Tell us a little about yourself.
“Hi! I’m Casey. I live in a small town in northeast Texas with my husband Josh, daughter Rylie, and our three other little loves. I’m a photographer with a love for organization, and I’m a crunchy minimalist at heart. I spend my days chasing babies, homeschooling Rylie, and blog browsing.”
How long have you been a foster parent and how many kiddos have you fostered?
“We received our license in September 2013 but didn’t actually get our first placements until October 2013. Two sweet boys who stole our hearts in an instant, ages 2.5 years and 36 hours old. Then our sweet girl, age three weeks came to us just 10 months later.”
What made you want to become a foster mom?
“Being a mother was always something I wanted for myself. It’s something I always knew I would be. But as a child I specifically knew I wanted to be a foster mom. I’m not sure exactly what pushed me toward it, because I never knew any foster children, or foster families growing up. I tend to think it was laid on my heart when I read “A Child Called It” when I was in the sixth grade. It’s a powerful book that really shows what some children go through. Nothing in particular, besides that, really sticks out in my mind about wanting to be a foster mom as a child.
After my husband and I got married, I immediately looked into becoming a foster family, but discovered you had to be 21 in the state of Texas to be licensed. Just a few years later I started bringing it up to my husband and asking him to pray about it. We both joined in prayer and asked God to put a strong desire in both our hearts when it was the right time. In June of 2013, we were both ready, so we turned in our application, and our lives haven’t been the same since.”
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a mama of fosters?
“The biggest challenge for me is overthinking every single behavior that my littles exhibit. I’m constantly asking myself if the behaviors they are showing are normal, caused by trauma, or being caused by something else. I’ll make myself sick with worry when something doesn’t seem exactly right. Every child is already so different and develops at such a different rate, but throw in the trauma suffered by kiddos in foster care, and it’s hard to distinguish what should be worried about, what is totally normal, and what will pass with time. Also, trying to resolve bad behavior/strange behavior must be approached so differently with children who have suffered childhood trauma as opposed to a child who hasn’t suffered any form of trauma.”
What’s the most rewarding part of being a foster mama?
“Hands down the most rewarding part is seeing these kiddos overcome. They came into this world under less than ideal circumstances, but they are strong and they CAN beat the odds. When our now three year old foster son came to us, he was mostly non-verbal. To see him go from struggling to communicate with us to bouncing off the walls and talking our ears off has been such a blessing to me. To see him learn to love and attach to people in an appropriate way, has been amazing. I can’t wait to see what else these children will accomplish. While their pasts will play a major part in who they are, it won’t define them.”
What’s your best piece of advice for new foster parents?
“Do your research. Don’t just let the system run all over you and your littles’ lives. You are an advocate for the kids in your care, don’t just be a storage unit for them. Find a community of other foster parents who can be there to support you and share their knowledge of this messy system you are entering. It isn’t a pretty place. It’s not a place for people who won’t stand up for kids. You’ll feel weak, oh you’ll feel so, so weak; but having that community by your side will help you be strong. Find those people who can help you advocate for the needs your foster children will have and who will be there for you when you need them the most.
I found my community by searching the hashtag #fostercare and finding other mamas who were doing the same.”