Choosing Arms Wide
At only nine years old, Tammy Schulz told her mom she would adopt someday. As an adult, her passion for adoption was just as strong. She started pursuing adoption in earnest after her friend adopted a daughter through Arms Wide Adoption Services, and recommended Tammy look into the organization. Tammy researched Arms Wide, and liked that they welcomed all different types of families. As a single mom, she appreciated that Arms Wide accepted her and treated all families equally.
A Call To Motherhood
Tammy completed her paperwork, attended classes, and went through all the processes to qualify for fostering and adopting a child. Although she was ready, she still had to wait for Arms Wide to find the right child to place with her. After waiting for quite some time, she decided she needed a break from the anxiety and anticipation. She called Arms Wide, telling them to discontinue looking for a placement for her for a while. Then, she bought tickets to London for a vacation. She had no idea that her son was being born that very day.
The day after she told Arms Wide she was taking a break, they called and asked if she would be interested in taking in a one-day-old boy. She could foster him with the hope of adopting him in the future. Tammy immediately said yes, cancelled her vacation plans, and became a mom with only 26 hours’ notice.
When she arrived at the hospital, she met her son, whom a caseworker had named Timothy. Then ame seemed to be a fateful sign, since Tammy’s sister was hoping to conceive a second child and had chosen the name Timothy if the baby were a boy. After checking with her sister, who gave her blessing to use the name, Tammy kept the name Timothy for her son, saying this was the Timmy her family was meant to have.
Her first few months with her son, who she fostered before the adoption was finalized, were incredibly special. Whenever anyone complimented her on how well she was doing after just having a baby, she would laugh and tell them about her “26-hour pregnancy.” Throughout his life, Tammy has talked to Timmy about his adoption and about the Arms Wide staff. Something that Tammy cherishes about adopting through Arms Wide is the welcoming and supportive environment. She describes visits from the Arms Wide staff as fun, like a visit from a favorite relative.
Timmy has always known he was adopted, and loves all the staff members who work with him and his mom. In true eight-year-old fashion, he especially loves the gifts they’ve brought for him over the years. Tammy appreciates a different type of present she received — the community Arms Wide gave her. She still gets together with the other families from her training sessions, and points out how special it is to have a group of people who understand what it’s like to be an adoptive parent.
Worth The Heartache
While she treasures her friends who have adopted, not everyone is as sensitive or knowledgeable about adoption. Some people have asked Tammy if she loves her son as much as she’d love “her own child.” Her response is always the same: “He is my child.” And though the foster and adoption processes can be stressful, she wants parents to know every class, inspection, and home visit is completely worth it. Parents have to be vulnerable and willing to put themselves out there for their child, because the payoff of a family fulfilled, for the child and the parents, more than makes up for all the anxiety and heartache.
Giving Back To Their Gift
The Schultz Family came to be through the gift of adoption. However, Tammy and Timmy know there are lots of kids who are still awaiting forever homes. Timmy wanted to do something to help them, so together they planned a fun run. With the help of their church and the Kingwood community, they hosted Timmy’s Fun Run for Foster and Forever Families on March, 4, 2018. The event featured a running course and activities that parents and kids could do together. The event brought in more than 150 people and raised over $1,000 for Kingwood United Methodist’s Oasis Ministry, which provides help and support to Kingwood area adoptive and foster families. After seeing the event’s success, Timmy is determined to host his fun run every year!
More Families Fulfilled
Tammy and Timmy know the magic that happens when a parent takes a chance and opens his or her heart to a child in foster care. They’re determined to keep sharing their story so that more and more families can be fulfilled, and more and more kids can finally come home.