“I definitely feel that I’ve expanded as a human being. I have more empathy and more compassion, I think, because I feel so blessed on a level that I can’t even wrap my mind around really.” – Julia Roberts, actress about Motherhood
Thirteen years ago, I met Annemarie Feltman at my church. Each time I saw her she would flash a big smile and beam with effervescent joy. She had this contagious excitement that surrounded her. A year after I had met her, this fun and fearless lady moved to the Tri-Cities where she became a wife, mother and youth pastor. A few years ago, she returned to Kirkland to be on the pastoral staff at The City Church. She is now a mother of four and a foster parent at the Rose Hill Cottages. She still has that same great smile, fun-loving heart and wonder about life. I love her for that.
Hi, my name is Annemarie Waters. I am a wife and a mom. Those are my official titles. I have one primary goal each day. I wake up with a sincere anticipation about what the day will bring. I am always poised and ready for the next exciting adventure. I love to laugh. I love to have a lot of fun. I love to enjoy each day of my life.
What is your favorite part about being a mom?
I love being able to view life through the eyes of children.
What is your favorite part of your typical day?
The answer is simple. Snuggle time is the best without question.
What can you not go without in your everyday life?
The given answer is coffee. I also HAVE TO get out of the house at least once, doesn’t matter for what, I just have to get out and be around people. Grocery store, Starbucks, bank, I can’t just stay in the house and be cooped up.
I want to teach them how to be givers in every area of their life. Give love. Give grace. Give friendship. Give money. Give forgiveness.
I want to teach them not to hold anything too closely. Life is too short and there is such freedom in being a giver! It feels so good to give. The reward is truly worth more than what was given.
I actually was inspired by Jen Benthin. She inspired me to be a runner. I so enjoy a good run. I used to go to the gym, but it was taking up so much time that I was getting discouraged and missing multiple days in a row because of my lack of time or a babysitter. Now I just try to do 20-25 min runs a day or every other day. It curbs my appetite, heightens my self-esteem, helps get aggression out (on those tough days) and its’ such a short amount of time I don’t worry about not being able to get it done!
I can’t lie, I have amazing people around me who help me be both. I have always surrounded myself with people and believe in living life together. We have had someone live with us for the past 4 years who helps out with the kids when I work. It’s more than a nanny because she is really part of the family, and financially it has helped us keep the cost of outside child care down.
The kids don’t even skip a beat when I am working. In my opinion, being a pastor has really benefited my children. They have no choice but to love a loud, crazy- scheduled, filled with people life, and they do!
What inspired you to be a foster parent as well as a mom of four?
My husband, Elijah, and I had always talked about adoption. When our church opened up the foster care agency it was kind of a no brainer for us. We love kids and while our kids are young it has been pretty seamless to add one more child to the family! Our motto is “the bigger the better!” Our kids were all on board before we started foster care which was really important to us and with each child that comes through our home I watch my own kids minister to them (in their own loving way) and it blows me away.
Sometimes I am pretty sure they are better at it then I am. Even our 2 year old takes part in helping the newest addition to our family. For the first time we have someone younger than our youngest, (they are 11 months apart) and I was worried about how he would react to not being the baby, but he takes pride in giving him bottles and feeding him Cheerios and doing “big brother” stuff. It has been an incredible journey for our family.