Orphans No More - Podcast
Episode #239 - How Foster & Adoptive Families Pivot During a Pandemic

Episode #239 - How Foster & Adoptive Families Pivot During a Pandemic

September 21, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic extends beyond the physical illness caused by the virus. The resulting shutdown has infected businesses, schools, churches, and nonprofits. But the most catastrophic impact has been on families. Financial stress, food and housing insecurity, educational challenges, and anxiety triggered by a future of unknowns has wreaked havoc on families—especially those with foster and adoptive children.

 

How do families facing mounting challenges adjust to the new reality forced upon us by a pandemic? That’s the topic of this week’s Orphans No More podcast. Join host, Sandra Flach, as she talks with New Jersey foster and adoptive mom, Elizabeth Occhipinti. Elizabeth is mom of five children—two adopted internationally. She’s also President and co-founder of Miriam’s Heart, an organization that radically supports foster and adoptive children and families. 

 

Sandra and Elizabeth’s conversation will inspire parents to run and not be weary as we pivot our parenting during a pandemic. Please be sure to subscribe to the podcast, leave a review, and share it on your social media. 

 

Episode #238 - Covid Causes Education Crisis for Children with Special Needs

Episode #238 - Covid Causes Education Crisis for Children with Special Needs

September 14, 2020

By now most children have returned to school—or at least some form of educational instruction. Depending on the state and school district, kids are either masked up and back in the school building, at home connecting to online classrooms, or navigating a combination of the two referred to as the “hybrid” option. But not all children are receiving the education they are entitled to.

Recently, Sandra Flach, sat down with upstate NY adoptive mom, Jessica Hurlbut. Jess is mom of five kiddos—two of whom are adopted and 2 have autism. During their conversation, Jess shared how her family has struggled since March, especially her children with special needs. 

The Hurlbut family’s story is not unique. Across the country, foster and adoptive families and those with children with special needs are struggling to manage life in limbo. Parents are advocating for their child’s education and services while school districts are trying to figure out how to open and operate in the new reality caused by Covid. 

Episode #237 - Peace, Be Still for Foster and Adoptive Parents with Sandra Flach

Episode #237 - Peace, Be Still for Foster and Adoptive Parents with Sandra Flach

September 7, 2020

“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He (Jesus) was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” 

 

Are you feeling the wind and the waves threatening to overtake your boat like the disciples experienced in Mark 4:37-41? Take heart—we are not destined to drown in the storm but to walk on the water.

 

Focusing on the wind and the waves—our circumstances—will only make us anxious. Instead, praying with thanksgiving calms the storm and settles our hearts and minds with the peace of God.

 

This week host, Sandra Flach, shares a storm-calming message of encouragement so you can experience the peace of God that transcends all understanding. 

 

Let us know you enjoyed the show—leave a comment, tell a friend, and share it on your social media. 

Episode #236 - Strength and Serenity for Foster and Adoptive Parents with Sandra Flach

Episode #236 - Strength and Serenity for Foster and Adoptive Parents with Sandra Flach

August 31, 2020

Foster and adoptive parents understand the unique challenges Covid-19 has brought upon families. As the new school year approaches, it brings increased uncertainties and changes which causes stress and anxiety levels in both children and parents to rise. Many of us find ourselves feeling as if we’re drowning in our own homes. 

 

My prayer for my own family and yours is that we will not become overwhelmed by the waves of life, but that we will walk on the water with Jesus. Keeping our eyes fixed on the Lord instead of our circumstances will give us strength and serenity even in the midst of troubling times. 

 

In this episode you will find a message of encouragement so you can be soul strong and experience the peace of God that transcends all understanding. 

 

Let us know you enjoyed the show—leave a comment, tell a friend, and share it on your social media. 

 

Links to content mentioned in Episode #236:

LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com

Episode #235 - Soul Strong—7 Keys to a Vibrant Life with Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Episode #235 - Soul Strong—7 Keys to a Vibrant Life with Lucinda Secrest McDowell

August 23, 2020

"All my dreams had come true, but I was drowning in them,” writes Lucinda Secrest McDowell in her new book Soul Strong—7 Keys to a Vibrant Life. McDowell’s statement refers to a time in her early thirties when she married a widower with three young children. She formally adopted the children and dove into being a new wife and mom to a hurting family—within a year she was drowning.

 

Thirty-six years later, not only has she persevered, Lucinda shares her story to encourage women how to live vibrant lives in Christ. She highlights seven keys to becoming soul strong:  Live Loved, Be Authentic, Dwell Deep, Pray Always, Overcome Pain, Extend Kindness, and Share Stories. 

 

Links to content mentioned in Episode #235:

LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com

 

Let us know you enjoyed the show—leave a comment, tell a friend, and share it on your social media. 

Episode #234 - My Father’s Daughter—Embracing your Identity as a Daughter of the King with Tanya Glanzman

Episode #234 - My Father’s Daughter—Embracing your Identity as a Daughter of the King with Tanya Glanzman

August 17, 2020

Having walked a difficult path of childhood abuse and neglect, Tanya Glanzman found healing and her true identity in the love and acceptance of her Heavenly Father. Today, Tanya is the founder of My Father’s Daughter ministry and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She specializes in women’s trauma recovery.

