How do you know when you are ready to commit to being a foster parent?
They say no one is ever fully ready to be a parent and I’d say there’s some truth to that for being a foster parent as well. However, your home life should be in a stable season before you say yes to a kiddo from trauma. It’s important to acknowledge that these kiddos come from very hard places and that comes with a lot of trauma that they need to process, and they will need your willingness to sit in it with them fully in order for them to be able to heal. But if you can say, yes we are in a season of life to fully commit, then I say JUMP!
What are tangible ways to support bio mom throughout the fostering process?
It’s incredibly important for her to know you are on her side. Make sure to encourage her and remind her that all the work she is putting in to love her kids is admirable. One very tangible way to do this is to engage in conversation with her. It’s so easy to keep things very surface level with bio parents, to minimize the awkwardness but for them to feel loved and seen, you have to be wiling to build a relationship that goes deeper.
Another thing you can do is have your kiddos make her cards or paint her pictures to bring to her for visits if that is something they’d be open to or are old enough for. This will encourage birth mom that you honor her role as their mom, and she is not forgotten once her visits end.
Would you ever decide to foster a teenager in the system?
Yes! Zach and I have talked about fostering older kiddos and it’s definitely something on our hearts but we are just not in a season to commit to that right now.
How did you navigate deciding to adopt international or domestic?
For us we felt really called to foster care and knew if adoption was apart of that journey it would obviously be domestic then. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong path to choose. Both are loving children from hard places and opening your home up to a chid in need. I think whichever way you feel led is awesome. There are factors that you can process that may help you decide such as finances, travel, whether you want to foster or not, etc.
How old are Mason and Liam?
Mason is 2 1/2 and Liam is almost 14 months.
Did you change Mason’s name after he was adopted?
We gave him a new middle name and we changed his last name to King, but Mason was the name his birth mom gave him and we wanted to keep that.
What advice would you give to someone in her mid 20s who’s trusting in God’s plan but also just really wants to find the person she’s going to marry?
I’d say that first off, it’s 100% okay to have that desire in your heart. And as long as it doesn’t consume you, it can stay there until God honors it. But marriage is about two strong and healthy individuals coming together so become that strong woman you want to be for your spouse. I don’t believe we are “incomplete” until we find our other half, but rather we need to live fully regardless of being single or married.
To do this, I would encourage you to really pursue what your passionate about in your season of singleness. Live this season of life up, and choose joy within it. Travel. Try new hobbies. And keep leaning into Jesus. Keep trusting Him even in the moments of strong desire, and know His plan is far greater than any plan we could come up with for ourselves.
Has there been a time in your faith walk where you turned away from God or struggled deeply
I’ve never turned away from my faith in God, but I experienced a season a few years back of extreme anxiety. I had multiple panic attacks and really struggled to take control of my anxiety, understand it, and see how God was working through it. I ended up going to counseling (which I recommend to everyone at some point in your life!) And was able to work through a lot of it. I still have some anxiety, but it’s manageable and something God and I continue to work on.
What is something you enjoy doing alone? Like mommy time?
I am finally getting back into reading which I love! But my favorite thing to do is find a new coffee shop, get a cappuchino, and organize my thoughts. I love the time to dream, write and be able to put my jumbled brain onto paper and feel organized. In this time I journal, read my Bible, read a book, write, or even Pinterest!
Where is your dream vacation?
Currently – I really want to visit the Maldives!
How do you manage two kids and Zach traveling? I feel like I would lose my mind
It’s not always easy, I’ll admit it, but I have an amazing tribe around me that helps a ton. My parents are close by, and I have a strong community of mom friends. When Zach is traveling, I do my best to keep busy with the boys. We get out of the house as much as we can and stay active and have as much fellowship with other people as possible. It definitely helps the trips pass quicker and we all sleep better and longer if we are exhausted ; )
Typical day with the boys look like
This was actually requested a while back as a blog post so it’s coming soon!
Coffee or Tea?
Favorite pair of jeans / where do you buy your jeans?
I’m obsessed with all Levis! You can buy them all over, but my favorite places to find them are Revolve, Shopbop. Nordstrom & online boutiques such as Clad and Cloth.
Whats something God’s been teaching you lately?
God’s been teaching me to take in the little moments. He’s really been convicting me to give the boys my all, even if we are just hanging out playing blocks. He keeps reminding me that living a life of significance doesn’t mean you have instant success or influence on a large scale, but that you go deeper in the relationship you have, and commit whole heartedly to responsibilities He’s given you. Those little moments to invest in my boys and serve my family, the moments nobody else sees, are just as significant as sharing my heart with thousands.
Besides date nights, how do you keep your marriage exciting and build a strong relationship with two young children?
We try to be intentional with our time together. We will do a quick devotional before bed together, or be off our phones in the evenings. We also try to come up with fun things to do at home to make it feel as special as a date night without having to hire a babysitter (or get dressed up ha). We’ve watched a movie outside on a projector like a drive in or we like to make homemade pizza. Another favorite is to play cards and make small bets to keep it fun.
Another thing we implemented for a strong relationship is that we have Sunday night meetings. We go over our weekly schedules, and details the other should know (late work nights etc) so our expectations are on tract and we can connect and plan our intentional family time. Our Sunday night meetings have been a game changer to a much healthier home environment!
Even in the most hectic mornings what do you HAVE to do ?
I HAVE to have coffee! / Brush my teeth – cause nobody likes coffee breathe & Ice Roller my face! It’s suppose to be really good for your skin and I’ve been using it for a while now and am OBSESSED. It feels so good in the morning.
How many kids would you like to have ? Through adoption , biological etc ?
We don’t really have a number for this. We always kind of thought we’d land around 4 but because we know we’ll be fostering for a while we’ll have kiddos come and go so our number will always be changing. Our family “plan” doesn’t really fit into a mold or box, and we’re okay with that.
How have you and Zach kept a sense of normalcy for your kids w/ his success?
Right now this is fairly easy because the boys are too young to really understand it all. But we’ve talked about boundaries we will need to set as they get older. We are doing our best to raise them to be generous, know hard work, be God-fearing, and honorable men. We believe if that’s our focus, our family will remain grounded.
Photos by Jessica Susana