Episode 91: Connection is the Key to Healing Your Child’s Heart—with Jenni Lord

Adopting our youngest son through the foster care system ten years ago was truly one of life’s greatest gifts. But one thing we didn’t fully understand as we looked forward to a bright future with our beloved little boy was just how much trauma a child suffers when they’re separated from their birth parents.

Like many foster and adoptive parents, we are on a constant learning journey and are always looking for better ways to support our son through the unique struggles he experiences. That’s why we’re so grateful that Jenni Lord was able to join us for this candid conversation.

Jenni is the founder of Chosen—an organization committed to empowering parents and fostering children’s trauma recovery. Chosen connects families impacted by the child welfare system with the resources and support they need to move from hurting to healing.

Jenni shares:

  • How trauma impacts the brain, body, and behaviors of youth in foster care
  • How prioritizing connection over correction can strengthen your parenting
  • The importance of creating safe spaces for your child to open up
  • And more!

We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did!

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Our Takeaways:

1) Children who have undergone trauma may exhibit unique behavioral challenges. In addition to the chaos they may have gone through, foster care and adoption both bring deep loss. This accumulated trauma can make it difficult for them to regulate their emotions. Jenni explains that while children who grow up with consistent care know that someone will always be there to help them through life’s storms, children who didn’t grow up with that security blanket often feel like they have to face their emotions alone—which can lead to meltdowns that are harder to soothe.

2) Create a safe and open environment for children to ask questions. As they grow up, children in foster care will start to have questions. For instance, they might be curious about their biological family but feel scared to ask for details because they don’t want to seem ungrateful for the family they have now. We always want the children in our care to feel comfortable coming to us with their emotions, so it’s crucial that we, as their parents, start these open-ended conversations.

3) Don’t be afraid to seek help before behaviors get out of control. You should never feel ashamed to seek help. Assistance from skilled professionals like counselors can help you find more effective strategies for helping your child live their happiest and healthiest life. Asking for help is not weak—it’s courageous.

Meet Our Guest

Jenni Lord

Jenni Lord

Jenni Lord is an unwavering advocate for healing families through the power of connection. Deeply influenced by her foster brother’s five-year adoption process, Jenni has dedicated her career to driving systemic change within the child welfare landscape. In 2008, she founded Chosen, a leading nonprofit dedicated to healing children from trauma by empowering their families. Jenni and her husband, Rob, have been happily married since 2005. They have four children of their own and have served as foster parents as well.

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