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8 Responses

  1. godsg8t says:

    YEAHHHHHHHH!!!! Fostering is very similar to having a step-child. Let me just say that God graces us with unique being for different seasons some longer than others. That time you had C was just enough time to transition him to his rightful place, HE uniquely marvels with his plan which is never wrong. Love seeing the family!! Much Love!! Winnie Palmer Nurse follower…

  2. Marcia says:

    She’s adorable and I love that she laughs like James I’m sure that brings Precious Memories Back to You

  3. Diane Hamersley says:

    Abby, your family is beautiful and look like they are thriving. How wonderful to enjoy each of them and your delight in them is a great thing to see. You were there when C really needed you to be and now he will be where he really should be for this time. Blesses on you and yours.

  4. Christine says:

    Oh my goodness… I am so happy to see an update! I’ve followed your blog since Sweet Baby James, and have thought of your sweet family a lot this summer!

    We were foster parents for 3 years, until last year, while we raised our little ones too. I thought it’d be so easy to add just one or two more, since we were already in the throes of parenting young children and we were good parents. We did devotionals, story time, I sang every night, I excelled at homeschooling, we did weekly movie nights and regular trips to the park and zoo. We had time and room to spare, and I wanted to bless a less fortunate child with my good parenting. I was not prepared mentally or emotionally, and I don’t think anyone can be, for parenting a child you don’t love and sometimes don’t even like.

    Out of the 14 children that came, 5 of which were with us for a year, I instantly connected with and even loved 4. Love came eventually for the rest, though it wasn’t exactly the same as the love I felt for those that I connected better with right off the bat. There was one though that thinking about her, and her time with us, and who I was with her, I still am overcome with a mixture of feelings that involve stress, panic, resentment, and guilt. She was hard. The bond was hard. Parenting was hard. And after a year when she moved back home we experienced real ptsd. We all gave her everything we had, and then we had to give more. She needed, demanded it, could not function without it. In retrospect I should have disrupted before it had ruined us so bad.

    I am definitely a changed person since fostering. Not as perfect. I never collected our homeschooling game quite back to what it was before fostering, but then again there are other factors that play into that. I had wanted to give other kids the perfect parent that I was, and felt so inadequate when I couldn’t give them that. However, fostering brought me to my knees more than anything else in my life. I needed God more than ever, it was a humbling experience.

    After that one difficult placement we become pregnant since we didn’t think we would be fostering anymore. I was 2 months pregnant when a call came while we were supposed to be “on a break”. A baby girl was being released from the hospital and came straight to our home. One look at her and I knew, in a way that I never once experienced with the 13 previous placements, that she was our child. I gave birth 8 months later to a girl, than adopted our precious girl 2 months after that. (It was an expedited adoption case).

    We originally fostered to help kiddos, but I just had a feeling that somewhere, sometime, there was a child that was meant to be mine and I was going to follow this journey that God led me on. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how blessed I am with two beautiful babies. Now toddlers, hence the lack of excellent homeschooling with my older two.

    Oh my I’ve gone off on a tangent… all of to say you are not alone in your experiences, and that it’s not always like that. Just like people you meet at work or on the street, you click better with some than others. I don’t know if you will ever foster again, but my prayers are with you!

    NOW, what I REALLY wanted to say is, what a beautiful and precious baby she is! I just smiled at every picture, and she looks so much like Valor!

    Thank you for sharing your story with the world, and these pictures of your precious family! If you ever feel up to adding me on FB, please do. My profile picture is my cat. If not, no worries. I don’t usually read blogs but this one I have just kept coming back to to check up on. God Bless!

  5. Rachel says:

    I have been reading your blog for many years and usually read your blogs with a smile on my face.

    I don’t know what training you received prior to fostering but dealing with children who have experienced trauma is incredibly challenging and completely different to normal parenting. I am a social worker and I parent and interact with my own child very differently to how I interact with children who have experienced trauma.

    I think it takes a really humble and big person to say when something did not work out the way then had envisioned it to and I really admire you for that. I work with children who have experienced immense trauma and I know I couldn’t foster.

  6. Truth Be Told says:

    All I can really say is, thank goodness you let that little boy go to another foster home because with feelings you had and the way you have spoken about him, it was not in his best interest to be in your home. And yes, I have been a foster parent and do know what it takes, but I can say that I have never thought things that you have written about on a foster child. I really hope that C is in a home that loves him and he can thrive. Maybe there is a reason he hasn’t asked about you all. Sorry, but this is how I feel.

    • John says:

      I totally understand where you’re coming from. It’s also tricky blogging about this subject when there are all kinds of privacy concerns, etc. Anyway, it’s easier to throw ourselves under the bus than it is to throw C under the bus, but the reason he hasn’t asked about us is the same reason he didn’t really ever ask us about his actual parents. Unfortunately, the trauma of his earliest years made him resist attachment.

      • Vee says:

        John and Abbey I admire your bravery and honesty in this post so much. I am 7 years into a fostering journey that I can only in short describe as difficult and unrewarding. I have tried to wear many different hats to adapt to the situation but I’m not sure that other than providing food and shelter I have made any positive difference at all. The emotional cost however has been immense and I completely identify with your disappointment at things not working out the way you pictured. I hope that C finds his place in this world and I know that your renewed focus and energy will benefit your 3 blessings immensely.

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