In this episode, I chat with Micah. I found her through a hashtag on Instagram. Micah shares her story of how she always had the heart for people with special needs. She knew that was her calling in life. Micah also shares about how it affects her marriage and biological children, as well as what she does for her foster children and how she ended up adopting two of them.* If you are a foster parent, have adopted a child, have a child with special needs, or just want more info on any or all of these subjects, this episode is for you! It was very informative.

Micah has always been drawn to people with special needs. She says her first experience was with her mom. Her mom was an in-home nurse for a young man with a traumatic brain injury and sometimes Micah would go with to care for him. Micah used to play with the special needs children during recess or go into their classroom to help, instead of play. As she got older, she really felt like she needed to adopt a child with special needs or become a special education teacher. Even from a young age, Micah would save money in a piggy bank because she knew adoptions were expensive.

When Micah began dating her now-husband, she was up front with him about what she wanted to do. She said if special needs children were not on his radar, he needed to get out. He took about a year to think about it and finally agreed. Micah and her husband both became teachers and moved to Wichita, KS. “It was really challenging for me to go in every day and see kids that I felt needed relational connection and greater access to social skills, and yet, I was required to teach them the things that were on their IEP goals.”

Micah Pederson - Quote 1

Micah got pregnant with their first son the first year they were teaching. They had also been taking foster care classes. Their son was born with a mass in his lungs, so they took a step back from foster care for a little bit to take care of their son and buy a house. The following February, they got their first placement. In the last four years, Micah said they’ve had close to 30 children in their home. ♥ Micah says many of these children are short-term. They come in with really high special needs and other foster families don’t always know how to care for them. So what Micah does is creates a “care binder” for each of the children. She really takes the time to dig into what the specific child’s needs are and then organizes the binder accordingly, with all the necessary info. Things like their care provider, appointments, etc. Then they are placed in a more long-term home. Micah really wants to make these children less intimidating.

Currently, Micah and her husband have two biological children, two adopted special needs children and two foster children. All under the age of 7. A big challenge Micah and her family face is isolation (on top of the physical exhaustion). Micah feels like people just don’t know what to do with their family.

Micah Pederson - Quote 2

Some other questions I asked Micah included: how does it feel when a child leaves? How do you handle children that may be of danger to your other children? Why does reunification happen? How does abuse in the foster care system happen when there are so many hoops to jump through and appointments to show up for? What are some stereotypes around fostering, adoption and special needs? What resources can you provide for someone that wants to start fostering or adopt or for a parent with a child that has special needs? What advice would you give to someone that is wanting to foster or adopt children with special needs? What kind of toll does this take on your marriage? And my last question was “what led you to adopt two of your children?”

Micah offered some ways you can support foster care, in general, even if you are unable to become a foster parent/family/home. These things include: babysitting, being a friend, bringing a meal, offering cleaning services. Micah also suggests to have meaningful conversations with everyone because you never know their situation.

Listen to the full episode to hear all the details.

*Please note: this is the guest’s story. Their story is how they perceive it. It is not my judgement or responsibility to determine whether or not this story and the things said are true. Please be open minded when listening to/reading these stories.

Micah’s Instagram
-Micah’s favorite product: weighted blankets
-Micah’s favorite book: Ginny Moon
-Micah’s song recommendation: The God Who Sees (listen on the Hard Knocks guest list on Spotify)
-My song recommendation: Never Gone by Colton Dixon (listen on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify)

A foster care warrior: fighting a battle few will ever understand in a world darker than anyone cares to see, yet one-by-one, they warrior on, for the cost of a broken heart is a price they are willing to pay for a child’s healing and protection.

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