Friday, July 01, 2022

22nd Wedding Anniversary

Lisa and Nathan, est. July 1, 2000

People don't talk enough about what building trust after foster care feels like... it kind of looks like this:  (especially the middle picture!)

Becoming a stepmom to Rachel and Carly:

Monday, June 13, 2022

The 2022 omicron experience

Despite being vaccinated and boosted, I still managed to catch omicron lately. I work up at 2:00 am with symptoms, took an at-home COVID test, and it came up positive. 

The next couple days weren't so great. My eyes ached, my head was throbbing, and my throat felt like someone was attacking it with a carrot scraper. Have you ever been swimming and breathed in water instead of air?  My nose felt like that for three days. 

My work was incredibly supportive and my husband was a saint. I've been staying in the guest room to quarantine. He brings food, ice, water, vitamins and food to my door, and checked my temperature and blood oxygen level intermittently.  

This is what hubby love looks like in the early morning: sugar-free ice coffee to ease my raw throat:

My current status/appraisal of omicron is summarized by the picture below. I'm looking forward to returning to work tomorrow!

Sunday, May 01, 2022

What Foster Parents Can Do to Support Academic Achievement for Foster Youth

For many of us, our post-secondary journey after emancipation from foster care was on our own. But everything we do today is about improving outcomes for others.  

What can foster parents do to support youth in their care when it comes to post-secondary success?  This research article noted the following themes, as self-reported by youth. 

Citation: Dag Tore Skilbred, Anette Christine Iversen & Bente Moldestad (2017) Successful Academic Achievement Among Foster Children: What Did the Foster Parents Do?, Child Care in Practice, 23:4, 356-371.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Family Privilege in the Time of COVID

This is a direct quote from a young person I spoke with earlier this week. 

What young people need the most when striving to succeed in young adulthood is unconditional and long-lasting support.

But for former fosters, EVERYTHING comes with conditions, from the moment they turn 18.

It is unrealistic to expect foster youth whose decisions have always been made for them to magically know how to successfully navigate complex systems and eligibility requirements at age 18...

Especially now, in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. 

The share of 16- to 24-year-olds who are neither enrolled in school nor employed more than doubled from February (11%) to June (28%) due to the pandemic and consequent economic downturn.

In July 2020, 52% of young adults in the US resided with one or both of their parents, according to a Pew Research Center. This is a higher percentage than any previous measurement, including during the Great Depression. 

Though the ‘boomerang’ stage has been on the rise for at least the last decade, the pandemic has added a few new contributing factors: many who planned to go away for college could not –  university campuses closed across the world – and others who might have otherwise moved for a job after college delayed leaving home because in-office work has not been available.

The difference lies in having a place to come home to... 

#FamilyPrivilege is real. For those who 'age out' of foster youth this is often either (a.) not an option, or (b.) not a safe option.

Saturday, January 01, 2022