swallow. I get a clump in my throat every time I think of how I failed. How I tried. The promise I made to never see you go. To stay next to you through thick and thin. The promise to not be just another home that gave up on you. Even though you had to go I never gave up. I’m still not going to give up.

I miss you everyday. You brought so much of an impact into my life. We had some pretty awesome times together. Ones I will never forget. Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for changing my heart and teaching me how to love you better. You may no longer be in my home but I hope one day we can have a strong relationship.

Maybe you’ll be quick to listen instead of ignoring my suggestions. Maybe you’ll see me as someone who wants the best instead of someone who pushes you to live by the rules. Whatever relationship we have I pray that we can mend the broken pieces. That we can one day look back and laugh about how similar we are.

I will always think of you as my daughter. I hope one day you will still consider us family in some way. I pray you will let me know about your life accomplishments. I can’t wait to see you become the young woman I already see. You’re strong, important, wanted, loved, beautiful, funny and so much more. You will impact lives for the better. Don’t give up. Know we will love you forever.

Foster Care and Sex Trafficking: What you need to know

To Foster Parents Who Take it Personal

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

Preparing a Place for Our First Foster Child

Parents, Your Kids Can Help Too

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As a stay-at-home mom, days can seem long and overwhelming. Most days I spend with a 2.5-year-old while I try to keep the house in one piece. It’s a daily struggle of mine. The clutter causes me more anxiety so I work harder than I should most days which causes me to neglect time with my daughter so I can load the dishwasher. Then I find myself too exhausted to really play and engage with my daughter. Since I found out I was pregnant, I realized I can’t keep that schedule up. So I decided to invest more into something else. How to teach my daughter to be a good steward of her things.

My daughter Aurora is 2.5 years-old and she has been a big help lately. I first noticed her interest in helping out around the house after she turned 2-years-old. She started by throwing things away in the trash can and putting dishes in the sink. It was cute to see her want to help but I didn’t think much of it. Now, it’s 6 months later and she is helping out in so many ways. Here are some chores you can teach your toddler.

1. Putting their dishes in the sink after each meal.

This is an easy one. Honestly, a child on the later side of one-year-old could start doing this simple chore. After every meal, Aurora takes her cup and plate to the sink where I can wash it. She feels like such a big girl and it gives me one less dish to pick up after meals.

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2. Unloading the dishwasher.

This chore has become a new-found excitement for my daughter. At first it was kind of annoying because she was unloading dishes faster than I could put them up. I would tell her to go play but she would cry her littles eyes out because she wanted to help me. I took advantage of the time with her and decided to give her a chance. Now, she hands me dishes and I put them up. Yes, I even let her handle breakable dishes. Unless it’s a special dish I don’t freak out about it possibly breaking. To me, teaching my child responsibilities is more important than dishes. Tip: make sure to grab sharp knives out of the dishwasher before letting your kiddo help.

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3. Picking up toys.

This chore is probably the biggest one for me. I hated constantly picking up toys three times a day just to do it again tomorrow. As my belly has grown I have had less energy to bend over. Now, I sit down and direct my daughter on how to clean her toys. I’m not going to lie, this took a good week or so to work on with my daughter. The first time it took her about 45 minutes to pick up a handful of toys. The next day, the task took less time. Parents, this will change your life if you really spend some time helping your kids learn how to pick up after themselves. My daughter has to pick up her toys after she plays with them. She also cleans them up before bed. One way I motivate her is to say, “Mommy needs help. Can you clean up with me?” I still guide her a little but she loves being my big helper.

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4. Feeding the pets.

One day Aurora wanted to pour the dog food into bowls so I decided to see how she would do. She did great. Now, she feeds the dogs in the morning and at dinner. Often times she even reminds me of her special chore. This also helps develop motor skills.

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5. Sweeping/mopping/vacuuming floors.

This chore I’m still working on. We bought her a Melissa and Doug cleaning set that she usually plays with but sometimes uses for real messes. My daughter is a little on the shorter side so it’s hard for her to use them sometimes, but she is getting there. At this point she mostly cleans messes up by wiping them up with a towel. It can be when she accidentally spills something on the floor or when she throws a tantrum and causes a mess. Either way, she cleans up after herself. Parents, I would not make a big deal out of messes when they are on accident. Just teach your child accidents happen and they can be cleaned up. A child doesn’t need to feel more anxious than they already do.

