The Norman family already had four young children when they received a life-changing call. Tamara Norman writes about her experience and the valuable lessons she and her children learned on her blog and the website Love What Matters.
The Normans had two biological children when they decided to be open to foster care. Over years of fostering, the family adopted three children and provided a safe, welcoming home to more than 20 children on their journey to hopefully be reunited with their biological families. Each of the many children to whom the Normans opened their home came with an unexpected phone call and difficult circumstances to navigate.
Despite all these many experiences, one call in particular left an impression on Norman like no other. The call came when a 15-year-old pregnant mother in the foster care system needed a place to stay weeks before giving birth. Initially Norman was stunned, writing that her first concern was what would happen to the baby after birth. The case worker explained, “Well, that’s up to you. Ideally, we hope you can bring them both home together. If not, the baby will go to a separate foster home and she will return to the shelter.”
The thought of a young mother separated from her baby was enough for Norman to put aside her fears and say “yes” to welcoming the teen. With four other children in the home, Norman and her husband worked quickly to make a private space for the teen and prepare for the challenges of helping her welcome her baby.
When their newest foster daughter arrived, the Normans saw a young teen who was terrified by continual upheaval. Norman writes, “This young girl was just desperate for a mom, her mom, and she was getting me instead.”
Despite the challenges, they were able to support the young mother and be with her in the hospital when she welcomed her baby. Norman says of the experience, “We became grandparents to this sweet baby at age 35 and never looked back.” The Normans had already cared for, loved, and grown deeply attached to other babies through foster care. What changed their family was watching the young teen become a mother.
Norman shares, “This young teenage mom is one of the strongest mothers I know. She is overcoming the world to be the best for her daughter. She made our life better for the time she was in it, and we are so thankful we said yes.” She leaves no illusion that the experience was easy for their family, writing, “It was definitely a trip into the unknown that we are so glad we took.”
Sadly, many teens in difficult situations like the foster daughter in the Normans’ story are told that their only option is to end their baby’s life in abortion. The abortion industry continues to tell girls that an unplanned pregnancy will “ruin” their life, making education, career, and success impossible. The stories of countless young mothers reveal a very different reality. Despite incredibly difficult circumstances, often having a child can be the motivation to achieve their dreams and better their lives. Courageous mothers who choose Life for their babies have inspired many people, not just the Norman family.
The Normans’ story also demonstrates the vital role that foster care can play in the healing and reunification of families. Although the teen mother, and many of the more than 20 children they fostered, did not ultimately stay with them through adoption, the Normans were a safe place for her and her newborn at a time when they had nowhere else to go. The selfless families who give their love and time to children in foster care make the healing and reunification of many families possible. Texas recently reached a new record with more children leaving the foster care system through adoption than entering. Behind each of these adoption stories are Pro-Life families willing to welcome vulnerable children during difficult times and work toward ensuring that every child in our state has a forever home. Like many foster parents, the Normans did not expect to open their home to so many children, let alone become foster grandparents in their 30s, but seeing a young girl and her innocent preborn baby, they knew they had to say “yes.”