Meet the Dads: Father’s Day Special Edition

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In honor of Father’s Day, the Dads of Dropping Anchors are taking over the blog the entire month of June! We are so excited to hear from them, and gain insights into the hearts of foster dads, a group not often willing to put their hearts out there (on the internet). These dads work tirelessly to provide for our families and show our children wonderful male rolemodels. They open their arms and hearts to children during their most difficult times. We can’t wait to see what their hearts say about the wild world of foster care.

To start off the Dads Take Over series, we would like to introduce you to some of the Dropping Anchors Dads in a Meet the Dad post. You will be hearing from some of them throughout this month as they write what their hearts have to say about foster care.


MEET THE DADS


Shane Palmer

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What does it mean to you to be a Dad?

Being a dad gives me the opportunity to give a child what I was fortunate enough to have- a mom and a dad and a peaceful household. It’s nice to feel like I’m able to show a child what that’s about. We try to show our children, no matter how long they are with us, other parts of the world- dance, sports, etc. We want them to know what else is out there. Even if they are placed back in a not so perfect situation, we want them to know there are people out there that love them and there’s so much they can strive to be and do.

What led you to foster care?

Our desire to have children and the fact that my wife is adopted made foster care feel like a natural choice.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of foster care?

My favorite part of foster care is the babies. Our first experience in foster care was a 4 month old little boy, so every new baby reminds me of him. My least favorite part is when our children arrive to our home with their things in trash bags. That’s why my family chose to sponsor a Together We Rise Sweet Cases event for our one year familyversary.

Anything else you would like the Dropping Anchors readers to know?

For those currently involved in foster care- keep doing what you’re doing, keep advocating for children, and showcase to others not involved why they should be involved in some part of foster care. For more information how to get involved, please watch the Dropping Anchors Blog first and second videos, or read these posts by Alisha, Stephanie, and Kelly.

 

Trent Friberg

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What does it mean to you to be a Dad?

Being a dad is living into that role of guidance, protector, nurturer, confidant, educator, and partner-on-this-journey-called-life that parents are called to be. It really means trying to understand the children in their care and help to shape and form them into productive and caring persons. It is the greatest privilege and the highest calling.

What led you to foster care?

To be honest, my wife. She was the reason we first explored this crazy adventure and yet it has captured my heart and is a fulfillment of my passion to serve others. I see foster care as the system that is trying to serve the most vulnerable and precarious of persons. I want to be part of caring for these children!

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of foster care?

My favorite part is being able to just share life with these children. To see them grow and learn and develop in our home is such a privilege and an honor. Contributing meaningfully to another life and watching my children embrace this calling as well has been such an incredible blessing.

I get most frustrated with the flaws of the system of foster care. And in the midst of these flaws, it seems like the horror stories are the ones that get all the attention. If the functional families are scared off by the tough stuff, what is left is a scary picture. We need to have and to hear the stories of joy, reconciliation, proper placement and shared love. I get frustrated that these hopeful narratives are often lost, because they are present.

Anything else you would like the Dropping Anchors readers to know?

We are passionate about this ministry of foster care. And while hosting children in your home is not the answer for everyone, I truly believe that every family can be and should be involved in some way. Maybe for some that is opening a room of their home. For others it is getting licensed and providing a night out or a weekend away for a foster parent couple. For others it might be providing clothing or school supplies or Christmas gifts to children in the foster care system. The duty of caring for these most vulnerable people in our society falls to all of us. 

Jason Daniels

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What does it mean to you to be a Dad?

I see the function of a father as being a protector. That means spiritual as well as physical. The world is a mean place at times. I can’t shield them from it, but if I can show them God and protect them physically as much as possible I’ve fulfilled my duty. I can kiss scrapes, discipline when needed, comfort broken hearts, and teach right from wrong, but if I can’t lead them to Christ then I’ve failed.

What led you to foster care?

Stephanie and I got involved in foster care out of a longing to adopt. We considered international adoption, domestic adoption and foster care. Foster care scared me for the typical reason- “What if I get too attached and then have to say goodbye?” But here we are, 5 years later, 6 different children later, and we will never be the same. The joy is overwhelming at times but without the sovereign hand of God it wouldn’t be possible, at least for me, to do.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of foster care?

My favorite thing about foster care is the first smile of a child when they come to us. My least favorite is the “red tape.”

Anything else you would like the Dropping Anchors readers to know?

