Ana Tigre and I got married nine years ago after almost five years of dating. I was a very busy fitness industry photographer and writer. Ana was a professional athlete, model, and fashion designer by trade; she had just started her own women’s fitness wear line. We traveled the world doing work we loved, yet something was missing. Our lives and every decision were about us.
As Christians, we wanted to serve, and Ana decided we would do that by becoming foster parents. I want to say I fought her every step of the way, but it was less heroic than that. It was more like I whined and complained every step of the way. I had plenty of good reasons I thought. I was too old. It would restrict my freedom to travel. I would never be able to retire. I, me, me, I, me, me, me, I.
I didn’t ask what God wanted of me. Instead, I was deciding that for him. Ana is not as persuasive as she is determined, a polite way of saying stubborn, and once she has chosen a path, no mortal stands a chance of altering it.
And so we became foster parents.
When we got our first child, everything changed. Duty gave way to caring, then loving, and I became the guy that couldn’t say no.
That was five years ago, and many beautiful children later—some that stayed a short time, some that stayed longer. Every last one of them got our most sincere love and care. In 2020, amidst covid lockdowns, we were immeasurably blessed when we adopted Cadence, Emma, and Cole over zoom in the comfort of our home.
Kids that come into foster care have been through trauma. Some of them have been through a lot. They have perhaps suffered abuse and or neglect, and all of them have been removed from their home and family, and that in itself is deeply traumatic. Some have moved many times.
A two-year-old should not yet understand and feel gratitude, so it’s sobering and heartbreaking when they do. But it’s also one of those moments that make you the happiest because you could give that to them. Our kids cried when we adopted them. They didn’t understand the process but they did understand the judge when he said we were their Mommy and Daddy forever and they would never have to live with anyone else.
Watching our kids grow, heal, and just get to be kids is the reward. I now know why God Blessed me with a wife that wouldn’t give in to my whining. Our lives have never had more purpose and never this much love and happiness.
And so we want to share it all with you, the good days and the bad ones. The lessons learned and the wisdom we have gained. And most of all, we want to share the wonder they see in everything, the wonder we see in them, and the love we have for each other. And most of all, how we see God in everything we do.
May God Bless You
Terry Goodlad and Ana Tigre
Cadence, Emma, Cole, and our puppies Bella and Ellie