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Episode 159: Raising Awareness: People Need to See It Before They Can Be It (w/ Jessica Hurlbut)

By November 7, 2022January 3rd, 2023Podcast

It’s National Adoption Month! In honor of that, the podcast will be weekly this month to provide more opportunities for you to share episodes with friends who might not know as much about foster care or adoption in order to increase awareness. Let’s spread the word!

Once you become aware of the need within the foster care community, it’s hard to focus on anything else, right? For Jessica Hurlbut, that is exactly what happened when she adopted a sibling group from foster care in 2015. Once she became aware of the needs in the foster care community, she knew she needed to display to others how they can help. In fact, she founded a run that led to the amount of foster homes in her county doubling! In today’s episode, Jessica shares her journey of advocacy, how to push past the fluff and be real, what it’s been like to be a mother to five children, and much more.


1. You can be honest and real.

Our value is not found in what we do; it’s found in Who created us. This is hard work! And that goes double for those who are foster parents of children with special needs. If we feel the pressure to be “perfect parents,” we end up hiding the areas where we need help. When we share candidly about our struggles and challenges along the way, God gets all the glory.

“I feel like God really used this to challenge in me the facade of having to have it all together, the facade of being the best parent and the best Christian.”

2. People need to see the need before they can step in to the need.

If you are already part of supporting the foster care community, you know what it feels like to be in the trenches. It can be discouraging when others don’t have the same vision and passion as you do. However, the best thing you can do is invite people into your world to see what foster care is all about. Oftentimes, people don’t feel confident to become foster parents, advocates, respite workers, case workers, etc. until they have seen the role in action. By inviting them in and putting your life on display, you can inspire them to join in this work.

“People can’t be it until they see it.”

3. You can be the home for the children waiting for their forever family.

Jessica has noticed that the hard reality is that many of the waiting children are in a large sibling group, have special needs, or are part of a minority. In many cases, parents don’t feel equipped to welcome them into their homes. If you are thinking that today, our encouragement for you is to be BOLD! Find a family that has been there so you can see what parenting

“When you adopt, there is a cost. That cost is so beautiful and so worth it.”


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?

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Meet Our Guest

Jessica Hurlbut is a Christian writer, lead pastor, podcast host, and mom to children with special needs. Jessica and her husband, Greg, live in NY and are parents to five children: two adopted, two who have autism, and one teenage boy. After adopting a sibling group of two from foster care in 2015, Jessica and Greg discovered the massive need for foster and adoptive parents. Jessica has become an advocate for the 100,000+ children in foster care that are waiting to be adopted. In her spare time, Jessica likes to run marathons and even competed in America Ninja Warrior. She also loves reading, Tim Hortons, and kayaking.

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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