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The Forgotten Podcast

Whether you are a part of the foster care community, passionate about serving or simply interested in learning more, we are here for you!
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Now displaying: Category: general
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.

Feb 21, 2022

If you are part of the foster care community, you likely have seen the impact trauma has on a child. It can affect how a child learns, their ability to feel safe, how they view the world, and even cause them to question who they are. In this episode, we are joined by Tina Bauer. Tina was a former foster youth who was adopted at the age of four along with her biological brother and has spent a lifetime sorting through the trauma in her past. Now, she is a proud college graduate, third-grade teacher, and has been married for over two years.

In today’s episode, Tina graciously shares her story with us, how her adoptive parents gently helped her navigate her past, advice for foster and adoptive parents, and more. Tina is an incredible woman, and I am so grateful to be sharing her story with you today.

Feb 7, 2022

Today I have a story of abundant resilience and defiant hope to share with you. In this episode we get to hear from Sandhya Oaks, a Transracial Adoptee adopted from India at the age of one. When she turned 18 years old, after years of experiencing trauma, Sandhya was disowned by her adoptive family. As she has intentionally worked on healing from the past of being an orphan for the first year of her life and from the pain her adoptive family brought, Sandhya has learned the importance of addressing the pain of the past and redeeming her perspective of forgiveness. This episode is powerful, and we are so grateful to Sandhya for sharing her story and being open about her journey of healing.

Jan 24, 2022

Brandon and Cherith Craft are no strangers to doing hard things. In fact, it is such a part of who they are that they put it in their family mantra: “We’re Crafts. We do hard things and we try new things.” But when God nudged them to start foster care nearly 10 years ago, their initial response was, We don’t think we can do this right now. Several years later, God would prompt them again to foster and this time their answer would change. Through fostering five children in five years and becoming TFI Advocates in Baton Rouge, LA, they’ve learned to do the hard things, rely on God, and listen to what their family needs in every season. I know their story will be an encouragement to you today!

Jan 10, 2022

Welcome to Season 12 of The Forgotten Podcast! To kick it off, I have a helpful conversation with Emily Smithhart, an incredible woman who is a biological and foster mom, as well as a TFI Advocate in Sacramento County, CA! In addition to hearing her story and experiences fostering, we’re breaking down what it looks like to get involved with foster care! You’ll hear Emily share about adjusting expectations, how to get started, navigating placement calls, learning to root for reunification, and more. This is one you don’t want to miss!

 

(And if you’re currently considering foster care, this episode is an especially great place to start.)

Dec 20, 2021

We just closed out Season 11 of The Forgotten Podcast, and it was our most listened-to season of the podcast ever! SO exciting! In today’s bonus episode, I am joined by Mitch Nelson, our Creative Director here at TFI, to reflect on some of our favorite moments and takeaways from Season 11.


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 experiencing Season 12 alongside you in the new year!


Want to catch some of the episodes we talked about today? You can find them here:

Dec 13, 2021

Tod and Gretchen Sawyer’s world was turned upside down when they lost their first biological daughter. They decided to honor her memory by sponsoring a child through the local Department of Social Services, which was the beginning of their foster care journey. God led them to become aware, which led them to take action. In addition to being some of our newest TFI Advocates in Aiken County, SC, Tod & Gretchen have been foster parents for ten years now. Above all else, God has shown them again and again how His plan for their life was different, and better, than their own. I hope this conversation will be an encouragement to you!

Nov 29, 2021

Content / Trigger Warning: This episode does contain mentions and descriptions of abuse, rape, attempted suicide, self-harm, and trauma. If any of this may be triggering for you, we recommend you either listen carefully, listen with someone else, or you may even consider skipping this episode.

 

Tricia Collins’ primary memory from her childhood was one of fear. Tricia grew up in and aged out of the foster care system after she was the victim of horrific abuse at the hand of her dad. But through the people God placed in her life, she overcame obstacles and started to find healing from what was done to her. In this conversation, Tricia openly shares her story, how God worked through other people to pursue her, what it has looked like for her to experience healing, and the eternal impact one foster family had on her life. Today, she is the Director of Missional Impact at Child Bridge in Montana, connecting the church to the needs of children in foster care and asking them to step in and make a difference like Jesus did for us. Tricia’s story is an absolute glory to God, and we are grateful to share it with you today.

