If you are a long-time listener, you may notice this is an off-week for the podcast. Last month, we celebrated 10 years as a ministry! As we enter National Foster Care Month this month, what better time to imagine and reflect together on how we can continue to support our nation's foster care community effectively? In this bonus episode, I take some time to reflect on the last 10 years and share a little bit of what we're dreaming about here at The Forgotten Initiative!
Today’s guests are some of my favorite people and are no strangers to the call to foster or adopt. Jamey and Sarah McIntosh are TFI Advocates in Chippewa Valley, WI who felt the pull to this work early in their lives (even before they were married!). They have such a big heart for foster care, adoption, and advocacy. I hope you will be inspired by their journey and the lessons they have picked up along the way, how God has shaped them in the waiting periods, and even how they’ve learned to let go of control.
Each of us have a story. Hard seasons. Beautiful seasons. And times where we’ve seen God’s faithfulness. And today, I’m excited to share the powerful story of my guest, Annie Marek-Barta. Annie grew up in an unsafe home that ultimately led her to decide she would take her own life. Through a series of God-ordained conversations and events, she found hope and healing. In today’s conversation, she shares that whole story, what it was like to enter foster care at the age of 17, and the emotional experience of being adopted at 26. (And yes, that’s a thing!) I hope this episode inspires you and reminds you of the faithfulness of our God and why you do what you do.
Did you know that we’re celebrating 10 years of ministry this month!? God has truly been so faithful!
And what better way to celebrate than to share such a special conversation on the podcast?
This week’s guest is Amanda Auer, a mom of 4 who has an incredible story walking through a difficult journey of kinship care. You’ll hear her talk about what it was like to be educated about trauma on-the-fly, how challenging circumstances make our faith more concrete, what it looks like to live a life of compassion and surrender, and so much more. This conversation was incredibly rich, and I was just soaking in everything she said. I look forward to hearing what stands out to you!
Today’s episode is about a topic that’s actually quite common, but doesn’t often get talked about: food trauma. This episode is so informative, practical, and inspiring. My guest is Christa Jordan, who is an adoptive mom. She and her husband also both have a background in social work before they began careers as full-time writers. Christa is passionate about natural health, and equipping and encouraging others along the journey.
There is nothing I love more than hearing about God’s faithfulness in the midst of difficult situations, and that’s exactly what today’s episode is all about. Shaq Hardy is a youth pastor in Chattanooga, TN who spent the first 10 years of his life in foster care. Today, he openly shares about his experience in multiple foster homes, the challenge of living with Reactive Attachment Disorder, the hope he so clearly found in Jesus, and so much more. And towards the end of our conversation, he even shares a piece of spoken word poetry he wrote to process his life experience. Shaq’s story alone is powerful, but his perspective is even more compelling. Listen in!
Today’s guest truly is an inspiration. Dani Brewer is a full-time wedding and family photographer, a single foster parent, as well as a transracial adoptee. She shares about how God prompted her to step in to foster care even though she didn't feel ready and she shares honestly about how she’s been able to effectively care for a now-16-month-old and 4-month-old as a single mom, the barriers she’s overcome, and the irreplaceable value of strong community. Her spirit is so encouraging, and I look forward to hearing what stands out to you in this conversation!
I am so excited to be sharing this episode! My guest today has such a powerful story that needs to be shared. Born in India, Shreya Ramachandran was brought to the U.S. at only two years old. She struggled with her identity and culture growing up. She lost her father when she was ten years old. After this, a series of events led her into foster care, where she ultimately had to testify against her mother and abuser in court. And through it all, God’s presence and His Word were the anchors that kept her grounded. Her story inspired me, and I look forward to hearing how it impacts you as well.
To kick off Season 10, meet Toni Collier. Toni experienced a lot of brokenness in her home life growing up and is now the Co-Lead Pastor of Hillsong Atlanta and the Founder of Broken Crayons Still Color. In today’s conversation, she shares openly about tending our own brokenness, finding hope in the midst of pain, learning to value excellence over perfectionism, the importance of community, and a whole lot more. I believe this conversation will encourage you today and remind you that hurt and hope truly can coexist.
Before we kick-off Season 10 of The Forgotten Podcast, I have something special for you! I recently brought one of our podcast guests from Season 8, Gaelin Elmore, to the stage at an event that is dear to me with our friends in ministry, Lifesong for Orphans. Gaelin gave us insight into his experience of foster care. Beyond sharing his experience, though, Gaelin has a passion for encouraging others! He threw out a challenge to the live audience at the end of our interview that was so good. I pray it's a challenge that you'll take to heart too. I don't want to tell you more now because I want you to hear it directly from him. So, listen in as Gaelin shares his story and his call to action for you.
Parenting is hard work, and sometimes we wish there was a perfect formula we could use to make it easier. We seek parenting hacks and different tips to help streamline our lives, and while some of those things are helpful, most of the time, we still feel there’s something missing. We’re left wondering, “What’s the formula for success in parenting?”
My guest, Julie Lowe, is here to tell us that there isn’t a formula for successful parenting. But don’t be discouraged. God has already given us everything we need to parent well in his Word. Julie explores this topic in her book, Child Proof: Parenting by Faith, Not Formula. In this episode, Julie shares with us what it means to parent by faith, describes how this can play out in our homes, and explains why parenting methods based on biblical principles always work.