Other chore ideas for older toddlers.

  • Making their own bed
  • Brushing their teeth
  • Help fold laundry
  • Put up laundry
  • Help move laundry to dryer
  • Load dishwasher/wash dishes by hand
  • Help prepare meals
  • Set the table
  • Wipe the table
  • Dust
  • Clean windows

I’m a firm believer that teaching our kids to do household chores will not only help with development, responsibility and appreciation. But it will also help us moms or dads relieve some stress. Yes, teaching some of these chores will be an investment for a few weeks but just think about all the other weeks you get help. The best part is they are so excited to be a part of it. Take advantage now because once they hit pre-teen age you’ll be fighting them to wash a dish.

Another great thing is teaching our kids how to take care of what they have. If they are constantly leaving a mess for you to clean, throwing toys around, destroying things then they will never learn the value of what they have. They will always want something else. This teaches them to respect what God has given them. To be good stewards of their possessions so maybe one day they can pass them down to a child that has less than they do.

I hope these tips help you feel less stressed. Parents, invest and don’t forget to encourage your kiddos and thank them for helping with the mess. We wish our kids would say thank you so why shouldn’t we teach them that as well?

Attention Shoppers, Please Be Patient With My Screaming Kid

Making Dinner Chores Fun For Kids

Parenting Through Grace

Preparing My Daughter for Battle

 

Moms, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” ~ Jeremiah 31: 25

It’s lunchtime and the kids are screaming for food. You survey the kitchen for something quick to eat make because you have no more energy. Your day has been good but you’re just tired and overwhelmed. Sadly, it’s still hours before your husband comes through the door. You love your kids but you need a breather. You’re not okay.

I’ve had many days like this over the last few weeks. I’ve struggled with my mood despite taking my anxiety medication. I’ve fought depression as I look outside and see gray skies with no blooms. I yearn to be around life to help revive my mom soul. My mom friends are deep in their own family commitments so I have no one to call on in the midst of my loneliness. I’m struggling.

These mom days are hard. They’re exhausting when you feel like you have nothing left to give. You love your babies but just feel trapped in this world of everyone needing you.

Moms, can I tell you something? These seasons, days, weeks and months are normal. We are constantly serving others before ourselves. Yes, it’s important to take time alone but in real life those days are far and few between. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to realize you need help from others. Please don’t feel like you have to be a perfect mom to be a good mom. God sees your struggle. God knows you’re exhausted.

I think it’s a beautiful thing to say you are struggling. Every mom needs to hear they are not alone. These seasons are what keeps you pressing in to God’s word. Pressing in to God as you seek Him to find restoration for your weary soul.

The best part about going through these moments — when the days are good you become so thankful that you kept pushing through. That you found a way to survive. Not to mention those beautiful faces that give you hugs and smiles when you are at your lowest. Those moments are my saving grace. I feel like that’s God reminding me of His love for us. He’s given us our babies to keep us going when we have nothing left.

Moms, don’t be ashamed to go to God with a heavy heart. Don’t be afraid to take help from a friend when they ask if you need something. Don’t feel guilty for wanting time away for yourself. Most importantly, don’t worry about not being okay today. The sun will shine. Keep your weary eyes open so you can see those sweet reminders that God sends us each day.

Parents, Your Kids Can Help Too

When Little is Good Enough

Exhausted Children: Why Your Kids May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep

Parenting Through Grace

Foster Care and Sex Trafficking: What you need to know

Currently there are 40 million people world-wide trapped in slavery. The industry earns about $150.2 billion dollars a YEAR. One of the major forms of slavery is sex trafficking. Just this past weekend while many of us watched Super Bowl — 18 survivors were freed and 169 traffickers were arrested in Atlanta. One of the biggest holidays for the sex trafficking industry. This issue is a growing epidemic that’s not just impacting poor countries, but underage kids who are some how connected to the foster system.

According to Salendria Mabrey, with Foster Care Newsletter, foster kids are at a higher risk of becoming trafficked.

Huffington Post reported In a 2013 article that child sex trafficking victims who were recovered by the FBI in a nationwide raid — were children from foster care or group homes.

