• Hard is Not the Same as Bad

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    This week, I am joined by author "M is for Mama" Abbie Halberstadt. Abbie is the busy mom of ten kiddos who also finds time to encourage Christian mamas in their calling of motherhood. As moms, we are laying the foundation for our kids to know Christ; it is a heavy responsibility but one we can do with God on our side.

    In this conversation, we talk about the hardship of parenting, and how that relates to adoption and foster care. Whether you're parenting adopted, foster, or your own biological children, its all hard! And hard is where God grows us.

    So glad you're here to join us!

    Link to:

    Abbie's Instagram

    Abbie's website

    Abbie's new book "Hard is Not the Same as Bad"

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    36m - Jun 11, 2024
  • Everything You Need to Know from an Adoption Attorney

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    This week, our special guest is an attorney to help us answer all the legal and financial questions: Lucrece Bundy. Lucrece always had a passion for helping children but didn't expect God would call her to helping children and parents from a legal perspective. Now, she is not only a lawyer advocating for families but has a YouTube channel dedicated to advising parents wanting to answer the call.

    In this episode, we cover all those sticky questions: How much is this going to cost? How long is this going to take? How do I jump through these hoops I didn't even know existed!?

    We had an incredible conversation and I hope you find it helpful and insightful!

    Link to:

    Lucrece's YouTube channel

    Website

    Instagram

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    40m - Jun 4, 2024
  • Beyond the Black Trash Bag: Understanding the Calling of Foster Care

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    This week, I am joined with the incredible Jennifer Kritner who shares her powerful story of foster care and adoption.

    Jennifer had a difficult time having her two biological sons but then due to some medical challenges, she was given the devastating news that she could no longer have children. Through this heartbreak, God led her to foster care, which was not an easy yes for their family. Through foster care also came adoption, and their family is even more beautiful than ever.

    Jennifer and I discuss her story and experience plus practical things you can do to help those in your circles that have said yes to this calling, or what resources and steps to take if you're looking to say "yes" too.

    Jennifer's Facebook & Instagram and Unclaimed Baggage organization.

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    43m - May 28, 2024
  • Loving Adopted Children Well

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    This week, I am joined with author, professor, speaker, and mother of three precious adopted children: Dr. Laurel Shaler. Laurel has co-written a book with Dr. Gary Chapman titled "Loving Adopted Children Well: A 5 Love Languages Approach" which has sparked today's conversation.

    Laurel and I discuss some of her unique background with adoption which includes a snowflake adoption (where the adoptee mom carries an unwanted embryo to birth herself). We also discuss the ways to love our children when adoption comes inherently with loss and pain.

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    40m - May 21, 2024
  • How to Reassure Your Adopted Kids They Belong

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    This week, my special guest and I are talking about addressing the tough questions our adopted kids ask. Common ones can be "Why are you my parents?" "Why am I not with my real parents?" and "Why don't I look like you?" "Why am I different?" and so many more. We need to welcome these conversations so our kids feel safe and seen in their own journey which had a challenging start.

    Joined with me for this amazing and practical conversation is author Carey Koenig. Her recent book is titled "Do I Belong?" which is the catalyst for this conversation. She has two adopted children who asked her these many questions and she was passionate about creating a resource to help others in this calling.

    Click here to learn more about her book!

    Click here to check out her online resource for adopted kids!

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    38m - May 14, 2024
  • Whose Am I?: Helping Your Adopted Kids Through Identity Struggles

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    This week, my special guests and I are talking about our adopted child's experience from their perspective. They are going to have a lot of questions about their identity and who they are, and as parents we need to help them navigate this. Joined with me on this are the authors of the book "Whose Am I" Jackie Darby and Axia de Lopez.

    Jackie Darby and Axia de Lopez have an incredible story, both in their own journeys to adoption, and how they came together and eventually made this book. Jackie was adopted and Axia is an adoptive mother. Their story is incredible and their insight is eye-opening.

    You can learn more about the book by clicking here!

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    46m - May 7, 2024
  • A Long Journey of Finding God's Goodness in Adoption and Foster Care

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    This week, I am joined with a special guest who has an incredible story that needed sharing. Rebekah Finney has had a long journey to finding God's goodness in adoption and foster care, a story which many of us can relate to or understand how beautiful yet painful this calling is. Rebekah's story is exactly that, full of the pain of miscarriages and yet the beauty of a family in their three adopted children which they fostered.

