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Becoming Fosters

A Kids, Family and Religion podcast
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They Thought We Were Crazy... We Are.
Soooo… I can’t even with today’s podcast. It is one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Adrian and I were able to steal a few minutes away with our Nanny and Papa. They are my maternal grandparents and, without a doubt our largest supporters and loudest cheerleaders when it comes to foster care. Nan and Pop would tell you that without question, without a doubt, I am their favorite grand-daughter… and it’s true, I am also their only granddaughter but honestly that is neither here nor there. It was hard work being the oldest and the only girl, ya know? Anyway, Nan and Pop are what Adrian and I strive to be. There is no doubt that they are full of wisdom and experience and my favorite part is I don’t question for a second that they are in constant prayer for all of us. What a cool security to know their prayers are there, even through the days we can muster our own.Just like the rest of our extended family, NaN and Pop were thrown into the world of foster care and they took one look and said, “We’re in! We don’t know what this is going to look like but you can wholeheartedly count on us.” And honestly there are a number of kids it would have been impossible for us to say yes to without Nanny and Papa. Their support made what we have done possible. I hope you are so encouraged over the next several minutes as you listen to my grandparents unexpected but beautiful journey.
Love Does Hard Things
Sometimes I wish this was a video podcast, you can’t see the excitement on my face when I talk about our Becoming Fosters guest today. Heather O’Keefe is a Kid’s Pastor in the Kansas City Kansas area. Her heart is pure gold. When we spoke shortly before recording this podcast, I reminded her of some precious word she shared with my youngest daughter when our family was saying goodbye to a sibling set of foster children. This is a phrase that my daughter still remembers and I do as well because we all need the reminder sometimes, “Tears are an overflow of the emotions in our hearts”. Heather always took the best care of my special visitors, I remember one, he was a 10 year old little boy, he had never been to church. I text her when he told me that and that Sunday she had loved on him deeply and provided him with a Kids Bible and candy. Heather loves kids hard and she made the decision to bring that into the most intimate parts of who she is and opened her home to children who need a place to find deep rest and immediate love. When I first heard that she was on this journey my first thought was, “Yep. She’s going to kill it.”  She is brand new to her foster care journey, so she offers a new and fresh perspective to our conversation today. She is currently caring for a little man who was placed in her home just weeks ago. There is something unique and special about your first placement. They are a game changer. They take what you thought you knew, everything you thought you were prepared for and flip it upside down, in the best possible way. So before I take up the whole hour, let me introduce you to Heather with her story of Becoming Fosters.
Mi CASA es su CASA
You guys, I am kind of excited about today’s episode. I was able to steal a few moments away with the one and only Dena Russell. This was a fun one because Dena and I have known each other since our HIGH SCHOOL (EEK!) daughters were starting elementary school. We ended up working together at SOS CASA of the Flint Hills for some time before we moved to help launch one of our church locations in Kansas City. We continue to keep in touch, mostly making each other laugh excessively hard. Dena is the director of the top CASA organization in KS. So what is a CASA? CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. Dena has an incredible team around her and they work to mobilize those in the community to volunteer to advocate on behalf of children who need a voice. Most of their cases are Child In Need of Care Cases or CINC cases or children in foster care. Dena has an incredible wealth of knowledge that will benefit those who are foster parents, those who are working towards becoming foster parents, AND those who think becoming a CASA may be the role they want to play to impact the foster care system.Resources:www.casaforchildren.orgYouVersion Bible App
Wise, Not Safe
Today, Adrian and I got to sit down and talk with Jon and Mandi Mays! Jon was one of the first people I met with when I started my position after we moved to Oklahoma City. I was in over my head as I was trying to navigate the partnerships of my organization… hopefully it didn’t show too much that day. HA! Jon scheduled our meeting at a place called Joe’s Addiction. I had no idea what I was walking into but it wasn’t Starbucks or one of the many other coffee shops I had been to for meetings, can we just pause so I can tell you how I’m not a real grownup and only drink cream, um, I mean coffee when I’m at meetings so I can feel like a real adult… Anyway, this coffee shop is impacting the community in a big way, those experiencing homelessness, addiction, and any other brokenness, and honestly isn’t that the rest of us, gather there to drink coffee, eat a sandwich, play games, and do life together. Jon scheduling our meeting there SCREAMED a lot about who he was, and I needed to know more about his family! During that meeting he spoke about Mandi, in the most beautiful way, their love of fostering was clear and I knew I needed to meet her! Months later I started following her on social media and the first post I saw was her mobilizing people to take apart 16 bunk-beds to give to foster families, and she had me! Sitting down with the two of them was a blast, I laughed hard and loud. Mandi and Jon are some of the coolest and I know you will agree..So enough from me! Let’s settle in together as we spend the next several minutes hearing Jon and Mandi’s story of Becoming Fosters.
