EPISODE 031: The Meaning of Mothering - Lessons from the Foster Care System


“I knew I wanted more kids one way or another…however it looked. I was open to adoption, I was open to fostering, I was open to meeting somebody who had children and then also open to having my own…” these are the words of Crystal Barker, this week’s guest and advocate for children and families.

Last week, we talked to Les Adkins, a expert traveling the country teaching corporations how to integrate millennial into the workforce.  

This week’s guest, Crystal Barker, is a marketing executive in the healthcare industry here in Nashville. But, what we’re focusing on today is what she does when she’s not using her MBA obtained while working full time as a single mother. 

Crystal is a mom to two biological children, numerous foster children, and just expanded her family with a new husband and three step children - congratulations, Crystal, on your recent marriage and expansion of your beautiful family. Crystal also has experience mentoring two children through the Big Brother’s Big Sister’s of middle Tennessee. She’s also participated in advanced accreditation processes for a Davidson County elementary school. 

We dive into what in Crystal’s life has contributed to her compassionate nature and why and how she got involved with the foster care system — a system she had exposure to growing up due to heavy family involvement. After a divorce, Crystal moved forward with fostering as a single mother. 

It was no small feat - you’ll want to hear Crystal describe why she did it, what it means to be a mentor, the process for becoming a foster parent, what it took to mother five children as a single mom working full time, how she made foster children feel comfortable, what she learned from the experience, and why she decided to move on. We also talk about all the love that comes but also the pain and grief that comes with fostering.

This is a story of strength, determination, heart-based pursuits, and persistence. 

So stay tuned for such an interesting conversation just full of helpful information as well as Crystal’s explanation for what it means to be a mother. it resonated with me so much - so I think it will with you too.

Click below to hear from Crystal.