These are just a few eye opening statistics that show how human trafficking impacts the foster system.

If a child is in an abusive situation often times they may run away to protect themselves. However, this makes them extra vulnerability to becoming targets for trafficking. Reports submitted to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 4,550 in foster care were runaways. Many between the ages of 12 and 17.

Sadly, as a foster parent I have heard stories of kids who don’t run away but are trafficked by family members. Another reason why these kiddos end up in foster care.

The longer I’ve been fostering the more stories I hear about kids being trafficked here in Indiana. In the first 6 months of 2018, there were over a 1,000 calls to report trafficking and over 700 victims in the state of Indiana. This is according to the Human Trafficking Hotline statistics.

I’ve even spoken to service providers who say its harder to place kids from sex trafficking situations. One reason is because many are teens.

Among the fostering world any teen is hard to place compared to a baby or younger child. Many foster families are terrified of teens so these victims linger in group homes. But what they need is a foster home willing to love them and help them heal. Another reason is because foster families have no clue how to deal with an older child who has been through that kind of trauma. Behavior issues are easy but how do you help a child who has been through sex trafficking?

I don’t have all the answers on how we as a country can tackle this issue. I’ve followed and advocated for sex trafficking victims for many years and will continue to do so. Now, I’m personally seeing the issue a little closer because of the foster system. I believe we can make a difference no matter if you are a foster parent or not.

6 Things you can do TODAY.

1. Educate yourself on human trafficking. Learn more about what it means and how it impacts victims.

2. Learn the signs. Understand the language used towards victims, ways they are lured into trafficking and how to recognize victims.

3. Spread awareness about why porn sites are a gateway to sex trafficking. Many of those girls are victims who are underage. When you engage in those sites you are supporting this.

4. Be open to fostering a child who has been through Sex trafficking. Educate yourself on what to expect and how to help them cope with the healing process. Take training on the topic. Talk to survivors if you can about ways to parent a child overcoming that trauma.

5. Be open to fostering teens. Many statistics show most victims are teens girls. Yes, younger kids as young as 2 can be trafficked but the main targets are pre-teen to teen girls. Don’t be afraid to foster teens. They have so much to offer if they can only find a loving family and a place to heal.

6. Join the EndIt movement. Today, February 7th is where people come together to spread awareness about human trafficking. Many people mark their hands with red x’s and post photos on instagram and Facebook. It doesn’t seem like much but just making people aware is huge. It’s the easiest thing you can do right now.

Please join millions of others as we spread awareness and educate people on this issue.

Entering the Season of Leaving: When Foster Parents say Goodbye

To Foster Parents Who Take it Personal

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

Entering the Season of Leaving: When Foster Parents say Goodbye

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Our days are numbered as our time with one of our foster teens is nearing the end. She has been in our home for over 6 months and sadly, she will soon be leaving. This is not our first time saying goodbye to a foster kid. It’s actually our sixth time saying goodbye.  But this time may be one of the hardest.

This dear girl came to us with amazing behavior but a lot of baggage. Ironically, I saw her in a dream about 4 months before I ever knew she existed. I still remember the day she got out of the car and I saw her through the window. My heart dropped because that was the same girl I had a dream about. I didn’t know what our relationship would be like but I knew it would be special.

Over the last 6 months, Steven and I have had the chance to show her love, teach her about God and watch her grow. She is not the same girl who came to live with us months ago. She has a happy facade now. Even though she is still struggling in some areas she has learned a lot. She even gave her life to Christ and got Baptized while here. I would like to say we can take credit, but it was a group of people who really showed her what life can be like when you have God.

Fostering is hard, especially when you have to say goodbye to kids who have impacted your life. She has become like a daughter of mine and it’s hard to see her leave. But I also have a peace about it. I feel ready to let her go because as a temporary mom — I feel like she is ready. We have taught her as much as we can while she was here. She has learned how to have God as her foundation — so I am proud to see what she will do as she gets older.

