Mom to Mom with Micah Melnick

Mom to Mom JUL AOP

Tell us about the BigHouse Foundation. What is it, how did you get involved, and what role do you play there?

Micah: BigHouse is a non-profit ministry that serves foster and adoptive families. I am actually the Founder and Executive Director.         

While in college, my parents became foster parents, so I was exposed firsthand to the world of foster care and adoption, and it absolutely changed my life! Once I met the kids and families in this system, I wanted to do all I could to serve them well.

BigHouse celebrated 15 years in February, and we have served over 30,000 children in Alabama. In 2023, we opened our space, the BigHouse Retreat, a dream of ours for 10+ years. It encompasses our offices, boutique, workspace, playroom, family room, kitchen, and awesome backyard for our programming and for our families to utilize! We love it! 

How do you balance the role as Executive Director at the BigHouse Foundation and being a wife and mother?

Micah: This is not easy! I often feel like I’m failing in some aspect. However, I try to give myself grace and cut out the expectations of perfection that so easily grip us these days.  

My biggest aid in being able to do all the things is my husband, Blake. He is an incredibly hands-on dad and husband. He is a really great support for me at home and BigHouse. He is a sounding board, accountability partner, encourager, and friend and truly tries to help balance the load in our home and at BigHouse. I absolutely couldn’t “do it all” without him. 

How do you encourage your children to get involved with the foundation? How do you teach them to show kindness and empathy?

Micah: Our kids don’t have much choice when it comes to being involved at BigHouse. Sometimes, that’s a good thing, and sometimes, they probably wish they had a choice.

Overall, we try to encourage our kids to be helpful and good friends by giving them opportunities to practice, and BigHouse events have been great for that. They are able to help with set up and clean up, as well as welcoming new kids and being inclusive. Sometimes, the kids we serve have a hard time, and that may be expressed through their behavior. This has been a great opportunity for my own children to learn that giving support and grace to their peers when they are struggling is the loving thing to do.

We want our kids to see and define others as people first, not just their behaviors, abilities, or situations. Being exposed to all types of children and families in authentic ways, instead of just encouraging our kids to feel sorry for these kids in these situations, makes a difference.

What values do you prioritize in your parenting?

Micah: We prioritize our faith in Jesus and the importance of his love and sacrifice in our family. We also believe in authenticity; we want our kids to see the same parents behind closed doors that they see going to church, leading an organization, or teaching at Auburn. We try to teach our children to value relationships and to love others by modeling healthy friendships and relationships.

Honesty and being trustworthy are incredibly important to us as parents as well. Showing respect and being worthy of receiving respect are also important. We want our kids to treat others how they want to be treated.

How has your own mother played a role in your motherhood journey?

Micah: I have always been very close with my mom, and she has helped me see the kind of mom I want to be. She added so much color, creativity, and fun to my childhood, and I hope I am doing the same for my kids. My mom loves my husband and kids and is supportive of the choices we make for our family. She has been a great cheerleader for me throughout my motherhood journey!

What advice would you give to someone who is considering foster care for their family?

Micah: I think my advice for someone considering foster care might be the same as my advice to any mom – find your people. Specifically for foster parents, find others who can support your journey and understand the unique challenges you will face. Foster care can be a really lonely space, so connecting with other foster parents is helpful. One of our biggest missions at BigHouse is to build relationships and create a community for foster parents to thrive in.

Rapid Fire Questions:
1) Sweet or Sour? Sweet
2) Books or Movies? Books
3) Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner
4) Inside or Outside? Outside
5) Two words to describe yourself? Determined Dreamer

Micah Melnick is the Executive Director of BigHouse Foundation in Opelika. She started this non-profit alongside her husband, Blake, while they were in college. Blake and Micah have four children – Anderson (14), Maggie(9), Myers (6) and Lucy Grace (1). The family enjoys swimming, grilling, and traveling. Micah thoroughly enjoys planning memorable vacations for her family.

Author: Staff

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It is our pleasure to serve you and your family as the Wiregrass's #1 Resource for local families.
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Mom to Mom with Micah Melnick

by Staff time to read: 3 min