Mid-2018 Personal Update: Pregnancy, Foster Care, New Course

by Stephen Waldo

Stephen and Eden eating pineapple whip

Things have been pretty quiet here at Husband Help Haven over the summer, so I figured this was a good time to go ahead and share a quick update about what’s been going on behind the scenes in the Waldo home.

I’ll tell you up front, all is well! Just busy life as usual, with a few noteworthy updates.

Kalee is Pregnant!

Kalee at 31 weeks pregnant

My wife and I are excited to announce that we are expecting a new baby boy to join our family sometime in October! The official due date is October 14th, but since Eden was a full 2 weeks late, we’re not putting too much weight on that date.

Kalee is currently 33 weeks along. The pregnancy has been difficult, but nothing too out of the ordinary. When she was pregnant with our daughter Eden, my wife actually felt BETTER than normal – she didn’t get a single migraine for the full 40 weeks of pregnancy, had barely any morning sickness, felt great overall… It was amazing!

Eden getting ready to be big sister

With baby #2 it’s been much harder on her… Lots of fatigue, nausea, aches and trouble sleeping. I guess this is typical with boys; for some reason they just make for more difficult pregnancies!

Despite not feeling great on the surface, mom and baby are both looking perfectly healthy, and we will be excited to welcome little L.J.W. into our home when he arrives.

We Have A New Foster Daughter!

As if having a new baby weren’t enough, Kalee and I felt called to open our home to a 15 year-old girl who we can call E.

E moved in with us right after school let out in the middle of May, and has been with us ever since. She has been such a natural, awesome addition to our family… The summer just flew by!

Family photo with E 1

Some of you will remember that we’ve had a foster placement before. Last year we had an unsuccessful placement with a 12 year-old boy named M. You can read more about that here. Long story short, it was incredibly difficult and it was all we could do to keep him in our home for seven-ish months.

Our experience with E has been about as far in the opposite direction as you can go. She is smart, sweet, friendly and eager to thrive. If you didn’t know she was in foster care, you would never be able to tell from talking to her. She is a better-behaved teenager than I was, and that’s the truth! For example, she independently decided to take on doing the dishes every day as her way of contributing to the family!

How Did We Get Here?

It was an ironic chain of events that led E into our home.

On Easter weekend this year, E’s then-guardians asked us to do respite for her, basically meaning that she would come stay with us for the weekend. We reluctantly agreed to have E for the weekend, but before she arrived Kalee and I both agreed that this would be our LAST time doing respite.

The girls go strawberry picking_censored

Before E came to our house for the weekend, we were planning to let our foster license expire and move on with our lives… We always dreaded respite, we never wanted to take another foster placement, and we only ever got into foster care in the first place to help M specifically, so when that didn’t work out we were ready to call it quits.

As it turned out, God had a different plan.

Within about a day of E’s respite weekend at our house, Kalee and I were talking about “what if” E moved in with us. It just felt right, like we knew it was going to happen. We could both feel God carving out a place for E in our hearts. We had a strong feeling that she was not going to last much longer with her then-guardians… Not that they were bad people, but they just were not a good fit for E.

By the end of the weekend, Kalee and I both agreed that if and when E left her then-guardians, we would be ready to welcome her into our home.

Sure enough, not even two weeks later E was removed from her guardians’ home and placed in a children’s home. We immediately contacted her case worker and told her that we wanted E to move in with us. About a month later, she did, and the rest is history!

What I’m Doing Differently This Time Around

Leading from behind

As I said, our experience with E has been the polar opposite of our experience with M. A lot of that is because E is a very different person from M, but there are several key differences in my own mindset too.

With M, the decision to take him into our home was much more my decision than our decision.

With E, I made sure that I did not impose my will on my wife and that instead I really listened to what she wanted and made sure that our hearts were in the same place. I led by mediating the decision-making process, not by dictating it.

With M, we planned to adopt right from the start, which made us try to force things to go a certain way and put a huge amount of pressure on us making it work.

It didn’t.

With E, we do not plan to adopt and she currently doesn’t want to be adopted. But, I won’t be surprised at all if a year down the road, she has become a permanent member of our family.

With M, I relied on MY plan, MY skills, MY experience, MY relationship with him. I was the one trying to control everything.

Just like I see so many men do with separation, I was trying to control things that were not really mine to control. With E, I’m trying to release control. I am trusting God and simply working to make the most of however much time we get with her. I am working to lead WITH my wife instead of dragging her along against her will. E has a stronger relationship with my wife than she does with me, and I am okay with that.

The irony here, again, is that by deliberately seeking to SERVE my family, by releasing control instead of clinging to it, I have actually become a STRONGER leader for my family. I am leading my family gently, compassionately and humbly instead of forcefully and meticulously.

What Have I Been Working On? A New (sort of) Course!

Although this has been a busy summer, that’s not the main reason things have been so quiet around Husband Help Haven. I’ve been working on revamping Manly Separation Survival into a full-fledged course which will be called At Peace & In Control.

At Peace & In Control will expand on Manly Separation Survival and become my definitive course for men going through separation. It will include everything that MSS includes, but with a heavy emphasis on putting what you learn into practice. This will be through new worksheets, audios, additional in-course content, and for the first time ever, a dedicated At Peace & In Control Facebook Group in which I will be doing live Q&A sessions for students, which has been a big request for a long time.

I went back and forth on deciding whether to make the Facebook Group for the course. The down side is that for you, an ongoing live Q&A element necessitates a higher price because it requires a lot more of my time. The up side is, well, you can get your specific questions answered by me and form connections with other men going through what you are. We will see how it works out.

When Is At Peace & In Control Coming?

At Peace & In Control will launch in mid- to late September. The only thing that would delay the launch would be if the baby comes 4+ weeks early. I will plan to do a one-week admissions period for the first group of students. The reason that I will be doing a limited admissions period the first few times around is because I really want to be able to give my focus to the group of students who sign up, and that means having a limited number of students… At least for now.

Side note, I will be taking down Manly Separation Survival at the end of the week. All MSS buyers will get access to the revamped course content for no charge, and will be able to request access to the Facebook Group when it becomes available if they also read the new material that will come with At Peace & In Control. So, pick up a copy now if you want a (much) better price.

I’m really excited about Peace & Control, as it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the most recent blog post about how to romance your wife, otherwise stay tuned… The blog should be a bit more active now that summer is over!

Stephen Waldo

Hi! My name is Stephen. I’m the guy behind Husband Help Haven. My mission here is to help as many men as possible become the best husbands they can be, and save as many marriages as possible along the way. Even though I’m not a marriage counselor, I want to encourage men everywhere to become better husbands, fathers and leaders. Full author bio

1 comment

  • Stephen,
    You have a great website with deep insight. 2018 has been a year with one shock after another.
    I hope you continue with the Haven as it has been one for me during those dark days when my head was spinning. I’ve been in the process of simplifying my life and am optimistic that 2019 will be a better year for my marriage and some much needed stability for our kids.
    Much appreciation,

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