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The Forgotten Podcast

We want to see people everywhere supporting the foster care community and experiencing Jesus together. So, in this podcast, we are sharing the stories of the foster care community to bring awareness that leads to action!
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Nov 28, 2022

It’s National Adoption Month! In honor of that, the podcast has been weekly this month to provide more opportunities for you to share episodes with friends who might not know as much about foster care or adoption in order to increase awareness. Let's spread the word!

I have a very special guest on the podcast today. He was adopted from Guatemala at just 10-months old and he just so happens to be my son. Hudson Kaeb (or “Huds” as I like to call him) is sharing today about his story of adoption, the feelings he carries toward his birth family, and how he has processed his own story as he has gotten older. This was a really special episode for me and I am so proud of him for his openness, growth, and maturity. Hudson has shared his story in the past and I know you will be just as blessed and encouraged to hear it today!

Get 10% off the Who Loves Series (use code "forgottenpod"): https://www.wholovesseries.org/

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e12/

Nov 21, 2022

It’s National Adoption Month! In honor of that, the podcast will be weekly this month to provide more opportunities for you to share episodes with friends who might not know as much about foster care or adoption in order to increase awareness. Let's spread the word!

As many of us know, not every family gets to be reunified. In fact, in just under half (48%) of cases are children reunified with their parents. How should we respond to that reality? My guest today is unique in that she was an adoptee and also a biological mother who experienced her own children being placed in foster care. Brittany Marler’s life was turned upside-down when her mother was killed, which eventually led to her adoption by her grandparents. In our conversation, she vulnerably shares with us her experience of growing up without her birth mother, the painful circumstances that led to her to prison and surrendering her children, and their foster parents who relentlessly pursued a relationship with her.

Though Brittany’s story up to this point is not one of reunification, it is one of restoration and healing. God is doing incredible things in her life, and I am so grateful for Brittany’s openness and willingness to share her story with us here on the podcast.

Get 10% off the Who Loves Series (use code "forgottenpod"): https://www.wholovesseries.org/

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e11/

Nov 14, 2022

It’s National Adoption Month! In honor of that, the podcast will be weekly this month to provide more opportunities for you to share episodes with friends who might not know as much about foster care or adoption in order to increase awareness. Let’s spread the word!

In the adoption and foster care community, we often encounter stories of brokenness and heartache. At the same time, we find stories of hope, healing, and God’s faithful purpose. For Maria “Mia” Arrington, God’s purpose and faithfulness were weaved throughout every part of her story, from being a child in foster care to an adoptee to today being a licensed social worker, therapist, wife, and mom to a beautiful daughter and stepson. In today’s episode, Mia openly shares her journey of entering foster care as a toddler, experiencing a disrupted adoption, living in a group home, eventually being adopted, and how she is using her story to spread hope and healing to others.

Get 10% off BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/tfi

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e10/

Nov 7, 2022

It’s National Adoption Month! In honor of that, the podcast will be weekly this month to provide more opportunities for you to share episodes with friends who might not know as much about foster care or adoption in order to increase awareness. Let’s spread the word!

Once you become aware of the need within the foster care community, it’s hard to focus on anything else, right? For Jessica Hurlbut, that is exactly what happened when she adopted a sibling group from foster care in 2015. Once she became aware of the needs in the foster care community, she knew she needed to display to others how they can help. In fact, she founded a run that led to the amount of foster homes in her county doubling! In today’s episode, Jessica shares her journey of advocacy, how to push past the fluff and be real, what it’s been like to be a mother to five children, and much more.

Get up to 30% off the Dwell App: https://dwellapp.io/theforgotten

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e9/

Oct 31, 2022

Today’s episode is a special one! Not long ago my team and I got to spend the weekend at Replanted Conference, a conference in Naperville, Illinois, that provides a time away for caregivers to be refreshed, equipped, and inspired. While there, I had the privilege of speaking at some breakout sessions and also doing a live recording for this podcast! I sat down with Jessie and Carrie, whose stories are connected and intertwined in powerful ways. This was a very inspiring conversation, and I'm glad I can share it with you today!

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13replanted

Get a 10% off the Who Loves Series with code FORGOTTENPOD: https://www.wholovesseries.org

Oct 24, 2022

Joey & Sadie Dodson are about as involved in the foster care community as you can get! They are foster and adoptive parents themselves, Joey was adopted when he was a child, and Sadie is currently working as a Family Care Manager at a non-profit working with churches and families to foster and adopt. Sadie also leads various TBRI and trauma-informed trainings.

