Monday, July 1, 2013

Liz - Part 1: Love and Marriage...and Five Kids.

Please give a warm welcome to Liz, the Momster of the Month for July!  I went to high school with Liz, and although we were not close, we had at least one class together and I remember her kind, friendly nature and warm smile.  Through the magical world of Facebook, I have "reunited" with Liz, and feel like I know her so much better than when we were in high school!  Over the years, I have seen her and her husband welcome babies into their lives, the adoption of their daughter, and the growth of her online business.  Liz is a 31-year-old mother of five (one of which is adopted), and has created a successful online business.  I admire Liz for so many reasons! 

Let's start from the beginning.  First comes love, then comes marriage....

Liz met her husband Adam when she was just 16-years-old and a Junior in high school.  He was from a neighboring town about thirty minutes away from where she lived and she says they didn't like each other "AT ALL", but after he sent her flowers she "was hooked".  They dated for one year before Adam left for Guatemala to serve on a mission for two years.  For those two years, the only communication they had were "snail mail" letters (no email allowed) and a couple of phone calls a year.  Adam returned from his mission in November 2001, while Liz was in her first year of college, and he proposed to her that Christmas.  It was easy for Liz to give Adam her answer, "I knew he was my best friend and the person I wanted to spend forever with, so I said YES!".  Liz was just 19 when they married in April 2002. 

...then comes a baby (or FIVE) in the baby carriage!

As I mentioned above, Liz and Adam have five children, one of which is adopted.  They shared the news with friends and family in 2008 via their blog, Smelly Moose Family. CLICK HERE to read about how they came to the decision to become foster parents, and ultimately adopt their daughter, Faith.  It's an amazing story you won't regret reading!  Liz would like to share that "there is such a HUGE need for foster parents".
"These little kiddos just need love and affection.  A majority of them have been through A LOT of trauma in their short little lives and just need someone that will care and love for them.  You can even become licensed to be a 'respite foster caregiver' which means that you are qualified to take foster children that are already in foster homes, but the parents need a little break for a day, or even a few hours (in order to leave a foster child in another's care, they have to be cleared by the State and/or be foster parents themselves.  This can make finding a babysitter very tricky).  Or, if the foster parents have vacation plans out of state, a respite foster caregiver can take the foster child so the foster parents can go on vacation (foster children are usually not allowed out of the state)."
Adam and Liz at the courthouse on the day they adopted Faith
I am blown away that with three children, and one on the way, Liz and Adam opened their home and their hearts to pour love and affection into the life of a little girl who needed a place to call home. It is understandable that becoming a foster parent, or adopting, is not for everyone.  I think it really takes a special person to welcome a foster child into their lives!  Liz says there are SO many others ways you can help.
"There are several organizations that accept donations for clothing, shoes, pajamas, stuffed animals, blankets, etc.  These organizations help transition the child into the home by providing necessities and little comforts like stuffed animals.  Ask your local DSHS office for places like this."
So, what does a date night look like for Liz and Adam?  Liz says that "date nights with 5 kids can be tricky".  Their goal is for one date night a month, but the reality is that "fancy dates are rare".
"If we do a 'typical date night', we end up spending around $100 between paying the babysitter, going to dinner and doing an activity.  Sometimes it's simply renting a movie, snuggling on the couch and eating popcorn after the kids are asleep.  Adam is going to school full-time at night, so him taking a night off and just sitting watching a movie is great!  If we do go out for the evening we just go out to dinner and then look around the stores and dream shop - even grocery shopping without kids is a luxury.  It's nice to get out together by ourselves!"
I can only imagine!  I know how special it feels when my hubby and I get some alone time away from the house, and we only have one child.  We also love to "dream shop", and dream house shopping is fun too! 

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To read about Liz's online business  read Part 2: Fly Maternity Wear for Trendy Tummies

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