Ashley Betz (29); Former foster mom to R (4) and F (2)
Pittsfield, Massachusetts | Buffalo, NY
Ashley shares -
“I haven’t experienced child loss in the traditional sense, but when the children were returned home, it was a loss that was indescribable. We cared for the children for 8 months, we had many difficult moments but we also loved those children fiercely. It's something that many will never experience. The kids made me "mom" since I don't have any biological children and then they were gone. I was no longer playing the "mom' role and it was a struggle to transition back into my former life.
When I was 11, someone commented that I should look into losing weight. At the time, I was chunky but not overly so and I was very active in swimming. This event distinctively led to years of body image and food issues. Over the past couple of years, I have been on a journey of self love and acceptance. It's going to be a lifelong struggle as I recover from disordered eating and poor body image but as I turn 30 in a couple months, I've never been so prepared for a shift in my perspective (especially considering I'm hoping to have biological children in the next few years).
As I work through my personal journey of self discovery, I thought this would be a perfect way to mark a new chapter. One that includes loving myself even if I'm not at my ideal size and embracing the "hot mess". I think that I am truly ready to finally love my self at the present moment instead of waiting for everything to be perfect.”