So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

Oh, the comments. You will tire quickly of the never-ending stream when you announce you are a foster family. Especially if you happen to be a young foster family. 

“But what will this do to your own kids?”

“Being a foster family is really hard, you know that right?”

“But you are so busy already!” 

“Those kids are very damaged.”

In the beginning of our journey, it felt like we had anything BUT support. I know everyone meant wellthey didn’t want to see our little, young family hurt. They had good intentions. But what they didn’t know, is that we had already made up our minds. 

We had racked our brains and prayed endlessly over this huge life decision.

We had consulted seasoned foster parents, done the training, read the books. There was no way to completely prepare ourselves for the future, but is there ever? 

RELATED: Welcoming Motherhood Through Foster Care

I first felt the gentle nudge before I was married. I was 17 and working at a pediatric clinic. A little girl with ratty hair and a somber look walked through the door, holding the hand of what appeared to be a caseworker. She had one shoe. My curiosity revealed that she had just been removed and needed to be examined by a doctor immediately. I will always remember that little girl’s face. And I believe that was the day God exposed my heart to foster care. 

Fast forward a few years. I was married and my husband and I had struggled to carry a pregnancy past the first trimester. I was devastated. And I thought back to that little girl. I began researching the licensing process, and before we knew it, we were having our first home visit.

God cracked our hearts wide open and there was no going back. 

We were halfway through the process when we found out we were pregnant. “We should continue the process,” I told my husband. “What if we lose this one, too?” 

We didn’t. We had a healthy baby girl, and she rocked our world in the best way possible. And when she was four months old, we accepted our first foster placement. 

RELATED: Now That I’ve Met the Faces of Foster Care, I’m Changed

It was not the best first experience. It was hard. As a therapeutic foster family, any child we received would have pretty significant behavioral issues. And this was no exception

We were reluctant to ever accept another placement again. But we did. Because when you get a phone call that a child needs a safe place to land, and you know that child has a name and a face and a unique story, how can you say no? 

What I want our friends and family to know is we have the same fears you do. We are not blinded to the risks of opening our hearts and home to a child and the situation that surrounds them. It’s terrifying. 

There is going to be heartbreak no matter how the case goes.

Because we live in a broken world, and sometimes God calls us out of our comfort zone for the good of others. He doesn’t always call us to easy, in fact, He rarely does. 

Our family could not sit back and ignore this great need. Sometimes, these kids have no one who truly stands up for them. And that is not OK. If caring and responsible adults do not step in, our entire society will suffer in the future. They will become adults who do not know right from wrong, have no support system, and have no hope in their own future. 

RELATED: How to be Friends with a Foster Mom

Fostering is not right for everyone, but as someone wise once said, everyone can do something. Advocate, pray, provide respite, show up on a foster family’s door with a meal or a coffee (trust me, neither of those would be turned down).

A foster family needs all the support it can get.

So maybe instead of saying, “Are you sure about this?” say, “I am here for you, how can I help?”

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Kamrie Smith

Kamrie is a rancher’s wife, a mom of two girls, and an EMT. In her free time she enjoys horseback rides in the Montana mountains, coffee walks with friends, playing with her girls, and jotting down thoughts to share with others.

7 Strategies for Reducing Your Kids’ Screen Time

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Young child smiling using a tablet

Recently, my husband received military orders that moved us and our kids across the country. Of course, this came with a ton of changes—thankfully, the flexibility of my job allowed me to continue working, just with reduced hours, which then meant my full-time daycare kid had to become an (almost) full-time, at-home kid since we couldn’t hack the costs of childcare in our new location anymore. So, I suddenly had to figure out working with both of my kids at home with me. This sent my stress levels through the roof. Trying to juggle my priorities as a parent and...

Keep Reading

Find the Freedom of Saying No

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Woman sipping coffee and reading a book at home relaxed

It’s okay to say no. We live our lives in fast-forward, constantly moving from one thing to the next, continually striving for more, but we barely take a moment to catch our breath. There are seasons of life when our schedules are naturally full. There are seasons of life when we need to suck it up and push through, but we also need to recognize when we begin to be proud of our full schedule—as if we have something to prove, as if we need to shout from the rooftop that we aren’t lazy. RELATED: Time Isn’t a Thief—the Glorification...

