56. Should we require appreciation from our kiddos?

Mama S here. I have seen an article being widely spread that speaks about how foster children shouldn’t be required to be grateful for everything the foster family does for them. That the foster family signs up for caring for kiddos from hard places and that they shouldn’t expect their foster kids to appreciate what they do for them. I’ve been sitting with that for a bit and I have to say that, while I partially agree, I also strongly disagree.Read More »


55. The next frontier

Good morning, Mama S here. There have been a lot of talks within our household of a dream I have that I am taking steps toward becoming a reality. As some of you may be aware, I read, watch, discuss everything I can come across that talks about parenting, successful parenting, children that grew up with trauma, etc. I have been taking in all this information and discussing it in therapy, at home, with other foster parents, and with our social workers. This has put an idea in my head that has been brewing for about a year now. Today is the day to put it out there and hold myself accountable. I am taking steps to become a Certified Parenting Coach and I will (eventually) also be studying to become certified in Trust Based Relational Intervention.

Before you ask, I’m still continuing my other schooling. I’m doing both.  It seems like a lot. Sometimes it seems like too much. What I will end up doing is taking my classes for my bachelors degree (as I have been) and then also studying in a program to become a Certified Parenting Coach. That program will take 12-15 months to complete once I start and then I will take a brief break, this mama will need a nice vacation, then I will start the program to become certified in TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention).

It is my intention to work with families in the greater Milwaukee area that are tired of trying the same things and it not working, too exhausted to research some parenting strategies that may work for their family, just want an outsider’s view on how their family can run more cohesively, and/or want someone to come in and help everyone get on the same page.

It won’t be easy. It is going to be a LOT of work, it is going to take me away from my family on many nights/weekends when I am doing sessions with other families, it will mean MORE homework, more reading, more items on the schedule. It is all worth it. Plus, it has the added bonus of showing our girls that a dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for. It is worth the hard work. It takes hard work and it is a beautiful thing to have your family support you. That is a life lesson that they can take with them for years to come.

So… Here’s to the start of something great. The next frontier. I will be required to have over 100 hours of practical hands on work while I am doing my studies. Please think about if you would be willing to give me a shot. If for nothing else, to help this mama start her dream. Who knows, perhaps we will all grow for the better- that’s the intention!

Thank you for coming along on this journey with us.

Until next time,

Mama S

17. Saying Goodbye

Dear V,

Know that you were fought for. The first home you came into when you left your parent’s home loved you dearly. We enlisted the help of advocates, reached out to supervisor’s supervisors, we sent so many emails, and in the end it wasn’t enough. You were made to leave our home. When you left, you took the biggest pieces of our hearts we had. Your smile brightened our days and your tears tugged at our heart strings. We celebrated the smallest of achievements and adjusted our lives to bend to meet your needs and for your well-being. Was it hard? Yes. You are worth it. You are worth every tear, every moment of angst we experienced when trying to keep you, the biggest heartbreak we have ever experienced. You are worth it all. Don’t forget to celebrate the little things with your big smile and clapping. The world is hard and you deserve to celebrate those wins. We will miss you every day and think of you often. We are thankful for what you have brought into our lives and the love you were also so willing to give.

Never forget you deserve the world and that you were fought for.

All the love in the world,

Mama S

16. And then there were none

How do you choose between your dog and your foster son? How do you make a permanent decision in an situation that could be very temporary? How do you choose who to displace? Some may say that the decision would be easy. The dog would have to go. Others would say that their dog is family and the decision is harder. For us, it was the hardest decision we have had to make as a couple.

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14. Why does he keep hitting himself?

“Why are you hitting yourself?” I’ve found myself asking this question out loud and following it up with an empathetic look and a “It’s OK if you are having big feelings. Big hugs to help you feel better.”  We have had the privilege/ sadness to see first hand what childhood trauma does to developing brains. It changes these kiddos in big ways that are hard to understand. I have found myself reading everything I can get my hands on to help me understand what is happening to this little man we have in our care. I was reading on the www.ntscm.org page and this quote explained things clearly:

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