Join us as we have a conversation about how the desire to learn can help us be better equipped (not just as foster or adoptive parents, but as people), why it’s okay to feel like you are not fully equipped, how to look at the foster care journey through an attachment lens, and what it looks like to carry moment-by-moment dependence on God.

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e8/

Get 10% off your first month with BetterHelp: https://www.betterhelp.com/tfi/

Oct 10, 2022

Foster care is full of confusing, and often conflicting, emotions. How do we handle those emotions? How do we prepare ourselves for hard transitions? And how do we champion reunification as often as we can? My guest today is no stranger to those feelings as both a foster parent and a case manager at an agency in Texas. In today’s conversation, Amanda Irby shares her experience fostering 10 children in a little over two years, how her perception of biological families has shifted, what a day in her life as an agency worker is like, how she’s been learning to say those hard goodbyes, and much more. I greatly appreciate her passion for this work, and for reunification specifically. Listen in!

Get up to 30% off the Dwell App: https://dwellapp.io/theforgotten

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e7/

Sep 26, 2022

When we talk about breaking the cycle of trauma, there is no clearer example of this than in the life of DeAntwann “DJ” Johnson. DJ experienced a traumatic childhood that included child abuse, domestic abuse, homelessness, and emotional trauma. As a result of his family life, he entered the Indiana foster care system when he was about 10 years old. As DJ grew up in foster care and entered adulthood, he began to peel back the layers of his story to uncover cycles of trauma and embark on his own healing journey. In this episode, we talk about DJ’s story, how he is working to break generational cycles of trauma, how to cultivate empathy for others, and so much more. I loved this conversation and I know you will too!

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e6/

Learn more about the TFI Advocate role: https://www.tfiadvocate.org/ 

Sep 12, 2022

In the foster care community, we often encounter stories full of pain, hardship, trauma, and difficulties. With each story, we can’t help but consider that this isn’t how God intended life to be. Even so, God is faithful, just like He has been in the life of today’s guest, Sean Myers.

Sean, a pastor in Peoria, AZ, had a tough childhood. His parents struggled with drug addiction, and he experienced homelessness, foster care, instability, and more. In the midst of all the difficulty, God had a greater plan for him that included salvation, adoption, community, and a future full of hope.

In this episode, you’ll hear why the safety of what’s familiar is often more desirable for children in foster care, why the Church needs to be even more involved in supporting the foster care community, the importance of community in discipleship and growth, and so much more. This is one you don’t want to miss!

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e5/

Get a Special Discount on the Dwell App: https://dwellapp.io/theforgotten

Aug 29, 2022

Whatever your role is in the foster care community, your life looks different from the lives of many others. You have some unique values that guide your decisions and lean your heart toward the foster care community. In difficult times, being able to actually name those values is core to being able to cling to your passion and purpose in life.

My guest today is Beau Johnson, who is not only an expert in helping others find their motivation and purpose at The Table Group, a company led by Patrick Lencioni, but he has also been a foster parent for twelve years. In this episode, Beau helps us consider the importance of setting family values, some insights from his experience as a foster parent, and how the roles we have to fill can either fulfill or frustrate us.

Show Notes: https://theforgotteninitiative.org/s13e4/

Use Discount Code forgottenpod to Get 10% Off the Who Loves Series: https://www.wholovesseries.org/

Aug 15, 2022

Imagine going from zero children to five children overnight. That’s the story you’ll hear today! When Kristal and Jared Black decided to start a family, they quickly realized that their path would be different than they expected it to be. While walking through infertility and then an expected adoption that ended unexpectedly, God was working in their hearts to overcome the fear of foster care and open them up to other possibilities. Little did they know that God would take them on a journey that was even crazier (and even better) than they could have expected! In this episode, listen in as Kristal shares her family’s journey, what she learned in a long season of waiting, how she and her husband have navigated such a big transition, and the work God did in her along the way.

Aug 1, 2022

Foster care rarely looks the way you expect it to, even in the “best” of circumstances. My guest today has been in the foster care community both as a foster parent and as an advocate. Caring for a child with secondary trauma has caused Jillana Goble to change her definition of “normal” and recognize the deep importance of walking alongside a child on their unique life journey. Jillana is a speaker, author, advocate, and parent whose greatest passion is to encourage other families that are loving children from hard places. Jillana’s honesty and insight was so valuable; this truly is an episode you don’t want to miss!

To get started with Dwell, go to dwellapp.io/theforgotten to get 10% off a yearly subscription or 30% off Dwell for life.

