Episode 8

When you feel like a fostering failure

On this episode, we’re talking about when you feel like a failure as a foster parent and how to manage through that. 

  • Foster marriages opened their heart and home to helping out children in need, had good intentions, perhaps a lot of expectations of how everything would go, and now reality is setting in and you’re not handling things well at all

Types of situations when foster parents often feel like a failure:

  • Responses to behavior
  • Feeling a lack of bond and blaming yourself
  • Feeling like a failure to your bio-kids
  • Feeling like a failure in your marriage and you don’t have anything left to give
  • Feeling like they’re failing God or as a Christian

What’s happening at a deeper level

  • Importance of understanding your "Root System"
  • Thinking/Lies and emotions of fear, guilt and shame, and stress
  • Why personality styles happen

The risks of not managing yourself well:

  • Living in the guilt/shame and stress of it and constantly either feeling out of control or becoming very submissive
  • Beating yourself up / negative self talk
  • Feeling out of control and reacting to everyone that way
  • Seeking worth in other ways or in very unhealthy ways
  • Lots of conflict in your marriage that creates disunity
  • Living in disappointment with each other

How to move forward - both immediate and longer term solutions

Recalibrating expectations

  • Of yourself
  • Of each other
  • Of your child
  • Taking thoughts captive (this is a practice that’s long-term though)
  • Discussing struggles with each other
  • If that’s uncomfortable, start with little things so you practice becoming more vulnerable
  • Responding well to each other
  • Holding each other accountable and offering help
  • Seeking help
  • More training/knowledge
  • Babysitters/respite
  • Counseling

Failure is inevitable. It’s how we respond that is most important. 

If you enjoy this podcast, rate and review it wherever you listen. It helps other fostering families find it. 

And follow us on Facebook at Fostering Marriage. 

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