My Life

Exciting news for our family!

When I was about 11 years old I was staying with my Aunt Val. She had to run some errands and left me at home with a mission. There were two little girls that were going to be on the news for Wednesday’s Child (a program to encourage adoptions from foster care) and I was supposed to write down the number for her and any other info they gave on the sweet sisters. I took that job very seriously (as any 11 year old do when entrusted with an important job) and within a few months they were my Aunt Val’s new daughters and our whole family quickly fell in love with them.

Ever since then I have had the plan in the back of my heart that I wanted to adopt from foster care too someday. When Nick and I were dating I told him that was something I planned to do and he agreed we should later on in life when our kids were older.

And then….

I got this really strong feeling that we needed to start looking into it. Not later, now. I tried to ignore it and get it off my mind but it wasn’t budging. I don’t know how else to describe it besides saying I felt homesick or like I was missing someone and this was our path to finding them. Nick was surprised when I told him I thought now was the time but he trusted my gut.


Once I got looking into adoption I found out how desperate the need in my area was for foster parents. The beauty of starting off as a foster parent was that if a child came into our home we could keep them safe and loved until they go back home with their parents or if that wasn’t a possibility we could keep them forever. It would help save that sweet babe from having to move from home to home, which is one of the most difficult and damaging things for them. It would also mean that the children we love and attach to might have to leave us. We decided the benefit to the child far outweighs our own pain and loss.

So we started the process and 10 months, 32 hours of classes, 40000 sheets of paperwork and a home study later we got our license!

And two weeks after that…

We got our first placement! He’s been in our home for nearly a month and we are already entirely in love with him. He’s only 9 months younger than Billy so we’ve got ourselves Irish Twins. Which can be a challenge! I can’t even tell you how fun it is, though. With two adorable babies around you all day it’s impossible not to be in a good mood. If one isn’t cracking you up or making your heart swell, surely the other one is.  Which is why I might have been a little more absent around these parts, my sincerest apologies for that:)


Anyway, I thought I would do a Q&A post for any of the questions I can answer to hopefully help to spread the gospel of fostering or at the very least help people understand it better. So if you have any questions (i’m obviously a newb but I’m learning a lot!) please ask away!

p.s.  I wish I could post a photo of him so you could all fall in love too, but that would definitely be an invasion of his and his parent’s privacy:)


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Trisha F
    June 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    My husband and I decided we would do this too even before we got married.
    We’re still waiting to have him done with school so we can be in a big enough home (not the in-laws basement) to do this.
    But how exciting for you!! That’s amazing.
    I don’t have any questions for your Q&A as we’ve already looked into all of it.
    But this makes me so happy!

  • Reply
    Megan Mattinson
    June 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Oh, Cara!! Congrats!! I teared up reading this because I feel the same pull on my heart. Hopefully we will be in this situation soon, too! Way to have a big ol’ open heart!! Xoxo!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    You are truly an angel.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Lipstreuer
    June 10, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    That is so awesome, Cara! You are one very special lady!!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I am also interested in Foster care and have been talking about it with my husband for about 6 months now. For all of the reasons that you stated but mostly to keep that little angel in a loving home until they return to their parents or keep them forever 🙂

    My biggest concern is watching the child leave and knowing what they are potentially going back to. The emotional part of that would be very hard. Is this something that they talk about in the classes to qualify you as a foster parent?

