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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Dad to Dad Series Introduction [Podcast 026]

Why it Is Important that We Fully Engage as Foster and Adoptive Dads

I am introducing a new podcast series I am calling Dad to Dad. While attending the CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans) Summit earlier this year, Amy Holman, who ran the bookstore at the summit, suggested that I create some podcast episodes directed toward other foster and adoptive dads. I loved the idea.

Our wives tend to do a better job of seeking support and encouragement where we men often try to handle it ourselves. We aren’t always comfortable sharing with others, especially when it reveals a perceived weakness or failure.

I hope that the Dad to Dad episodes will give foster and adoptive dads some support, encouragement, and challenge. I also hope that this isn’t just a one way conversation. I want you to dialogue with me, ask me questions, share your stories, even schedule a podcast interview with me.

To kick off this series, after introducing it, I touch on three reasons why I think it is important that we as fathers fully engage and embrace our role.

After you listen, let me hear from you. Also, share the podcast with your friends who are also foster or adoptive dads.

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Your Foster or Adopted Child Needs Space to Heal

6 Ways to Give Your Child Space

Summertime with a son is so much different from when we didn’t have any kids. When it was just Danielle and I , summer wasn’t much different than any other time of the year.

 

That is all different now that we have a six-year-old son. Danielle’s main summer job is thinking of ways to keep a very active boy busy. So we spend days at the swimming pool with friends, going out-of-state on a plane for the first time, vacation bible schools, sports camps, visits to family and friends in other towns. Did I leave anything out?

We easily could have signed our son up for a baseball league, a swim team, a soccer league, and gymnastics. Why not? It’s what American, middle-class families do these days. We don’t want our kids to miss out on anything in life. Or, for me at least, I don’t want to hear those words, “Daddy, I am bored!” Besides what will we post on social media if we don’t do all of it?

The thing is a busy schedule might not be the best thing for your foster or adopted child. Some would say it’s not good for any kid.

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Why Does Your Foster or Adopted Child Reject Your Love?

It is a scene that plays out in foster and adoptive families over and over. Parents tearfully share stories about the children they welcome into their families rejecting their love. It’s especially painful when, no matter the child’s age, they stiff-arm every effort a parent gives to help them feel loved and find healing.

This past Sunday the pastor at my church quoted from a book by Dr. David Benner—Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Spiritual Journey). First as I listened, I identified in my own life the ways I struggle with surrendering to love. Then I began to listen through the lens of my experience as a foster and adoptive dad.

I bought the book and began reading, and I can see clearly how many of my son’s actions—His high need for control; his overly cautious tendencies; his need to be with one of us all the time, yet struggling with trusting us with his deepest thoughts; His desire to be the center of attention and to always be right, the first, and the best—point to one thing.

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3 Takeaways from the 2017 Future and A Hope Conference

I attended the Future and A Hope conference last Saturday in Austin, Texas. This is a conference that brings together those who advocate for vulnerable and at-risk children. Some who attend are just beginning to explore and discern what their role is.

Other families who attend are in the midst of parenting children that they foster or have adopted either through foster care, private domestic agencies, or international agencies.

One thing I noticed this year (this isn’t one of my takeaways) is that many attendees have at least a basic understanding what trauma informed care is. That speaks to the work of many in this field. Families, counselors, caseworkers, and others are now speaking the same language more than ever. This is a good thing.

Ready for some takeaways?

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A Mission that Transcends Home and Family. [Podcast 016]

Hard to believe I am already on episode 16! That is four months of podcasting already.

In today’s episode I share that a mission needs to be something that transcends your home and family. I picked up this thought from a study I am doing with a group of men. The study is a video series by John Eldredge on his book, Wild at Heart.

In the show notes below, you can see what else is in the podcast episode.

Show Notes

  • Why it is important to have a mission or purpose that transcends our home and family. (from Wild at Heart)
  • Upcoming release of the print version of Foster and Adoptive Parenting.
  • Information about the A Future and A Hope conference.
  • What is happening through the Travis County Collaborative on foster care.

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