We had the opportunity to sit down with Lauren Lawson who grew up living with various family members and then eventually went into the foster care system at age 12. Lauren shares her story and offers insight into some of the issues and behaviors that might exist in adolescents within the foster care system. Now a foster mom, she shares wise guidance that encourages us to consider what might be behind some of the behaviors of the children in our families.
We are then joined by Ryan North, the Executive Director of Tapestry, the Adoption and Foster Care Ministry of Irving Bible Church and leader of Empowered to Connect. Ryan and his wife Kayla train others from around the country to help couples tend to the hearts of children from hard places. In this episode, Ryan offers practical advice for foster parents on how they can learn to address and meet the needs that sometimes occur beneath the behaviors.
Download the free companion PDF to this series—“Seven Insights about Foster Care from Those Who’ve Been There”–and share these types of insights with others in your community!
“If I see one of my little guys and they’re lashing out, sometimes it’s easy just as a parent, want to jump on that, squash the behavior, and tell them to knock it off. When the reality is, I don’t know what’s going on in their hearts. That may be their only coping mechanism because they miss mom and dad today.”
Lauren Lawson, former foster youth and foster parent
Here are the resources and/or organizations mentioned in this episode:
Tapestry’s Empowered to Connect Podcast: http://tapestryministry.org/podcast/
Empowered to Connect: empoweredtoconnect.org
Tapestry – The Adoption and Foster Care Ministry of Irving Bible Church: tapestryministry.org
Meet Our Guests
Lauren Lawson is a military wife and stay at home mom to 8 wonderful children. She is a former foster youth and now a foster mom. Lauren entered foster care in back in 1992 at twelve years old and and aged out after her senior year of high school. While she considers her experience in foster care fairly positive compared to most, she knows that’s not always the “norm” and hopes to be a voice for kids from hard places by sharing her story. Her and her husband have fostered in both California and Texas and have fostered 11 children, two of whom they’ve been blessed to adopt.
Ryan is the Executive Director of Tapestry, the Adoption and Foster Care Ministry of Irving Bible Church. Tapestry serves to connect families in community, equip them for the journey, and encourage them along the way. In his capacity as the Executive Director of Tapestry, Ryan leads Empowered to Connect. He writes and speaks on adoption and foster care issues as well as the joys and challenges of Christian ministry. He and his wife Kayla have six kids, both biological and adopted, ranging in age from toddlers to teens.
Meet Our Hosts
Jason and his wife, Trisha, have been caring for children from U.S. foster care since 2001 and have had the privilege of adopting their five children from foster care. Jason has helped to produce and write several books, bible studies, and other tools all created to serve churches as they care for hurting kids including the newly released children’s book, Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn (BroadStreet Publishing). Jason writes a regular column for Fostering Families Today magazine and is the host of the Foster Movement Podcast, which highlights the stories of former foster youth and national foster care advocates. Jason serves as the National Director of More Than Enough for the Christian Alliance for Orphans and currently lives in Plano, Texas.
Most teenagers remember the day they got their license, or their sweet 16, or even prom night. For Diego the most prominent day he remembers is In 2002, when he showed up on Bishop Aaron Blake’s steps. Blake stopped Diego at the door and told him to lose any foster care mentality that he has. “You are not a foster child; you are ‘Engrafted’ into my family.” Diego, now a national recording artist, released his second studio album titled “ENGRAFTED” in 2014! Diego is the founder & president of B.I.G Records & Foundation. He and his “Pops,” Bishop Aaron Blake have joined forces and travel the country empowering the local church to create a culture of families prepared to accept the calling of orphan care. Diego lives with his family in the Dallas area.