When You're Called 'Mommy': The Joys and Heartbreak of Being a Foster Parent

Passionate, honest, and suspenseful, a foster parent challenges the system’s goal of reunification.

"The impossible act of wholly loving a child with the expectation of letting them go," begins the gripping chronicle of a foster parent's journey through the system, intermingling a once routine existence with a new kaleidoscope of biological relatives, social workers, and court-appointed officials. Suspenseful and engaging, this distinctive point of view - coupled with insightful first-hand accounts from other foster parents, social workers, and former foster youth - expertly intertwines real-life experiences from multiple perspectives. This unique tour de force will leave you cheering, emotionally winded, and mindfully contemplative. For anyone who is considering being, has been, or knows someone who has been a part of the foster care system, this narrative tale will leave you more informed and intentional about the roles each of us play in influencing the life of a child.



Dr. Sophie Foster is a former foster parent, public speaker, and retired naval officer. She has taught English, leadership, and human behavior at a range of colleges and universities, to include the U.S. Naval Academy. An advocate for empowering youth, she enjoys mentoring teenage girls in their character and leadership development.



Sophie Foster feels led to pour into the life of a child. Not quite ready for children of her own, she and her husband, Deric, agree to complete thirty hours of training as foster parents. Having provided a detailed home study, background check, medical examinations, and letters of recommendations from their friends, they receive their first foster child - a three-year-old boy who misses his home, and is determined to make everyone's life miserable until he can return to the family he loves. 

After a negative first experience, Sophie is apprehensive about continuing to foster - avoiding phone calls from the placement agency - until one evening, she runs out of excuses. Starting with a maybe, and ending with a hesitant "yes," Sophie agrees to take in Addy, a 2-1/2-year-old girl. But just for the weekend. Overnight, a bond begins. A rotating onslaught of social workers. Court documents and case plans. Family members battling. Everyone with a different idea as to what constitutes "the best interest of the child." Faced with an impending career move, Sophie has to make a decision as to what will be most beneficial for Addy's well-being. Sophie is determined to fight - and win - at all costs to ensure Addy is happy and safe. But can she be successful against the ominous system?

This true account informs the ups and downs of daily life as a foster parent, trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy in the home while meeting the demands of agencies, courts, and biological families. In addition to Sophie's story, there are fifteen additional stories told from the perspectives of foster parents, social workers, and former foster youth. These true accounts are emotional and raw, and will inspire readers to be more aware of how the foster care system works, while informing their beliefs about the courageousness of foster children.


  • In conjunction with and edited by JHwriting+
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Softcover
  • ISBN-10: 1512795879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1512795875
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Publisher: WestBow Press (A division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan) (January 31, 2018)
  • Publication Date: January 31, 2018
  • Original cover artwork and design by Laura Hatcher Photography