Keep Reading

A New Friend Is Worth the Effort

In: Friendship, Living
Two friends chatting and having coffee in a shop

I moved to Los Angeles—sight unseen—when I was in my 20s. After working in film and television production for many years, I married my husband and we had two kids, but I never found the deep friendships I knew growing up in Oklahoma. I had been told my loneliness would be cured once I had kids. Everyone assured me the sheer number of opportunities for mommy friends would abound once I was carting around a stroller and a diaper bag. But no matter how many Mommy and Me music classes or park activities I signed up for, I was years...

Keep Reading

Sometimes I’m Jealous of My Husband’s Friendships

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two men sitting in back of pickup truck smiling with fishing gear

I see him pick up his phone and smirk. He’s quick to respond, his thumbs fly across the keys. It isn’t long before another notification grabs his attention, again he’s quick to reply. The dimples I adore flash across his face and the cycle continues. And it hits me. I’m sometimes jealous of the friendships my husband has with his buddies. They text each other about the simplest (and dumbest) of things. They ask each other how to fix things. They show each other ads on Marketplace for cars or lawnmowers or whatever one of them is looking for. They...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Three Things.” The Friendship Tool You Need Today

In: Friendship, Living
Friends hugging

The “three things” concept came from a friend via text message years ago and is now a go-to conversation starter between us. She’s the type of friend I don’t talk to often but when we do, “three things” gets us caught up on what’s truly important in each other’s lives.   How often are we on autopilot and respond to “How are you?” with a quick “I’m good!” This generic conversation starter typically lends itself to generic answers. We can easily skirt around what’s really going on in our lives by deflecting—“I am great! How are you?” RELATED: Can We...

Keep Reading

We Have a Lot of Pets and It’s the Best

In: Living, Motherhood
Collage of kids with animals, color photo

We are the house with a lot of animals. Yep, that one. Each time I call my mom to delicately mention we are thinking of adopting another pet, I am met with the same disapproving tone, “ANOTHER dog?” Let’s be fair, we are only shopping around for our third. It’s not that crazy, but I get it’s more than most. Oh, and we also have a horse. But hear me out . . .  My oldest son has autism and used to be terrified of our dog. She was patient with him, she kept her distance, and she slowly broke...

Keep Reading

Hello 40, I’ve Been Waiting for You

In: Living
Woman wearing 1983 Original shirt, color photo

Recently, a friend gave me a sweatshirt displaying the words “Nineteen 83 Original.” I slipped the soft fabric over my head and pushed my arms through; the cozy sweatshirt fit perfectly. I looked down at the retro print, loudly and proudly displaying the year: ’83. I contemplated whether to wear it out that night. It was comfortable, I liked the way it felt and looked, and it was honest—I was literally wearing my age. Was that okay?  Would my mom have ever worn a shirt that so boldly proclaimed her age? My aunts? My grandma? Never ask a woman her...

Keep Reading

When Mom Gets a Migraine Life Must Still Go On

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother has a headache, sitting on the couch with kids running around in blur

I can’t tell the story of paramedics from the angle from which they see things, but I can tell it from the angle of the person looking up at them—the one lying in the medically-equipped vehicle with lights flashing and siren audible. There are some lessons in life we learn by blindside—we are thrust into them. That was me that May day in the ambulance.  I had known about migraines; I had decades of first-hand experience with them. I knew vision could be temporarily taken. I have operated countless days with an invisible hammer continuously beating one side of my...

Keep Reading

My Childhood Home Is Forever a Part of Me

In: Grown Children, Living
Mother, father, daughter, older color photo

Of all the places I will roam, home is forever part of me. I can see the bright, orange poppies coming out to grace the springtime hills. I can hear the classic hymns being played on the familiar piano—its notes drifting God’s praise throughout the house. I can smell the fragrant aroma of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and oats mixing together to make the cookies of my childhood. I can touch your warm embrace—the firm hug that has always communicated that it will all be okay, that God has us held in the palm of his hands. I can taste...

Keep Reading

Our Kids Need to See Us Slow Down Too

In: Living, Motherhood
Friends with feet up around a fire pit, color photo

I have a girlfriend who has a lake house just over an hour away. It’s in a small town that has a local Mexican restaurant with a fun, easy-going staff that feels like they have to be family. There have been times over the last few years that something about that casual, bright restaurant with its rowdy waiters and surprisingly outstanding, cheap food makes me feel so content. The small lake town is not that far from home, but it feels far enough away to be unavailable to my responsibilities and have a tiny piece of that vacation vibe (without...

Keep Reading