    Join me on this journey as Rebekah shares how God moved in her life through every heartache, the dying to the self, the developing relationships with biological parents, and the sorrow with rejoicing.

    You can reach out to Rebekah via email: mattandrebekah654@gmail.com

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    41m - Apr 30, 2024
  • Infertility and Adoption: Does One Lead to the Other?

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    Often people think infertility leads to adoption. It isn't always the case, but it can be for some. Joined with me on the podcast are authors Jenn Hesse and Kelley Ramsey who were connected from miles apart thanks to social media. They both share similar infertility stories which is what dawned their friendship and eventually collaborating on this book, "Waiting in Hope: 31 Reflections for Walking with God Through Infertility"

    In today's conversation, we tackle the emotional rollercoaster that is infertility. There is hope and there is pain, and it can be isolating. Kelley and Jenn remind us how important marriage is, community, and leaning into God who has the plan we may not understand.

    Something beautiful can come from this grief, and something beautiful can also be different from what we expect.

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    53m - Apr 23, 2024
  • Parenting Foster, Adopted and Bio Siblings Together

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    It's been a while since it's just been you and me on the podcast. We've had a lot of incredible guests over the past several weeks and I just wanted to take a moment to pause and get into a common struggle with adoption and foster care, and that's how to raise all the siblings together.

    I offer you some practical advice, my own rough experience, and hopefully some information with strengthens and encourages you in this calling!

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    27m - Apr 16, 2024
  • Unlimited Motherhood: When You Don't Feel Like You Have Much to Give

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. I think as parents, we can feel like we're not enough and we're limited by so many things: time, money, energy, etc. And it's true. We are limited, but it is in those limits that God makes up the difference. It is through God's unlimitedness, that we are able to overcome those challenges in parenthood.

    In this episode, I am joined with pastor, author, and busy mama to five: Jessica Hurlbut. Her new book is, "Unlimited Motherhood: Overcome 12 Limits that Overwhelm and Conflict Our Hearts"

    Jessica and her husband Greg are herald as adoption advocates across New York State. After adopting a sibling group of two from foster care in 2015, they discovered the massive need for foster and adoptive parents.

    They founded All 4 One Adoption Awareness, an organization focused on highlighting the 110,000 children in foster care who are freed to be adopted and need a forever family. For three years straight, Jessica has promoted and organized a 110 mile run across St. Lawrence County which is held on National Adoption Day to raise awareness for this need.

    In today's conversation, we talk about the challenges of motherhood, caring for special needs children, foster-care, adoption--all of the things! Jessica helps us realize the beauty in those hardships and gives us some practical ways to counteract the Enemy's methods of attacking us in these challenges: he isolates us, gets us to resent our spouse, and try to "fix" our kids.

    So glad you're here to join us!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    43m - Apr 9, 2024
  • Not What I Signed Up For

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. Joined with me this topic which resonates so deeply with foster and adoptive parents is Nicole Unice.

    Nicole Unice is a bivocational leader, serving both in the ministry and in the marketplace. As a pastor and community leader, Nicole is the author of several books on healthy faith, honing in on the connection between our emotional and spiritual life. She’s the host of How to Study the Bible, a popular weekly podcast that reaches people in 188 different countries in the last year alone, and preaches frequently for conferences and churches.

    Her recent book is the catalyst for this conversation, "Not What I Signed Up For." Together, Somer and Nicole discuss the very real and hard feelings you go through in this journey but also the incredible transformation and beauty along with it.

    Nicole says when the calling is loud, it's almost always a hard one--just part of how God seems to work! And this calling is hard but it is so powerful, and if we're honest... if you knew how hard it would be, would you have been brave enough to accept the challenge? It's almost a blessing in that way to be ignorant of the storms to come and just trust God will get you through it.

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    36m - Apr 2, 2024
  • Teaching Our Kids Biblical Sexuality

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. Joined with me on this very important episode is Hillary Morgan Ferrer of the Mama Bear Apologetics.

    Hillary is the founder and President of Mama Bear Apologetics. She feels a burden for providing accessible apologetics resources for busy moms. She is the chief author and editor of the bestselling books  Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies, Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality: Empowering Your Kids to Understand and Live Out God’s Design, and the soon to be released Honest Prayers for Mama Bears. Hillary has her master’s degree in biology and loves helping moms to discern truths and lies in both science and culture. She and her husband, John, have been married for 16 years and minister together as an apologetics team. She can never sneak up on anybody because of her chronic hiccups, which you can hear occasionally on the podcast and in interviews.

