Jamie Grace is a Grammy nominated, Dove award-winning contemporary Christian/Christian rap musician who has big dreams and plans beyond music. Raised in a household in which her parents took in more than 25 children, she has a huge heart for foster care and is determined to make a difference in others’ lives in tangible ways.
Lynne Ellis-Gray knows what it feels like to wonder about biological parents. Adopted as a baby, her parents did the “right” things by sharing her story in a positive way and made her feel chosen and wanted. As she grew, she wondered and explored for information about her birth mother. Her interest in adoption led her to write her master’s thesis on adoption issues that adoptees face. What she found is eye-opening and can be very helpful for adoptive and foster parents, as well as adult adoptees who still find certain things trigger feelings that are based deep inside.
Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, shares his personal journey of being a child in foster care and explains how going through that painful time created a passion in him to work on behalf of children in foster care and how, even as an adult, he still feels the effects of foster care in his life.
Kirsten Smith believes her past experience prepared her for her present reality, although “nothing could fully prepare me to be the mother of nine!” She grew up with an idea of what foster care was, and after college she worked as a social worker with families in crisis, aiding in reunification, but also seeing the effects of child abuse and neglect. “It was a hard job,” she says. “I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know why God put me here.’” A few years later she realized that some of her own children came from those scenarios.
Scott Brown, Coordinator of the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) Aging Out Initiative, gathers success stories of organizations that are helping aging out youth and are creating solutions. Approximately 24,000 youth age out of the foster care system every year, and about 70% of those young adults are falling through the cracks of making a successful transition into adulthood.
Foster and adoptive fathers have very few resources to help them deal with the feelings and struggles that often arise when caring for children from hard places. Andrew Schneidler is trying to change that.
Many foster and adoptive parents are unsure of the best strategy regarding when and how much information to tell a child about their background, or their “story.”
Join us for this Encore Episode of Jami’s conversation with Emma Williams. Emma lived in several foster homes, shelters, and adoptive family situations as a child. Her story will give you amazing insight into the sometimes hard realities facing children in foster care.
Because caring for the orphan is a deep concern on God’s heart, Jenn Ranter wanted to provide support for these families, so that they felt loved and cared for. She founded Replanted Ministry because she wanted to create a community where both the parents/foster parents could feel safe and vulnerable and be able to share their honest feelings and emotions without judgment. Families who are in the trenches of dealing with trauma can offer this support to other families—parents and children alike.
Molly Evans knew working with kids was what made her heart beat with excitement and purpose. In college, she interned in a DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) office and took a class in child welfare that solidified her goal of working with families and one-on-one with kids. After college, she worked at a private agency as a Family Enhancement worker, helping intact families get help with parenting skills, job searches, even housing, as well as supervised parent-child visits.
Fawn Kieser admits she was one of those parents who said with firm conviction, “I could never do foster care—I could never give them back.” But as she and her husband, Brent, took baby steps of faith, starting with just being willing to be moved by God to a new place that they never thought they’d be, she realizes that they have become survivors and overcomers.
Brittany Lind and her husband, Joel, didn’t overthink the idea of becoming foster parents. Adoption was part of the church culture she experienced in college—it was preached and lived out on a regular basis. When they married and planned for their family, they didn’t see a difference between having biological children and adoption—they were both equally good and beautiful.
Dr. Andrea Kane is a pediatrician whose practice includes many foster families. She shares wisdom regarding some of the common physical, mental and emotional concerns that foster families may face.
Several TFI Advocates join Jami in a conversation about why they became Advocates and the benefits of being an Advocate with TFI.
Jedd Medefind serves as the President of CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans). His biggest joy is spending time with people who are making their faith tangible by living it out and loving vulnerable kids. “Nothing is more beautiful and encouraging than Christians who look like Jesus—who care about kids the world has pushed to the side.”
Jason Weber’s experience with working with the inner-city kids and families provided not only an invitation to foster, but also an invitation to help other followers of Christ engage in caring for kids who needed families.
Mary Slager will challenge your thinking about getting involved in foster care. You’re never too old to get involved somehow…and it may be that you’re called to foster children even after your own children are grown and gone. Listening to Mary’s experiences erases some of the age constraints you might be feeling!
Chris Shandrow will encourage you to get your church involved in serving the foster care community. Chris is the Lead Pastor of Compass Church in Bloomington, Illinois. Compass was planted in 2013 with the goal of making God accessible to everyone.
Emma Williams, a woman who was in and out of several foster homes, shelters, and adoptive family situations in her life, will give you amazing insight into the sometimes hard realities facing children in foster care.
Not everyone is called to adopt or foster, but we can all do something. Today you will learn who our nation’s orphans are, and whether you are an adoptive or foster parent in need of support or called to put your arm around those who are, Dr. Sharen Ford provides several tools to equip you to “do something!”
We are excited to offer the premiere episode of The Forgotten Podcast as a special encore presentation! Jami Kaeb's story of how her family's journey of adoption and foster care resulted in the creation of The Forgotten Initiative serves as the foundation of what The Forgotten Initiative is all about: bringing joy and purpose to the foster care community--agency workers, foster parents, vulnerable adults and children--and those who love and serve them.
You will be encouraged and inspired as you learn their stories, hear their passion, and and find out how you can become the catalyst for change in your community!
Angie Ringger is a foster parent in Phoenix, Arizona. She and her husband, Mike, have fostered 11 children and have a compelling story about trusting in God’s plan and direction for life and growing in faith through the journey of foster care. Whether you currently foster, are considering becoming a foster parent or even if you’re sure fostering is not God’s plan for you, Angie’s story will increase your trust that God knows what He’s doing in your life!
Nicole Argo is a pastor’s wife and mom of two who grew up in foster care. Nicole’s story explains the emotions and struggles children often face when in foster care. She shares how critical every effort to help those in the foster care community is and how showing and sharing the love of Jesus can make a difference in a child’s life.
Nicole Argo is a pastor’s wife and mom of two who grew up in foster care. Her firsthand account of the emotions and struggles that face children in foster care on a regular basis will help you understand how critical every effort to help those in the foster care community is and how showing and sharing the love of Jesus will make a difference in every life.
Marla Ringger talks about what it’s like being a grandma of many, including the unique dynamic of loving and bonding with children who became part of her family through adoption and foster care. You’ll love hearing the story of how Marla’s heart softened towards orphaned and vulnerable children as well as how she takes practical steps to make sure her 15(!) grandchildren know she loves them. You’ll want Marla to be your grandma by the end of the show!