A Foster Mother’s Dream: Charl Baker Dishes on What Makes This Mother’s Day Super Special
by Carolyn Lee May 6, 2019
When someone amazing comes into our lives, their presence can alter our perspective in many ways. They become gifts to us, and we cherish the love that they bring. For Charl Baker, her gift came in the form of a spirited, beautiful boy, whom she dubs her “SONshine”.
Charl has built an impressive career in the local film industry as a reputable stylist. A true creative, she is also an artist and muralist who loves the visual and performing arts. Her other loves include country runs, reading and the beach.
These days, her true love is her son, Tevin Charles Mitchell.
Charl is currently Tevin’s foster parent. Their friendship and close bond have cemented her decision to adopt him.
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, Charl sat down with Yello to dish on her journey to motherhood.
What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
Mother’s Day means so very much – partly because I have not been a physical mother for all this time. Many of us are hardwired for motherhood, and it can be challenging when it doesn’t happen as we may hope for or dream about.
Mother’s Day is coming up, what makes this year special for you?
This Mother’s Day will be so very special. I will have my “SONShine”, Tevin, to celebrate with. It will be a dream come true. I don’t really have a “plan” per se, but I just know I will do something with my son. We may have a beach day, as that is something that we both love and have in common.
What/who inspired your decision to become a (foster) parent?
I had given up the dream of becoming a mother, as there were many heartaches and heartbreaks on the journey.
My decision to become a foster mom came from God’s timing and provision, and my surrender to His will for my life! Also, I participated in the “take a child home for the holiday” initiative two years ago through my church – Kingston Church of Christ. It opened the door wider for me to step into motherhood.
How long have you been involved in foster care?
I officially became a foster parent at the end of January this year when my placement was approved.
Share an experience that allowed you to bond with Tevin?
From our very first meeting, I knew he was the one out of the three boys that were picked up from school! My heart knew his instantly. Ironically, I had met him and had quite a few occasions with him and his mom as a baby when he was at a children’s home. I’ve volunteered at many of the children’s homes for the last 10 years. As God would have it, we interacted with each other over four years ago, and it’s all come full circle.
Share one thing that has surprised you about the overall process.
There is a saying which says, “what doesn’t happen in a year, happens in a day.” After years of wanting to adopt — almost overnight, I was fostering a child.
Give three key qualities that you believe are important for foster parents to have.
Three qualities that are important for foster parents to have are love, love and more love! Also, you must be patient, understanding and selfless.
You are currently a foster parent with the intention to adopt, what’s an important lesson that you’ve learned about yourself from the process?
I have learned that my heart can expand in ways I never expected. I have also learned that I have a network or village that is in my corner. Being a foster parent is very humbling. It taught me to ask for help, which was very difficult for me to do before. I am what you would call a grossly independent person!
Tell us two things that you are looking forward to most with Tevin.
The two things I am looking forward to the most with my SONShine are the growth for both him and me in the days, months and years ahead. I’m also looking toward to experiencing my first Mother’s Day with him. Whether it is that I get to see him on stage at church, or school performance or receive a handmade card for “mom”, I will be happy!
Based on your experience, share a bit of advice for others who may be interested in foster care and adoption.
My advice to others would be to pray and seek God’s will. If you really want to be a parent, don’t give up that dream. Be willing to foster, as the adoption process can be long, whereas fostering moves faster. Also, be prepared to give your whole heart to the child that you get to care for. It’s rewarding and inspiring to know you can offer something more to a child, who would otherwise be in the system for a large part of their lives. Love always wins!
Based on the almost tangible feeling of love in her words, we believe that Charl and Tevin will continue to enjoy many more years together. We wish Charl and all mothers a happy Mother’s Day!
If you are considering adoption or being a foster parent, we’re sharing a few of the Children’s Homes that you can contact for additional information.