About

I’m a professional woman who, late in my thirties, decided to become a foster parent to three, previously unknown-to-me children.  There is nothing special or spectacular about me. I’m not especially patient, a martyr, a saint, or terribly gifted with kids. My path is just a different one than most Americans choose.

I write here in hopes that foster parenting & adoption of older kids becomes less foreign and more attractive for all Americans.  Sadly, the systems that support foster/adoptive families are failing, so you’ll see information here about how to ask your elected officials to rebuild those systems, or maybe reinvent them.

I also discuss race on this blog, because my kids are black, and I’m white, which I naively thought was not a big deal. Turns out it is a big deal.

After I began writing this blog, the subject of mental health care became as important in my family as that of adoption. Between my three there are many diagnoses, including Reactive Attachment Disorder, PTSD, ADD and ADHD, because of the trauma they experienced early in life.

I hope you’ll share what I write here in an effort to begin much-needed conversations about foster parenting, adoption, mental health care (for kids and biological parents), and race. If enough of us become aware of the issues, I believe we can work together for positive change.

I’m happy to talk honestly to anyone about fostering or adoption of older children and share resources when I know of them. Please like my public facebook page by clicking here.

Thank you for reading and for sharing.

Shelley

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15 thoughts on “About

  1. Johnny says:

    Thank you for posting the video and your thoughts. I feel like I was given a voice through that short film.

    At 6 years old I overheard that my child psychologist told my caregivers that I was basically a lost cause. I had yet to go through the worst of my abuse. At 14 I was put into foster care where I experienced Love for maybe the first time, but boy did I ever test that Love!

    I should be dead. But instead I’m a 39 year registered nurse working in psychiatry and watching my beautiful soon to be 18 year old daughter grow up. She has never known abuse, and thrives because of it.

    Thank you for what you do. Don’t ever question the eternal impact you have, I’m sure there will be days when you’re tempted to. I’m alive today because of that type of Love and dedication. Trust me, in a sea of pain, any morsel of Love you give a child will seem like a feast to them.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this blog. I was directed here by a friend. You see, I have felt that I am an anomaly of a woman, because I don’t want to have my own children. I have traveled the world and seen so many children here and abroad that have been abandoned by society, and worse, their own parents. I have struggled to explain what that means to others and to myself, but your blog makes it all come together in a “not-so-pretty bow” (I think those are the words you used). Thank you for taking the time to write this- all of the ups and downs. I feel far more informed now, and I know that fostering/adoption will be in my future. I may not know how or when quite yet, but I know it will come. I hope you find encouragement today and strength to keep on loving those sweet faces!

    1. Angela says:

      Miranda, at the age of 28 I stood in my living room and prayed “Lord, I do not want to birth my own children. I want to foster. Please, when it is time, place those children in my path.” 9 years later God did just that. I was gifted with fostering 4 biological siblings; three teen, one preteen, two boys, two girls. I went on to foster a total of eleven teens over the five and a half years that I was licensed. I am still in contact with seven of them. Circumstances would not allow me to adopt my original four, but in my heart they are my forever family.

      Fostering is not easy, but anything worthwhile rarely is easy. I have been on an emotional roller coaster with my kids and spent A LOT of time praying, but those kids – all of my kids – have changed me and helped me grow in ways I could never have imagined. I believe that through fostering you learn to truly comprehend unconditional love and you learn to really meet people where they are.

      I would not trade the last nine years of my life for anything. May your life be richly blessed by the precious, broken children who cross your path. Peace.

  3. My sister told me to watch this video. I am so happy to see there are still people who have the LOVE GOD gave us in there hearts to share. My sister also is a foster parent along with her husband they will adopt 2 girls this summer a baby and a teen. So thank you for sharing this video I pray Blessings on you and your children. May GOD totally heal your kids. Praise JESUS for you.

  4. THIS VIDEO PISSES ME OFF TO NO END. This is a prime example of what SOCIETY does to children. This child was REMOVED and TAUGHT to be a VICTIM. Her father failed her family, the child & family welfare system failed her family, and from her chose of words throughout the support system failed her.
    Society shouldn’t have ignored the abuse, the child & family system should have removed the abuser and supported the remaining family, the support systems should have shown them STRENGTH and help rebuild the family.
    What you just saw is the reality of today’s child-welfare system. ALL F*CKED UP. They separate and destroy families and the individuals withing. Many can’t fight these battles in court due to the legal bills or the fact that the child-welfare recommendations ALWAYS get court approval even when as you have seen in this video that they do NOT act in the best interest of the child or the family. In this clip the Father is arrested, mother gets one visit, siblings get separated, mother gets A supervised visit, children get moved from home to home with her pining for her family which means she is not getting necessary contact.. and I’m not sure about the shower scene but isn’t that abuse by the foster parent? There are much worse abuses occurring in foster homes than just being thrown clothed in a shower. AND ABOVE ALL the child BELIEVES – “YOUR PAST DEFINES YOU” -that’s bullsh*t- NO ONE DEFINES YOU BUT YOUR OWN CHOICES. But… since the ENTIRE world around her failed her she too must find a reason to fail too. SOCIETY FAILED THIS CHILD..
    Cry if you must at the video.. and sympathize with the child but realize that YOU and the PERSON beside you is to blame for these types of situations. Until society ACTUALLY acts in the best interest of the family and the individual these situations will keep occurring.
    This is just one example.. there are several more.. but her in ALBERTA.. if you stand up and speak the truth or hold strong to the truth you get arrested. This happened to a family member who was part of the release of information regarding children’s deaths while under care of the child-welfare system. The system considers him volatile because he insists on informing people and tell the truth. He refuses to accept the lies and secrets told to families of children that have been removed. He refuses to have families destroyed. He refuses to have to hug another person who does not know how their child died in care. He refuses to give up… because he knows.. family is important. He knows the system fails and yet it continues to deny their inadequacies and buries them in FOIP and privacy and protect laws.
    People need to know the truth and as long as the government hides it and people are incarcerated for standing up for the truth nothing will change.

    1. Thanks for your impassioned post here, Ms. Steeves. I agree that our past does not define us, and that’s something I’m hopefully helping my kids to embrace. Best to you.

  5. Bel says:

    How poignant and powerful that short movie is. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and I am truly blessed because I am the “forever” mum to 2 permanent care siblings. This short movie sums it up. My beautiful cherubs have been living with me for over 10 years – they absolutely understand and experience unconditional love, I know this as they are now able to love to themselves for the beautiful souls they are. Healing begins where love grows. xox

  6. Taylor says:

    Thank you for sharing the video removed. I cried and cried and then shared it with other foster parents, agency workers, family and friends!

  7. Emma says:

    Hello, I’m new to the blogging world so I hope this is where one post to share and request specific information. My husband and I feel lost and frustrated with our soon to be 13 year old. Yes I have read, been to many therapy session (still continue) and experienced foster/adoptive care with my 3 adopted children. All different, thank God! Michael was 8 when we adopted him and although we had slight issue with him when he was around 12 we have overcame all those issue and now he is a successful senior in high school. My 13 year old Eric was 4 when we adopted him and the last 3 years have been hell for my husband and I and the whole family! My youngest and Eric’s half sister we welcomed her at 2 weeks old and she is just spoiled 🙂
    Are there any support groups in Tulsa for parents with RAD children? Also we are in the process of finding a long term residential home for Eric. We can’t help him anymore and God knows that we have tried everything we could!
    Emma

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