She is part of the village. It takes a village. She has done a lot of research, she is a parent who understand the additional complexities that happen with our foster/adoptive families. This was invaluable throughout the process.
My fostering journey began on a car ride home from my dad’s house in 2013.
My wife, Alex, and I had been discussing starting a family for a while, and I had always enjoyed and valued working with at-risk kids, be it as a volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or through childhood literacy programs. But this conversation was different.
“Why should we wait?” I asked. “Why not do this now?”
And we did. The morning after that car ride, we called to inquire about fostering kids. Within months, we were licensed for birth-to-three placements and welcomed in two children. Once they moved, we changed agencies and began focusing on teenage girls with mental health challenges. We have since welcomed in a preteen and a young woman we adopted at age 16, after eight years in out-of-home care.
I started The Foster Lane in 2016. My goal: Help others avoid some of the challenges we faced, through coaching.
That started with learning. Since 2016, I have spent more than 1,400 hours reading books on trauma, children’s brain development, parenting strategies, and foster and adoption; watching videos and listening to podcasts on those same topics; and attending conferences on trauma, foster care, and parenting. I successfully completed the Parent Coaching Certification program through the Parent Coaching Institute.
And I have plenty of life experience.
I’ve navigated and parented through challenging:
- biological parent interactions and communications,
- mental health struggles,
- developmental delays,
- mental delays,
- challenges with routine and getting out of the house,
- and bedtime trauma reactions.
I’ve lived and learned with kids with:
- reactive attachment disorder (RAD),
- Disinhibited social engagement disorder,
- post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
- oppositional defiance disorder (ODD),
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
- attention deficit disorder (ADD),
- disruptive mood disregulation disorder (DMDD),
- internalization and externalization of behaviors, and more.
I want to share my experience with my clients, helping me and others become better parents. We are in this together.