“And we will love naturally, we will try to do something. First in our own home, next door neighbor in the country we live, in the whole world.” - Mother Teresa. I love Mama T so much I named a baby after her, and this quote is one of the reasons why. It’s a commonly-told anecdote that when people asked her how they could change the world like she was doing, she told them to go home and love their families. The family is truly the bedrock of our Christian faith, and although volunteering and donating and going to the margins are all essential, I truly believe that loving your family is the number one most effective way to have an impact for the Gospel.
Today’s podcast guest, Brianna Johnston Hanks, is an attorney who works with families affected by foster care. When we think of foster care, we may have a picture in our head: selfless individuals who accept poor, needy kids into their homes and then go all Daddy-Warbucks on ‘em. But the truth is, foster care is a complex, nuanced issues with lots of hope + lots of heartbreak. Brianna is walking us through what foster care is for, how to discern if you’re ready to foster, and why foster care is an issue that needs to be discussed more among Catholics. It was truly an eye-opening conversation for me—to learn about how foster care is focused on the reunification of families and is meant to help families stay together reminded me so much of some of the core tenants of our faith. The same way we care about kids on our border, let’s care about kids in our own communities who are experiencing the heartbreak of family separation and the people who have stepped up to stand in the gap with them. Enjoy our chat!
Today’s episode is brought to you in part by the Blessed Is She academic planner. Every modern Catholic woman needs this stunning planner in her life. Snag yours today at www.thecatholicfeministpodcast.com/planner.
Today’s episode is also brought to you by Audible. How do I get dressed in the morning with two little kids? Y’all, Peter Rabbit on Audible. Grab a free audio book today by heading to www.audibletrial.com/catholic.
How Brianna got into foster care work
What exactly foster care is
How she deals with emotional burnout
Tips for discerning if you’re called to foster care
The book that’s been bringing Brianna closer to God
The HBO doc Foster
We Shall Remain: a video describing the history of Native American children being “scooped” away
Information on Adverse Childhood Experiences (from Brianna: “Why should we have compassion for bio-parents of kids in foster care? One reason is Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). These often cause all sorts of health problems, can rewire the brain, and can shut off or turn off genes so that these effects of this trauma can be passed down through generations. Their parental deficiencies may be the result of their grandmother’s trauma! AND, it’s why it’s important to prevent these experiences as much as possible in children, so that the effects of this trauma does not continue in future generations.”)
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