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Episode 163: The Beauty of Entering the Mess (w/ Cynthia Yanof)

By December 12, 2022January 3rd, 2023Podcast

As you may know, stepping in to support the foster care community can be messy sometimes. We are broken people stepping into broken situations. None of us are perfect, yet we are called to step into these situations anyway. My guest today has personal experience with this. Cynthia Yanof is a former attorney, foster mom, author, and host of the Pardon the Mess podcast.

When Cynthia and her husband felt the call to step into foster care, they had fears, the urge to cling to safety, and the feeling of being completely ill-equipped. Can you relate!? In spite of all their fears, they stepped out in faith and were amazed by how God provided for them on their journey. 

In this episode, Cynthia shares her family’s experience of being called to foster, overcoming some common objections people have, and the values they have learned along the way. Cynthia is a dynamic bundle of energy and I know you will be blessed to hear her passion and perspective on foster care.


1. It isn’t about being the perfect parent.

We would go on to say that the perfect parent doesn’t exist. It’s true that life can be messy and even downright chaotic! If you wait until you feel like you “have your life together” to foster, you will likely never do it. Being perfect or having your life together is not a prerequisite to becoming a foster parent. What is important is that you have the desire to do what you can with the calling you have been given by God.

“It’s not about being a saint. It’s about how you’re going to live.”

2. This work will change you.

You may, like Cynthia, have fears about how becoming a foster parent will impact your family, your finances, your marriage, or even your relationship with God. And it’s true that all of those areas of your life will be impacted. But what is also true is that you will be deeply impacted by being a part of the foster care community. You will become a changed person when you go after what God is calling you to do.

“I went into foster care scared of what it would do to our family, and I came out of it scared of who we would be if we had not done it.”

3. God doesn’t call us to pursue a safe life.

When we are overly-focused on safety, we will always be fearful of things that may appear to threaten that “typical” life. How willing are you to trust God’s direction for what He is calling you to?

“I’ve got to stop praying for the things that do not line up with God’s version of success in my life and I’ve got to stop praying for things that just are about safety for me.”


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

Meet Our Guest

Cynthia Yanof is a wife, mom, author, and host of the Pardon the Mess podcast. She loves Jesus, her family, foster care, and having lots of friends around at all times. Cynthia was an attorney for many years but now spends her time providing resources to parents. She knows parenting is messy and she isn’t afraid to talk about it! Cynthia lives in Texas with her husband and children.

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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