In the heart of Central Florida, Kirstin and her husband, Thomas, have cultivated a family dynamic that thrives on adventure, imagination, and inclusivity. With a journey that spans nearly 17 years of marriage, they have lovingly embraced four beautiful children: Mia, aged 8, 5-year-old Kai, 4-year-old Aria, and 3-month-old Luca. Kirstin and Thomas's story took an extraordinary turn with the adoption of Mia and Kai, biological siblings from foster care. Aria, their 3rd daughter, was born with Down syndrome, adding a unique layer to their family tapestry. Recently, they adopted Luca, a newborn also born with Down syndrome, expanding their family in an even more remarkable way.
As a mother of four with a diverse family, Kirstin prioritizes nurturing her children's curiosity and creativity. Their spacious property becomes a canvas for exploration, where the kids can be barefoot, play outside, and immerse themselves in imaginative worlds. Kirstin's approach to parenting encourages her children to savor their childhood to the fullest, embracing each moment with unbridled joy.
“I really put priority on my kids being kids. I want them to just live the most fulfilled childhood, doing all the childhood things. We're big on being barefoot and playing outside, using our imaginations.”
The family cherishes their outdoor adventures, complete with chickens and goats, fostering a deep connection to nature. The vibrant outdoor life allows the children to flourish in their unique way of experiencing the world.
When asked how she believes her children would describe her, Kirstin smiles, saying, "I think my kids would describe me as patient and calm." Her even-keeled nature creates a comforting environment for them to share their feelings and emotions openly. Kirstin cherishes the time spent with each child, whether it's snuggling, one-on-one dates, or cheering on her wild child, Aria.
As a parent, Kirstin embraces the role of advocate for her children, recognizing the importance of standing up for their unique needs. Her advocacy extends not only to her own family but to the larger community as well. Kirstin's goal is to represent her children and provide support and understanding to others who may walk a similar path.
“I'm pretty big on advocating for my kids and their specific needs just given our family dynamic. I really take that seriously. I also consider it an honor that I can stand in gaps for them, especially when they're young and can't quite do it for themselves yet.”
Kirstin's social media feeds are currently filled with inspiring stories from mothers who have navigated the challenges of raising medically complex children. With her newborn son Luca in the NICU, Kirstin finds solace, connection, and hope through these shared experiences. She aspires to offer support and understanding to others facing similar journeys.
In her content creation work, Kirstin shares her family's journey through foster care and adoption, shedding light on the beauty and challenges of these processes. More recently, she has focused on raising awareness about Down syndrome and advocating for a better understanding of individuals with the condition. Kirsten's daughter, Aria, loves being in front of the camera, and together they dismantle stereotypes and showcase the true essence of their family's love.
“I love sharing my motherhood journey with my daughter Aria and giving the world a glimpse of what that actually looks like. It's not like I show every aspect. I mean, I have a child in the NICU for the last two months, but I think that a lot of people just don't know what it's like. So even just sharing small clips of her moving through the world and how much joy she has and how much love she has and allowing people to see people with Down syndrome beyond their diagnosis is really important to me.”
Motherhood, Kirstin admits, has brought surprises and challenges she never expected. She emphasizes the rewards of the journey, the personal growth it has offered her, and the profound sense of fulfillment that comes with parenting.
“I thought it was going to be harder in the sense that I thought I was going to miss my time so much more than I actually do. We held off getting [and] having our kids for about 10 years because of that fear I had. ‘Oh my goodness, am I going to lose such a big part of me? Am I going to change?’ And all those things did happen! I did lose a huge part of me but in the best way. I always thought I would have to sacrifice so much. I never really thought about the reward, and it's been so much more rewarding than I could have ever expected.”
When shopping for herself and her children, Kirstin values durability and quality above all else. She seeks items that can withstand the test of time, considering the needs of her growing family. The Tula carrier aligns perfectly with her criteria, offering both durability and style.
“I want to invest in those pieces that might be slightly more money, but they're going to last three or four kids. And I could use them over and over again. And so I would say the Tula baby carrier follows right in line with that: it’s quality, it’s durability, it's also really cute. It definitely checks all the boxes for me.”
In a world where representation and inclusion are paramount, Kirstin has made it her mission to advocate for children who may be differently abled or look different. She champions the importance of embracing diversity and challenges brands and businesses to do the same. Kirstin's distinctive self, shines through her dedication to making the world a more inclusive place for everyone.