mom·sen·se (mɒm sens) noun 1. practical motherly intelligence that is sensible or reasonable 2. a mother’s mental discernment, realization, or recognition – She has momsense. OR She used her momsense to determine that something was amiss.
Last week, we heard Cate tell us about her journey to motherhood through adoption. This week, in honor of Nationa Foster Care Month, we get to peak into a very different side of an orphan’s life: foster care.
Foster Care: Placing a child in the temporary care of a family other than its own as the result of problems or challenges that are taking place within the birth family, or while critical elements of an adoption are being completed.
It’s sad for me to say, but I haven’t known very many families who regularly invite children into their homes in this way. But the few I have known, are always an inspiration and always see being foster parents (and families) as a way of life. In fact, the two families I have known (one here and one in New Mexico) talk about how wonderful it is to watch their children be an example, help and love the foster sibling.
Meet Julie B. She, along with her husband, are foster parents (six years and counting). They originally set out to adopt, but during the adoption process got pregnant with their first child. Scottsdale Moms Blog asked Julie to share part of her experience as a foster parent. In her own words, here’s what she had to say:
SMB: Tell us a little about your foster care experience and what sparked an interest in becoming a foster-parent:
JB: We planned on growing our family through adoption before having children of our own. But, our plans to adopt were put on hold when I became pregnant with Natalie (now 7 1/2). My husband was really challenged by his friends to get our family involved in ministry together and that means taking risks that get us outside of our comfort zone. For us, the best way for us to serve our community together is through foster care.
We began the licensing process, but again got sidetracked by our second pregnancy. Although we were still interested in adopting, we knew that there were no guarantees of adoption as a foster parent. We had to be prepared to let a child go. We learned to trust God with the future of the children who came and went from our home.
When our second child turned one, we had our first long term placement. That was an amazingly positive experience (quite unusual, unfortunately). We had an amazing child, a wonderful Child Protective Services (CPS) Case Manager, and the case moved along relatively quickly, allowing for permanency for our child and his 7 birth siblings. We were able to adopt him and finalized the adoption of our son 1 ½ years after his arrival. His birth siblings were adopted into loving families and we are still in touch with them. Since then, we have had to say goodbye to children we’ve loved with case plans that we didn’t agree with. It is a process that keeps us trusting the Lord. It does get easier.
SMB: How have you personally and your family benefitted from being a foster-family?
JB: It is amazing to see our children learn and practice compassion on a regular basis. They also have to deal with grief and sadness and we get to support and love them through all of their emotions. They see us trusting and walking in faith in God. Our family needs to be flexible, giving and helpful to one another. Our circumstances change quickly and often; we can have very little notice and then a child appears. Our children rise to the occasion time and time again.
It melts my heart to see my kids immediately fall in love with each child that comes into our home. They jump at the chance to help feed or change the babies. I have to remind them sometimes that I am the mommy and that the little ones need to know that I am mommy. We just had a 4 month old that Sammy was enamored with. He spent hours laying on the floor, talking to the baby, hugging him. It makes my heart melt. I am so thankful for these experiences, the good and the bad. It’s all worth it.
An Afterward, from Mr. B: “Any foster child of ours always has a home, a place to eat Sunday dinner, a place to come back to for the holidays, a place to bring a new girlfriend or boyfriend. They have a place to call home for life no matter what their last name is. We’ve had 17 kids in our home and I look forward to really big family dinners!”
To learn more about becoming a foster parent contact CFCA online or at (602) 234-1935.
About Julie B.:
How many children do you have? 3
What are their ages? Natalie 8 ½ Morgan 7 ½ Sammy 5
What is your favorite thing about being a mom? Seeing my kids play/work together and enjoy each other; also, I can’t deny the joys of snuggling with my ‘babies’!!!
What is your least favorite thing about being a mom? Complaining, a spirit of discontent (from my little ones, sometimes from me tooJ)
What do you know now that you wish you knew before becoming a mom? I loved and adored my mother. She died in 1994. But I wish I had the experience of being a mom with her in my life. I don’t think I
appreciated her as much as I do now. So I wish we could’ve shared this experience together. She never got to be a grandma.
What drains you? When my children argue or complain; being too busy
How do you recharge? Exercise and fresh air, riding bikes with the kids, sweet times with special friends, prayer and gratitude, family movie nights
Where is your favorite place in Scottsdale to go with your children? Riding our bikes anywhere; Market Street Park at DC Ranch (sand, water and shade-perfect!); Neighborhood get-togethers Friday after school…
Where is your favorite place in Scottsdale to go with your spouse? Movies, hiking, Zinc Bistro
Complete this sentence: I can’t believe I’m a mom because I still 1) need my own mother. She died at 55 and never got to meet any of her five grandchildren. I am very grateful for an amazing mother in law who is very dear to me. 2) I am filled with imperfections so how can I possibly be responsible for the growth of other human beings??? Enter God’s Grace!!!