Jul 18, 2022

We all have habits in our life, both good and bad. In the words of today’s guest, “Our habits don’t change God’s love for us, but God’s love for us should change our habits.” Today I’m talking with Justin Whitmel Earley, a lawyer, speaker, and author of both Habits of Household and The Common Rule, and he knows a thing or two about creating habits. When it comes to our own life, intentional habits help form our heart towards the things that are most important. When it comes to our family, intentional habits communicate to our family what they should value and how they should spend their time.

As you likely know, intentionality in our lives doesn’t have to happen through “big” things; instead, a life of intentionality is formed by how we approach ordinary, every-day moments like mealtimes, bedtimes, and discipline. Today, Justin and I talk about how he has recovered from a distracted life, why it’s so hard for us to slow down today, how to form and stick with new habits, and so much more. I loved our conversation and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Jul 4, 2022

Over 12 seasons, 165 stories have been shared on this podcast. How cool is that!?

We just closed out Season 12 of The Forgotten Podcast, and it was once again our most listened-to season of the podcast ever! This season alone had over 100,000 downloads. So incredible! In today’s bonus episode, I am joined again by Mitch Nelson, our Creative Director here at TFI, to reflect on some of our favorite moments and takeaways from Season 12.

Creating and sharing this podcast is such a privilege and honor to us, and we hope revisiting some of these conversations and highlights is as encouraging for you as it is for us. We can’t thank you enough for listening, sharing, and supporting this podcast, and we look forward to the conversations to come in Season 13!

Jun 27, 2022

Today I’m talking with Josh Ballard, who has a passion for foster care and building a community to support other foster dads. As a result of this passion, Josh started Flexible Fatherhood, a group (and a podcast!) that provides foster dads with educational resources and community to give them confidence in raising the next generation of children. In our conversation, Josh and I talk about his family’s journey to becoming aware of the need in foster care, how their perspective has expanded since taking this step, myths about fostering teenagers that need to be debunked, encouragement for other foster parents, and so much more.

Jun 13, 2022

Today, I am joined by renowned author, speaker, pastor, marriage counselor, and adoptive parent, Paul Tripp. You may be familiar with Paul from any number of his 30+ books such as New Morning Mercies, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, and Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make. He truly is an incredible voice we have the opportunity to learn from today!

In this episode, Paul shares his personal calling to provide a place for those that need it and how that led to opening their home to their adoptive daughter. We also dig into the Gospel need for place each of us have, how we are called to be tools of God’s generosity, why our lives should lead to transformation in ourselves and others, and so much more. This was a meaningful conversation that I hope is an encouragement to you!

May 30, 2022

Hasn’t this month been incredible? It is so important to learn from others and expand our perspective. If you missed it, for National Foster Care Awareness Month, we have highlighted stories every week from each perspective of the foster care community—agency workers, foster parents, vulnerable adults, and children—because every member of the foster care community matters and has a story to tell.

I remember when my eyes were first opened to foster care, and I remember the feeling deep in my gut that I had to do something. I’ve grown and learned so much since that day, and my perspective has continued to grow from hearing the stories this last month. I hope you have found these conversations encouraging and challenging as well.

In today’s shorter episode, I’m closing out our series for National Foster Care Awareness Month and sharing the unique way that our work here at The Forgotten Initiative fits into the foster care community.

Thank you so much for joining me this month! More than anything, I want you to know that you are not alone.

Will you join us on this mission to see people everywhere supporting the foster care community and experiencing Jesus together? Join Team 3:10 today.

May 23, 2022

https://theforgotteninitiative.org/team310/

Did you know that May is National Foster Care Awareness Month?
 To help raise awareness of this community that we love so dearly, things are looking a little different this month on the podcast. Every week this month, we are highlighting stories from each perspective of the foster care community—agency workers, foster parents, vulnerable adults, and children—because every member of the foster care community matters and has a story to tell.

In this episode, I am joined by Kristen Lucero, a former foster child who is now a licensed foster parent. By the time she was adopted at age 5, she had already lived in three different homes. Although Kristen remembers feeling grateful to be adopted, she found herself struggling with abandonment, self-worth, belonging, and identity until she was 22 years old. Today, Kristen shares with us the importance of recognizing that God is expressing His love for us through the people He has placed in our lives and the importance for parents to hold fast to their calling even when a child makes it difficult.

May 16, 2022

Support our podcast and listen with a purpose! - https://theforgotteninitiative.org/team310/

Did you know that May is National Foster Care Awareness Month?
 To help raise awareness of this community that we love so dearly, things are looking a little different this month on the podcast. Every week this month, we are highlighting stories from each perspective of the foster care community—agency workers, foster parents, vulnerable adults, and children—because every member of the foster care community matters and has a story to tell.

