Meet Mary – mother, wife, and the voice behind Adoption and Foster Care, a blog that has become an outlet for her â€œto share [her] thoughts and experiences as an adoptive and foster mother in an attempt to educate, advocate, and occasionally vent.â€
Mary and her husband first opened their home to Justin in November 2006 and so far, she has given a sense of normalcy to seven foster children. In March of 2008, their family adopted a beautiful daughter and welcomed Madison into their family for good.
Mary recently highlighted TOGETHER WE RISE on her blog and graciously shared some of her experiences and wisdom from six years as a foster mom.
What first got you interested in foster care?
Iâ€™ve always been interested in child welfare but it wasnâ€™t until I was in college and listening to a presentation on the need for foster parents and what is required to be a foster parent that I thought, â€œHey- this is something that I could actually do (instead of just thinking about doing in the back of my mind).â€ My husband wasnâ€™t too keen on the idea when I first brought it up but after facing some of our fears and concerns we took our first foster placement five years into our marriage. We didnâ€™t have any children at the time and it just seemed like the â€œrightâ€ thing to do.
What do you think would be the greatest gift you could give to a foster child?
Confidence in themselves and a sense of security that they are cared for and their needs will be met. I think both of those are best accomplished by validating their feelings and needs and letting them know that they matter.
Whatâ€™s been your most memorable experience while being a foster parent?
Itâ€™s hard to pick just one experience but one of the most rewarding and unexpected aspects of being a foster parent for me has been not just helping our foster children but seeing families come back together (in the successful cases) and earning their parents trust. For example, our first foster childâ€™s parents invited us to their wedding and their childâ€™s birthday party after he left our care. Another of our foster childrenâ€™s parents expressed their thanks in helping to care for their child while they â€œcould get their lives back togetherâ€.
At the end of a hard day battling the system, what keeps you going?
Thereâ€™s a couple of things that keep me going: First, I need to remember that itâ€™s not about me- itâ€™s about the children. Second, Love is much more powerful than frustration, doubt, discouragement, or fear.
If your family were to be on the cover of your favorite newspaper or magazine in five years, what would the story be about?
That we suddenly had enough money to buy a huge house and adopt a sibling group (or two) from foster care!
What’s one piece of wisdom or advice that you would like to share with people outside the foster community or prospective foster parents?
Donâ€™t let fear hold you back from making a difference in someoneâ€™s life.
We at TOGETHER WE RISE, would like to thank Mary and suggest that she meet last weekâ€™s blog-savvy foster mom, Alisa. Keep it up ladies!
Loving the lost,