Seymour woman is biological, foster and adoptive mother

From diapers to driving, the McCormicks have different stages of life in their home.

Rowan, 1½, and Amelia, 7, are both described as spitfires. Amelia can be sassy one minute and so sweet the next, telling her mother she loves her and is thankful for her or making her a card to express her love.

Braxton, 10, is on a travel soccer team and is just a neat kid in general with a fun disposition. He’s a good people pleaser and by nature is a good helper.

Jasmine, 17, recently was chosen secretary of her school’s FFA chapter and is on the student council and involved in other things.

No matter if they are the biological, foster or adopted child of Meghan McCormick, they all call her mom.

“I absolutely love being a mom,” the 30-year-old Seymour woman said. “I feel like every day is a new adventure with my children. Whether we are at the ballfield or whether we are at the grocery store or we’re home or whatever, there’s always something going on. However, these kids are awesome, and I would not trade them for the world. They are my babies.”

What makes her a good mother? Her husband, Camern McCormick, is happy to answer that.

“She’ll do anything and everything for the children,” he said. “She always puts others first. She always has. She’s selfless.”

Of the 10 kids they have fostered in the past couple of years, they have adopted one and are in the process of adopting another. They had two of their foster kids for nearly a year, while a set of twins once came for a much shorter period of time. At one point, in February 2021, there were 10 kids in their house.

“We went into fostering with the sole purpose to adopt,” Meghan said. “Then Camern kind of opened up my eyes, he was like, ‘Let’s try traditional fostering,’ and then we did and we loved it.”

The McCormicks started the process to become licensed foster parents in the fall of 2018, received the license in 2019 and got their first placement Jan. 2, 2020.

“We were having a very hard time getting pregnant,” Camern said. “I grew up around the system. My grandmother retired from DCS (Department of Child Services). My best friend, he grew up in the system, he got adopted, so I’ve always figured I would try to do it in some form or another. When we started having a hard time getting pregnant, (Meghan) said she’d be willing to try it.”

Typically, the first foster placement isn’t adopted by the foster parents because that’s not usually how the cards work, Meghan said, but the McCormicks proved otherwise.

After waiting the required six-month period to petition for adoption, the couple adopted Amelia.

“The first day she got here, I saw it,” Meghan said. “She got here late at night, almost 9 p.m., and I just remember her getting out of a little square car and I saw the glow of her little curly pigtails under the streetlight. I was like, ‘My heart knew she would be mine forever.’”

Shortly after that, the McCormicks find out they were pregnant with their first biological child. Rowan arrived in September 2020.

“I truly believe we had to go through all of the infertility issues and struggles to get Amelia,” Meghan said. “When she came, I was already pregnant with (Rowan) and we didn’t know it, and if we would have had the other children, we never would have chosen to foster, so she never would have made her way to us. I think God, universe, however you believe, there was a divine purpose for her having to come here.”

Camern said their choice to step up and foster or adopt is a way to break the cycle.

“If we can just make that memory of how a normal family should be for these kids for long enough that they have something to strive for,” that’s what it’s all about, he said.

“That somebody can love them, that they have self-worth, that they are important, that they are loved,” Meghan added. “Even if they are only here for six months and they get that taste, we want them to say, ‘Hey, we may have come from a rough family or not a good situation, but we went to that house and they had dinners every night together, they went to church, they let us do this, we had the feeling of what a family who loves one another is like.’”

Even if the foster kids move on in life, Meghan said they are always welcome to reach out and come back to visit.

“They are always welcome. There will never be a reason why they shouldn’t come to our house or have a seat at our table,” she said. “A lot of these kids don’t have family at all or a family that is in a good state of mind or condition or anything like that, so our door is always open, our table can always take more people. … There’s always enough food to make. There’s always enough kids to feed. There’s always time for them.”

If other people are interested in fostering or adopting, Meghan offered two words: Do it.

“Because you don’t know how you’re going to impact these kids long term,” she said. “Maybe you show them what true love is, and maybe you said, ‘Hey, I’m only going to take these kids for a year,’ and then you end up adopting them. I’m a true believer it doesn’t matter how God brings you your kids. Your kids will come to you how they are supposed to when they are supposed to.”

Meghan said it also teaches you a lot about who you are as a person and a parent and what you can handle. She said moms can handle a lot more than they think they can.

“So many kids are in the (foster care) system that need families. … They are all one good adult away from having a wonderful life. What if you’re the one that sparks that?” she said. “A lot of these kids do get the stigma they are a foster child and product of the system. They are not. If they are in the right environment to thrive, they will do that.”

Meghan also credits her mothering abilities to having a strong mother of her own, Juli Bartells.

Meghan said her mother always welcomed people into her home, and she and her husband have done the same thing.

“Growing up with that, it didn’t matter if it was Christmas or whatever, if somebody didn’t have a place to go, she would always open her door to them,” Meghan said. “I think that’s where our mindset is is that God has always brought people that are not necessarily a blood relative to you, but the people you are supposed to be around find their way to you one way or another.”

Everybody has a purpose by coming into your life, Meghan said, whether it’s to stay there for a short time or forever.

Either way, she said it’s important to cherish every moment.

“Your kids are only little for a moment,” she said. “You don’t get to redo their childhood. You don’t get to redo their teenage years. You don’t get to redo any of that. You only get that time, and if you don’t savor it and you don’t cherish it and you don’t make the most out of it, it’s gone. You don’t get a redo.”

Meghan said her mother was always very good about that. Even before she died three years ago, she would always make the most of their time together.

“Make time for your mom. Do the things, travel, whatever it is, because nobody is guaranteed tomorrow,” Meghan said. “Two weeks before Mom died, she got a clean bill of health. Don’t put off what you think you could do tomorrow because a lot of times, that’s not the case.”

With Camern working for General Motors in Bedford, he and Meghan decided it would be OK if she became a stay-at-home mom. Starting as a career woman, Meghan said she didn’t think she would ever be a stay-at-home mom, but she has adjusted quite well.

“I’m at a point where I love being home with my kids, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way,” she said. “It’s like God truly does provide.”

The McCormicks recently had their offer on a larger home accepted, and then their current home was no more put on the market before it was sold.

“If we get a bigger house, then we can say more yeses,” Meghan said, referring to adopting or fostering in the future. “We are very much under the belief that God will bring the right children to you that need you, and a lot of times, you need them and you don’t know it.”