In this episode, I am joined by Tiffany Shaw. Tiffany is a biological parent whose three children entered foster care after she was reported to the Department of Children and Family Services as a result of drug addiction. Today, she graciously shares with us the difficult circumstances that led to her relapse and homelessness, as well as the significant relationship that led to her recovery from drugs and reunification with her children. Tiffany’s story is full of redemption, and I am so grateful for her willingness to join me for this conversation.

May 9, 2022

https://theforgotteninitiative.org/team310/

Did you know that May is National Foster Care Awareness Month? To help raise awareness of this community that we love so dearly, things are looking a little different this month on the podcast. Every week this month, we are highlighting stories from each perspective of the foster care community—agency workers, foster parents, vulnerable adults, and children—because every member of the foster care community matters and has a story to tell.

In this episode, I’m talking with Jessica Mathisen. In addition to being a foster parent, she is an author and the Executive Director of Restoration Women, an organization that equips women in Athens, GA with life and job skills to empower them to walk in freedom and bring restoration to their homes and community. Today, Jessica openly shares about her fostering journey, how she’s learned to navigate fear and insecurity, how she finds the strength to face each day as a foster parent, the immeasurable value she has found in community, and more. I loved this episode and hope it’s an encouragement to you!

May 2, 2022

Today, I’m talking with Delaney Burns, who is an agency worker. Delaney grew up in a home where her parents fostered, which solidified her interest in becoming a foster care caseworker. In this episode, she shares openly about the hardest parts of her job, what a day in her life looks like, what she’s been learning through navigating hard situations, and the hope she holds on to through it all.

https://theforgotteninitiative.org/team310/ 

Apr 18, 2022

For so many in the foster care community, the passion for foster care or adoption started through awareness at an early age. This is the story for Jessie Barnes. While other teenagers were searching for music videos, she was searching for adoption stories and begging her parents to consider adoption, leading her mom to suggest she take licensing classes (as a high schooler!) to learn about foster care as well. When Jessie grew up and had a family of her own, she became a foster parent herself, and is now a TFI Advocate launching a foster care ministry in Dubuque, Iowa.

 

In today’s episode, Jessie shares how God placed the passion for foster care in her heart, how her involvement has shifted with each season of life, her journey of battling feelings of inadequacy, what her experience has been like in partnering with TFI, and how she is learning to live with God-confidence. Jessie has such a beautiful heart for this work, and you don’t want to miss this one!

 

(P.S. Applications to become a TFI Advocate are officially OPEN in the month of April! Apply today!)

Apr 4, 2022

Foster care is hard, and it can often feel confusing. It can be even more confusing when you’re rooting for reunification, and alternative outcomes you weren’t prepared for are pursued.

 

Dorothy Mendoza and her husband, Chris, began fostering because they wanted to see children reunified with their biological parents. In their first 3 years as foster parents, they fostered 9 children, and only one of those cases ended in reunification, while the others ended in an alternative outcome (not reunification or adoption by the foster parents). This was a surprise to them that brought its own challenging emotions and difficult choices. In today’s episode, Dorothy and I talk about what some alternative outcomes are, how to navigate hard transitions and goodbyes in foster care, why we should run towards brokenness, and much more. I hope this episode is an encouragement to you!

Mar 21, 2022

Jamie Finn is back on the podcast this week! On top of being a foster parent, Jamie is the host of the Real Mom Podcast, co-founder of Goods & Better, and the director of Foster the Family. Most recently, Jamie authored Foster the Family: Encouragement, Hope, and Practical Help for the Christian Foster Parent, which covers the rewards and challenges in foster care that can leave you feeling depleted, alone, and discouraged. In this episode, we talk with Jamie about the process of writing her new book, the ins and outs of being a foster parent, how God has been continuing to grow her personally, the right motivation for self-care, and how we can still trust God when the brokenness of the system feels heavy.

Mar 7, 2022

With 20,000 teens aging out of the foster care system each year and many of them unprepared to navigate adult life, this is a real crisis. The need for families who are passionate about teen foster children is great. In today’s episode, we are talking with Peter Amico. Peter and his wife are foster parents who are passionate about finding families that are willing to show up for teens in the foster care system. Peter and I talk about the unique challenges teens in foster care face, the most important thing you can do when caring for teens in foster care, an exhortation to the Church, and much more. I know you’ll find today’s episode challenging and filled with so much truth.

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