I have many people come up to us and say, “Oh, I couldn’t be a foster parent. I would get too attached. It would break my heart when they had to leave.” It’s funny because when people say that it’s as if they think we some how are NOT impacted by it. That we have a characteristic that allows us to say goodbye with ease. I am here to tell you we don’t. It hurts us all the same. But you know what, I don’t regret showing them love in the small amount of time they were in our home. Our home may be the only place they ever feel that love or are taught what a real family looks like. Why keep that from them? It will forever change their lives. Like our foster daughter — this experience has and will change the outcome of her future. Because we chose to love her and teach her about God.

As parents, we get 18 years with our kids. Yes, that’s a long time but your days are still numbered with them as well. We have a small time to make an impact and prepare them to leave. Yes, God calls every parent to prepare their children to leave their home. To teach them how to handle their own battles they will face as grownups. That’s why it is crucial to take every moment for granted. So really, fostering isn’t much different than parenting your own kids. You just get less time with them.

I am ready to see our girl enter her next journey. She will always have a seat at our table. She knows she is always welcome in our home. Even when she grows up to have a family of her own. I’m so thankful for the time God gave us with her. I pray that we really did make a big impact. That she will always remember us as a good memory in her life. Truth be told, foster kids need that so much. Many have childhoods filled with trauma and they need to see there is hope.

Even though it hurts to see her leave — it also opens ups another opportunity to love another teen girl who needs to hear she is worthy. I will always pray for all the girls we’ve had in our home and the ones yet to come.

I encourage you to open your home to kiddos who could use hope. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt because you have to see them leave so soon. Just love them and teach them as much as you can while they are with you. You never know how much their life may change.

When I Doubt, God Sends a Sweet Reminder

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

 

When Little is Good Enough

Last week my family and I celebrated one awesome girl. One of our foster girls turned the big 1-6. A big milestone for her no doubt. For months we’ve been planning on what party she wanted. We budgeted out what we were going to do. Sadly, the original plan didn’t happen because of the weather. But we still found a way to throw a party.

The day before the party I sent her and my husband out to get party snacks and decorations. Here I was expecting a huge bag of party decor because that’s her personality. But when they came back, all they bought was food and a birthday banner. I was shocked. Didn’t she want more?

The day of the party comes around and we got our girl two cakes. One was an ice cream cake and one a regular. Her guest list was about 20 so we wanted to be prepared. Hours begin to approach the party and I felt unprepared. If it was up to me I would have covered our whole downstairs in sweet 16 decor. But she wanted simple.

The time of the party came and only 2 people showed up other than us. I was so sad for her. How could this sweet 16 not be amazing?! My perfectionist side was coming out. I started to feel like a failure. Why didn’t I just decorate the party my way? I started focussing on the expectations of the world. I felt like I could have done so much more. While in the middle of my thoughts our girl came up to my husband and I. She threw herself on both of us for a group hug. With a huge smile she said, “Thank you for my party and presents. It’s the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

What?! How could it be? There are little decorations, few guests and you’re still having a great time? I realized in that moment she was just happy to be celebrated even if it was a simple Sweet 16 Birthday party.

Later that night she told us why she thought this birthday was the best. She explained that being surrounded by people who cared about her made it the best.  To the world and to me, this party was basic. But to her…it was a party to remember.

Our 16-year-old reminded me the meaning of being grateful for what we have. She reminded me that a party with decor, party favors, matching cups and plates doesn’t equal a perfect party. It’s about those who are around us. It’s about those who show up to celebrate with us throughout life. It’s about finding the joy in daily life.

To Foster Parents Who Take it Personal

Exhausted Children: Why Your Kids May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

To Foster Parents Who Take it Personal

“Don’t take it personal.” It’s a phrase I’ve heard more than a dozen times in the last few months. I hear it when I call my agency for advice. I hear it when I cry about the recent attitude my foster kiddo got with me. It’s a phrase I grew to hate. How could I NOT take it personal?

To me, fostering and raising kids is one of the most personal things I will ever do. I pour my heart into these kids daily. I wake up and immediately hit the ground running. I go to bed after everyone else. I make the meals, clean the home, haul kids where they need to go. I sacrifice my own wants and needs for others. How could I NOT take it personal?

Foster parents, this job is personal. Loving these kids is personal. But there is a difference between taking the attitudes to heart and the job to heart. This is something that has taken me several months to realize. The actions of these kids have nothing to do with us. They’re just being kids. But it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt along the way.

