Leah always knew she had a clear calling to be a part of foster care ministry. As a single woman, she trusted the Lord to equip for everything He called her to do. In January 2015 she got her licensure as a foster parent, and in April she got her first placement—a 7-month-old little boy.
Through this placement, Lifeline’s vision for birth family ministry was fully lived out.
Leah took big and little steps to love both this little boy and his family. She immediately set up extra visits for his birth family to see him and formed a lasting relationship with his mother and grandmother. She even started a prayer journal to write her prayers for this little boy and his family; she shared it with them during their visits so that his family could write in the journal, too.
This sweet little boy’s birth family desired to care for him again, but they trusted Leah to care for him well while they waited. They felt comfortable with their son being in her care because they saw the Lord in her. The family vocalized that they saw something different in Leah that they had not seen in others: they saw a difference in the way she loved not only their little boy but in how she loved them as well. That difference in Leah is Christ.
Now, this little boy has been unified with his birth family, but their relationship with Leah has not stopped. Leah continues to grow her relationship with the little boy and his family through regular visits. Together, they even planned a birthday party for him!
Leah’s own words express the amazing way that fostering unites the hearts of many: “I got the call for my first placement on a Monday afternoon, and within a couple of hours, there was a precious 7-month-old asleep in my arms.
I was overwhelmed with more emotions than I thought I could have all at one time . . . excited and scared about being a “mommy” for the first time, heartbroken for the separation he and his family were experiencing, and tremendous love for this boy.
I met his family at shelter care and began to feel a love for them, too. I knew I needed to be intentional about building a relationship with them and being an encourager for reunification. I wrote letters “to Mommy, from Joshua” each week for their visits. Then, one day I got a letter back from his grandmother. Thenf another from his mother. They were appreciative, loving, and promised to include me in their family once he was back home.
As I got to know them, it became more and more clear the reasons and the ways God had brought this family and me together. This was no accident. This was God’s hand at work in a broken situation to bring glory to Him.
The little boy’s family has kept their promise, and I truly do feel a part of their family now that he has returned home. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to be used by God and to be loved by Him through this boy and his family.”
Because of Leah’s response to her call to foster care, this little boy and his family regularly hear and experience the gospel, and, that is truly a blessing from the Lord.