Learning From Each Other- Roxanne Engstrom

This Autumn, the Replanted Community will be learning from one another as Me Too Group Leaders provide answers to questions that have shaped their journey and made their family’s who they are today

Tell me about your family and how your children came home to you.

Our family is Jason and me (Roxanne), our 3 bio kids, and our Foster Daughter (FD). Our FD came to us 2 years ago after being in 4 other homes (many for a very short time) and after being removed from her home. It has been a difficult but awesome 2 years and we are all learning so much!

What do you wish someone told you before you began your adoption/foster process?
1. This will break you…in a good way but be patient.
2. You are not a terrible person for wanting out along the way.
3. Many people are trying to be helpful but will offer VERY UNHELPFUL advice because they have not walked this road- do not worry about managing their opinions of you. Surround yourself with people that are FOR YOU & have walked this road and as Brene Brown says “unless you are in the arena also getting your ass kicked I’m not interested in your feedback.” This has freed me!!

How has the church supported your family in this journey?
SO much! Without their support we just could not do this- they bring meals and at the beginning when we were not sleeping and really struggling, other moms just showed up and allowed me to step away from the house and breathe!! They pray powerfully and speak words of life when I cannot keep going and they just listen and encourage! They also watch the kids for free so we can attend DCFS training and be present to advocate in court!

What resources have been the most helpful to you?
Our church family, our families, community, teachers, social worker (our 3rd one has been amazing), Dupage County Foster Parent Facebook group, DCFS training, reading books on trauma (everything from Karen Purvis!!!) and the Replanted community.

What have you learned about suffering through your family’s journey?
That suffering is real and the way of Jesus. He calls us to carry our crosses and this is easy to say and really hard to live. I have learned to look for Jesus IN the suffering and not just pray for a way out of it.

How has adopting or fostering changed you?
In so many ways- we know more about how real the cost is of stepping out in faith and how beautifully God shows up- not to fix but to be present. I have learned that nothing is wasted. We have a plaque a friend made that says “nothing is wasted” and “love without fear” on our wall now to remind us of this always!! I have been changed by offering grace to myself and her bio mom…it has been costly too. I have learned that no matter the outcome we can trust in Him and His love and care for us & for our FD.

David Vosburg