Ree Drummond Explains Why She Kept Foster Son Out of the Spotlight
Last week, Ree Drummond delighted her fans with the news that she had welcomed a fifth child into her family.
In a blog post titled "Bonus Kid," the 51-year-old Food Network star revealed that her foster son Jamar made her a mom of five more than a year and a half ago.
Drummond writes about Jamar's role in her family in her new book of essays, Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere.
"As I write in the book, Ladd, my husband, and myself never set out to be foster parents," Drummond said in a Monday morning appearance on Today. "But Jamar's circumstances kind of presented themselves, and he's just a full-on member of our family."
She went on explain why, even though Jamar has been one of the kids for a while, they had an obligation to remain tightlipped about his addition.
"Now I had a cooking show and other little elements of public life, and because of rules and regulations with the state agencies, I wasn't able to share about Jamar," The Pioneer Woman clarified. "I felt very protective of him when he first came to live with us. So, I didn't want to just thrust him out there."
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But circumstances have changed, and Jamar decided that he was ready to take his place in the Drummond family spotlight.
"After a while, Jamar was like, 'OK, I feel like I'm being hidden from the world.'" Drummond recalled on Today. "So, when he turned 18, I did write about him in the book. And I shared the essay with him before the book was published to make sure he was OK with it."
The celebrity chef, who's also mom to Alex, 23, Paige, 21, Bryce, 18, and Todd, 16, believes that Jamar has completed her tight-knit family.
"He and my younger son, Todd, who's 16, are actually just the best of friends. And the Jamar and Bryce are peers, they play football together," Drummond said. "Two or three years ago, if someone had told me I would be a foster mother, I couldn't have predicted how that would have unfolded."