    I am so happy for you! What an amazing, open heart you have! Reading this made me so happy! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Reply
      becca h
      June 11, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Hi Sarah, just thought I would give my 2 cents as someone who has been on this journey for almost 2 years. To answer your question, yet, it is heart-breaking and devastating and traumatic when your kiddos leave you. That doesn’t change. Sometimes it can feel like people assume that foster parents don’t have feelings or hearts when this comes up, but that’s simply not true. We’ve just had to come to terms with the fact that these sweet kiddos never ever choose to be put in the situations that they are in. so as an adult, it’s my job to protect the less vulnerable. And for me personally, my instruction also comes from the Bible where the Lord tells us to care for the orphans and widows, so I’m just trying to be obedient. I trust that the Lord will heal my heart after each kiddo leaves and I have to rest knowing that I’ve made a difference for that child, be it for a day, a month, a year, or a lifetime. At the end of the day, as emotional as it it, I believe that every single child on this planet deserves a parent who loves them deeply enough that their heart IS completely shattered and devastated when their child is taken from them. It’s so tough, but the rewards far outweigh the hurt, especially when it comes to so many precious children who desperately need beds in homes to sleep in. Hope this helps give some perspective and keep talking about it – we have a huge crisis on our hands!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    YOU are making my heart swell! This is something that I considered before. I’m looking forward to reading about your experience and would love any details that could help me picture how this might go for my family (I have two boys, 4 and 1.5). You’re starting my weekend off so sweetly!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    How amazing!! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I just want to say I think that is just wonderful what you and your family are doing. Many blessings to you

  • Reply
    antuanete anete
    June 10, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    This is amazing, I wish you to have only sunny days and happines!!! You are a great example for others!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    This makes me so incredibly happy – I’ve been feeling the pull towards foster care for a while now! As someone else commented: is there any sort of training on the emotional aspect of parenting a foster child? And how common is it that families are able to adopt out of foster? Just curious!! Thank you for being someone’s guardian angel!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Such wonderful news, Cara! That little boy is very lucky indeed. XO

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Cara, first and foremost a big kudos to you and your already perfect family for doing this. I got goosebumps reading about your exciting new life chapter. I speak from one who was part of the foster care system during the time I was about 6 years old. It was something I kept in the deep layers of my memory and every now and then I get a flashback to life in foster homes. I don’t know if it still works the same way but I remember having to move from one home to another to avoid emotional bonding that would affect me (and my older sister) once we received permanent placement. It’s a memory I wouldn’t change for the world. There were great homes I was in and there were some not-so-good homes where they’d literally lock the refrigerator. Either way, I still hold these memories close to my heart and adore the people who open up their homes and lives to kids who need support during tough times. I’m so happy that you have the ability to do this and wish you all the best. You’re a blessing to any child who gets to call you their foster family.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    That is one lucky little boy. I hope you get to adopt him.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I’m so in love with this! Fostering has been on my heart for some time now, but it’s not in the forefront for my husband. He had a stressful job, and coming home to our two kiddos is also exhausting and can be chaotic. He sees it as putting more on our already full plate, while I see it as an opportunity to bless a child in so many ways. I stay home, so I feel like I’m ideal for caring for a little one who needs the warmth and love of a home. My husband has given me the go-ahead, but I know that he is only consenting because it’s something that I want to do, NOT because he’s being called to it, as well.

    So my question: do I wait until he has it in his heart to foster? Or do I pursue it despite his indifference, knowing that he will eventually be opened to the blessing?

    • Reply
      June 10, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Just my two cents… Personally I would wait until he is on board. He may not feel the pull to do it like a mother would, but he definitely needs to have the desire. It is stressful, exhausting, rewarding, amazing, and may present challenges you have NEVER had to deal with ever. In fact, you will definitely face challenges you’ve never had to face. You will need to support each other and both support your children- and you never want him to say ‘you wanted to do this, you signed up for this’. Best of luck, you will know what you’re supposed to do, and eventually he will too!:)

    • Reply
      June 15, 2016 at 4:50 am

      I wholeheartedly agree with Robin. Fostering puts a lot of pressure on a marriage and it would be easy for resentment to creep up on both sides, one for “bringing him into this” and the other for “not being supportive enough.” Being on the same page is so important for you, your kids and the emotional well-being of the little ones coming in, too! In the meantime, I think it’s wonderful that you have a heart for this. Maybe there’s another way you can reach out in the meantime? Daytime programs or Big Sister types of activities?

  • Reply
    kathy Olson
    June 10, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    That is so wonderful!!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    So inspiring! Thank you for sharing <3

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    What a wonderful, beautiful thing you’re doing. Congrats!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    This is so wonderful and amazing! I honestly have no idea what the process entails and would love to hear more about it.

