Devoted Dreamers: 41 - Lauren Jones: Homeschool Mom | Foster Parent | Putting Books in Kids’ Hands

Lauren Jones is a homeschooling, bio/adoption and foster care mama of four kids ages 9 to 9 months. If you can’t find her in the kitchen or the mountains, she’s probably scouring vintage shops for beautiful books. It should be said that she’s definitely not cleaning her house--you can pray for that if you’d like. Lauren and Joe started foster care 3 years ago and have had 7 placements in that time. It’s been a healthy mix of “this is amazing” and “this totally sucks.” They recently founded Treasured Kids, a ministry aiming to get beautiful books into the hands of foster kids. 

IF YOU HAVE EVER FELT LIKE YOU LACKED THE EXPERIENCE TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAM, THIS IS THE EPISODE FOR YOU.

Lauren talks about all the reasons she felt unqualified to launch a brand-new ministry and, yet, how God has met them in the midst of it and answered prayers before they even knew they had the needs.

She shares about her family and caring for kids from hard places who aren’t interested in books or being close with their caregivers and how reading has made a difference in their home when they’ve faced hours-long tantrums or unresponsive kiddos. She’s honest about what she and Joe have learned as foster parents and how they’ve had to change their expectations along the way.

Finally, there’s some sweet encouragement for you from Lauren to just listen to what’s on your heart and share with others what you’re thinking and dreaming about. She’s seen her community step up in surprising ways with Treasured Kids, and I have a feeling she’ll see more of that in the future.

At the end of the show Lauren shares about how you can get involved with Treasured Kids’ monthly giveaways—which anyone can enter—to win an heirloom book as well as a local event, in Boulder County on April 25th if you’re interested in learning more about foster care.

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LAUREN’S RECOMMENDATIONS:

SCRIPTURE:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
~Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

BOOKS:
Check out the Treasured Kids website and their "Books We Love" list for several recommended books for kids in or out of foster care. These would be great options if you're interested in donating a book or two to Lauren and Joe's ministry. 

BOOKS FOR FOSTER CARE INSPIRATION:
The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison

PARENTING BOOKS:
The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family by Karen Purvis
Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control by Heather T. Forbes and B. Bryan Post
The Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross
The Soul of Discipline by Kim John Payne 

MORE BOOKS FOR BONDING WITH KIDS:
Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

BOOKS TO AVOID FOR KIDS IN FOSTER CARE: 
Runaway Bunny (because of mother/offspring searching theme)
Are You My Mother? (because it's confusing to kids)
Bud, Not Buddy (foster brother character is a negative portrayal)
Annie (tricky because of negative themes related to orphans/adoption)
Stellaluna (because it's about mother/offspring searching theme)
Cheesy Christian dollar store books

UPCOMING EVENTS:
May is Foster Care Awareness Month. Follow @TreasuredKids on Instagram to participate in their monthly book giveaways and learn about upcoming fundraisers.
Foster Family Story Sharing Night (for those local to Boulder, Colorado) – Tuesday, April 25th

CONNECT WITH LAUREN:
Website || Instagram || Facebook

 

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The Devoted Dreamers Podcast is produced by Jonathan R. Clauson.
Theme music by Reaktor Productions.

 

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