Life is full of twists and turns, challenges and blessings. Crystal, a foster mom in St. Johns, has found love and positivity in embracing the unknown.
Even from a young age, she has always had a nurturing spirit and a love for children. After struggling to get pregnant with her third child and experiencing a miscarriage, Crystal’s husband encouraged her to look into fostering. She did end up getting pregnant again but decided that being a foster mom was the path she was meant to follow.
A Path Decided by the Heart
Crystal and her family began their fostering journey in April of 2011. She got connected with Catholic Charities after the agency was recommended to her. The family has fostered 38 children, adopted 8, and have 2 that have aged out of the foster care system.
“Catholic Charities has just always been so helpful and has given us the resources and different classes that come up on trauma…to help out. I’ve always felt so comfortable reaching out anytime I had any questions,” she said.
Much More Than a School Project
When her foster kids were assigned a school project about their history and past, Crystal felt devastated when she realized she didn’t have much information to share with them. So, the mom started taking as many photos and videos of her kids as she could.
It was then that her YouTube channel, Crazy Pieces, was born. What started off as a way to capture family memories turned into something much bigger.
The channel has connected a community of foster parents, foster children, and kids who have been adopted. Crystal and her family shed light on powerful topics like overcoming the past and breaking the cycle of trauma. She also emphasizes the importance of having a relationship with birth parents or reuniting siblings when it’s healthy and safe for the kids.
“I hope that people feel inspired and feel the positive energy of love and family. And not always does blood make a family. It’s the love and the home that does,” she said.
Love Is the Best Advice
Crystal has learned valuable lessons in her 10 years of fostering. One that particularly resonates with her is that love has no boundaries. Keeping an open heart and mind is key.
Her greatest advice for fellow foster parents is to take the classes and read the books that others recommend. But most importantly, don’t let others influence the decision to foster. Instead, do what you think is right for you and follow your heart.