Skip to main content

Episode 69: Fostering Teen Moms: Finding Success in Faithfulness

By April 8, 2019January 3rd, 2023The Forgotten Podcast

“We want to see them build healthy rhythms in their life so that they can build healthy rhythms in their kids’ lives, but they need to see healthy rhythms in our lives.”

Foster parenting little ones presents unique challenges and joys, but what is it like to parent another parent?  Jason Johnson shares his experiences and lessons learned in the journey of being a foster parent to teen moms (especially before ever raising teens himself!)


1. Be realistic in your expectations.

Habits, patterns, and beliefs don’t change overnight. In fact, J.D. Vance says in his book, Hillbilly Elegy, “The very things that enabled her survival as a kid are destroying her capacity to succeed as an adult.” The teen mom in your care developed ways to cope with the trauma she experienced growing up. Some of those habits are now the very things that are stopping her from healthy maturity. Your teen mom might want to change, but she needs help. Or she might not even realize her habits are causing the destruction. Be willing to walk through the tension as she takes steps both forward and backward.

2. Be the coach.

Be willing to engage and initiate open conversations with your teen mom. Understand that you are trying to teach her how to build healthy rhythms for herself and her child. Let her know that you are not trying to take her role as parent of her child Be there for her so that she can be there for her child. You might not parent the same. That’s okay if it’s still healthy. Your role is to be her parent and her coach as she parents.

3. Success is defined by faithfulness.

The success of your teen mom as an adult does not determine your success as a foster parent. Outcomes define success in the world, but as Christians, our success lies in our faithfulness. Have you been faithful to walk in obedience? Then, that is all the Lord requires. Trust Him with the results. He is the One who does the heart work.


Reframing Foster Care
Everyone Can Do Something
All In Orphan Care
Jason Johnson Blog
Hillbilly Elegy 

Previous Jason Johnson Podcast Interviews:
Reframing Foster Care: Finding Hope in the Struggle
What Are People Learning about Foster Care and Orphan Care From You?
Finding the “Perfect” Time to Foster or Adopt


The TFI Story
Who Loves Series
Find a TFI Advocate Near You
Become a TFI Advocate


Hopefully, this episode has helped you right where you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal. If you enjoyed it, will you tell others?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! Your ratings and reviews help us get this podcast in front of new listeners. Your feedback also lets us know how we can better serve you. Thank you so much!

Meet Our Guest

Jason and his wife Emily are parents to 4 daughters and live in Texas.  Jason is the author of the newly released books, ReFraming Foster Care and Everyone Can Do Something as well as ALL IN Orphan Care and you can find him blogging regularly at

Get practical episodes and updates in your inbox.

Be the first to know about new episodes, posts, resources, and stay in the loop about what’s coming up.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Other Episodes You Might Enjoy:

Episode 47: Avoiding Burnout, Tending to Our Inner Life

| The Forgotten Podcast | No Comments
Drawing on his experiences with taking an intentional sabbatical, Jedd Medefind shares how our inner life and our outpouring into the lives of others are intricately interwoven—especially in in the sense that we must be…

Episode 119: Through the Waiting and the Wanting

| The Forgotten Podcast | No Comments
Today’s guests are some of my favorite people and are no strangers to the call to foster or adopt.  Jamey and Sarah McIntosh are TFI Advocates in Chippewa Valley, WI who felt the pull to…

Episode 57: Confidentiality in Foster Care: Why It Matters

| The Forgotten Podcast | No Comments
Anna Kathryn Ellzey knew that as a foster parent she could not share pictures, names or details of the child in her care. But that didn’t stop her from sharing a photo of him and…