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Episode 158: Prioritizing Learning & Growth in Fostering (w/ Joey & Sadie Dodson)

By October 24, 2022January 3rd, 2023Podcast

Joey & Sadie Dodson are about as involved in the foster care community as you can get! They are foster and adoptive parents themselves, Joey was adopted when he was a child, and Sadie is currently working as a Family Care Manager at a non-profit working with churches and families to foster and adopt. Sadie also leads various TBRI and trauma-informed trainings.

Join us as we have a conversation about how the desire to learn can help us be better equipped (not just as foster or adoptive parents, but as people), why it’s okay to feel like you are not fully equipped, how to look at the foster care journey through an attachment lens, and what it looks like to carry moment-by-moment dependence on God. This is a good one!


1. Never stop learning.

There are constantly new studies about the impact of attachment and how to address the needs of the children we’re caring for. Whether it is triggered by a child entering your home with a particular struggle or from a desire to continue learning, we can always better equip ourselves. This isn’t just for foster parents or adoptive parents, but for advocates, respite workers, and people that want to better understand themselves and the relationships around them.

“Every time we had a child placed with us that had a new need it would lead me down this deep path of trying to learn how to better help this child.”

2. Carry a moment-by-moment dependence on God.

We don’t have the power to do this on our own. There are days when all you can do is say to God, “Help me. Help me. Help me.” The desire to care for these children and those in the foster care community needs to be from the overflow of the love we receive from Christ. You can try to do this work with your own strength, but it will quickly be depleted if you aren’t being filled up from the One whose love never runs out.

“We realized our own incapacity and inability to love these kids the way that they deserved to be loved. And so we had to continue to be 100% dependent upon Christ’s love overflowing inside of us.”

3. It’s okay to make mistakes.

We are humans with our own history and trauma, and that means that we are going to make mistakes, even if we read all the latest studies and have the best training in the world. Instead of being disheartened when we make a mistake, we need to recognize our need for God to redeem our stories as well as the children in our care. God is the one that is our Savior, Redeemer, and Restorer.

“It’s easy to come in at the beginning and think that we are just going to love them and that is going to be enough. It goes deeper than that, though.”


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

Dr. Joseph (Joey) and Sadie Dodson are adoptive parents, foster parents, counselors, advocates, trainers, and scholars in Denver, Colorado. They were elementary school sweethearts and today have five children and are expecting their second grandchild any day now. Joey is the Craig L. Blomberg Endowed Chair of New Testament at Denver Seminary as well as an author. His works include Paul and the Giants of Philosophy and The Things I Want to Do: Romans 7 Revisited. In his spare time, Joey is an avid hiker and has submitted two-thirds of “the 14ers” routes. Sadie is a Family Care Manager at Project 1.27, a non-profit that seeks to equip churches and families to foster and adopt. Sadie is a practitioner in TBRI through the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development and is pursuing a Doctorate focusing on Trauma-Informed Spiritual Formation.

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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