Episode 7

Deciding if you should foster

Deciding if you should foster is a life-changing decision for everyone involved. We give our best advice on how to communicate about it especially when you’re not on the same page.

Communicating about this can be a big struggle for couples

  • Massive issue and perhaps it comes out of nowhere and catches 1 spouse off guard
  • It's emotional
  • It can trigger someone into fear/self-protection.

How the initiator of the conversations can lean in the direction of their spouse

  • What does that communication require
  • How you can lean in each other's direction
  • Remember the marriage is most important and focus on team unity
  • Share your desire, etc. Don’t hold back on detail
  • Gain perspective from your spouse
  • Keep asking questions to understand
  • Don’t bully, over question or pressure especially in the first good conversation about it
  • Manage your emotions especially if your spouse remains reluctant
  • Don’t pester
  • Don’t guilt
  • Don’t manipulate
  • Don’t try to control the outcome
  • Be graceful and respectful of your spouse’s fears and concerns
  • Be willing to give them time to process because this is a HUGE thing
  • Prayer

How the hesitant spouse lean in the direction of their spouse

(We’re not saying you should ultimately foster, we want to give you the tools to have better conversations about it.)

  • Remember the marriage is most important and focus on team unity
  • Gain perspective on why and ask other questions you want information on
  • Validate your spouse’s emotions and desires and how important this is to them
  • Manage your own emotions
  • Don’t let fears shut you down from communicating
  • Don’t shut your spouse down
  • Acknowledge (and this is a super difficult one) selfishness
  • Don’t just shut down the conversation
  • Be vulnerable and share your concerns and fears
  • Practice letting your spouse question you on those but this requires massive vulnerability because you may get to root objections that don’t sound good or make you look bad
  • Prayer

What to do if you’re still not on the same page

  • Prayer
  • Keep the conversation going….even if years go by and is necessary

We share a personal story about how we navigated deciding to foster....which was NOT to foster. But we ended up doing it anyways.

About the Podcast

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Fostering Marriage
Keep your marriage strong when fostering kids

About your hosts

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Joel Fortner

Joel has been married to MaryBeth since 2010 and began the fostering journey in 2019. They have a heart to serve married couples who've chosen the fostering journey. He and MaryBeth have 2 biological kids and 2 foster kids (and 2 dogs) and make their home in middle Tennessee, where Joel serves as a leader and coach with Chris LoCurto and team.
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MaryBeth Fortner