    • Reply
      June 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      I have worked at my local CPS office & also have been a CASA advocate in my community. I can answer any questions you might have if Cara doesn’t get back to you 🙂

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. We’ve been trying to decide if we should try for a 3rd baby, but maybe this is the way to go instead. You are so inspiring! How are your babies dealing with the new addition?

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Oh I just love this! I’m still trying to decide if I even want to have kids of my own, but when I read stories of kids being adopted or fostered in a loving home, it really tugs at my heartstrings.

  • Reply
    Allison Mills
    June 10, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    You rock, Cara.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    My husband and I did foster care for 7 years, and really enjoyed our experiences! I’m so excited for you and your sweet family, and the joys and heartache that come with it. We adopted our son and he and our biological daughter are 8 months apart! So I completely understand what you are going through! Best of luck!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I LOVE THIS!!! I have been a CASA & also worked at our local CPS office for a number of years. There is SUCH need for stable foster & foster-adopt homes in every community. I can’t see how people can spend $20,000 (and MORE!) to adopt overseas when the need is so great right here in our own country. Bless!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Cara…Thank you so much for doing this… I’m so thrilled for you. You need a girl to foster next someone you can teach your artistry to! Bless You and your family.

    • Reply
      June 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Our family adopted internationally. I worked with foster children and foster/adoptive families for years. Sometimes your heart leads you to adopt outside of the U.S. Children are in need of loving families all over the world. We are blessed every day to be the parents of amazing kids! I firmly believe each of our children came to be part of our family because it was meant to be.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Good on ya, Cara! I know how tough that can be – but worth it too! I also have fostered but it was always for my niece and nephew. They’ve been with us for over 4 years now but I will never forget the “fun” of all those classes and licencing requirements – exhausting!! We actually had to go through all the classes twice (since the kids didn’t end up coming to our house the first time they had to be in care (outside our state) and we didn’t finish all the licencing requirements the first time around.

    OH how we wish they would’ve come to our home when they were 7 instead of 10 and 11! It’s SO much harder to “retrain” their brains to see how life doesn’t have to be the way they’ve been living it.

    Best wishes for your new addition to be permanently with you or *quickly* able to go back to his parents. Either way, prayers and blessings be with you!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    So awesome! I would love to do something like this one day. I know nothing about the process, so I’m curious to know a general overview. And what makes the child have to move from foster home to foster home? And do you ever have any idea of the amount of time the child could be staying with you?

  • Reply
    Rebecca G.
    June 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you for being the face of Christ to that little boy. May God guide your family to the resolution of His perfect plan.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    That is so amazing! Congratulations and God bless. Adoption has been on my heart for as long as I can remember, so a Q&A would be very helpful. My husband and I both want to foster and/or adopt soon. I’ve been feeling that ache in my heart, I guess like the homesickness you are talking about, for a child to love and bring into our home and let them experience love and stability. Thank you for your post. I can’t wait to hear more about it!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Lynn
    June 10, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    It’s like you were describing my own story! It’s always been in my heart to do foster care and adopt. My husband has always been on board as well. We were just waiting for the right time and back in March I started getting the same feelings that you described. The time was NOW! I couldn’t think about anything else. We’ve also done the 32 hours of classes and gathering the paperwork from the 4 corners of the earth. 😉 Just the home study left and hopefully we’ll be fostering soon too! It’s so fun to read about other people who are experiencing a similar journey to ours. Can’t wait to read more about it!

  • Reply
    Courtney Catanese
    June 10, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    So proud of you for both feeling the conviction and spreading the word of this truly noble calling. We only hear about all the bad stories that come out of foster care, but you embody everything the system should be. It had never even occurred to me to become a foster parent until I was in college and one of my classmates said it was a goal of hers. Now I too want to participate one day and would love to hear more about the process and your experiences. <3

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Wow! We are almost done and weeks away from getting licensed. I’ve been Powering through on faith because I knew we were prompted to do this and we are excited to! I feel like the reality is starting to settle in and I’m getting a little scared. My questions are, were you licensed just for babies and was he your first call?
    So happy to know you are on this journey too!❤️

