The Surprising Thing About Foster Care – S7E1

By August 12, 2019 September 13th, 2019 Podcast

I love being on this [foster care] journey, trusting that God knows exactly what we need. When we don't even have to ask, He knows how to supply.

When Kristy Sutton and her husband, Zach, became foster parents, they realized that life would never be the same. After finishing foster care training classes, they felt ready to enter this new role, but they quickly learned how unprepared they were…for almost everything! In today’s episode, you will gain insight into what the fostering journey looks likethe good, the bad, and the uglyand glean wisdom from one who has walked this road before you. You are not in this alone!
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TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S SHOW

Surprise #1: Birth Parents Are Not Your Enemy

It is easy to focus on the negative and even start to see your child’s birth parent as the villain, but this is unwise, unhelpful, and contrary to the Gospel. Birth parents are not the enemy. Everyone has a story. Avoid the temptation to look at them with condemnation, and instead, pray for empathy and understanding. Show them a better way. Give them hope and encouragement. Children long to be with their parents, so when a parent becomes healthy, everyone wins! Kristy said it beautifully, “We never want to be the people who stand in the way of a child and their parents or in the way of freedom from the things that destroy us.”

Surprise #2You May Not Feel Instant Love For Your Child

Love takes work, and it is good and okay to work for it. Kristy would often pray, “Godlet me love this child.” There may be times where you struggle to like your child, and there is a lot of shame and isolation in that. Your feelings are normal. It is good to be aware of these though so that you can let others help you. Remember to keep showing up for the child in your life. God will meet you in this place. Foster parent guilt is real, and the enemy wants nothing more than to shame us and paralyze us, but don’t allow him the pleasure. 

Surprise #3Your Home May Not Be The Best Place For A Child

There are times when your home is not the right place for a child to heal, and that’s a hard reality to face. Sometimes it is in the best interest of the child and your family to disrupt a placement. No one walks into this journey hoping to disrupt, but if that has been your story, you are not alone. Kristy and Zach made this difficult decision after realizing in one situation that more trauma was being introduced into their home than healingIt caused them to ask themselves the hard question, “Am I helping these children heal?” Kristy learned that even in the hard, God was faithful, not only to their family but to the children who needed a different home.

Caring for children who’ve experienced trauma will never be easy; foster care is inconvenient. Foster care will bring challenge and struggle into your life. Hard is to be expected. We must remember, it’s not about us. These kids have experienced trauma, and healing from it is so important. Like we learned through Kristy’s story, there are times when disruption is best for everyone. Professional trauma-informed counselors and therapists will help you navigate the hard. Don’t do this alone.

RESOURCES FROM TODAY’S SHOW

MORE RESOURCES FOR YOU

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

NAVIGATING BACK TO SCHOOL? WE’VE GOT YOU!

A New School Year: Advocating for Our Kids from Trauma Backgrounds
Navigating School Challenges with Children Who Have Experienced Trauma
Teaching Students, Teachers and Families the Importance of Story
Foster Care and Higher Education: One Man’s Story of Beating the Odds

SPREAD THE WORD!

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

Kristy Sutton love coffees, sleeping in and dreaming BIG. She loves asking God to move mountains and then watching Him work. She also loves rearranging furniture and creating spaces. It’s what she does to control this life and when she is avoiding the dishes.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

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