I finally see that the outbursts and yelling has nothing to do with me. Like any family or close friend, foster kids will let out their frustrations towards you.  Why? Because we are the closest people to them. It also means that they are comfortable enough to be vulnerable. They may not scream their actual struggles but they are telling you in their own way that they are hurting.  Consider it an honor that these kids feel like they can say what they feel.

Now I’m not saying yelling and cussing is tolerated. You do need to let them know they need to be respectful. But remember it has nothing to do with you. I wish I had understood that sooner.

In those tough moments I want you to remember that you are probably one of the few people fighting for them. Even if they feel like you’re against them. Remember, on top of all of that trauma — they’re just kids. It’s normal to get eye rolls and whining. I know I did it when I was young.

Most importantly, be kind to yourselves. If your foster kid calls you names or says you suck as a parent — know that it doesn’t mean you’re doing a bad job. The fact that you opened your home to love someone else’s child is reason enough to know that’s not true.

Don’t take the behavior issues personally. Instead, take the job personally. Keeping loving them. Show them you’re not giving up.

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

Looking Beyond the Mess

What Foster Training Taught Me About My Own Trauma

5 Ways to Introduce God to Foster Kids Without Being Pushy

fullsizeoutput_417eIt’s no surprise that my husband and I are followers of Christ. Each day we try to put God the center of our marriage, home and lives. But when you have new people coming into your home to live… it can get difficult.

During our foster training we were told that some kids will reject the idea of church and God. As foster parents we cannot force them to go to church. We were warned that we may have some kids who come into our home that have had bad experiences with religion. Here are some ways we’ve talked to our teens about God.

  1. Be open. We had the privilege of meeting all of our girls before they came to stay with us. During our meetings we talked to them about how we do go to church and that we are a Christian home. We talk a little bit about our values and let them know what that means. This was really helpful because they can know what to expect. Especially if God is a sore subject.
  2. Practice what you preach. If you are a follower of Christ then you know the Bible talks a lot about grace, mercy and forgiveness. You may even have your kiddos ask you questions about what they mean and maybe even giving examples of it. But when they get in trouble or talk back you cannot waver from what you’ve talked about. Meaning, you can’t talk about forgiveness and grace and then not show it in the midst of struggles. That will not only destroy your relationship but it will create a bad experience for these kids.
  3. Don’t push. My husband and I are strong believers that we show God’s love through our day-to-day actions. We talk about God but we don’t pressure our foster kids to read their Bible daily or force them to do things that are uncomfortable. You have to remember, these kids probably never grew up in that type of home. So you can’t expect them to adopt your habits over night. You have to slowly introduce them. A great way is taking them to church if they want to go. Let them get involved in youth group. Maybe have family discussions about stories and meanings of scriptures from the Bible. Find a way to educate and teach but don’t push. Let them make their own choice to follow Christ.
  4. Have the tough conversations. Many foster kids that come in your home have different beliefs. Even if they are accepting of this relationship with God they still struggle understanding what God says about things like sin, being gay, cussing and divorce. Many foster kids have seen more than we will ever see or know about. You may have to have a deep conversation about topics most christians fear to have. Like explaining why a loved one died. Or talking about what God considers a sin. Sin is a big topic because you don’t know what these kids have done. So telling them they sinned and they’re going to hell — may not go over too well. These kiddos have enough guilt so you will have to be careful with how you word certain things. Most importantly you need to remind them that no matter what we as humans have done, Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to be free. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing that we should be teaching and demonstrating in our homes everyday.
  5. Share your testimony. The best way for your kids to see how God can work in their lives is by sharing your own experiences. I talk to them about having an abusive father. I talk them about mistakes with guys I’ve dated. I talk about my personal struggles and what brought me to where I am today. I am very open about my life and what I have been through. I even talk about my daily struggles with faith, stress and fears. This is probably the best way to share your love for God without being pushy.

These are just a few ways you can share and discuss God with your foster kids. It may vary depending on the child and how they take up. Be open and transparent about your walk with God. Let them see christianity is not about perfection. It’s about having a deep relationship with God.

Fostering Teens Who Are Surrounded By Weeds

When I Doubt, God Sends a Sweet Reminder

Preparing a Place for Our First Foster Child