Nov 15, 2021

Did you know there’s a lot of crossover between the characteristics that make someone vulnerable to human trafficking and common characteristics of children in foster care? Did you also know that a significant percentage of victims nationwide have a history in the child welfare system?


Whether you are a foster parent, adoptive parent, or someone that wants to learn how to spot the warning signs of human trafficking, we all have a duty to be aware of what those are. In this episode, I’m talking with Meghan Reedy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and the Clinical Director of Eden's Glory, a restoration home for adult survivors of human trafficking. She shares about the women they have been able to support at Eden’s Glory, how traffickers will typically prey on disadvantaged people, common red flags you should be on the lookout for, how she remains
hopeful through the heartache, and a whole lot more.


If you are a victim of human trafficking or know someone else who may be, call the Human Trafficking Hot Line at 888-373-7888 or text 233-733

Nov 1, 2021

Trent Taylor’s earliest memories are filled with abuse and extreme neglect. These circumstances led to entering foster care at the age of four where he would remain until he was nine years old. After he was adopted, it was a long and painful process to establish trust and work through the trauma he had experienced, but he found that there was hope. In this episode, Trent shares some of the common misconceptions people have about foster children, how to support a child working through trauma, the reality that healing requires pain, and a look back on his own story and how God is using his life in some incredible ways.

Oct 18, 2021

This episode honestly hit me hard. I was an emotional wreck by the end! If you’ve ever wondered how foster care would affect your biological children, if you are feeling the weight of it all right now, or if you grew up in a family that did foster care, this episode is for you.

James Drayer was just four years old when his parents became houseparents at Gateway Woods, a ministry that offers Christ-centered social services in northeast Indiana, including Residential Childcare, On-Grounds Schooling, Foster Care, Gateway Farms, Adoption, and the LARC Program.

In this heartfelt conversation, James shares with us what it was like to grow up helping kids with trauma, the impact that experience has had on him throughout his life, and how God transformed his heart to follow in his parents footsteps. I’m praying you will feel seen, and refreshed, as you listen!

Oct 4, 2021

Today I have a special conversation that I’m excited to share with you. Most often, we view the world of foster care through the lens of foster parents, former foster youth, or those that support foster families and children. But today we get to hear Brenna Hunter’s story, a parent that had her kids removed and walked the path back to reunification. Brenna graciously shares her journey of growing up in a Christian, homeschool family, struggling with insecurities and an unhealthy relationship with food, the circumstances that led to her two children entering foster care, placing her dependency on Jesus, and the journey that ultimately led to reunification. Her story is powerful and I really appreciated Brenna joining me for this conversation. This episode holds some important reminders to both foster parents and biological parents alike. No matter your role, there is hope and you are not alone!

Sep 20, 2021

Friends, I have such a fun episode to share with you today! Isn’t it crazy how God can redirect our passions to make a difference in ways we never dreamed possible? This is Leah Johnson’s story. Leah lives in North Carolina and has been a TFI Advocate in Mitchell and Yancey Counties for over a year now and she is sharing how God has used her passion to lead her on a journey to ultimately partner with us at TFI. In this episode, she shares her story, the incredible God stories of being able to provide for various needs in her community, what her relationship has been like with local agencies, becoming God-conscious instead of self-conscious, and more. Hoping this conversation is an encouragement to you today!

You can sign up now to make a difference in your community: tfiadvocate.org

Sep 6, 2021

From the age of 15, Javian Shipley felt the desire to foster. It’s a calling she has passionately carried with her into her marriage and is living out today. But her journey has not been easy. In addition to the challenges of being a foster parent, she has also walked through infertility. In this episode, Javian shares what she has learned through the grief and pain of her own story, how she and her husband found unity in their decision to foster, why we need to be intentional about our perspective towards biological parents, the value of anchor Scriptures, and how God has continued to show up again and again and again.

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