Fostering Faithfully’s largest initiative will always be our resource center, a hub of fostering activity and connection. If you have ever received something from the center, it is due to Lindsay Alexander’s vision for providing for foster kids since 2015. To say that she has put sweat equity into the foster closet over the years is an understatement! Lindsay is the center’s founder and current Director, who knew well as a foster parent herself, that a clothing closet was a necessity for fostering families accepting placements suddenly. The first days of a placement there is so much lost sleep, so many tears and appointments, so much holding and cuddling, a lot of life and home re-arranging to be done for the new family member, and so there is little time or energy to run all over town (usually with many kids) shopping for basics a child needs the next morning.

The clothing closet began with what Lindsay had to share: a utility/storage building outside of her daycare with no ai…

Sibling Struggles in Foster Care

Sibling Struggles in Foster Care

-Submitted By Oconee County Foster Mom

The bubbly six year old was showing off his trademark gigantic smile, teasing my 16 year old about how beautiful she was. His effervescent personality had the entire family in stitches. How was it possible that this child could not find a place to call home?

An emergency placement, “Andy” came to us at 1am with his older brother and slept until a caseworker picked him up the following morning. We bid him farewell. Andy was placed in another foster home, but the brother, being a teen, was unable to find a place to live so he came back to stay with us another night. It turns out that Andy had severe separation anxiety and really needed to be with a sibling, so Andy and his older brother came back to us for a long weekend (this was the second time he was placed with us). Fining a place for a teen and a younger sibling together in foster care is VERY difficult, so the older brother was placed in a group home and An…

Just a Foster Child

Never..."just a foster kid"  
One Sunday, I walked up to the check in kiosk at my church with my typical 4, along with a set of sibling brothers that had joined our family.  The 5 year old was listening to me check in everyone, and then I said, "and this is our friend Ben here with us." 

He looked up at the check-in volunteer and added, "I'm just a foster kid."  

My world stopped spinning.  It was a great opportunity to take him over to the side hall, get down to his level, and look him in his precious brown eyes and say, "You are NOT just a foster child.  You are loved, you are special, you are important to us, and you are our friend." 

Sometimes foster kids really hate being a foster kid. You may mistakenly think that since their biological families could not raise them for a season that they are magically grateful for their new place with 3 meals and plenty snacks a day, a loving family, and a safe home for a time, but even if they are ma…

Ode to Foster Daddies!

This Father's Day, I'd like to pay a tribute to all the Daddies that love kids that are not really "theirs" just like they are.  This hard calling might be easier for a mama that's nurturing and typically wired more for compassion and empathy, but foster Daddies are right there in the trenches cleaning up spit up or vomit-filled car seats, and changing plenty of dirty diapers for kids that will never remember their sacrifices.

He gets up with another man's baby in the middle of the night.

When no one shows up for visits, He shows up to play Legos.

He speaks gently and graciously to a single mother whose drug abuse impacted his life greatly.

When no one else is willing to step up for a child, He does.

He puts together a crib suddenly for a teen foster child, and her new baby.

When his wife has no dinner plans due to the chaos that reigns and 400 minutes she spent on the phone with child welfare issues, he scrambles eggs or hits the drive through and moves on.

A String of Strangers

A Stranger

A stranger hurt them.

A stranger took them into foster care when he found them living in a car.

A stranger kept them for 3 nights.

Strange doctors checked on them.

A stranger brought them to me, another stranger, over an hour away.

Another stranger kept them while I worked, then I took them to a school of strangers. Another stranger picked them up for an appointment and brought them home to me for a month and we became no longer strangers, but family. 
Last night, me, a former stranger, cried a lot since I don’t know anyone I trust personally who has an open home to be their next stranger. I can’t do it long term, or I can’t be a stranger to another child who might needs us next and the 5 other former foster kids I’ve committed to already in some way. 
This morning, I met another stranger (a new caseworker) who will take them to back to stranger #3, and then they’ll move to stranger #4. I don’t even know her name when they ask. I wrote a letter. Maybe it will help.

I wish…
If She Didn’t Say Yes, I Couldn’t Say Yes: Ode to Alternative Caregivers
Every foster parent needs someone who unequivocally will step in and pick up where the foster parent runs out of time and energy. Every foster parent needs someone who might not sign the foster care contract, but signs up all the same to come alongside you and get the work of loving a traumatized child done!
My alternative caregiver has stayed up all night at my home and hers with a newborn when there is no maternity leave, so I can work the next day or be coherent to spend time with my other children. When I take kids late at night, she stays with them the next day so I can get to work and they can sleep late and stay home to unwind for a day. She meets social workers when I can’t. She picks up at day care, and she’s taken foster kids to the dentist. She doesn’t ask what the child is like and doesn’t expect him/her to be an angel; She still says yes when I do. She lets us use her pool to teach foster kids to swim…

Guest Blogger: Foster Mama Reflects on the First Hello and Goodbye

In May of 2016, our family made a decision to change our lives forever. We decided to join a system I'd been part of as a baby over 42 years ago. We believed God called us to grow our family one little life at a time through foster care.

We were licensed in September, and then by October we were picking up the 2 week old baby boy we'd been praying for. For 18 1/2 months we helped him grow and learn. For 81 weeks, we watched as he explored this awesome world. For 567 days, we taught him what a safe, stable and loving family/home is like. Now, this baby boy lives with his forever family, a family we love, who will give him a lifetime of chances and opportunities.

Is foster care difficult? ABSOLUTELY! God never said following Him would be easy. It's hard to see his empty bed and it's quiet without his footsteps. But, it's incredible to see how God protected him from harm, used us to care for him for a season, and then provided him a family that will be there …