Ryan and Kayla North have been married 15 years and are adoptive and foster parents living in Dallas, Texas, with their six children—four adopted and two biological. Ryan is a speaker and teacher who also heads up the podcast, One Big Happy Home. When Ryan isn’t doing ministry, he’s teaching two of his daughters guitar and doing some jamming of his own. This is his story.
Q: Who are you?
A: I am an adoptive parent of six kids and have been married to my wife, Kayla, for 15 years. We’ve done a lot of ministry in our marriage together, and we’ve been in the adoptive ministry for long time now. I’m a teacher, speaker and supporter of foster families and adoptive families. We have a podcast. But those are all things I do.
Let’s see…who am I? When I was younger I wanted to be in a band as a guitar player. Recently someone encouraged me to get back into it, so I just bought myself a new amplifier. It arrived from Amazon today actually and earlier I commandeered the dining room table to set it up. Two of my daughters want to learn so this summer I am going to spend time this summer teaching them. Music is a great outlet and I enjoy the time together with them.
Q: Your wife, Kayla, signed you both up for a meeting with a foster care agency. Tell us about the process from then on until your first placement.
A: I thought I could hold her off a couple of years. She’s always loved small children and paid for college by working as a nanny for a wealthy family. They have an adopted child from China, and I think that furthered her cause for getting involved in adoption and foster care. When we went to South Africa and came back, Kayla immediately got the ball rolling.
We’ve had 30 placements over the decade we fostered. We began fostering to adopt but after fostering a child and going through seven court hearings to adopt the child, he went to live with his great aunt. It was a few days before Christmas, and we took a break. Then, the Lord invited us to go from fostering to adopt to fostering in a traditional sense—the sense where children come in and out of our home after re-uniting with their families.
Q: What is it like being a foster parent?
A: We have a 23-year-old adult child and a five-year-old child and children of all ages in between. It’s pretty challenging but we have great relationships with all our children. There’s a strong support system around us which enables us to deal with the ups and downs of parenting in general. We have to remember that even though the kids are in foster care because someone hurt them, not everybody hurt them.
We are their hope for a safe place while many are in process of reunification or other permanent, safe and loving homes.
Click here to read more.
Source: Church Leaders