May is Foster Care Awareness Month. In the United States, approximately 430,000 children are in foster care. On average, children in care wait 18 months for reunification and permanency with their families; some wait much longer. During this time, they need families who are willing to invest in their lives to know them, love them, and show them the hope of the gospel. Read the testimony below of how foster care has impacted the lives of a Lifeline family.
We are unapologetically pro-life. About two years ago we were challenged to answer the question, “But what are you ‘doing’ to actively help women and families that chose life?” We decided that we needed to put action to our beliefs and stand in the gap for the most vulnerable of all—the children. We wanted to make an impact in an area that would matter in eternity. We thought we would make an “ideal foster family,” as we had plenty of open beds and the ability to provide anything children would need; additionally, we had only one biological child and thought it would be an enriching experience for him to share his home with others.
Fourteen children later, we have seen the depths of sorrow that foster care can bring to children as young as nine months old and up to seventeen years. All races, all social standings, all economic backgrounds—the stories have been truly eye-opening for us. Especially, we learned that empty beds and financial support are really not what they need. At the end of the day, they all want the same thing–to be loved and belong.
Seeing the Lord move these precious ones from a place of hurt and mistrust to understanding His love for them as their heavenly Father, seeing their true worth, and even being able to see some of them come to Jesus has been one of the most rewarding experiences for us. “Foster Care” isn’t synonymous with happy or easy but there have been so many moments over the last eighteen months that have been amazing, that we could have easily missed. We would encourage anyone who is feeling the pull to make a difference, or get involved in some way, to just take the next step–it could be life-changing to a child. And to you.
If you are interested in becoming a foster family or would like to know how your church and community can support foster families in your community, you can find more information here.