This week, we start our interview series on the blog! We’ve have had the privilege to interview real-life foster to adoptive mom, Tara Hutton. Tara is the wife to Kyle Hutton, founder of the A Place to Stay tour for Foster Awareness, and artist on The Foster EP! They fostered their two young girls for about two years before adopting them into their family. 

Today, we chat about the beginnings of their foster care journey, their experiences- including the magical little moments and obstacles they’ve had to overcome, as well as advice and insight into the world of fostering for those looking to get started. 

What drew you to start considering foster care?

We took a family trip to Haiti and spent time working with an orphanage there. My husband and I, as well as our teen and pre-teen boys, were all moved by the experience. Upon our return to the states, we began seeking opportunities to help children and families who were struggling. We quickly became aware that while “orphanages” are not prevalent here in the United States, we do indeed have a crisis of displaced children and broken families.  

What has been your most memorable story or experience during your time as a foster?

I can’t sight a single day or event that I would call the “most memorable”. There have been many, both beautiful and painful. I would say the most profound thing about this journey is the collection of moments that happen daily, the seemly little things, that I know are actually HUGE things. When I hear them repeat something I’ve taught them, like softly telling herself she’s brave when she’s facing a fear, or closing her eyes and taking a deep breath when she’s melting down. When they tell me a story, hands in motion, and every part of their little body is exploding with excitement. Watching our young adult son’s face shift from excitement to confusion when girls squeal with delight to see him, but instead of the expected hugs and kisses, they punch them in the thigh and run away from them with an unspoken “chase me, run after me, prove you’ve missed me.” 

Is there a piece of advice or something you’d like to say to people looking into fostering?

I would say that you need to be clear on your “why”. Understand what is behind your desire to foster and what the real purpose of foster care is. When things get rough and emotions run wild, and they will remind yourself of your “why” or your purpose. While foster care and adoption is a beautiful thing, it is not the original plan. It is an attempt to mend very deep wounds and we must remain mindful of that. Remember there are many parties involved and they all have their own stories. Seek first to understand. Study trauma so that you are well informed to help your child and be aware of your own trauma. It will show up, so find support and don’t be afraid to ask for help.