5 Dos and Don’ts of Foster Parenting

This is not a heady article written by people with thirty years’ foster parenting experience. It’s a piece written by a former foster child with 14 years’ experience, from 4 years old to 18. It’s directed more at foster parents of preschoolers and older. I’m writing out of my own journey through broken family, trauma, […]

Learning To Love

I wasn’t sure I should write this or even if I could write it. There are others more equipped with deep wisdom and understanding. And after all, any time the hearts and souls of vulnerable individuals are at stake, taking a humble, learning stance is always preferable. I am still in the midst of growing […]

I am the Proud Mother of 49

Each morning I was greeted with lots of hugs. Little arms wrapped themselves around my waist and squeezed tight. Swarms of them came at once, their sweet voices proclaiming, “Good morning, Auntie!” One morning, as Mwikali moved in for her embrace, she peered up at me from under the folds of my t-shirt. Her big […]

The Day I Avoided Foster Ministry

I really wanted to get excited with Martha. But instead, I felt panicky. At the playground with our kids, she was telling me about a powerful sermon she heard with her husband. “The preacher pointed out that if every Christian family in the US were to adopt, there would be no children in the foster […]

Foster Care: More Than I Can Handle

Broken bones and bruising on a child who can barely pull himself up is more than I can handle. A one-month-old baby with a history of sexual abuse is more than I can handle. Foster care is more than I can handle. A few weeks ago I was sharing about the trials of our foster […]

Dear Portia: Do I forgive my church family, or speak up?

Dear Portia, Several years ago, our family got involved in fostering children with significant medical needs. The nudge to do so came from the teachings of our church…to love God and to love people. But, the very church family who encouraged us to jump in did not throw the life-preserver we expected. Fostering got hard. […]

Same-Sex Attraction and Me

I used to lie in bed at night and pray to not wake up. I wanted to be gone, I wanted it to be gone. I struggled, prayed and did the right things. I still do the right things and put in the work, but I am still, for as long as I can remember, […]

Go to Jail

Ten years ago, I sat around a table with a group of six girls, trying to teach them creative writing. We shared poetry, short stories, and personal memoirs. I wasn’t that much older than them, and yet our worlds were oceans apart. For we sat in the library of a local juvenile correctional facility, and […]

Simply Love

It’s easy to get caught up in the next, latest, and best thing when it comes to your kids. It’s something I didn’t even realize I’d done for two decades (my daughter just started college), until a foster child came to my home for respite care. She’s a three-year old toddler who has already, in […]

Simplicity and Meaning

    It seems like I was born into forced simplicity or at least semi-poverty. I never had a lot of things. When I was taken to my first foster home my whole four-year-old world could fit in a half-full paper bag rolled down at the top.    After my second move the foster mother […]

Listen to the Prophets

Monday came faster than it should have. Bleary eyed I stumbled out of the bed covered by a bright yellow and pink comforter and more dolls than I could count. All signs pointed to yet another ear infection so I found myself at 2 a.m. holding her in her bed, propping her head upright with […]

I’m Mentally Ill, but It’s Not My Fault

  I’m meeting Alyssa for the first time. She is a First Access counselor for Behavioral Health and she is facilitating my intake. She calls me in and asks me some questions. The questions are easy and difficult at the same time. I know all the answers, it’s the saying them out loud that is […]