I would like everyone to know that the pain, the tears, the sleepless nights, and the hard work are worth it. If anyone reads this that doesn’t already foster, or is just getting started, that is the thing I would like them to know. I’d suffer the loss of a foster child a million times over as long as they have the chance to experience peace, love, attachment, and security in our home.


Dave Hagen

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What does it mean to you to be a Dad?

When I first signed on to do foster care I had this vision of being of a temp dad that was pretty technical. I figured you feed them, water them, and give them a safe space to grow. Discipline was supposed to be easy – cause and effect. The reward was supposed to be some laughs and getting to show off how good at dad-ing you are on Facebook. 

A few years later I’m learning that this goes so much deeper than farming.  It’s stretched me to not just labor with my time, money, and energy; there’s this whole invisible thing of emotions and psychology attached to that stuff.  I’m still pretty out of shape in that area, so as I’ve been learning to invest in these kids it’s been helping me to get a better understanding of myself and my wife.

The work is much harder than I anticipated, but it’s hard in all the areas that I need exercised. The reward is so much beyond what I had hoped. And I still get to post all the pictures on Facebook.

What led you to foster care?

Honestly, foster care was a bit of an afterthought.  We had been trying to have kids for a while, unsuccessfully. After a trip to Haiti we knew right away that we needed to be adopting. We decided to Foster as a short term thing until we could adopt. Two adoptions later and we’re still going strong!

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of foster care?

My favorite part of foster care has been, selfishly, getting loved on by these kids.  Watching a boy who has struggled all day sink into a hug or cuddle into my lap is an incredibly rewarding experience.

My least favorite part would be the constant reminders of the pain these kids have gone through. I often start to get fussy after dealing with a struggling kid; I have to remind myself that I’m just meeting the symptom of something so much worse that formed that little mind.

 

Jesse Walker

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What does it mean to you to be a Dad?

Being a Dad means offering unconditional love. It means being 100% invested in your children and setting a good example for them. 

What led you to foster care?

My wife and I were not able to have more children after our daughter. Our original thought was adoption, but researching and praying about that led us to foster care. God turned our bad situation into good, we just had to trust His plan. 

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of foster care?

My favorite part is taking kids from a bad environment and bringing them into a good one where we know they’ll be well taken care of with all their needs met, and loved. 
  My least favorite part is the red tape. Just dealing with caseworkers and bio parents, all the appointments and just the junk that goes along with bringing a new child into your home. It should be about the kids but sometimes it doesn’t seem that way. 

 Anything else you would like the Dropping Anchors readers to know?

Just that making a difference in kids lives is what it’s about. It’s why we do what we do. Sometimes it’s easy to forget and lose focus but keep on keeping on. There’s always another child around the corner who needs you!

 

Chris Thompson

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What does it mean to you to be a Dad?

Being a dad means the world to me. It is something I knew I wanted to be. Growing up with a part time dad scared me into being the dad I am. I have always said that I want to make sure above all that my kids knew exactly who I am. And my kids do know. They know that they are loved well.

What led you to foster care?

What led me to foster was my mom working for CPS. I saw things that she did and how she impacted the lives of kids and parents. Plus we wanted to be parents.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of foster care?

My favorite part of being a foster/adopt dad is the little things, having my kids come see me at work, then jumping up and down when they see/hear me in the driveway. My kids crawling into my lap to cuddle and watch something on the TV. My kids saying I love you da-da! My kids knowing unconditional love. The down side of being a foster dad is having the need be so great. There are way too many people that can not care for their own children.

Anything else you would like the Dropping Anchors readers to know?

Foster care is NO JOKE!!!! It’s been life changing for sure! I’m so glad this is the life God had for us.


Join us in celebrating these amazing men all month long.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Real Dads out there!

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About Alisha Palmer

Alisha and her husband Shane have been therapeutic and medically fragile foster parents since 2012, caring for many children from medically fragile infants to therapeutic teenagers, and numerous in between. In 2015 they adopted their two amazing daughters from the foster care system. She is a foster care and adoption advocate who strives to encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and into this world, providing love and stability to children during their darkest times. Follow her on Instagram @fosterloveforeverhome.
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3 Responses to Meet the Dads: Father’s Day Special Edition

  1. Sarah says:

    Thanks for getting the dads to share! They are SUCH AN IMPORTANT part of foster parenting. Thanks guys!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Thank you all for sharing your stories. My husband and I are in the process of becoming certified as foster parents, and it’s such a tremendous blessing to hear such positive perspectives from each of you. It makes me hopeful and excited as we navigate all the paperwork and hoops. Grateful for the wealth of experience and insight that this site offers!

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