Hi- I'm Mary. The purpose of this blog is for me to share my thoughts and experiences as an adoptive and foster mother in an attempt to educate, advocate, and occasionally vent (because, after all, I'm only human!)
I'm extremely grateful for adoption because that is how I became a mother! My husband and I adopted our oldest daughter, M., as a newborn through agency adoption. We were able to adopt our two youngest children, C. and A. (whom I refer to on this blog as “Jack and Jill”) after they had been living in our home as foster children from the time A. was born and C. was just 11 months old. C. and A. are biological siblings and their birthmother relinquished her parental rights after they had been in our care for over a year and a half.
Just as each of our children are unique, each of our adoptions have been completely different. We have a deep respect for our children’s birthmothers and always want our children to know of the great love their first families have for them.
Over eighteen years of marriage, my husband and I have welcomed over a dozen foster children into our home. Although it has been very difficult to say goodbye to our foster children when they leave- whether they’ve been in our care for just a week or for several months- we will always hold a special place for each of them in our hearts.
Although I realize that adoption and foster care may not be the right paths for everyone, I would strongly encourage those who have felt a desire to foster or adopt to open their hearts and minds to the possibilities!
OUR FAMILY TIMELINE
Significant Events Related to Fostering & Adopting:
May 2000- Our Married Life begins!
January 2006- We become licensed foster care providers for the state of Utah
May 2006- Our homestudy for our first adoption through LDS Family Services is approved
November 2006-January 2007- Our first foster placement, a three year old boy, "Justin*" is placed with us after coming from another foster home; Justin returned to his parent's care.
August 2007-April 2008 Our second foster placement, a four month old baby girl, "Molly" is placed with us; Molly was returned to her parent's care.
September 2007- M. IS BORN!
March 2008- M's adoption is finalized!
December 2008- Our homestudy for a second adoption (through LDS Family Services) is approved
April 2009- We are briefly reunited with Molly for 24 hours as she came into care a second time with her baby brother; Molly's baby brother is our third foster placement. Shortly after her removal, a judge ordered Molly and her baby brother back into the care of Molly's mother pending there is no contact between Molly's mother and father.
August 2009- We learn that Molly and her brother are back in care again. Rather than placing Molly back with us she is placed into the care of a relative.
November 2009- July 2010- Our fourth foster placement, a two month old baby boy "Christian" temporarily joins our family; Christian returned to the care of his father.
October 2010- February 2011- Our fifth foster placement, a 22 month old boy, "George" is placed with us
February 2011- George is placed with relatives who want to adopt him
July 2011- Our sixth foster placement, 3 year old "Precious" stays with us for one week as an emergency placement before being transferred into the care of relatives.
September 2011- May 2012- Our seventh foster placement, a two-month old baby girl, "Rose" is placed with us. Rose was returned to the joint care of her parents who were living separately on a trial home placement basis.
May 2012- Our eighth foster placement, a two year old boy, "Casey" stays with us for five days as a respite placement
August 2012- Rose comes back into our care
December 2012- Rose is transferred to the care of a relative (kinship care) who decides to become a licensed foster care provider and adopt her if her parent's rights are terminated.
December 2012- April 2013- Our ninth (and tenth) foster placements and our first sibling group are placed with us; a 2 year old boy, "Ty", and his 9 month old half-brother,"Ian", Ty and Ian were transferred to the care of relatives.
January 2013- We are approved to adopt through Premier Adoption Agency
Summer 2014- We are approved to adopt through Forever Bound Adoption
September 2013-Currently Our second sibling group, 11 month old "Jack" and his newborn sister "Jill" are placed with us
February 2015- Jack & Jill's birthmother relinquishes her parental rights and their birthfather's rights are terminated; they are eligible for us to adopt them
April 2015- Adoption of Jack & Jill! After 19 months in our care Jack and Jill become "official" members of our family.
May 2015- We decide to stop pursuing another agency or private domestic infant adoption
July 2015- A two-year old girl, "Emily" stays with us for a week as a respite placement while her foster family goes out of state. Emily is the thirteenth child we've fostered.
August 2015- Emily stays with us again when her foster parents have to go out of state for four days due to an emergency.
January 2016- We renew our foster care license for a tenth year.
June 2016- We provide short-term respite care for two sibling groups, including our first teenager.
February 2017- Provide a day of respite for a baby boy
July 2017- Respite placement for a newborn baby girl
August 2017- I begin a three year Master's Program in Social Work
August 2018- Respite placement for a baby boy
*To protect confidentiality, I don't use our foster children's real names or post pictures of them.