“I wanted to be a mom when I was a little girl. It was the only thing I was certain of. I am the mother I am today because of the few memories I have of my mother, who died when I was 5 years old.”

 




I met my husband, Patrick, when I was 18 years old. The marriage was very quick.

We wanted to start a big family right away. I’m from a large family. My husband is the only child of his parents. We became serious about having children in 2009. I drank pineapple juice during my fertile window and took my temperature. I thought God was telling me not to be a mom after seeing the negative tests many times.

 

There was a long gap from 2011 to 2015.

We weren’t trying, but we weren’t preventing anything either. We moved from Washington to Florida, back to Washington, and then to Arizona for about two years. After moving back to Washington, we tried to get a baby again. We did three rounds of IUI and all failed.

 

There’s a friend of mine who had been willing to talk about fostering with me.

We (my husband and I) always talked about adopting, but we didn’t think it would happen. My husband’s aunt was a foster parent and he knew a little bit about it. I didn’t speak to my friend because I was afraid to open the door to fostering. We were uneducated about the foster care system. She reached out to me again after 6 months. She said that the state needed more good foster homes. Children are sleeping in hotel rooms.

 

At the end of the conversation, I was willing to go ahead with foster care. Only had to convince my husband.

We met with my friend’s husband. Patrick got a male perspective on foster care. We prayed and together we decided to sign up for training. We were officially licensed in June of 2017. Our family supported us with the decision because they knew we prayed a lot to have children.

 

We received a call from the placement desk on the 12th of July.

I was unable to attend the call as I was at work. I immediately called my husband and said that they had a placement for us. A 15-month-old needed to be relocated. Her foster mom only took short-term emergency placements when she was going back to school. The person said, “She is very shy and she has attachment issues according to the social worker on the phone.” She paused for a second and then added “She is white. Is that okay? My husband said that the child needed a home. Her race is irrelevant.

 

We made arrangements to welcome her into our home the next day after we received the number for her foster mom.

It was so odd that the exchange would happen without a social worker involved. On the day after she walked in, we saw a scared little girl who didn’t understand why she had to be moved. She cried for 24 hours. She wouldn’t let me put her down. I was emotionally drained at the end of the night and I thought I made a mistake when I took her in. I wondered what the heck we did.

 

That was a scary time for us.

Then, one day, she started calling us her own. I knew we made the right decision. We knew from the beginning that reunification was the plan. We were so proud of the work she was doing for her kids that her tummy mommy showed up. She would take the bus to each visit so her kids could have a home-cooked meal. It all stopped on the day.

She stopped showing up about a year into the case. We don’t know the ins and outs of her side of the case, but I believe she lost hope. I think she didn’t want her kids to be taken away from the families they were with because she saw them bonding. About six months before she became legally free, her mom started working on her case and fought a good fight. Her case was supposed to go to trial three days before she signed away her rights. To know a mother loved her kids so much, she was willing to give up that part of her life to do so. I am forever grateful for her sacrifice.

 

We expanded our license to welcome another child into our home nine months after we got Felicity.

I got a call from the placement help desk. He said that he and Patrick are open to taking infants. I said yes. He asked, “How would you like to take in a 5-day-old?” He’s in the hospital because he’s premature, but he’s going to be home in a couple of days. I said, “Oh my gosh, yes!” He told me that the placement work would be drafted and I should have it in my email soon. I couldn’t concentrate on work.

 

The worker called me back and informed me that the baby was severely exposed to drugs.

“He is on a feeding tube. He will be in the hospital for a week. Do you want to take care of him?”

We absolutely wanted to!

My husband and I were in the hospital visiting him. We took turns going to the hospital. We almost lost him. He stopped breathing while my husband was with him. Patrick used his skills to get him breathing again. My husband can not talk about that incident. Samuel was in the NICU for 32 days and was discharged a few days before his due date. He left the feeding tube and oxygen at home.

 

He initially had issues gaining weight but we managed to help him with it.

Now, he loves his mom so much that he is very active at 2 years old. After Samuel came home, his tummy mom sent me a message. She was seven weeks pregnant and wanted me to know. I have a good relationship with my mom. We were praying that the baby would be placed with his brother. I had 9 months to prepare for a baby.

 

Judah entered this world on December 19, 2018.

That was not the name his mother gave him. She sent me a picture and said, “He is finally here!” I fell in love with him when I saw his picture. He was close to being placed with another family. He was home with us after we fought so hard for him. I became a mom to three kids under the age of 2 within a year and a half. 10 months and 15 days separate the boys. I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.

 

It feels like a blessing to have such a good relationship with the tummy mommies.

I thank them for everything they do. On January 31, 2020, they were adopted. We wanted to adopt all three of them at the same time, but it didn’t work out that way. Judah was adopted on July 2, 2020. I never thought I would be able to love as much as I do now that I am infertile.

 

Our skin colors might not match but no one can say that we aren’t a family.

I am thankful for the fact that we live in a predominantly white community and have not faced any hardship or racism. Families don’t have to match. As our kids get older, we are talking more about race and color. Our skin is different, but the kids don’t care. When the kids are yelling “mommy and daddy”, we get stares, even though we haven’t faced racism.

 

Our journey in foster care has been very unique.

Our first three placements were Felicity, Sam, and Judah. We had a few short-term and weekend placements, but these three never left. It’s rare to adapt so quickly. I know people who have fostered many children and never adopted. We wanted to love these kids for a long time. Adoption was always a secondary thought. I’m thankful for our journey.

 

For now, there’s no clue what this journey holds for us in the future.

We are going with the flow as a family and decided to start a show because we love sharing our stories. We are excited to share our passion and information about transracial adoption. Families like ours are rare, but we exist.