    Somer asks Hillary "Where do we start?" when it comes to talking about healthy, God-created sexuality with our children and there is so much to unpack. They discuss the many categories we can use to approach addressing sex with our kids, they discuss the importance of naming body parts and not being ashamed to have honest conversations, and they discuss the current climate with sexuality and gender issues.

    This topic is so important and as we open up our homes to foster kids or adopting kids, it can be so hard to address but let's talk about it. Thank you so much for being here!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    34m - Mar 26, 2024
  • A Safe Media Option to Eliminate Power Struggles

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. Joined with me on this episode is Brent Dusing, creator of TruPlay which sparks today's conversation about screentime for our kids.

    On average, children spend 52 hours per week on a screen, and approximately 30% of kids in the U.S. today are believers... those are staggering statistics and the harsh reality is kids are being exposed to poison from the big media outlets or from predators online.

    If you're welcoming a new child into your home, you may have no idea what they've been exposed to or what their norms are with screen time. As Brent says, it's no different than if a kid comes into your home who had candy bars for breakfast every morning, but laced with arsenic. Screentime isn't just addictive, which science proves, but it is filled with toxicity.

    But Brent also cautions us that this doesn't mean we throw all the screens out the window. Kids still need to engage in our world, but in a safe and healthy way. That's why he and his team created TruPlay.

    Thank you so much for listening!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    23m - Mar 19, 2024
  • The Gift of Limitations

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast.

    Joined with me today is the author and mom of both adopted and bio kids: Sara Hagerty. Sara recently published a book titled "The Gift of Limitations" which sparked this raw conversation about dealing with disappointment in this season of motherhood, naming our emotions, and working through grief.

    One thing that resonates is how we can't skip steps to reach contentment. Being content with where we are means truly reckoning with the discomfort and heartache of where we are.

    Another powerful reminder is that Jesus was never in a hurry. Jesus was on mission but he also rested. He became flesh here on earth and limited His own power. With limitations, He saved the world...

    And finally....Friend, you don't have to be everything. There is so much hope we can find as we surrender all our grief to Him.

    Thank you so much for listening!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    28m - Mar 12, 2024
  • Becoming A Screen-Savvy Family

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. Joined with me on this episode is Adam Holz from Focus on the Family's Plugged In where he oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. Here we discuss the need as parents to be screen-savvy!

    We talk about establishing healthy boundaries as partners with our spouse, to be united on this front. We discuss the need for these boundaries for our kids to be not just protected but to prepared for when certain things come up. Additionally, its critical for our kids to become critical thinkers! "Uncomfortable" conversations are a must, and sometimes those talks happen in the car rides, which could be great opportunities.

    When you're watching a movie or TV show as a family, ask those critical-thinking questions... which character did you identify with and why? Did they do the right thing? What did you like in this story? And more...

    Thank you so much for listening!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    37m - Mar 5, 2024
  • Listener Q & A: Am I Really Called to Adopt or Foster?

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. This is a new series I'm titling Listener Q & A, where I respond to a question or comment from a listener sharing a piece of their story that may be super relatable to this calling... and super relevant to you listening at home!

    This question is a big one: Am I really called to adopt or foster? It is such a big commitment and there's a lot we can dive into, from the family aspect, spouses being on board, and finances...

    And if I am being honest, it's a bit hard to talk about because on the one hand I don't want to scare you away from this calling but I also want to be honest about the reality of challenges you will face when you do answer the call. I am reminded of the story of Moses and how he responded to his calling and now we see him as one of the fathers of the faith. His story is super encouraging and applicable I think to what we face when we may hear God's voice beckoning us to this journey.

    Not only do I offer you some encouragement, but in this episode I offer some practical information on the different types of adoption and ways to help finance the process, and how seeking God's wisdom is the most important part.

    Thank you so much for listening!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    30m - Feb 27, 2024
  • Understanding the Deconstruction Movement

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. In this episode, we are unpacking a movement that is shaking up our nation: the deconstruction of faith. As foster or adoptive parents, we may have kids walking in our door who have never heard the true Gospel or have negative preconceived ideas of what Christianity looks like... And no matter if our kids are biological, adopted, fostered, all of them are being exposed to the deconstruction movement, especially on social media.

