A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. --Forest E. Witcraft

Saturday, June 26, 2010


When I started law school two years ago, I planned to take a break from foster care for up to a year. After all, I had a 9 and 5 year old at home, plus another 5 and half year old I picked up every weekend. Law school was going to be hard and, as a single parent, I still had to work at least a few hours each week.

I told my agency I would do respite care for other foster families and ended up busy on weekends through September and October that year. In November, God had other plans. A 4 year old I knew needed a place within two weeks. She had originally been placed with my close friend in June and moved to a family-friend of her father's in August. The second placement received a job transfer out of town, and my friend could not take her back. Soooooo, she became my 16th foster child.

Between my friend, Miss M (who became my nanny the summer before law school), and some help from my mom and dad, I made it through my first year of law school. The 4 year old became a 5 year old and moved home to her mom the day before kindergarten started last August. I got to see her again today, and she and her mom are doing great!

So, when my second year of law school started, I went back to my original plan of respite care for at least a semester. When January came, I cut law school back to half time (since I had decided I didn't really want a career change after all) and told my agency I was ready for a placement, opening for a child between 8 and 18 months. My kids wanted a baby, and I was tired of Buddy competing with a foster child too close to his age. By the end of February, I was still waiting for a placement and had opened to one or two children under the age of 3. I couldn't understand why it was taking so long.

In March, I started getting calls for newborns. I didn't see how I could take a newborn, working almost full time and going to law school half time. The only newborn I had ever taken was a sibling to a current placement at the time, and that baby was born drug addicted and screamed for days. She never slept more than 2-3 hours at a time for the three and a half months I had her. I didn't know how I could do that again.

Finally, as the end of March approached, with inspriration from another foster mom's blog site, I decided to trust God and say yes, even to a newborn. The day after Easter, I was selected as the placement for a 12 day old baby boy (BB). It turned out that Miss M was able to care for him during the day that first week (even though she normally had another job while my kids are in school), and her mother (who had just retired and come to AZ to visit her for a while) cared for him days until school was out for my other kids, and Miss M returned to me full-time for the summer. Everything fell into place. I just had to say YES and God lined up the rest.

BB is the most marvelous baby. He is now three months old, sleeps through the night, has the cutest smile and giggle, and has all of us adoring him constantly. What a tremendous blessing to our family, and all because I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and trust God!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chance Encounter

This morning after church we went to a neighborhood grocery store that I rarely frequent. As we were walking down an aisle, a man introduced himself to me and asked whether I was babysitting or had adopted (three kids with me, three races, go figure). I told him that I was both an adoptive and foster parent. He introduced his wife who appeared with a full cart from around the corner and asked if I minded them asking a few questions, as they were seriously considering adopting from foster care. We chatted for about 15 minutes. They seemed very appreciative, and I felt like God must have led me to this grocery store on this morning for this very reason. It is amazing to me how chance things happen, all by His design.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

An Introduction

I have always loved children. My goal in life was to grow up and be a mom! In elementary school, I gravitated toward babies and young children at family events and church socials. I babysat often as a teenager. In college, I was a junior high youth leader and a children’s choir director at my church. I am the oldest child, with two younger sisters. Kids have always been in my life.

About sixteen years ago, I was successful and established in my career as a software engineer. I had my own home, and I was active at church. But I was single and spending an awful lot of time at work. I began to feel a nudge that there was more to my life than this. Then “the sermon” happened. On a regular Sunday morning, as I sat in the church service, the minister preached about service. I don’t remember the words any more, but the message was that we should serve others as Christ served us. This was not a new concept, but a reminder at just the right moment.

I had been exposed to foster families for several years before that. There were two long-term foster families in our church that received babies through elementary school children. Two little girls in foster care were in my children’s choir, and I had the opportunity to take them out to movies, swimming or the park on weekends. Somehow the seed had been planted long before, but when “the sermon” happened, I felt called to become a foster parent.

Initially I thought I would foster for a couple years or so, until my “knight in shining armor” came along. I figured I could help children in transition until my life changed and I had children of my own. So, in 1994 I became a licensed foster parent. My life did change, but not according to my plan.

Fast forward sixteen years to now. I have been a foster parent to seventeen children ages zero to five. I am still in contact with the families of several. I have found my calling caring and advocating for the children in my home.

In addition, I have weathered the “system” through good and bad. Three years ago, I became so frustrated that I was determined to do more. The result (possibly also a mid-life crisis) was to apply to and enroll in law school, with the plan of advocating for children. Again, life changed, but not as I planned. I am now over half done with law school but don’t currently see a career change to an attorney. I think I can better serve in a volunteer capacity as an attorney while maintaining my career in software engineering (something has to pay the bills, and public service, well you know…).

I have adopted two of my foster children, now age 11 and 7, when they were each about three and a half, and I am “mom” to another 7-year-old who lives with her dad but spends most of her time outside of school days at my home. I am also currently fostering a baby boy that I received when he was 12 days old and who is now almost three months old.

My life can sometimes be described as controlled chaos with all of the balls I throw in the air, but I have become a master at juggling, always keeping in mind that the children are the priority. I hope I can enlighten others who are considering or are actively involved in foster care. It is not an easy road, but it is such a blessing, both to the children and to the foster families. There is always room for another child to love!