Skip to comments.Mama Bachmann : The Possible 2012 Presidential Contender Talks About Her Years as a Foster Parent
Posted on 04/04/2011 12:25:26 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
When most women are expecting their fourth child, they dont decide to start taking in foster children.
But thats what Michele Bachmann did. For six years, from 1992 to 1998, she opened her home to a total of 23 teenage girls who needed a family. She juggled raising up to nine kids at a time, homeschooling her grade-school-age and younger biological children during the day and bonding with her high-school-age foster children at night. It was a demanding life to get a taste of the workload, consider that Bachmann was often doing four loads of laundry daily but one that she loved.
It was wonderful, probably the most intellectually rewarding time of my life, says the Minnesota GOP congresswoman.
It was during her pregnancy with her fourth child that Bachmann decided to become a stay-at-home mom. That decision paved the way for her and her husband, Marcus, a clinical therapist, to also consider taking in foster children. Inspired by the example of church friends who were foster parents, the Bachmanns decided to get licensed and give it a try. We both had broken hearts for at-risk children, Bachmann recalls.
They never intended to take in 23 of them, but the requests to find room for just one more child kept coming. We just continued to say yes, says Bachmann.
It made for an unusual household: Bachmann talks about managing three children five years old and younger, one still a nursing baby, while also doling out care and attention to as many as four teenagers at a time. She admits sometimes struggling to find the energy to keep up.
It was a challenge to not just let go, she says. We had to continually keep the ball rolling between meals and laundry and cleaning and shopping and doctors appointments. It was just a very, very busy time.
The children were expected to help out. Chores were divided up and assigned, plans and schedules formed. It taught me very good organizational skills, Bachmann muses. It taught us how to work together as a family.
Bachmann refuses to pick a few favorite memories out of those years. It is the daily-ness, the ins and outs involved in raising toddlers and teens, that she remembers fondly.
To cope with the hustle and bustle, the Bachmanns emphasized a lighthearted approach to life. My husband and I are big believers in having a good sense of humor, Bachmann says. Were a family that really loves humor. That also helped them forge relationships, with shared laughter breaking a lot of the barriers down between the new foster children and the Bachmanns.
But they did not downplay the challenges their foster children faced without their biological parents. There was always a challenge, she says. There could be tensions in a family, particularly during the teenage years, so our goal was just to get a family through a rough patch and hopefully reunite the child with one or both parents.
While it has been over a decade since Bachmann has taken in a foster child, helping those children remains an important issue for her. But now, from her congressional perch, shes focused on legislative action. She has twice introduced legislation that would give foster children under 16 (older children are already covered) education vouchers, which would allow them to remain in the same school when they switched homes or neighborhoods.
They can be moved from home to home to home, and when that happens, generally speaking, they have to go to [the local] school, Bachmann explains. They dont have a sense of permanency. They dont have the same people in their lives.
Bachmann acknowledges that being a foster parent isnt for everyone, but she is also quick to point out that there are plenty of children who need a home.
Youll never know unless you try it, Bachmann says. I would challenge people to consider something like foster care if they think they have any proclivity toward it, because there are children who need loving, happy families. Examine your heart and see if its something that you can do.
She speaks from experience: Bachmann is frank about her own initial doubts that she could succeed as a foster mom. It wasnt anything originally that my husband and I thought we could do, but once we jumped in, we found that we could, she shares.
Bachmann and her family have no regrets about opening up their own home.
We are so thankful that we did, she says. We were at least able to be part of the solution.
Katrina Trinko is an NRO reporter.
Walking the walk...not all talk.
Real charity (it’s “for the children”) begins at home.
There’s a lot more than what meets the eye about Michele Bachmann. She’s a tax attorney, I believe a CPA and I believe she’s done post doctorate work in tax law. All that plus getting elected to Congress with 5 kids and 23 foster kids is pretty darned impressive!
So Bachman is in. Palin in the wings as long as Bachman is ‘eluctable’.
If that should change, Sarah steps in?
my respect for her just went up even more. this is the ‘example’ she’s setting but too hard for some politicians to follow.
I think Michelle Bachmann is about to burn political “conventional Wisdom” to the ground. That’s a wonderful thing.
Palin needs to stay visible and act a lightning rod for liberal hate. They can’t tell Palin and Bachmann apart anyway. Let the nitwit Tina Fey figure out who she’s pretending to be each week and let the liberals’ heads explode trying to figure out how Sarah Palin can be in two places at one time. (Is Bachmann the Sarah Palin robot? Or is Palin the Bachmann clone?? OMG!! My head hurts. Help me Katie Couric...what do I think?)
I think Bachmann is a real contender and a true conservative.
born April 6, 1956 in Waterloo, IA (Meets the Jus Soli Requirement)
David John Amble, born in MN
Jean Johnson, born in IA
Both parents were US Citizens at the time of her birth (Meets the Jus sanguinis Requirement)
Michele Bachmann is a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN unlike Comrade Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama.
This is a great story. Thanks for posting.
I’m amazed by such women how they can take on so many children. But this used to be more common back when it was common to have 5-7 kids in an American family
Only one sitting representative has made it to the White House.
I vastly prefer previous governors.
RE: I vastly prefer previous governors.
Among the current crop you have the following choices:
MITT ROMNEY, MIKE HUCKABEE, TIM PAWLENTY, HALEY BARBOUR, MITCH DANIELS and of course SARAH PALIN.
The following have indicated openly that they are NOT RUNNING:
Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal.
She’s as good as America gets.
“Among the current crop you have the following choices:
MITT ROMNEY, MIKE HUCKABEE, TIM PAWLENTY, HALEY BARBOUR, MITCH DANIELS and of course SARAH PALIN”
I think that list is a good one.
The more you learn about Rep. Bachmann....the more you like
The Liberal Media and the Liberal GOPers will disagree...but Bachmann is the best bet against Obama.
Please , I want to hear about her executive experience too. Oops. I forgot , she has none. Just a 3 term Congress person with an over inflated ego from some Tea Party attention and now she thinks she’s Presidential material. If we nominate her , we can never say anything about Obama’s lack of experience again.
I would rather have a real conservative who represents a district with more people than the former governor other woman with that “executive experience” who quit after 18 months.
Also, Rep Bachmann is not supporting and giving money to George Soros boys John McCain and Lindsey Graham
The last GOP with “executive experience” turned out to be a Liberal who liked Illegal Alien Drug Dealers better than American citizens.
Re: The Liberal Media and the Liberal GOPers will disagree
If you read the other posts on this thread you will see one major concern from even conservative GOPers regarding Bachmann -— NO EXECUTIVE EXEPRIENCE.
Which means, If Sarah Palin does not run, we’re probably going to be stuck with a real conservative with 6 years of legislative experience against a bunch of former and current governors with executive experience whose conservative credentials are suspect.
RE: I think that list is a good one.
I gather you don’t have a problem with Mitt Romney’s baby, the inspiration for Obamacare — Romneycare ?? (he still stands by it today ).
I also gather you don’t have a problem with Mike Huckabee commuting the sentence of a criminal who was convicted of rape and murder ( Wayne Dumond ), who went on to rape and murder again?
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