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Episode 177: Supporting Infants and Biological Mothers (w/ Heather Simpson)

By April 3, 2023Podcast

Welcome back to The Forgotten Podcast! I am eager to share another story from the foster care community with you this week.

My guest today is a foster parent herself, but she primarily works alongside birth parents and infants recovering from drug withdrawal. Heather Simpson is a mom to four biological boys, a foster parent, and a charge nurse at Brigid’s Path, an infant recovery center.

In today’s episode, she is sharing how she got connected to the foster care community, what it looks like for infants to withdraw from drug exposure, and the perspective shift she has made from working closely with birth moms. Listen in as Heather shares her important perspective with us!

TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:

1. 59 newborns are diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) every day.

This can result in infants that have body shakes, seizures, twitching, fussiness, poor feeding/sucking, slow weight gain, trouble sleeping, and more. As NAS occurs as a result of drug withdrawal upon birth, we need to be prepared to support infants who have experienced drug exposure and their birth mothers.

“Children and families are worth it.”

2. It makes a difference when you know someone’s story.

You can hear statistics all day about parents that have to place their children into foster care; however, that isn’t the whole picture. When you get down in the trenches and hear people’s stories, your eyes are opened with compassion for them. You see moms who have been struggling with addiction their entire lives and families that are broken. As Heather reminds us, these aren’t bad people, they are broken people who love their babies.

“These aren’t scary, horrible people. These are moms that love their babies and are good moms.”

3. Cultivate a heart for reunification.

 We’ve said this a few times on the podcast before, but it is worth repeating: the intended goal of foster care is not adoption primarily. As foster parents, respite care providers, caseworkers, or any other part of the foster care community, we need to be cheering for reunification. God has put us in such a position to be able to be the literal hands and feet of Jesus. We get to be vehicles to be part of bringing about His redemption for these families’ stories. That isn’t to say that it won’t come with grief or a sense of loss; it does! But when we see a broken family being made whole, we can celebrate in spite of our sadness that what was broken is now redeemed.

“Reunification or family preservation is just a small snippet of heaven on earth.”

SPREAD THE WORD!

We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

Share this post or rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen) and leave us a brief review

Today’s episode is sponsored by Samaritan Ministries, a community of Christians paying one another’s medical bills. It’s not insurance and there are no networks, which puts you in charge of your health care. It’s Biblical, affordable, and you can join anytime of the year.

LEARN MORE

Meet Our Guest

Heather Simpson is a foster parent and charge nurse at Brigid’s Path, an infant recovery center for babies affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Heather had the desire to become a foster parent when she saw ordinary families answering the call to foster. Heather and her husband, David, became licensed foster parents in 2021. Through her work at Brigid’s Path, Heather’s thinking was changed about what a biological parent looked like and she saw good, loving moms caring for their babies.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

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