Episode 33: Interview with a Pragmatic Foster Mom

Episode 33 is another great one, featuring an interview with the delightful and smart Maggie Zehring.

But before we dive into the goodness of that interview, Chris and I got stuck in the intro about the number 33, and what it has meant to Chris in his life.

We referenced Larry Bird, who was in fact from French Lick, Indiana, as Chris mentioned. But he was actually born in West Baden Springs, Indiana.

Patrick Ewing had some very colorful shoes when I was in High School (which was 20 years ago), and shockingly still sells them! This is brand new information! You can buy some here if you are interested. But if you want to be true to the fashion of 1990s, your jeans better be gigantic, and the same color as the shoes.

Now, onto the interview!

The basics about our guest today: Maggie is married to a great guy named Nick. Together they have 2 bio baby boys, and a foster son smack dab in the middle of the boys. The kids are all 8 months apart. And the eldest isn’t even 3 yet. And Maggie is pregnant. And adorable.

You can learn more about Maggie on her website. And find her on Instagram.

My first encounter with her was when I read an article she had written for ‘Raising Arizona Kids’, when I was at the doctor’s office. The article caught my attention because it was by a mom who was raising 3 kids 2 and under, and I just thought “that woman is crazy”, and now I know for a fact that I was correct. 🙂

She has some really great resources on her website for foster parents, including a downloadable version of the letter she sent out to her support system as they were getting ready to foster. As well as copies of letters to bio parents, and a master spreadsheet for foster parents. You can find them all here.

Maggie also mentioned the awesome book “The Connected Child” by the late Dr. Karen Purvis, and it is incredible. Maggie gave a copy to her family members so they could have an idea of how to help care for foster children as well.

Maggie’s family is licensed through Arizona Baptist Children’s Services, and as an agency they do not have any rules about fostering while pursuing pregnancy, which some other agencies do.

What have been some challenges and successes in fostering?

She said that one of the difficulties she has had in her foster care journey has been the unmet expectations, which is common to many foster families. Especially when you hear that something, and believe it is a ‘rule’, only to find out it is not. For example, she believed that a child’s time in care was a determining factor to a case, and it is not. It’s sometimes hard to tell what are determining factors in any case…

A key to her family’s success in fostering, has been her wrap team. Which is just her support system. We believe that this is a major game changer for foster families as well, so if you are considering getting into foster care, make sure you have people who know what you are getting into, and who are willing to support you in it.

Maggie also mentioned ACEs, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and you can take the test and find out what it all means here. Or just google it. There is A LOT of information about it.

Maggie’s husband, Nick, is an awesome dad and husband, and he gives Maggie every Saturday morning to herself so that she can write, and get work done, all by herself! Way to go Nick. That is truly a gift that keeps on giving!

The (Good) Word of the Day:

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ”

-Matthew 25:21

This verse simply calls us to be FAITHFUL servants. Not happy servants. Not well rested servants. Just faithful ones.

And, our reward for being faithful servants is our master’s happiness. Not great riches, or lots of sleep.

Thank you Maggie for sharing this verse, and your story with us!

We hope you enjoy this episode, and we will see you again next week!

If you want to connect on Social Media, you can find me at:

Jihae Watson on Facebook

Fostering Voices on Instagram

Jihae Watson on Instagram

AND we would LOVE it if you would leave us a review on iTunes! This helps others to find our podcast so we can share these voices from the foster care and adoption community!

 

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