Episode 229: How a Foster Mom and Birth Mom Became Family (w/ Jillana Goble & Jennifer Bracken)
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
6d ago
The lives of today’s guests are deeply intertwined. Jennifer Bracken’s childhood was rocky. After a difficult home life and several tumultuous years spent in the foster care system, she became a mother to four children and her struggles with addiction led to her family experiencing the foster care system in various ways. Jillana Goble is a speaker, author, and advocate who fostered and adopted Jennifer’s third child before fostering and reuniting Jennifer’s fourth child. Over the past 15 years, Jillana and Jennifer have taken steps to build a positive relationship. To ..read more
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Your Church’s Guide to Involvement in National Foster Care Month This Year
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
1w ago
National Foster Care Month is right around the corner in May. Does your church have a plan for engaging in the conversation? The needs of those in the foster care community are important year-round, of course. But the month of May is a key opportunity to raise awareness throughout your church for how your congregation can become involved in meeting real needs present in your local community. But the reality is that it can feel overwhelming to figure out how to best participate in a month like this. How do you meaningfully engage people in a way that raises awareness, captures their hearts ..read more
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Episode 227: Picking Up the Pieces of a Misplaced Childhood (w/ Joan Ulsher)
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
2w ago
TW: While Joan does not go into specific details, this episode does contain mentions of her experiences of abuse, and we wanted you to be aware of that before listening. Trauma affects people in unique and challenging ways. Our guest on this week’s episode shares what it’s like to experience pieces that are missing as she tries to recall her own past. Joan Ulsher is a writer, philanthropist, retired U.S. Army Major, and an award-winning child advocate. During her own childhood, Joan survived abuse and experienced the foster care system firsthand. Today, she says many ..read more
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Episode 226: Supporting Workers in the Foster Care Community (w/ Brian Gazdziak)
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
3w ago
Many agency workers who serve the foster care community choose this path out of a passion for helping others. But transitioning into this challenging career can often be a very overwhelming experience. Even when workers are doing their best, they can start to feel like they’re not doing enough and that they don’t have a support system to fall back on in their times of need. Brian Gazdziak is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as a foster and adoptive dad. He has spent years providing specialized mental health therapy to help people, such as those in the foster ..read more
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National Social Work Month: Your Church’s Opportunity to Support Agency Workers
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
1M ago
Did you know over 200,000 children enter foster care every single year? Sadly, half of all foster homes close within one year, less than 50% of children return home, and 100,000 still wait for permanency. The need is great. Too many children in foster care live in a perpetual cycle of change, bouncing around from to person to person and place to place, all while they try to navigate the aftermath of experiencing an unsafe environment, and being separated from their families. Foster care workers are charged with protecting these children, providing them with temporary homes, safely reunifyi ..read more
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Episode 225: Becoming an Emotional Safety Net For Your Child (w/ Michelle Nietert)
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
1M ago
No matter the season of parenting you’re in, there’s one thing every parent needs to prioritize—mental health. Not just your child’s, but your own, too. It’s easy to look at the behavioral or emotional struggles our children are exhibiting and start thinking of ways to “fix” them. What’s harder is looking inward and asking ourselves what steps we can take to nurture our mental health so we can show up for our kids in the best way.  Joining me today is Michelle Nietert, an author, a speaker, and the Clinical Director/Founder of Community Counseling Associates. She ..read more
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Episode 224: From Adoptee to Adoptive Mom (w/ Cami Haussler)
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
1M ago
Cami Haussler’s childhood was marked by turbulence. By the time she was 10, both of her parents had passed away. Her formative years were filled with a long string of life changes, and it seemed like every time she got close to a caregiver, they would leave her. Eventually, Cami was adopted by her grandparents, but despite the love they showed her, Cami often struggled to let them in, fearing that they too would pass away and leave her alone again. Today, Cami’s experiences have come full circle—she’s now an adoptive parent who has fostered 12 children and taken on a ..read more
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Episode 223: When Motherhood Involves Unexpected Challenges (w/ Katie Faris)
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
1M ago
Katie Faris knew that motherhood wasn’t always going to be smooth sailing, but she was more than ready to deal with temper tantrums and dirty diapers. What she wasn’t prepared for was receiving the news that three of her children had been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.  Katie’s story is deeply touching to me. She’s a pastor’s wife and a writer who has shared her journey with others through books like God is Still Good: Gospel Hope and Comfort for the Unexpected Sorrows of Motherhood and He Will Be Enough: How God Takes You by the Hand Through Your Ha ..read more
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Episode 222: Learning How to Give and Receive Care (w/ Randall Nichols)
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Jami Kaeb
1M ago
We are naturally fearful creatures. The older we get, the deeper our fears seem to grow. There is so much we can’t understand, so much that we can’t control. But it is in the middle of our anxiety that God often draws us to himself as our perfect father, our safe refuge, our resting place. Be encouraged and take heart, friends, for Jesus has overcome sin, death, and shame. Meditate on these words from Jesus in Mathew chapter 6.  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life mor ..read more
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The Advocate Role in Action: Statistics You Need to See
The Forgotten Initiative Blog
by Quinn Brewer
2M ago
The TFI Advocate role is at the heart of The Forgotten Initiative, and was born from a simple truth: Our nation’s foster care community – workers, parents, foster parents, and children – need support. In the midst of a broken system, we want to turn our attention to people. People who feel worn down. People who are vulnerable. People who feel forgotten. Jesus saw people and went out of his way to be with the hurting and vulnerable. Jesus calls us to this kind of sacrificial and mercy-fueled love by his example. For a child experiencing foster care, every changed placement, new home, and re ..read more
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