Happy Fathers Day and Becoming a Foster Dad

L dad and kids

In honor of Father’s Day, I need to share a little something about Russ. He is a planner – a serious, big time planner. He is very detail oriented in nearly all areas of his life.

Except when it comes to me messing it all up, which I’m inclined to do – or God intervening.

Russ and I have been talking about doing foster care someday. In the meantime, we’ve been considering doing respite for a sibling set of three girls.

Then last Friday, I got a surprise call asking if we could take one of the girls for the night, which became two nights, which became two weeks.

Now we’re not sure how long it will be. Our hearts are open to what God has planned.

We celebrated Russ’ birthday by being background checked and yesterday we were fingerprinted as they fast track our foster license.

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I don’t know about you, but there isn’t much that makes me admire and love my husband more than seeing him love and serve kids in need.

He’s amazing – and audacious. Which reminds me of a post I wrote years ago and is worth reading again.

Yesterday we heard an amazing sermon about Elijah, who according to our pastor, had chutzpah. Apparently this can be translated a number of ways, but for the sake of this post, let’s say that Elijah was audacious. He was bold and daring – he had guts.

I grabbed Russ’ hand as our pastor spoke, and my heart was full of love and admiration for him. My engineer, detail-oriented, “get all the facts” husband, was audacious enough to adopt four children.

Details were sketchy at best and there were many uncertainties. Russ took risks far outside his level of comfort and made sacrifices beyond what most people can imagine.

Ministry to the fatherless has no vacation, no salary, no furlough, and it all happens right in your own home. It’s messy and it spills over into every aspect of your life.

If your husband is a man who likes things organized and predictable, it can be supremely uncomfortable – and that is what makes it all the more glorious.

We have an opportunity to do something so far outside of our natural inclinations that we are stretched, broken, and made into something new.

My husband is becoming more like Christ; Russ is being born into the person God wants him to be.

So all of you out there loving the fatherless – you are audacious – you are amazing.

May the Lord give you strength today to do his will and love the children he brings to you. And as our pastor said yesterday, when we get to the end of our lives, let’s stand before the Lord able to say, “I’ve got nothing left. I gave it everything I had.”

I’m so proud to be married to a man who gives his life away for kids in need.

Can I get an amen from the moms reading this?

Happy Father’s Day to all of you audacious dads loving and serving kids in need – you are amazing!


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Kim
    June 16, 2016

    Amen! Beautifully written. Thank you.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 16, 2016

      Thank you, Kim!

  2. Joy Headrick
    June 16, 2016

    Yes and Amen!

  3. Emily
    June 16, 2016

    I love this! We need our husbands, and I also feel blessed by an incredible one, who although an introverted scientist, keeps his focus on serving his family. Your quote “I’ve got nothing left. I gave it everything I had.” is what we all want to end our lives with, but so hard to balance with self-care -so we can indeed give everything.

    All the best as you enter the foster care path! It is challenging and molding! God bless you.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 16, 2016

      Thank you for the encouraging words, Emily, and the reminder that self-care is important too.

  4. fairygodmother
    June 18, 2016

    Can’t wait to hear more about this!!!
    Love to all of you!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 19, 2016

      Life is always exciting with the Qualls 🙂


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