Today I’m talking with Josh Ballard, who has a passion for foster care and building a community to support other foster dads. As a result of this passion, Josh started Flexible Fatherhood, a group (and a podcast!) that provides foster dads with educational resources and community to give them confidence in raising the next generation of children. In our conversation, Josh and I talk about his family’s journey to becoming aware of the need in foster care, how their perspective has expanded since taking this step, myths about fostering teenagers that need to be debunked, encouragement for other foster parents, and so much more.
TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. It’s normal to question if you are equipped to be a foster parent.
Navigating the world of foster care truly takes a village of support and encouragement. If you have ever sat in bed after a hard day and questioned if you made the right choice by deciding to be a foster parent, you are not alone! It is normal to question if you can keep going. This is why it is so important to make sure you are plugged into a community of people that can support and care for you.
“Parenting, whatever that looks like, is very difficult.”
2. Be open to expanding your perspective about the types of placements you’d be open to.
There are always going to be placements that you may not be best suited for, but it is important to remain open and remember that we will always feel inadequate. There are so many children, of all different ages, and from all kinds of backgrounds, and they all need a home. For Josh, that has looked like being open to fostering teenagers to provide connection, stability, and encouragement to them. How is God asking you to expand your perspective?
“[Teenagers in foster care] are getting ready to step out into this life that they don’t really know much about… They may never have been fully out on their own, fully reliant on only themselves for everything they need.”
3. The outcome is not ours to control.
The truth that we are not in control of outcomes is a hard truth that is so important for foster parents to internalize. As parents, and uniquely as a foster parent, we often think we know what is best and each of us have likely tried to orchestrate that outcome. But the reality is that their decisions are actually theirs to make, especially as they get older. Yes, we can help guide them and caution them about the outcome they are walking towards, but we need to release control and trust God with their life.
“Their decisions are their own. Let them make them.”
Meet Our Guest
Josh Ballard is not only a licensed foster parent along with his wife, Emily, since 2021, but he is also a Marine Corps Veteran and works as an IT Manager at an engineering firm. He has a passion for foster care and building a community to support other foster dads. As a result of this passion, Josh started Flexible Fatherhood, a group that provides Foster Dads with educational resources and community to give them confidence in raising the next generation of children. When Josh isn’t spending time with his family, he enjoys a good dad joke, board games, and being the designated home barista.
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