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Episode 073. Foster Care: A Fresh Perspective with Hillary Richards

Episode 073

On the first day Hillary Richards and her husband got their foster license, they got a call to take in two small children. And they did. Their foster journey ended in adoption and Hillary is here with us today to share about her journey as a way to shine a light on the foster care system & provide a fresh perspective for all of us.

She also shares new terminology that I wasn’t aware of. In Hawaii, foster families are referred to as “resource families.” She talks more about that on the show and why those terms are used. I have to say, that info and that new term really got me thinking.

If you have ever considered foster care or feel it is on your heart to look into it, Hillary’s firsthand account will provide a loving lens through which to hear the real, the easy, the hard, the details—all of it. Hillary shared with me that when they were thinking about fostering, she sought out firsthand accounts to help with her decision and I’m honored to be able to host her on this worldwide platform to share her firsthand account as a way to support others who are considering fostering.

In this episode, Hillary & I talk about:

  • Her family’s story about when and how they started their foster care journey
  • How fostering turned into adoption
  • The foster care licensing process
  • The roller coaster of emotions of fostering: the rub is holding opposing forces at the same time
  • New terminology: in Hawaii, “Foster Care Families” are called “Resource Families”
  • Understanding that you’re a resource for the whole family
  • The nitty gritty of the foster care: visitation, lawyers, the court system, etc.
  • Visitation—how that works and what it looks like
  • Birth parents
  • The change, uncertainty, and loss…and the bright side, too
  • Loss of control
  • Feeling “touchy” in certain seasons of fostering
  • Dealing with insensitive comments
  • Being the buffer
  • Fostering when you already have children
  • How we are already managing transitions in our life
  • How parents play an active role when worries and “what if” moments are present
  • Foster & Resource Family support that is available
  • Overwhelm and exhaustion
  • The power of talking with friends who are also fostering
  • The importance of “making a buddy” who is also fostering
  • Formal and informal support
  • If training really prepares you for becoming a foster care family
  • Our internal biases about fostering, race, religion, etc.
  • How family members are often the first ones to step up when there is a need
  • How your current parenting skills will serve you well
  • How intrusive (or not) home visits are
  • Background checks, full medical history, financial questions, proof of marriage (if applicable)
  • Commitment time
  • Vacation and foster care (I did not know you cannot travel with foster children…but it makes sense!)
  • How fostering is portrayed in movies and storylines
  • Healthy curiosity and moving away from sensationalism so we can get closer to the good
  • Avoiding jumping to conclusions about foster children
  • Seeing everyone as the whole people they are
  • Ideas for moms who are interested in fostering
  • It’s never a bad thing to have more people invested in a child’s life

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Homeschool Explained: Today’s episode is sponsored by Homeschool Explained, an online course I created to help parents begin their homeschool journey with confidence. I was getting a lot of questions from parents about my family’s homeschool journey…they wanted to know more but weren’t sure where to get started or if it was a good fit for their family. So I started teaching in-person workshops here on Maui to help parents sort that out. But then requests starting come in from other islands and other places asking if I could put it online from them, too…so I did! I totally get it, starting any new journey can be overwhelming…especially when you feel this call on your heart to homeschool but aren’t sure where to begin. That’s why I’ve put over 10 years of homeschool experience and insights into this easy to follow, easy to use online course that answers common questions, helps you work through worries, and saves you time.

Homeschool Explained is for anyone who is interested in homeschool (now or in the future) but isn’t sure where to start. The information in this course will help you make an educated decision about whether homeschool is the right fit for your family and help you understand what modern homeschool days actually look like—all while covering major topics like curriculum, homeschool styles, subjects to teach, cost, state laws, socialization and so much more. This course takes the guess work out of where and how to begin and leaves you with solid support and resources. Start your homeschool journey with confidence! Find out more at

Healthy Mama Meal Prep Online Course: I have exciting news! Our guest from Episode 46 about Kris Dovbniak has just launched her brand new course this week: Healthy Mama Meal Prep! I’m in her Intuitive Eating course and now her Meal Prep course and love both. And I’m NOT a meal prepper. I’m a “I want to eat what I want when I want with the ingredients I have in my house all while I pine for ingredients I wish I had in the house” kind of meal planner. But Kris has shown me that there is room for more peace in my house around meals and meal prep and that it’s do-able, delicious, and surprisingly flexible. I highly recommend you check it out if you’re wanting solid meal prep ideas from a trained chef, holistic health coach, and certified intuitive eating counselor. Kris has generously offered Elevating Motherhood listeners a discount code! LORIBETH15 will get you 15% OFF enrollment!


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