fostering

‘What about me?’ He sees all the babies getting adopted. He deserves a family too. Our answer was a shaky, scared ‘yes.’: Foster mom on the ‘trauma’ yet ‘joy’ when you ‘Say yes to an older child’

“Within 24 hours I went from mothering toddlers, to a 7-year-old. I wasn’t sure what to do. We were walking on eggshells, wondering when the lid would blow. I was closing his bedroom door. He stopped me. ‘Mommy, you’re a really good Mom.’ I slid down the door in silent sobs. Those words, coming from that boy, meant more than any accolade I could ever receive.”

‘It’s really bad this time,’ she whispered. ‘My sister kicked me out. The cops are involved. I’m so scared.’ Paralyzed husband and his wife adopt 19-year-old, only 6 years younger than them

“‘Emily?’ The sniffling voice on the other line was hoarse from sobbing. I sighed. A tearful call in the middle of the night could only mean one thing. She hesitated. ‘Will you and Chris be my foster parents?’ I was caught off guard. We were 23 and 24 at the time, and newly engaged.”

‘Daniel may have trouble fathering children. He had a botched surgery when he was very young. As 18-year-olds, we didn’t grasp the seriousness of his male infertility. Then I realized something was wrong with me, too.’

“My husband’s counts had dropped to almost nothing. Six live sperm were found. Six! No six thousand. Just six. We got a letter in the mail. The yearly fee to keep his sperm frozen was due. It was hundreds of dollars. We had to make a decision about our future– right now. At 26 years old, I VOLUNTARILY had a hysterectomy. Then, we got the call.”

‘When we were just about done with the foster process, I GOT PREGNANT. I peed on 14 sticks because I couldn’t believe it. We thought we were ready. I didn’t realize the roller coaster it’d be.’

“We had a 6-month-old baby and added an emotional 5-year-old to the mix. There were days where I felt like I was babysitting someone else’s kids. People told me I wouldn’t be able to love these children as my own. You come in expecting everything to fall into place. It doesn’t work like that. I had no idea what I was doing.”

‘I choked out, ‘So, their dad and I are no longer living together.’ 8 months into fostering two of the girls, and 2 months after saying ‘yes!’ to adopting, my children’s father and I separated.’

“We had 5 kids and had just celebrated 6 years of marriage. Our entire life crashed, the walls built with facades and fantasies. I was secretly dying inside. It was silent, painful. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be taking family photos without a husband, my children’s father.”

‘WHAT!? Going from no kids to 2 under 2 in 1 day?! What on earth were we getting ourselves into?! My husband and I looked at each other. ‘WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?’

“The docs were certain I had mono. I kept thinking to myself, ‘There’s no way this is happening again’. The next day I get an urgent call. The clinic frantically demanded for me to be at the hospital ASAP for an ultrasound. I literally laughed. ‘I’m not pregnant, you must have called the wrong patient.’”

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