The Adopting and Fostering Home Podcast Part 1

I had the privilege of sharing a little of my life as a single foster mom on the North American Mission Board’s Adopting and Fostering Home podcast with a couple sweet adoptive moms who are a few years further down the road than I am. (Thanks for having me, Lynette and Tera!) Click play below to take a listen to part 1 of our conversation.


Let’s Talk About Family Planning

L.’s list

This is a peek inside the kinds of conversations we have in our family every day. It’s not always comfortable for either of us, but it’s important that we both trust each other enough to be honest.

💙 Mom, do I have to be in adoption.

Yeah, buddy, you do. Foster care wasn’t meant to be forever. Can you tell me why you don’t want to be adopted?

💙 I don’t want to be in adoption because I want to live with my first mom.

Okay, so living with first mom is plan A. And if plan A is not an option, where do you want to go?

💙 I want nothing.

So cease to exist. That’s plan B. That’s not really an option because you already exist. So if you were to put adoption somewhere in your alphabet list, where would it be?

💙 I don’t know. It’s up to you.

No, it’s not really up to me because right now I want to know what you want.

💙 Can we talk about what you want after?

Sure! We can talk about what I want after.

💙 Ok, you can have this side of the page. I’ll write your name here.

Thank you! Okay, so if you were going to put adoption somewhere in the alphabet list, where would it be?

💙 Maybe here.

So adoption is here at plan D.

💙 Yeah. That’s it. What do you want?

Okay, I want you to close your eyes, and I’m going to write my list. I think you might be surprised how much our lists have in common.

💙 Are you done? Continue reading

Congratulations and Big Feelings

Trying a few things on for size! It’s more fun to look at the baby name book with your baby.

About a month ago, I got a text from my family consultant letting me know that we had crossed the last barrier standing in the way of pursuing L.’s adoption. Sixteen months after he walked into my life, we finally had an answer, and we could move forward!

Whenever I share that news with someone, there’s always the giant smile and the, “Congratulations,” and, “I’m so happy for you,” and, “He’s so lucky.”

I’m overjoyed that L. will no longer be my foster son. L. will be my son! No more adjectives! I’m so grateful that after so much instability, we have an answer. I’m excited to finally be able to do things like make plans or take him out of the state without approval or show his face in pictures or share his name.

What I don’t know how to do is tell you how sad it makes me, too. Because “congratulations” doesn’t begin to hold all of the emotion L. and I both feel right now. Continue reading

So you want to be a single foster parent?

Talking about single foster parenting…the good, the bad, and the crazy!

Congratulations! This is an amazing calling!

Before I took my first placement, another single foster mom told me, “It is the hardest and best thing I have ever done.” That has proven true. It is one of my greatest joys and an amazing honor, but it is also unspeakably difficult.

If you’ve told anybody about your desire to be a single foster mom or dad, I know you’re getting some interesting feedback right now. So I’m going to go ahead and tell you, no, you’re not crazy. No, you’re not alone.

There’s not a whole lot of information out there about what it’s like to be a single foster parent. What do you need to know to be a single foster parent? How do you prepare to be a single foster parent?

A lot of the institutional and legal things will vary state to state, so I’m not going to address that here, but here’s a bit of advice from someone who is just a few steps ahead of you in the journey. Continue reading

Celebrating Sticky Things

S’mores, of course, are another fun sticky thing.

To be a mom is to perfect the art of the repetition. “Hands are for helping, not hurting,” and “Are you asking or telling?” and “Listen and obey the first time,” and “We don’t announce our farts.” Sometimes you start to worry…will it ever sink in? Will it ever stick?

But then they get it. And they start to do it for themselves. Those lessons that stick, they’re worth celebrating!

Polite Words, Please
When you’re constantly moving 90 miles an hour, sometimes it’s hard to remember to use your polite words. Word like please, thank you, and yes ma’am. A few months ago, I told a friend, “I’m just living for the day when I don’t have to say, ‘What do you say?’ every time someone hands him something.” Continue reading

The Other Woman

15492088_10104351986036961_1909879006916832289_nThere are two stockings on my mantel—neither one is mine. One is for L., and one we decorated and stuffed for “First Mom.” (Or Tummy Mummy, or Mama C., or just Mom depending on the conversation.) L. is torn between exuberant anticipation of Christmas and missing Mom so much he’d just as soon not celebrate. We added the stocking to make her part of our celebration.

The first time he told me, “I miss my mom,” it threw me off. It was months into the placement, and until then, I had only ever heard him refer to me as Mom. “I’m right here,” I said jokingly. “Oh, no,” he replied, “I miss my first mom.”

In a perfect world, I would never be plan A, and I know it. It took a lot of sin and brokenness and bad choices to get to plan C or Q or whatever it is that I am. No matter how good of a mom I am, no matter how many books I read and implement, no matter how safe and loving our home is, there is a spot in his heart I will never hold.

You see, L. and I live with the reality of “the other woman.” L. lives with the struggle of a heart divided between the woman who’s raising him and the woman who bore him. I live with the reality of the other woman because I am the other woman. Continue reading