Is being a foster/adoptive mom different than being a bio mom?
I’d say there are two main ways that being a foster/adoptive parent differs from being a biological parent. First, just logistically, there are added responsibilities. As a foster / adoptive mom it’s my job to make sure court reports are submitted (foster) , and attend additional appointments or worker meetings. I know that sometimes as a biological parent you have these responsibilities as well, but in general, you are guaranteed these responsibilities as a foster mom. The other difference is that as a foster / adoptive parent, it is our responsibility to walk with our child through their pain and trauma. This requires a patient and consistent parenting method more focused on connection building than discipline. This helps remind them that they are cherished and will never be abandoned again. Traditional parenting does not work on kiddos who have experienced trauma. We have chosen to parent all of our kids in this untraditional way, meaning different methods of discipline and more connection based action, but a lot of times biological children can be successful with a more traditional approach. The biggest thing to note is that for us there is absolutely no difference in how we see or love our boys. We are connected to them equally, and love them the same. We would do anything for both of them no matter what.
Are you still fostering children?
We are technically still certified as a foster family, but we have chosen to take a season off to focus on our boys who are young and needing a lot right now. I wrote a post on our life update with fostering, and you can find it here. http://www.kingfamilyunscripted.com/recertification-our-plan-for-future-fostering/
Do you ever regret choosing to do foster care or the gender or the age of the children?
We have never once regretted choosing to do foster care. God has only shown himself that much more in our lives because of it and our lives are that much richer because we said yes. We have also never regretted the gender or age of the children we’ve said yes to, but I do believe that can vary based on your family.
What surprised you most about foster care
The thing that surprised most about foster care is how many emotions you can feel at one moment. It’s definitely a rollercoaster lifestyle and can take a toll on your heart. I have felt scared, sad, confused and excited all within the same hour and I’ve never experienced that before. But it’s forced Zach and I to really learn how to communicate what we are feeling, and help each other process those emotions so we can be fully present for our kids and for each other.
Adoption costs are high are there other ways to make it more affordable?
Private adoption, whether domestic or international, can most definitely be expensive. There are a lot of organizations who offer grants or fundraise to help families pursue it. However, foster care is practically free. But it’s a different approach to loving a child in need than a straight adoption, and money cannot be the reason to choose foster care over private adoption.
How did you become a Christian?
I plan to share my testimony in a later post, but in short, I gave my life to Christ at the age of five. I was raised in a Christian home (my dad is actually in ministry), and I accepted Jesus as a young child and have been seeking Him ever since.
Any advice on dealing with change
I’m probably the worst person to ask this question to because I love change. I find it exciting and challenging, in the best kind of way. Change cannot be avoided, and although I tend to enjoy it, I know it can be hard. My biggest advice with dealing with change is to focus on yourself. Make sure that you are solid in who you are, and if you’re not, do the work to get there. Always make sure your faith is strong and concrete, so that when change gets thrown at you, you are not shaken. This does not mean it will necessarily be easy, but rather you will be able to stand grounded amidst it.
What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received was from my mom. She told me when you are in an argument with your husband, or stressed about something, ask yourself “in light of eternity, is this worth it?” And usually it’s not.
How would you describe your style and tips for someone who wants to change their style?
My style is very neutral and basic. I always try to branch out and add color or fun prints and end up never wearing those pieces – so I stick with the basics and add some fun animal prints or muted colors here and there. If you want to change your style, I would say work on it slowly. Find a few pieces you think you’d like and invest in those and continue to add over time. My biggest advice is not to break the bank or go into debt to try to create a whole new wardrobe.
How do you balance focusing on kids while also pursing your desires separate from them
I don’t have any secret, besides the fact that I firmly believe having kids does not mean you have to give up your dreams, or that your life “is over”. Are there sacrifices when you are a parent? Absolutely. But it doesn’t mean you can’t pursue what you love. In fact, it should be the opposite. If you don’t pursue your dreams or simply do things that fuel you, you’ll lose sight of who you are outside of a mom. This might mean you have to work hard in the evenings, or wake up early. For most of us it doesn’t come easily, and it’s something we have to really be intentional about. But I have found that the more I push aside the “mom guilt” and make time for myself, the happier I am, and the better mom I am.
Cutest thing Mason has ever did?
Oh wow this is a hard one. I have to say though anytime he is sweet with his brother is the best. He will spontaneously kiss him, or rub his head or share his toys and it makes my mama heart swell.
Have you ever broken up with Zach
No we have never broken up. We fell in love and never looked back : )
Are you going to adopt again or have another baby
Yes! To both most likely. We would love another biological baby and know we want to continue to foster, and plan to leave the rest up to God.
How do you and Zach balance your marriage, work , family?
It’s not always easy, and we definitely have moments where it doesn’t come naturally, but our motto is to out-serve each other. When it comes to work, family and our marriage, we’ve found that everything works better when our focus is on putting each other first, especially in the busy seasons. The other thing that helps is constant communication about expectations and schedules. You have to remember that there are seasons of life, and conversations have to be continually had to make sure you guys are on the same page throughout each season.
What is your favorite part of being a mom to two cute boys?
It’s hard to pick just one thing, but my favorite thing is simply being loved by them. When Mason randomly gives me a kiss on my leg, or Liam cuddles up in my shoulder on the way to bed, I just can’t help but be so grateful that God gave me my boys.
If you could have any super power what would be and why?
I would love to have the super powers of Mary Poppins. Clean up messes with a snap of my finger, and sing a song to get the boys to take medicine and go to sleep peacefully 😉
If you had to move abroad where would you move?
I would love to live in London for a season.
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