  • Reply
    Beth N
    June 10, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    This has been on my mind since I was a child. I don’t know if I could do it but maybe someday I would like to help. So wonderful that people like you have stepped up to help the help less. I think it’s amazing when people can assist those in horrible situations all over the world with adoption and foster care. Any child is worthy to help. No matter the price tag.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    My aunt and uncle fostered 4 kids, two sets of siblings, and adopted all four of them! I think it’s a beautiful thing to be opening your hearts to kids in need ❤️

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Yay for foster parents! We are in our 8th year. When we first started we only had 2 little ones of our own. At the moment, we are parents or parent figures for 8 littles under the age of 12 and that has been our normal for the last 5 years. I wouldnt change it for the world!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Cara! This is so amazing! I’m thrilled for you, Nick and the boys. Welcome to this wonderful family, kid.

  • Reply
    becca h
    June 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Oh Cara, I can’t tell you how excited I am for you and how hard I will be praying for your family! We have been foster parents for the past 2 years and are finally getting an opportunity to adopt our placement that has been with us for 17 months! It is such a tremendous blessing and such incredibly hard work, but these kids are so worth it and we are doing eternal work for these precious kids! We have a 10 year old and a 5 year old, so we weren’t sure how they would adjust to new kids, but they have been amazing and they adore our 19 month old FS. I would encourage you to find a group of other foster parents in person or on Facebook to be a support system. I live in AZ where we have an awesome Facebook community for foster parents and they have been so helpful and encouraging. What an exciting journey and congrats to you for following your gut and for your hubby being so supportive! Feel free to reach out for any reason but know that you and your growing family will be in our prayers 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen Gaughan
    June 11, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Cara, You are beautiful both inside and out. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. You have a beautiful family and a huge heart. Good luck in your endeavor. I know any child that is sent to you will be a very happy kid. Proud to have you be part of our family….

  • Reply
    June 12, 2016 at 12:11 am

    This is such awesome news to hear! I yearn for us to be long-term foster carers, but we have only just started our own family with the arrival of our son 9 months ago, so in my heart I know it’s not the right time for us. But I think about it so much every day, wishing we had the capacity right now. I hope your little guy is settling in really well, what a huge adjustment it must be for the kids. God bless you guys!

  • Reply
    Kiss & Make-up
    June 12, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Oh wow, congrats! Incredible how quick that went! Wishing you so much happiness!

  • Reply
    Amber Dahl
    June 12, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Hey Cara, I got your blog from my sis because I do foster care as well! We’ve done it for 5 years and just had our first adoption. I love that you are blogging and bringing attention to foster care. It is my prayer that the Lord of the harvest will bring more workers in this field of His kingdom. May Christ be glorified in all you’re doing! Also don’t grow weary in doing good because in due time you will reap a harvest. Galatians 5:9. Amber Dahl

  • Reply
    June 12, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Aww, this is so so so sweet! I am so glad you were able to do this and I would love to hear his story!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Reply
    Gabby Andrea
    June 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    So beautiful! Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  • Reply
    June 12, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    It is so wonderful that you are doing this! My mom isn’t my birth mom, but she opened her heart to me when I was a baby. 31 years later, we still talk almost very day and are extremely close. Family isn’t blood, it is love.

  • Reply
    Heather Hammel
    June 13, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Congrats! That is awesome!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    After reading your blog post and all the beautiful comments I am close to tears. I want to hear about everything you have to share about it. What were your biggest concerns going into it? How are your boys doing with the addition? How did you tell them about it?

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Congratulations to you and your family! I am an adoptive mother of three, as well as a former caseworker, and foster/adoptive home licensing rep. Two of my kiddos are also virtual twins, at less than three weeks apart. Lots of challenges, but lots of fun! Just my two cents, but no amount of classes can prepare you fully for every situation you may encounter. You will be blessed by those children who will come into your life, as they will be blessed by your family.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2016 at 10:55 am

    My husband & I did this four years ago with two little girls. One went back to her biological parent after nearly six months and we still miss her but we were able to adopt the other little girl a year later. We have had two biological daughters since then and I can’t believe I get to be the mum to these three stunning little girls. We are hoping to adopt more whenever God sends them to us.

    Adoption and foster care are beautiful and complicated and filled with ups and downs but so very worth it. God sends me my children and it is up to Him when He takes them, I remember this for all my children whether biology or fostering brings them to my arms.