    Here to help me unpack this are the authors of the new release, "The Deconstruction of Christianity: What It Is, Why It’s Destructive, and How to Respond" by Alisa Childers and Tim Barnett.

    Alisa Childers is a wife, mom, author, and speaker. She was a member of the award-winning CCM recording group ZOEgirl. She is a popular speaker at apologetics and Christian worldview conferences. She is the author of Another Gospel? and Live Your Truth and Other Lies. She has been published at the Gospel Coalition, Crosswalk, the Stream, For Every Mom, Decision Magazine, and the Christian Post.

    Tim Barnett has worked as a speaker for Stand to Reason since 2015. He is a dynamic speaker who provides a perfect blend of expertise and humor in each talk. Using easy-to-follow and visually engaging presentations, Tim trains Christians to think clearly about what they believe and why they believe it.

    The deconstruction story is powerful. It's like a testimony, except instead of a non believer sharing how they came to Christ, it's the reverse: a Christian turning away from the faith. These people's experiences are often heartbreaking, stories of abuse and misconduct in the church, but then there are those who simply don't like the idea of sin and find it offensive. Instead of deconstruction our faith when we have questions and negative experiences, we should be reforming our faith.... not unlike Martin Luther and others who held the church to the standard of Scripture, which is not what deconstructionists are doing...

    There is so much to unpack, so let's dive in together.

    Thank you so much for listening!

    You can email me your questions about adoption and foster care at somercolbert@gmail.com.

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    44m - Feb 20, 2024
  • Helping Kids Impacted By Trauma

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. In this episode, me and my special guest Darby Strickland are navigating how to talk to your child about trauma.

    Darby is a counselor, speaker and author with a specialization in trauma and domestic violence. One of her recent books is called "Is It Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims."

    Together, we talk about having those tough conversations with our kids, whether biological, adopted, or in foster care, who've experienced trauma. Often these kids grow up into adults, and go through therapy wondering why no one ever talked to them about these things that happened. These conversations are important to the healing process but at the same time uncomfortable and hard to navigate. Darby equips us with some practical tools and information to help us tackle this important area of parenthood.

    Thank you so much for listening!

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    37m - Feb 13, 2024
  • Don't Give Up - Just Yet

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. In this episode, me and my special guest Nick Connolly encourage you not to give up just yet!

    Nick is the founding and lead pastor of Bright City Church, and he is the author of a book titled "Don't Give Up Just Yet" which sparks today's conversation.

    It feels like these days we're all struggling so hard to get through life. Add the calling of adoption or foster care on top of it all and it can feel like too much. When we face resistance in our callings, it may seem like a sign that it wasn't meant to be... but as Nick points out, it could be that the resistance gets stronger the closer we are to the finish line. In our conversation we talk about the struggles we face, the need for true rest and sabbath, and expectations verses expectancy.

    Thank you so much for listening!

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    38m - Feb 6, 2024
  • Saying Yes to Your God-sized Calling (feat. Cynthia Yanof)

    Welcome to the Called to Love Podcast. In this episode, me and my special guest Cynthia Yanof are helping you unpack what it means to say "yes" to that God-sized calling.

    Cynthia is an author, podcaster, busy adoptive mom who raised kids in foster care after having her own kids and being a lawyer. Her new book is called, "Life is Messy, God is Good."

    Foster care changes you. It is beautiful and it is painful, all at the same time but Cynthia says she can't imagine who her family would be without this in their story. Some people think fostering or adoption is a mighty spiritual and noble thing, but it is very messy and doesn't feel very spiritual in the hardship. It can often feel like you're standing alone, because you have friends and family members asking "Are you sure?" with concern on their faces. You find yourself reluctant to say "yes..."

    Cynthia and I also discuss the lies we often combat with giving our reluctant yes to God. There's the constant comparison game and feeling unimpressed with the ordinary, but God is the one who determines success, not the metrics of this world.

    Cynthia encourages us to be intentional about the story of our life that we are writing, because it is the story our kids grow up seeing play out: what kind of story do you want them to see?

    Thank you so much for listening!

    I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or send you my monthly newsletter with free resources and first access to episodes and more!

    36m - Jan 30, 2024
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Called to Love: An Adoption Podcast for Christian Parents
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