How Many Kids Do You Have? Inside a Foster Mom’s Heart


When I meet someone new, that question inevitably comes up in conversation. “Oh, do you have kids? How many?” My usual response is, “Well, it depends on who is asking.” This sounds sassy, but it isn’t meant to be. I have many answers to this question, and it really depends on why you are asking!

If the person asking is wearing an apron and holding menus, it just takes a quick count. Sometimes we have one kid with us, sometimes we have four (or more!), or any number in between. Its always fun when I look like I don’t know how many kids I have in front of the hostess at the restaurant.

 I have two biological children. I had a successful surrogacy pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful baby for my best friend.  So, if the doctor is the one asking, she wants to know how many pregnancies I have had. That’s the easy answer – three live births!

The harder question to answer is how many children I hold in my heart. We are foster parents, and over the last two and a half years we have had more than thirty different kids in our home, some for only 24 hours, some for months at a time. Some of these precious children still have art on our fridge and photos on the wall. Two of them are in the family picture on my computer background, and I think of them every day.

Many of you reading this may also have angel babies, from still birth or miscarriage. How do you bring up the fact that you still think of these innocent, sometimes faceless babies, without totally being weird and awkward in a new social situation?

Being a mom is more than just counting how many heads hit the pillow in your home at night, or how many kids you have to buckle in seats to go anywhere (four kids in car seats is no picnic, let me tell you). It is thinking about your kids, whether they are related by blood or not, whether they are alive or not, whether they live with you or not. It is praying for them, worrying about them, and helping them when you can.

In my heart, I am a mom to 36 precious babes. How many kids do YOU have?

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Meaghan wears many hats throughout the day: wife to husband of fifteen years, Jeremy, mom to two incredible children, Jacob and Aliza, legal assistant, foster parent, and surrogate. A Wichita native, she met her husband at K-State (Go State!) and they moved from coast (Los Angeles, CA) to coast (Manchester, NH and Groton, CT) before settling back down in Kansas. She is a big fan of her crock pots, has read more than a novel a day for the last five years, and crochets in her “spare” time.