MARILYN HAGERTY: A big heart and big family
THOMPSON, N.D. -- As a mom, Sara Taylor has learned that the dishes and laundry can wait. The children come first. "After all," she reasons on this Mother's Day, "they grow up so fast." She has found that her life as a mom and foster mom can be s...
THOMPSON, N.D. -- As a mom, Sara Taylor has learned that the dishes and laundry can wait. The children come first.
"After all," she reasons on this Mother's Day, "they grow up so fast."
She has found that her life as a mom and foster mom can be stressful. But, she figures stress is part of everyday life.
"We literally take one daily activity at a time," she said. "We don't worry if there are no plans, because my kids make something happen."
And there's no telling what will happen at the Taylor home today on Mother's Day. It's an attractive and well kept four bedroom home with white stools around an L-shaped kitchen counter. A flag flies high in the front yard.
Sara and her husband, Doug Taylor, have two birth children -- Grace, 12, and Luke, 8. Two years ago, they adopted Joseph, 5, Adrian, 4, and Arianna (or Annie), 3.
And they are foster parents to two young children.
That makes seven, but figuring out how to do things is not a big deal, Sara says. Since the family doesn't fit in one car, they take two cars on outings. She fills a cart when she goes grocery shopping once a week. She knows how to make chicken potpie from scratch. She makes big casseroles.
And she also relies on frozen pizza and brownies from a package. After all, one batch of brownies disappears quickly in the Taylor household.
Sara and Doug Taylor are regarded as outstanding foster parents by social workers. They are among foster parents currently taking care of 172 children in Grand Forks County.
The Taylors have always made a practice of conferring with their two oldest children before adopting or taking in foster children. Grace and Luke have agreed to open their home to other younger children.
Along with limitations of a larger family, The Taylors have found there is more joy. She says raising a large family is "do-able." She manages her role of mom along with working in the pre-school at Central Valley School near Buxton, N.D., and the child development program at Mayville State (N.D.) College.
She graduated in December from Mayville State with a degree in early education.
Today on Mother's Day her priority is her kids. "I want them to see that college is out there, within their reach," she says. "You set goals and you get somewhere."
Her husband also sets goals. He operates his own business, Taylor Painting Co. And he is a youth leader at Trinity Free Lutheran Church in Grand Forks.
On these warm days of spring, the children feel liberated. They are outdoors playing in the neighborhood. There are rules. The kids know their toys must be kept downstairs. There is no pushing or shoving allowed. There are timeouts to cool off after bad behavior.
And sometimes Mom herself takes a timeout. "After all," she says, "I am human!"
On Mother's Day, she thinks of the need for foster care and the beauty of being able to do it. Every kid, she says, deserves care.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.