Today, I have a beautiful story to share with you here on the podcast.
Amanda Stonesifer and Cheyenne Dillon entered each other’s lives when Amanda’s daughters entered foster care and were placed with Cheyenne in 2020. Cheyenne has always had a passion for building relationships with biological parents connected to the foster care community. What started as home visits transformed into a full-blown partnership and friendship. Today, Cheyenne is the adoptive parent of two of Amanda’s daughters and the pair still have a strong friendship that involves support, sleepovers, attending church together, and long weekend visits.
In our conversation, you'll hear how Amanda and Cheyenne have built connection and trust, the power of partnership in foster care, the assumptions many of us carry, and so much more. I really appreciated this episode and the respect Amanda and Cheyenne truly have towards one another, and I know you will too!
One of the questions we often hear from those considering supporting the foster care community is, "When is the right time to become a foster parent?" This question can feel even heavier when we talk to individuals who feel the call to become a foster parent but are not married.
My guest today is a dear friend and someone who has been a single foster parent for more than five years. Jillian Kellenberger served with us here at TFI for 8 years, and she is what you would call an “energy giver." She is so passionate about people, relationships, Jesus, and is uniquely gifted at caring well for people.
Throughout her foster care journey, Jillian has walked through a lot of joy, a lot of sorrow, and has had many tear-filled moments. In this episode, she shares how she decided to become a foster parent as a single woman, the principles she has learned about supporting biological families, her journey through reunification, and some of the beautiful truths she has discovered about God.
I know you will be encouraged and filled with hope from her story!
November is often a time when we bring additional awareness to the foster care and adoption community as many churches recognize Orphan Sunday. In honor of that, we wanted to take a moment to talk more broadly about caring for vulnerable children. We want to use this time to renew our passion for caring for the vulnerable in every stage of life including children in foster care, pregnant mothers, and families.
Joining me is Herbie Newell, an author, speaker, and the President and Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services. Under his leadership, Lifeline has increased their international outreach to 25 countries and expanded into 14 states. He lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife, Ashley, and their three children. Herbie has been working in the child welfare world for the last two decades. He and his wife share a passion for the unborn, life, and adoption and have a desire to spend their lives advocating for “the least of these.”
In this episode, we discuss the importance of increasing awareness, how we can develop compassion for people throughout the foster care and adoption community, the importance of the Church championing care for the vulnerable, and so much more.
As you listen in, I hope you walk away with a renewed passion for where you are called to serve vulnerable families!
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You’ve likely heard about trauma, but have you heard of secondary trauma? It’s sometimes referred to as compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and secondary traumatic stress, and it is especially common among helping professionals such as mental health professionals, first responders, and social workers.
My guest today is Blake Boyer, a social worker in the field of child welfare. Blake is a wife, mother, and has a masters in social work in addition to being a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner.
In this episode, Blake shares her experience as a social worker, the challenging effects of secondary trauma in her field, how she approaches her faith in a government position, how we can support those we know who are social workers, and much more.
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