 

Recently, Sandra Flach, host of our Orphans No More podcast, sat down with Tanya Glanzman to discuss her new book, My Father’s Daughter—Embracing Your Identity as a Daughter of the King. You can find their conversation on Episode #234 HERE. Listen in as Tanya shares how women can recognize whose they truly are and be empowered to live the life of worth, value, and purpose for which they were created.

 

Links to content mentioned in Episode #234:

MyFathersDaughter.com

My Father’s Daughter - Book

My Father’s Daughter - Podcast

 

Let us know you enjoyed the show—leave a comment, tell a friend, and share it on your social media. 

Episode #233 - Encouraging Foster & Adoptive Parents During Covid-19 with Sandra Flach

Episode #233 - Encouraging Foster & Adoptive Parents During Covid-19 with Sandra Flach

August 10, 2020

Limbo is not an easy place to live, especially for a child with a trauma history. But limbo is exactly where we find ourselves during this season of Covid-19. For foster and adoptive families—limbo is a stressful road to navigate.

 

We find ourselves in a world where nothing seems predictable or stable. For children who’ve experienced trauma, these insecurities can cause them to become anxious and hyper-vigilant. Stress increases cortisol levels in the brain which puts our kids on high alert and triggers their fight-flight-freeze responses.

 

How can stressed-out parents help their stressed-out children? 

Host, Sandra Flach, discusses practical parenting strategies and shares inspirational stories to encourage and equip our listeners through the stressors brought on by Covid-19.

 

Let us know you enjoyed the show—leave a comment, tell a friend, and share it on your social media. 

Episode #232 Helping Foster & Adoptive Parents Navigate Covid-19 & Racial Tensions with Tona Ottinger

Episode #232 Helping Foster & Adoptive Parents Navigate Covid-19 & Racial Tensions with Tona Ottinger

August 3, 2020

Adoptive and foster parents must navigate several challenges along their family’s journey. Trauma, mental, emotional, and physical health, and racism are sensitive topics parents tackle on a daily basis. These families need the support of safe people, community members, and professionals. 

 

Tennessee adoptive mom, Tona Ottinger is co-founder of Memphis Family Connection Center—offering holistic care and therapy based on Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) principles. She and her husband, Mark, are also the new directors of Empowered to Connect. Tona understands the unique challenges foster and adoptive parents face, especially in today’s climate of Covid-19 and racial tensions.

 

Listen in as host, Sandra Flach, talks with Tona Ottinger about parenting through these trying times.

 

Let us know you enjoyed the show—leave a comment, tell a friend, and share it on your social media. 

Episode #231 - Covid-19 Trauma Triggers Impacting Children and Parents with Ruby Johnston

Episode #231 - Covid-19 Trauma Triggers Impacting Children and Parents with Ruby Johnston

July 27, 2020

Covid-19 and its resulting shutdown and social isolation are causing developmental trauma in America’s children. This is especially the case with foster and adopted children who have already experienced childhood trauma. Overwhelmed and exhausted parents not only have to deal with Covid-19 triggered stress themselves, but are also caring for children who, in many cases, are reverting back to behaviors they’d seemingly already overcome. 

 

Ruby Johnston, professional trauma informed trainer says, “Wounded people cannot help wounded people.” Johnston, co-founder of LaMB International and Global Capacity Building Network, also serves on the World Without Orphans executive team as the Capacity Building Coordinator. Ruby travels the world training caregivers, ministry leaders, and orphanage staff in best practices to bring healing to children who have suffered trauma and loss. 

 

Sandra Flach, host of the Orphans No More Podcast, recently interviewed Ruby Johnston to discuss how anxious parents can help anxious children navigate through the new reality brought on by Covid-19. Flach and Johnston covers topics such as trauma-informed parenting strategies and self-care. 

 

Stress Buster Video Series HERE.

 

Let us know you enjoyed the show—leave a comment, tell a friend, and share it on your social media. 

 

Episode #230 - President Trump’s Executive Order on Foster Care with Dr. Sharen Ford

Episode #230 - President Trump’s Executive Order on Foster Care with Dr. Sharen Ford

July 20, 2020

Strengthening the Child Welfare System for America’s Children

 

On June 24, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order on Strengthening the Child Welfare System for America’s Children. His administration believes every child deserves a family and the best foster care system is one that is not needed in the first place. Health and Human Services has been focused on prevention strategies that keep children safe while strengthening families so that children do not enter foster care unnecessarily.

 

The Executive Order sights challenges that still remain such as too many young people who are in our foster care system wait years before finding the permanency of family. More than 400,000 children are currently in foster care. Of those 124,000 are waiting for adoption.

 

In recent history, approximately 20,000 young people have aged out of foster care each year. Research has shown that youth who age out are likely to experience significant life challenges such as homelessness, unemployment, PTSD, and pregnancy by age 21. These are unacceptable outcomes for our nation’s young people.

 

Sandra Flach, host of the Orphans No More Podcast, recently sat down to discuss the President’s Executive Order with Dr. Sharen Ford, the Program Director for Foster Care & Adoption for Focus on the Family. Flach and Ford discussed the Executive Order and the President’s call to action. 

 

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