Dad to Dad Interview with Marshall Lyles [Podcast 37]

I invited my friend Marshall Lyles over to record a podcast as a part of the Dad to Dad series. To remind you, this series is me and another adoptive or foster dad talking about being a dad to a child from a hard place. We share the joys and challenges hoping that our conversation will encourage and equip you on this journey.

Many of you know Marshall as a counselor, mentor, teacher, and so on. But I asked Marshall to talk with me specifically as an adoptive dad which he enthusiastically embraced. Marshall is authentic (as you will hear from some of his self-deprecating stories) and shares with us as if we have been friends our entire lives.

Come listen in as Marshall and I share our hearts with you. I know you will enjoy our conversation.

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If You Can’t Foster or Adopt 10 Kids

Stand Up for at Least One

Let’s admit it. A stereotype exists for foster families. When I say foster, most picture the family that drives a large van or nowadays something like a Sprinter, has boxes of diapers and clothes stacked around their house, and the parents always have that “stressed but I am happy look”.

Then we say, “I am glad they are able to do that because I couldn’t”. After we excuse ourselves from fostering or adopting children, we don’t think about it until it confronts us again.

I am one of those persons that said that I could never be that kind of parent. I know that I couldn’t handle the chaos and change with many kids struggling with different kinds of trauma. I have enough of my own stuff to handle honestly.

However, in every community across our country children wait for a family to take them in either to foster or adopt.

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Petra—A Preschool for Foster & Underserved Children with Phil, Christal & Mindy [Podcast 36]

When a preschool told a local foster family that their foster daughter could not attend, this family decided to create a solution not only for themselves but other families. From that experience the idea for Petra Preschool evolved.

I interview Phil and Christal Murray, founders of Petra, and Mindy Lee, director of Petra as they share their passion, vision, and method of meeting the needs of foster and underserved preschool families.

I believe in what these guys are doing, and I wanted you to hear about it.

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What Happens When One Person Stands Up?

In 2004, Bishop Aaron Blake stood before his congregation with his adopted sons on his mind. He began sharing with his church that over 30,000 children were in the foster care system in Texas and about 500,000 in the United States.

Then Bishop Blake rhetorically asked, “Who will stand with me to defend, care, and support abused, abandon, and neglected children in our community?”

Unexpectedly one lady in the back of the church stood and replied, “I will”.

That one response led to another, and another, and another standing all around the church responding to Bishop Blake’s plea to stand with him. *story adapted from CAFO blog

Watch this video as Bishop Aaron Blake tells the story in his own words. And the amazing result.

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3 Reasons Foster and Adoptive Families Will Isolate

What You Need to Do to Reverse It

In a world where technology connects people in more ways over any distance than in other time in history, we might be more isolated than ever. We seem to have lost our ability to, well, connect.

I can hear you thinking, “Because of social media and technology, I reconnected with friends from high school and college.” or “I ‘talk’ to my family more often even though we live in different states or maybe countries.”

Technology, however, will not ever replace community…doing life together. That just can’t happen via text, on social media, or in an online group forum. When you are doing relationships in real time, you don’t get to take that selfie 10 times to present the “look” you want the world to get from you.

It’s live. It’s real. It’s raw.

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5 Areas of Need in Foster Care and Adoption*

Have you considered what need in foster care or adoption you can meet? Or are you like I was a few years ago? I really had no idea of what foster care really was. And my thoughts about adoption completely focused on me and my wish to have a child of my own. I naively thought that if I weren’t interested in fostering or adopting then it was of no concern to me. I had a shallow understanding of the needs of foster care and adoption.

If you don’t intend on meeting a need of foster care and adoption, you really should stop reading now. Seriously, because if you read more you will find a need you can and should meet.

Looks like you are still here. I am glad!

Here are the 5 Areas of Need in Foster Care and Adoption:

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Chapter 1 and 2 of the Revised Version of Adopting the Father’s Heart [Podcast 31]

Read by Kenneth Camp

I am revising my first book, Adopting the Father’s Heart, for two reasons. Reason number one is I think I am a better writer than I was four years ago (at least I sure hope so). I have wanted to rewrite some sections of the book to make it better. Reason number two I want to add a couple of chapters that update the story. The narrative tells the story up through the adoption of our son. The added chapters will cover the post-adoption part of the story.

Once I finish the revision of the book, I will make it available on Amazon in ebook and print form. However, all my email subscribers will get a free .pdf copy of the revised book.

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Taking A Closer Look at Connection: A TBRI Principle

God created us to connect. If that is true, then why are so many of us terrible at connecting? What many of us don’t realize is that a lot of our ability to connect with others is either enhanced or hindered in the first couple of years of our lives.

The way a parent, especially a mother, interacts with her baby while in utero, the weeks following birth, and throughout the baby months will often come naturally. I think every new parent feels ill-prepared and inadequate when they bring a newborn home. However, all you need to do is watch how people respond when they see a tiny baby. Grown men even will begin babbling in some unknown language as they shower a baby with loving attention. Women line up to take turns holding and rocking the baby. Everyone wants to jump into action to meet every need when the baby cries the slightest whimper.

All of these actions create connection. We now know that this connection creates healthy brain chemistry. Every time a child encounters someone who meets their needs, positive synapses connect across their brain. The child feels safe and can explore their ever expanding world.

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Dad to Dad Interview with Danny Cook [Podcast 028]

Sometimes It Is Obedience Rather than Desire

In this Dad to Dad episode I interview Danny Cook, pastor of Legacy church in Round Rock, Texas. He and his wife, Rachel, have fostered 20 kids over about seven years, adopting one.

I know you will appreciate Danny sharing his story in an authentic, vulnerable, even raw at times, way. Below you can see some summary notes from the interview. Enjoy and please share the link.

Show Notes

  • Danny’s story begins out of obedience.
  • Saying yes to fostering gives you a front row seat to watch life transformation.
  • You do give up some of your life so that a child can find their life.
  • Find out where you can get the motivation to do the hard yet right thing.
  • Danny shares a couple of huge turning points in his journey as a foster dad.
  • How to help men talk about their fears.
  • Danny talks about the joy of working with men who say yes when it is so easy to say no.
  • Danny shares about a ministry that he and Rachel lead called Unshaken that equips and encourages foster and adoptive parents.

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Why Won’t Your Foster or Adopted Child Look You in the Eyes?

It Might Be the Key to Why They Resist Your Love

My son is just now beginning to look me in the eyes when I talk to him. He is almost seven and has been in our family for six years. Sometimes I gently hold his cheek and ask him to look at me. He seems to try, but he looks at the ceiling, to either side, glances at my eyes for a split second, then quickly looks away.

I feel sadness rather than anger or frustration. My father heart longs for his trust; for him to feel safe with me.

As I said, he is looking into my eyes now more than he ever has, and when he does, I try to hold his eyes for as long as he will let me.

Do you find it hard to look into someone else’s eyes?

To look fully into the eyes of another person takes vulnerable courage. It’s like we can see into the other person’s soul as they pear into ours.

Sometimes the reason a person won’t look you in the eye is they feel guilty or did something wrong. But more often the reason is…FEAR.

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