    “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” CS LEWIS

  • Reply
    June 14, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! You have a beautiful heart. 🙂

  • Reply
    McKenna Lister
    June 16, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Cara!! Shut up!! I’m sure you don’t remember this, but like last year when you were doing makeup in St George you and I were talking about my foster kids and you were telling me how you wanted to do it!! ahhh!! this makes my heart SOOO happy to know that you are actually doing it!! 🙂 P.s. We adopted our two kids last October!! and we have two more little girls with us right now!! It’s so hard but such a blessing!!

  • Reply
    Alie Jones
    June 19, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I love hearing this! We felt the pull to do foster care, too. I bawled during the information session we went to. My husband and I started the paperwork a couple months ago but put it on hold until we move next month, but hopefully by the end of the year we’ll get our first placement! My question is how do you fit in the time to do visits? Our local agency (in San Diego) requires at least 2-hour visits with their bio parents twice a week and I already have two young sons (2 and 5) so I don’t know how I’ll fit it all in? And you work, too — how in the world do you find time for it? 🙂

  • Reply
    June 19, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    You are such an inspiration! I love how you acknowledge the feelings on pain and loss and how difficult it will be and have decided to take it head on for the good of the child. I’ve often felt my own emotions have held me back from pursuing my passions, particularly related to animal care. I wish you and your family the best and am so happy you all were able to foster. You’re the best! I’ve been a blog follower for years and it’s so refreshing to see women who enjoy makeup and looking their best but aren’t vain or judgmental. Thanks for everything!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2016 at 11:25 am

    This was such a beautiful post to read, what a lovely post! How lovely of you all to do such a caring and thoughtful gesture.

    Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


  • Reply
    Emily Fox
    June 21, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Love this, Cara! What a blessing for your foster child and for your biological children to see the love in your heart. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Bless you and your husband for for doing this Cara. It really takes special people to foster a child, especially with your own family to look after already! I was placed into a foster home at birth, and then adopted by those same foster parents. They already had two young boys and my mom was pregnant – I’m 3 months older than my sister! I always felt very blessed being raised by such selfless, caring parents. It’s a very emotional but rewarding job. He’s a lucky little boy to be surrounded by the love and stability of your family. xo

  • Reply
    Denise Payne
    June 28, 2016 at 10:43 am

    I loved reading this. I have a one year old (19 months) and when we move back up to Charleston, SC my husband and i plan on starting our process of adopting our future daughter. i do have a question since we are not moving back for another 3 years and i haven’t started my research. Do you have to foster or can you go straight to adopting? One day i do want to foster but after my son and hopefully our adopted daughter have grown and moved on to college (or whatever they want to do).

  • Reply
    June 29, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Congratulations, Cara! I know they don’t allow you to post his picture, unfortunately, but I understand! 🙂 I had considered doing foster care with my ex husband at one time. I have 2 cousins who do foster care & they love it. I was always told that I couldn’t have a foster child older than my youngest child, I guess that isn’t so where you live. My ex husband had a friend at work who did foster care with his wife, & they chose to take the hard cases. They said it wasn’t easy. The teen foster daughter had a lot of rage & would lash out, but they kept with it, bless their hearts. I know of a foster mom who just decided out of the blue one day that her foster son couldn’t stay any longer & he had to leave immediately. I felt so bad for him, so good stable foster parents like you are greatly needed. A lot of foster kids go to homes that aren’t much better than where they came from. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about foster parents. How they are approved I don’t know?? Unbelievable. So your foster son is soooo fortunate & blessed to have you, Cara! So incredibly blessed. He’ll remember you his whole life. His life will be better & he’ll have you to thank for it. One day he will tell others his story & he will talk about you fondly. And he’ll smile… 🙂

  • Reply
    July 27, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    My husband and I got licensed to do foster care around the same time as you and I believe we are in the same region so maybe we’ll run into you at cluster meeting! We have had one placement, a little girl for two weeks. We all adored her and my kids are looking forward to the next placement. Best of luck with your journey in foster care!!

  • Leave a Reply