What impact does a safe adult have in a child’s life? It’s nearly impossible to measure. In this episode, we have the incredible privilege to welcome Jaymi Matranga, who has experience across the gamut of foster care. Jaymi is not only a social worker today, but also a foster and adoptive parent (she took her first placement at 19!), and was in the foster care system herself. She was removed from her home at the age of 13 and considers herself to be one of the “lucky” ones as she truly felt heard and supported in a unique way by her caseworker. I know you’ll be inspired by her story and supported by the wisdom she has to share!
HERE ARE 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. An adult that listens can make all the difference.
The unknown can be such a scary thing to face for a child. In many cases, the unknown feels more frightening than the circumstances that they’ve experienced at home. But a safe adult that takes the time to simply listen and intentionally advocate for a child can significantly help a child navigate the trauma they have experienced.
“As a kid, the fear of the unknown in foster care felt a lot more terrifying than what was going on at home.”
2. You have to care for yourself.
Are you in circumstances that no one seems to understand? The work of foster care can feel very isolating. As Jaymi shared in this episode, this is hard work and not everyone is going to be able to understand what you are going through. We can all benefit from having breathing room and a safe place to process what we are feeling and experiencing. That could mean going to a counselor, finding regular time to yourself, and investing time in your marriage each week.
“This work takes a lot and the stress is heavy to carry.”
3. Foster care is in God’s will. Period.
We know that God calls us to serve orphans and widows and children in need. But there are times we are fearful that we are making decisions that aren’t what He wants. Should I say yes to this child? What if this isn’t what He wants? Will He withhold His blessing? We don’t need to live in that fear. We can boldly move forward and know that God is with us every step of the way as we pursue something He has called His people to. This doesn’t mean we can’t say “no” to certain opportunities, but it does mean we don’t have to worry about God being disappointed when we choose to say “yes.”
“We cannot get ahead of God’s will.”
RESOURCES FROM TODAY’S SHOW
Meet Our Guest
Jaymi Matranga is a full-time Social Worker, a foster and adoptive parent, and a former foster youth. At the age of 13, she was removed from her home. Because her Social Worker listened and worked to guide her through the trauma she experienced, Jaymi developed a passion for child welfare reform and foster care advocacy.
Jaymi and her husband, Joshua, started parenting when they were just 19 and 21 years old. Today, Jaymi is a kinship, foster, and adoptive parent along with her husband of seven years as of the release date of this episode. They have raised a total of five children through guardianship, birth, adoption, and foster care. Jaymi has a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Administration & Community Development and a Child Welfare specialization.
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