It’s been a little while since you’ve seen me here.
If you followed A Fostered Life on Facebook, you may have noticed that it’s not there anymore. And if you follow A Fostered Life on YouTube, you may have noticed that most of my content was gone for a while.
I thought I’d jump on here and give a bit of an explanation!
Back in August, I announced that I was making some changes. Here’s what I wrote at that time:
Heads up, folks! I’m in the process of making some changes here, as my focus nowadays is going beyond foster parenting. While I will always have a heart for equipping, supporting, and encouraging new and prospective foster parents, now that all of our children are adopted and we have moved to a new state, we are no longer currently involved in foster care. I expect we will be involved again in the future, but for now, we are circling the wagons around the five incredible children who are part of our permanent family and doing all we can to give them a rich and beautiful life.
The post went on, but that was the main point.
That was in August.
By early October, I was feeling a deep need to circle the wagons even more and create space in my life. Homeschooling four of my children and supporting my eldest child with her senior year online in a brand new school meant that I needed to cancel most of my other “outputs.” I let the members of The Flourishing Foster Parent know I would need to suspend our live coaching calls, and I closed my Patreon account. Because I could not keep up with YouTube comments (and trolls), I created a page on my web site for my YouTube video library to live on and removed them from YouTube while I took a break (they’re back now). I also decided to take a break from social media; I deactivated my Facebook account and deleted my Twitter account. I kept Instagram, but took a break from posting.
The break has been so good.
So, so, so, so good.
I have been more present to my kids. I’ve been able to focus on my own spiritual and emotional wellness. My stress level has gone down. As much as I loved my Flourishing Foster Parent community, I simply could not maintain it with my kids home 24/7. Hosting Coaching Calls, producing the audio and video resources, and writing for the blog required more than I had to give with everything else that was going on. And don’t even get me started on how the state of politics in my country affected me! I needed to not see people’s political posts for a little while (and I’m sure some of them wanted to stop seeing mine!)
All of this said, I am still passionate about supporting foster parents. I want these resources to be widely available. But how can I continue to offer support and encouragement, while recognizing my own limitations in this season?
Here’s what I’ve come up: instead of being an active blog, this web site has been reconfigured to be a static resource for foster parents. There are links to my YouTube channel videos and Season One of my podcast, as well as access to a library of Coaching Call recordings (for a small fee). There is a growing list of books on my Recommended Resources page. And I am still a champion for Positive Parenting Solutions, which remains my model of empowering, connecting, and equipping parenting (and FYI this is an affiliate link).
Also, and this is a little awkward to get into, but I have heard from a number of agencies who have been using my content for foster parent training, so I have created a way for them to license my copyrighted content to download legally. (Did you know it’s illegal to download content from YouTube to use offline? Yup. If you are a foster parent licensing agency or otherwise using my content to train foster parents, you either have to stream my content directly from YouTube every time you show it or pay the licensing fee here on my web site to download the content. It is illegal to download my videos and incorporate them into your training materials without paying the licensing fee.) I didn’t make this rule—but I’m grateful for it. YouTube creators put a lot of time and effort into the resources we create, and the advertising revenue YouTube and its creators receive for the content we create is why we can continue to create content!
So, if you were looking for me on Facebook or wondering where the YouTube videos had gone, that’s the scoop. I have been very conflicted about how to continue making this content available without making myself so available. I long for privacy for my family, while simultaneously feeling driven to support foster parents. I have increasingly wrestled with the fact that, while I signed up to be a foster parent, my children did not sign up to be in foster care. I am comfortable sharing my foster parenting journey—but I want them to have a choice about whether or not/how much to share their foster care (and adoption) journeys.
To that end, I plan to continue writing for this blog, as time permits. I also plan to continue offering private foster parenting coaching in the future. For now, though, the wagons are circled around my family. I hope that you will still find helpful resources here, and if you know someone who is just starting the foster parenting journey, that you’ll direct them to this site.