A New Foster Dad’s Journal Entry after the First 48 Hours

The cloud-shaped night light in our foster child’s room.
The cloud-shaped night light in our foster child’s room.

We have waited months for our home to be opened for a foster child. …


My reaction to today’s attempted coup d’état at the U.S. Capitol and the ‘whataboutism’ that followed.

A photo of smoke in front of the U.S. Capitol Building; Trump 2020 flags can be seen hanging in front of a crowd of rioters.
A photo of smoke in front of the U.S. Capitol Building; Trump 2020 flags can be seen hanging in front of a crowd of rioters.
Photo source: Slate.com, “The Most Surreal Images From the Pro-Trump Riot at the U.S. Capitol,” via Reuters/Leah Millis

Today is January 6, 2021.

Today I watched, stunned and glued to my television, as American rioters supporting outgoing President Donald Trump breached police barricades, scaled walls, smashed windows and stormed into the United States Capitol Building in an attempt to prevent Congress from officially certifying the President’s loss in the 2020 election.

Today I saw men and women, adorned in Make America Great Again hats, waving Trump flags, and largely mask-less in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, throw “law and order” to the wayside as they attacked and breached the Capitol Building- the first time the Capitol had…


Reflecting on the Christmas traditions of my youth, and those of our future

As I write this, it is 4:30 on Christmas morning, and I am sitting, wide awake, in the living room of our small first home in Arkansas. The Christmas tree is lit up, SportsCenter is playing on the TV, and a very content cat is sitting on my lap, enjoying some rare one-on-one time. I was expecting to sleep until at least eleven o’clock after having worked long hours over the past ten consecutive days at my retail job, but here I am.

Statistically, it is nothing new for me to be awake at an hour that on any other…


A photo of a small cabin retreat in rural Arkansas.
A photo of a small cabin retreat in rural Arkansas.
This small fisherman’s retreat has become one of my favorite places to escape. I am grateful to the owners who have allowed me to use it.

There is a cabin in rural north-central Arkansas which sits two miles outside of a small country town, yet exists a world away from everywhere.

This fisherman’s retreat rests peacefully on the Little Red River, nestled on a small isle formed by the fork and nearby re-convergence of the narrow tributary. It is a small, quaint hideaway, with a lean-to roof and an exterior featuring wood and stone. To me, a refugee fleeing the fast, loud, demanding world, this place might as well be a fortress with walls ten stories high.

I have come to this fortress alone, having no…


Hi there. We haven’t met yet.

I’m Jared; your soon-to-be foster mom is Jenni.

We know nothing about you- your name, your age, your story, your likes and dislikes, how well you sleep through the night. And you don’t even know that we exist yet.

But very soon, something is going to happen, and you will come and stay with us for a little while. Soon we will get to know you, and you us. I hesitate to say that we’re excited, because I understand that this is going to be a highly traumatic, terrifying experience for you. …


An Introduction to Me

A photo of an open book.
A photo of an open book.
Source: Public Domain Pictures. No copyright infringement intended.

I love to read. You’ll often find me nose-deep in a nonfiction book on the social sciences or religion, with the occasional classic novel mixed in. And every once in a while, I will crack open my Bible- a book I have known my whole life but have never understood.

Over the past few years I have been experiencing a phase of deconstruction and reconstruction of my evangelical Christian faith, mixed in with other experiences that I am sure I will write about later. During this time, some of my favorite books have been the stories of those who have…

Jared Balcom

Husband. Foster dad. Aspiring Christ-follower. Advocate. 9w1. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. [He/him]

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