We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Mallory Williams, who runs the Instagram account @five_2_and_under, and is a mom to Chase and Dylan, who she fostered before adopting, and triplets Avery. Emery, and Bradley.
AFFEC: What influenced your decision to become a foster parent?
MW: Since my husband and I got together we’ve always had the dream of adopting. As a drug & alcohol therapist in a correctional setting, I witnessed firsthand some of the hardships that these children have to go through. We also thought it would be great to help the children in our immediate area, giving them the best life that they could have.
AFFEC: What are some challenges/rewards of being a foster parent?
MW: Some of the challenges we faced included the altering of our schedules on a whim, the unknown and the difficulties with the court system. With our children coming to us at such a young age, we didn’t face some of the more difficult challenges, i.e. poor behavior. The reward, however, came fast. It’s the first time you see your child smile and you know they are genuinely happy and feel safe.
AFFEC: How do you think fostering before adopting is different from adopting a child you haven’t fostered? Are there any challenges that come with it or do you think the process is easier in any way?
MW: I don’t want to come off poorly, but we literally fought for these children, and provided them with safety and security when they were at their most tender moments. I don’t want to say fostering to adopt is better than straight up adopting because it’s not, they’re on equal grounds with the same end goal of providing a great life for the children. The avenue in which you take to get there is just vastly different.
AFFEC: Would you recommend the fostering to adoption path to other parents?
MW: Absolutely. The two boys we have, Dylan whom we just adopted and Chase, who is still in the process of adoption have been some of the best unexpected gifts in our lives. We have seen them grow, get past any trials that they had early in their life and begin to thrive. To sit back as a parent and see how they are progressing in life under your care… There is truly no better feeling in the world.
AFFEC: Why do you think it is important to document your family’s journey on Instagram for others to see?
MW: I believe it’s important to document our family’s journey on Instagram because we are pushing for two crowds of people. We had trouble with infertility for quite a number of years and I think some of my postings that articulate a little on that may inspire people to keep trying or to venture onto different routes. With the adoption of Dylan, we are able to post our millions of pictures of him and I think that helps raise awareness to other people whether that be family and friends or total strangers to show them that you don’t have to be Superman/Superwoman to foster children just Superdad/Supermom. I like to think it gives people the courage to step into a new light or break out of their shell, and if our posts help one new person become a foster parent to help children in need, then I believe I’m doing the right thing.
Be sure to follow @five_2_and_under for adorable baby photos coupled with real talk about parenting five kids, family finances, and adoption.