Be in Sync
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have been able to spend time with Anna this week. Her heart is larger than life and she shared more gold than I was prepared for so get ready! Anna and her husband are pastors of a local church making a huge impact on the children of our city. She is a currently a mama of 8. She is full of grace and strength and speaks deep truth that will surely find its way straight to your heart. The next several minutes will be encouraging and uplifting and you will instantly see how God continues to weave together a beautiful story of redemption and love through the Clement family.You can find Anna on Instagram @annaclementfirstthings and her podcast at podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-first-things/id1350864905
Get Too Attached
“I could never do foster care because I’d get too attached.” I get it. Without a doubt, I hear you. And... yes, yes you would.What we shouldn’t do though, is let our fear of becoming attached keep us from diving in head first. What we should do is let our fear of these babies and children not having attachment propel us.Not everyone is called to open their home, but if you are and you are letting fear keep you from moving forward, just take another step. I promise, you won’t regret it.
They Are All In
3/2/2018- "Before we started foster care we worried about them. We worried how our decision to open our home to children in need would affect them. We worried that our call stole their choice in the matter. Would it hurt them? Would it change them? We wondered if opening their world to such brokenness would wipe away their innocence... Before we started I knew this world, I knew how dirty and messy, how drawn out and full of unanswerable questions it is. I knew the court very well and the laws and saw first hand repeatedly how broken our system is. I knew how fighting back tears in the courtroom felt, a mixture of anger and sadness when bio parents decided not to fight for their children. I also knew how fighting back tears in the courtroom, full of sadness and understanding, felt when a parent was fighting for their babies... could we protect our girls from ALL of that? No. As hard as we try we can't hide all the yuck, some of it, sure... never all of it. It does hurt them. Their hearts ache for what breaks our Father's heart. They long for restoration for these kids, knowing they can't provide it. They love HARD instantly and they grieve after every child leaves because it is a loss to them. An invisible loss of a sibling that no one acknowledges. A pain that they, yes, even at 11, 10 and 9 despise and crave all at the same time. It has changed the girls. It has brought needs right into their world that they are able to meet. It has matured them and teaches them lessons everyday that we could never teach. What better way to live out the gospel then as a family, everyday in the trenches, in our home. So is it worth it? I think this picture speaks louder than any words I can write or any story I could tell. They know the cost is high. They know the journey has no clear answers. They are all in. Which is a pretty cool thing to have a front row seat for if you ask me. (1 year ago today... I will undoubtedly share this every year!) #becomingfosters #worthit
Let me count the ways... to become a parent.
Today is such a special day. We got to spend time with Brian and Leslie Word. Brian may not know it but he has a special place in Adrian’s heart! Leslie and Brian have such a unique story that includes becoming parents biologically, through guardianship, international adoption, domestic adoption through foster care and not in that order. Y’all Leslie and Brian have invited us into their home as their children were sleeping... so I was a bit too quiet at the start of the podcast, thanks for loving me through my learning. (Haha)Leslie has so much knowledge and a desire to inspire everyone to play a role in foster care, so grab your notepad and lean in as we spend the next several minutes with the Words listening their story of Becoming Fosters.Find them on Instagram @lesword and @briancword
It Will Stretch You
Today, my guest Courtney reminds us how different every Becoming Fosters story is… Through foster care, Courtney and her husband adopted a sibling set of 6, but the way each of the children landed in their home over several years is a story you need to hear. This was the first time Courtney and I had meet in person, we have tried to schedule coffee several times, but... kids. Courtney has a deep understanding of what it is like to mother medically fragile children, her strength is unreal. With that though, I will warn you, there is some minimally graphic content. She is full of love and knowledge, so enough of me, get ready to spend some time with Courtney and hear her story of Becoming Fosters.You can find Courtney on Instagram @courtney_schmidt 
Thy Will Be Done
Meet the Hershbergers! We are kind of big fans and you will be too after hearing their #becomingfosters story. Every foster care story is wildly different and theirs is no exception. Get ready to laugh, cry, oh... and grab a sweater because you will get the chills! We are proud to know them and excited to share them with you!Find them on Instagram: @meganhershberger and @stephen_hershbergerResources mentioned in today's Podcast:YouVersion- download the app on any smart deviceHope in the Dark: Believing God is Good When Life is Not- by Craig Groeschel- Head to Amazon
Off the Cliff
Adrian and Brit provide just a teeny bit of insight into the world of foster care and what this little podcast is about... and {[almost]} too much insight to their playful banter. 
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Podcast Details
Started
Mar 11th, 2019
Latest Episode
Aug 5th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
11
Avg. Episode Length
38 minutes
Explicit
No
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