Tell us a little about yourself.
“I’m married to my high school sweetheart and we just celebrated our 20th anniversary! We live with our little loves in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I call myself a domestic engineer and coordinate our complex life, that’s my job. We also homeschool our oldest.
I love the beach; my dream is to one day live there. I love coffee, Jesus, chocolate and Target. Not necessarily in that order! I love spending time just hanging out with my favorite people!”
How long have you been a foster parent and how many kiddos have you fostered?
“Officially we have been a licensed foster home since February of 2013, but we were a relative placement (didn’t need licensing) since 2007!
We have in total fostered 9 children so far. All but one have been adopted by us or other families. One little girl was successfully reunited with her birth dad!
Our oldest son (9) we have had guardianship of since early 2008.
We adopted our daughter (2) after she had been in our home for 18 months, in September 2014. She came into our care when she was 15 days old.
We are currently in the process to adopting our littlest love (1 yr old) in the near future. He’s been with us since birth as well.”
What made you want to become a foster mom?
“I grew up in a family touched by foster care. We were the safe landing for some relatives more than a few times growing up and it just stuck with me. I knew I wanted to foster and I knew I wanted to adopt. Getting a Cabbage Patch Doll just affirmed for me that adoption was a happy and joyful way to grow a family. I was 8, but I remember so clearly feeling that way. Turns out it is, but also sadness, heartbreak and rejection….foster care, and adoption through foster care, is no joy ride. It’s really a tough road.
Then I met my husband, we were 15 and he told me how his mom worked for the state in foster care and how they had fostered when he was growing up. We were perfect for each other! We knew we would foster and adopt.”
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a mama of fosters?
“Reminding myself that I’m not their only mama and that there is another woman out there hurting, crying and struggling to deal with all she’s missing while I’m here getting all the joy and reward.
Honestly, it’s knowing how deeply she must be hurting and knowing that I can’t make it better. It’s knowing how selfishly I want ‘all the babies’ and that for moments, sometimes long moments, I allow myself to forget that she’s real and she’s hurting. Sometimes the pain of fostering, carrying the burden of fostering is overwhelming emotionally.”
What’s the most rewarding part of being a foster mama?
“Are you kidding??? The kids are the reward! Those first smiles or giggles. Watching a child find their comfort in your home. Being up in the night praying over their little hearts, rocking them as the tears fall, or as the baby struggles through the pain of withdrawal. That’s the reward. Seeing one little girl go home to her daddy, that’s rewarding. Knowing other children are safe and loved deeply in their new adoptive homes, rewarding.”
What’s your best piece of advice for new foster parents?
“Don’t be afraid to say NO! No to a placement that doesn’t feel right. No to a demanding social worker pushing you to supervise a visit. No to requests that put your family out beyond reasonable measure.
But don’t be afraid to say YES! Yes to meeting scared and lost birth parents who really need positive examples in their lives. Yes to one more placement when you feel like you’re already full. Yes to fun. Yes to crazy. Yes to love. Never hold back with a child, they know when you are. Be open and willing to love deeply and without concern for yourself. The reward will be standing before you.”