Today is the first feature in a four week series I am hosting called Unsung Heroes. Each Monday I am featuring a foster mom and her family that has stood out for her devotion, dedication, and advocacy for all foster children. These women and their families are the Robin Hoods, the Dark Nights of our time–average people like you and me daring to change the world. I interviewed each foster mom about the ins and outs of foster care from the most commonly asked questions to the most sensitive. I’m confident that you’ll not only be inspired by each woman but may have some of your own questions answered and possibly leave with a new perspective!
Our first feature family is Chelsey and Ty Paxson a sweet couple from Boerne, Texas. They are first time foster parents who decided to start their family through foster care. Chelsey works in investments and her husband Ty is an electrician by day and races his cars in his spare time. They enjoy traveling, finding great new restaurants, rodeos. Chelsey and Ty are first time foster parents to a sweet two month old baby girl who goes by Baby L.
Maegan: Chelsey, I am so honored to have you as my first feature family. Let’s jump right in: What made you and Ty decide foster care was for your family?
Chelsey: My dad was adopted, and my husband’s mom worked for an adoption agency most of his life, so adoption has always been part of our lives. We always say that we are so blessed with wonderful friends and family and wanted to share our blessings with children who might night have been so fortunate. With so many children in need, we wanted to make a difference in one of their lives before we created a new life.
Maegan: Timing is a topic that always comes up in foster care. When did y’all know it was ‘time’?
Chelsey: My husband and I have both had baby fever many times in our marriage, but every time we prayed about starting our family we felt like God shut that door for us and took the desire away. One day we prayed about starting our family through foster care and we felt that he immediately answered our prayers that it was time, so we pushed forward full steam ahead.
Maegan: In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge as a foster parent?
Chelsey: Knowing that your heart is going to get broken. We really want to adopt a child so we know that our hearts are going to break if/when the child returns to family, or if we get to adopt the child we know our hearts are going to break for them and their family that the situation didn’t work out for their family to be together. These children deserve for their families to fight for them. If we win and get to adopt, it means someone else has to lose.
Maegan: I have a lot of people ask for advice. What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a foster parent?
Chelsey: Do your research and find the right agency. Even if you have a great support system and resources fostering is difficult, you don’t need to add to the challenges with an agency whose main focus isn’t the children and Jesus.
Maegan: If you could give one piece of advice to a new foster parent what would it be?
Chelsey: Don’t worry about what the world expects of you. You obviously have felt called by the Lord to help these children and lean into Him more than ever.
Maegan: What is your goal as a foster parent?
Chelsey: To love these children as Christ loves us. I want them to never doubt the love we have for them and that they have a safe and healthy place to stay.
Maegan: Fostering is not sustainable lifestyle and it’s important to have a plan before beginning. Does your family have a set of goals or a specific end date?
Chelsey: Once we adopt we would probably take a break and focus on trying to have a biological child and raising our family. Once our children are a little older we would like to foster again and help as many children as we can.
Maegan: What in your opinion is the best thing about being a foster parent?
Chelsey: Getting to love on these children.
Maegan: Attachment to a foster child is one of, if not the biggest, concern most non-foster parents have about becoming a foster parent themselves. What are your thoughts on attachment?
Chelsey: Not having someone attach to them is detrimental to these children’s development. Getting attached to them is actually the best thing you can do for them.
Maegan: Why are you passionate about foster care?
Chelsey: I sound like a broken record, but these children deserve families.
Maegan: If you could only use three words to describe the certification process, what would they be? Why those words?
Chelsey: Paperwork, Invasive, Worthwhile
- Paperwork – because there is a ton
- Invasive – because they get all up in your business
- Worthwhile – because even though it’s a lot of paperwork and it’s invasive, I would do it over and over again if it meant I got to have this time with Baby L.
Maegan: There is a great need for foster parents all across America. Could you list some of the statistics for your area?
- 8 children get removed from their homes every night in San Antonio
- Almost half of the children in foster care will need to find new forever families
- 80% of children are removed due to neglect
- After the age of 6 a child only has a 5% chance of being adopted
Maegan: Thank you so Chelsey for letting me interview you today. And thank you so very much for all the hard work you and Ty do as a foster parents. And thank you for being a shining light to all foster children.
I hoped you enjoyed hearing from Chelsey and that you learned something new today. Please leave her some love here in the comments and Instagram— Foster parents need lots of encouragement and support! If you personally know Chelsey and Ty I’m asking that you to support them with your hands this week. Call and ask when you can come over and do some laundry and/or wash some dishes or bring them dinner. Don’t call and ask what you can do–call and say your coming over to help or bring a meal. And then pray for them! It takes a community to foster–it takes lots of help. So, show Ty and Chelsey how much you appreciate all they do by lending a helping hand. Have a great week everyone!
Maegan — xx