Tell us a little about yourself.
“Hey, I’m Martina. My husband is Jason. I’m a graphic designer for a magazine publishing company and he’s a professional guitarist who tours, records and writes music. Together we love all kinds of art and design, especially mid-century modern and modern interior design. We are thrilled to call Nashville, TN our home. We love to travel and consider Naples, FL our unofficial second home. I also love a good cup of black tea, reading memoirs and blogs, writing, chicken keeping and spending time by the water on a hot, sunny day.”
How long have you been a foster parent and how many kiddos have you fostered?
“We’ve been foster parenting for 3.5 years and have fostered six kids. One precious little girl we had the privilege of adopting. Alianna was placed with us at two months old and just after her first birthday she officially became part of our forever family. We’re expecting our first biological child in April.”
What made you want to become a foster mom?
“I always wanted to be a mom. God started planting the seeds for foster care and adoption in my heart when I was a kid (I knew a foster/adoptive family and used to beg my mom to adopt a younger brother for me!) but it was off my radar until we had been “not trying not to get pregnant” for about a year. My heart was stirring toward adoption and as I researched God kept reminding me about those seeds from my childhood and nudging me toward foster care. When I prayed about this possible path into parenthood, God surprised me by quickly breaking Jason’s heart with compassion for the hurting and abused kids in our community. He had never really desired to have kids so to see his father’s heart growing for the fatherless was a huge confirmation that God was calling us to this unique kind of parenthood.”
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a mama of fosters?
“The biggest challenge for me has been to let go of my desire to plan and control the future, which ultimately is rooted in worry. It’s actually been a huge blessing to have to grow my faith in that way. I had never before done something so scary and difficult that I had to truly cling to Jesus. It’s a good reminder to never take time with loved ones for granted when I realize the sweet baby I’m kissing today could very possibly be gone tomorrow. I’ve had to learn to be more easy-going about planning. For example, last summer we debated about taking our tiny preemie with us on our beach vacation and ultimately lined up respite care with our extended family. Two days before we left for our trip, precious little “Firefly” returned to his parents. We have to be ready to accept the unexpected.”
What’s the most rewarding part of being a foster mama?
“The most rewarding part of being a foster mama has most certainly been gaining a daughter. My Ali is such a blessing and a treasure. I can’t imagine my life without her. When foster care sometimes seems like more pain than it’s worth, all I have to do is look in my beautiful girl’s eyes and I remember that it is worth it. She is worth it. Each and every child is worth the struggle and risk of heartbreak. I consider it an honor that I was a mama to my five other little ones—whether it was for 3 days or 3 months. I’ve been able to love them, pray over them and see them through to their next chapters. It’s a blessing to be a part of something much bigger than myself.”
What’s your best piece of advice for new foster parents?
“Don’t get into foster care for selfish motives. If your only desire is to have a child or grow your family, you’re likely to break. Those desires are not bad or wrong, but in the case of parenting a hurt child his or her needs must come before our own desires. I think to be successful as a foster parent, you must be willing to serve. First and foremost, your job is to love, protect, and advocate for the child who is placed in your care—that doesn’t always mean the best outcome for the child is to stay in your home. When your heart is willing to be poured out for others, most foster parents have learned, we end up loving and serving the biological parents and extended family members. It’s not just about the precious kids, and it’s certainly more than just growing your family. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but God has always been faith to equip us each step of the way and to carry us safely through every storm. Cling to Jesus and you will not be disappointed.”