Kerri, a mortgage loan officer for Guaranty Bank and Trust, is married to David, and together they share a love for four children: Kelsi (27), Kaylee (22), Connor (19), and Madilyn (12). Kerri is also blessed with three grandchildren: Emma, Grayson and Reid. However, the blessing of children does not end there. “David and I could not have children of our own after years of trying and we both felt led by God to be foster parents as we both have a huge heart for children. We were licensed in January 2019, received our first placement in February 2019, and are praying to make him a forever part of our family. We have provided for three more placements since our first one, and currently still have a precious little girl we have had for a few months. We never knew how much being a foster family would bless our lives!” Being a foster-mom for Kerri has led her to feel that this is her greatest contribution as she says, “It takes a lot of sacrifice daily and some days are harder than others, but we pray through the hard days. Not all are called to do what we do and that’s just how God intended it. We all can play a role and we all have a calling that can help in some way though. I am honored to be able to be in these children lives for as long as they need me. They are my babies!”
Kerri’s blessings extend much further than the ability to love on her foster children and provide a comforting home during their stay. “My Savior, Jesus Christ, is my number one blessing; not only do I have eternal peace knowing I will be with Him, but I also have the assurance to know that I am never alone in this world, He is with me and fighting for me, and always has been,” Kerri says. Madilyn her miracle baby, continues to bless Kerri every day, along with her husband, and her mother, which she refers to as her “rock over and over” throughout her life. “I also have the best extended family I could ask for; we are all there for each other when someone needs something.” Kerri’s extended family reaches far beyond blood relationships and into her foster mom community. “We are there for each other and we understand things in our lives that others just cannot.” Continuing down her list of blessings, she speaks highly of our church family found at Heritage Church in Texarkana, Texas. “Heritage has been a huge blessing to my family; we were married by a Heritage preacher, my daughter was led to salvation there, we have a wonderful small group that we are loving spending time with, and we continue to be blessed by them in our foster care journey,” Kerri says. Rounding out her list, Kerri is so thankful that God has blessed her with good health. She is almost 40 years old and has never had any true health concerns. What a blessing, indeed!
Kerri believes it is essential for mothers to take “me time”. She is a strong believer that you cannot pour from an empty cup and it is important to occasionally take the time to do something for yourself. A bubble bath, low lights, music, and a glass of wine, without any disruptions, allows Kerri to recharge, and fill up that “empty cup” so she can continue to pour wisdom into her children, grandchildren, and foster children. However, providing for the needs and desires of two children under the age of two, along with other family members, has not left Kerri with much disruption-free time to recharge. Kerri also loves to find a relaxing spot on a beach. “We cruised to the Virgin Islands a couple of years ago! We got to see Saint Kitts, Saint Thomas, Saint Martin, Barbados, a small portion of Saint John and Saint Lucia; all of the islands are beautiful!! I want to go to Turks and Caicos! I am a huge beach lover and I have seen so many beautiful pictures of the beaches there.”
Being a mother for Kerri has led to some of the happiest, loving, moving, and favorite moments of her life. Kerri reflects upon her happiest memory as a mother when she speaks of the day her daughter was born. “I had been trying to conceive for almost a year before I got pregnant with her and I think through my pregnancy, I still had fear in the back of my mind that my biggest dream of my whole life, to become a mom, might not happen, so the day she was born, my dream was realized!! Such a happy, happy day!” The most loving moment referring to Kerri’s motherhood came from her husband, David, and his selfless act of love. “My husband adopted my daughter! She was only three when we got married; he loved her from day one, she was his from the beginning, and he was her daddy! He made it official in October 2017!” Not only has her husband demonstrated his love for Kerri and their daughter, but he has a knack for giving meaningful gifts to Kerri. She says, “One year for Christmas, my husband had my daughter right me a letter. It said, ‘Mom, I love you to the moon and back. Madi’, and he had it made into a necklace at Crocker’s Jewelers in her handwriting!! Precious!!” As memorable and endearing as these moments have been, each with their own special place in Kerri’s life, her favorite moment of being a mother came when her daughter accepted Jesus. “I knew then that no matter what else happens in life, I can know that she will go to heaven one day! Such an awesome feeling when your prayers are answered and the years of pouring into your child and taking them to church pay off with eternal blessings!”
When looking inward, Kerri most values the honesty she has in herself. “I am a very honest person. I cannot lie, it is true. I learned that from my mama. My conscious is strong and it guides me each and every day.” This quality, admirable in itself, is most necessary for motherhood, marriage and community support.
With multiple children residing in the same household during this quarantine season, Kerri was asked to elaborate on how their family had been coping with the new changes. “It has surprisingly not been as stressful for us as I have heard it has been for others. Not that there have not been some moments, but overall, I think it’s been nice to spend more time together. We eat more meals together and go outside together more than we have. David and I are working from home, so luckily the daycare is still open for the littles to go to so we can actually get things done. At times I think I have been busier with work since I have been home than I was in the office! Madilyn is in seventh grade at Red Lick School and she has been awesome! She stays on top of her work, gets it done with little complaining, and thankfully, has not needed my help much. I am not sure how great I would be as a teacher. Everyone seems to be doing really well. We try to get everyone out of the house, play outside, or go on walks as much as we can which helps us all feel better.”
My Mom is: beautiful
I really love it when my Mom does: movie days with me on Christmas break
My favorite thing I love to do with my Mom is: go shopping and get our nails done
My mom always tells me: she loves me
I love my Mom because: she makes sure I have everything I need and want and puts me and my siblings before herself.