“Hi there! I’m Lisa, wife to my best friend Scott for 20 years, and for 17 of those I’ve been a stay-at-home-mama. We currently have 4 children, and we do life together in the beautiful Central Valley of California. I have a passion for traveling, a love-hate relationship with crafting, and nerdy things like office supplies, decluttering, and organizing make my heart go pitter pat!”
How long have you been a foster parent and how many kiddos have you fostered?
“We have been a foster family since August 2013, and have fostered 2 precious babies. Our first was with us for a year before we were able to finalize his adoption and make him ours forever! After a bit of a break, we loved on our next little for two months before she went to her forever home.”
What made you want to become a foster mom?
“God had stirred our hearts to adoption many years before, and we felt Him calling us to foster care. After adopting our youngest child, we quickly realized that, though we weren’t ready to adopt again right away, we also weren’t done with foster care. Knowing the stories, gazing into the eyes of the children, knowing their names–all of these experiences made the great need impossible to ignore. Children need love; children need safety; children need someone to fight for them. I can do every one of these things, because God has equipped me.”
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a mama of fosters?
“Fear! This one little word encompasses so much of my walk in foster care. I fear possible reactions, hurdles, and behaviors when bringing home a new little one. I fear exhaustion. I fear my big kids resenting the fact that, with a baby in the house, I am not as available to them as I normally am. I fear being overwhelmed and failing. But then I stop allowing myself to live in fear. God has called our family to this ministry, and equips me with all I need. I know He will handle every detail, and I only need to trust Him. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this daily, and sometimes it’s moment by moment…but it always draws me closer to Him!”
What’s the most rewarding part of being a foster mama?
“Oh, that’s a tough answer to narrow down, as there are so many! Is it watching my big kids grow in their maturity, understanding, and love as we navigate caring for a babe together? Is it watching my toddler look at a new brother or sister with love and awe in his eyes? Is it seeing my husband snuggle a teeny, tiny premie in his big strong arms? It is all these things and so many more–learning the rhythms of a new family member, facing the unknown challenges that come with each situation and overcoming, snuggling a brand new little love close to me as they learn to trust and to bond. Above all, I think the most rewarding part is my own dependence on God. As I learn to seek Him for every single thing, I see more of His power and His provision, and I only love Him more!”
What’s your best piece of advice for new foster parents?
“All of the other mamas have given sound and vital advice, and I echo each and every one of their sentiments! I would also encourage you to take time for yourself. This is a ministry of service. Dishes, cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, doctor appointments, family visits, social worker visits…it all gets to be crazy sometimes! Day in and day out, we are caring for someone else, and it’s easy to quickly lose sight of taking care of ourselves. I’ve learned (the hard way!) that in order to take care of someone else, and to do it well, you must take care of you. Have a date night with your hubby, go shopping alone, go on a walk around the block and breathe deeply, or even take 5 minutes to paint your toenails without interruption. My favorite “mommy time out,” especially with new little ones in the house, is a long, hot shower at night after the babies are in bed. It’s not a huge thing, but it is alone time when I can just wash the day away, pray, and refocus. There’s absolutely nothing wrong, and everything right, with taking a break for yourself!”