January 15, 2021 5 min read
Nick and I are in the process of becoming foster parents. We aren't licensed yet, but we're working through the process. We are super excited about this opportunity to open our home to children in need in our local community!
Most people share in our joy and excitement when we tell them we're becoming foster parents, but often have questions about foster care, why we decided to do it, and what the process is like. In this blog post, I'm going to share why we made this decision to become licensed foster parents.
Nick and I follow Jesus Christ. We believe He is the Lord of lives, and we consider our faith to be the foundation of our lives, our family, our business, and anything else we do. Most foster care agencies are not faith-based, and the agency we are being licensed through is not faith-based. But we consider our decision to foster something God has placed on our hearts. It's something we feel a deep inner-desire to pursue.
While the words "foster care" are not exactly stated in the Bible, adoption and caring for orphans and "the least of these" is. As Christians we were predestined to be adopted by God through Jesus Christ. We are all adopted sons and daughters of God. Opening your home to children in need and caring for them as your own through foster care is an act of caring for orphans and those in need.
James 1:27: Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Matthew 25:40: And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Ephesians 1:5-6:In love he predestined usfor adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Proverbs 31:8-9: Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Isaiah 1:17: Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphans, plead for the widow.
Deuteronomy 10:18: He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.
While I believe the call to foster and adopt is Biblical, not everyone is called to do it. And that's okay! God gives each of us unique callings for our lives that He prepares us for. And, there are many ways to support the foster care and adoption community outside of being foster and/or adoptive parents.
Nick and I have always talked about having children. We dreamed of having biological children and having a big family one day. In fact, we still hope to have biological children!
About a year ago, God put a calling on my heart for Nick and I to become foster parents one day. Notice how I didn't say we both felt the call, haha! Nick felt indifferent about foster care/adoption for a while. Instead of pestering him about it, I prayed. "Lord, if you really want us to become foster parents, will you change Nick's heart? Will you make him as passionate about it as I am?".
For a year I was patient and intentional in prayer. I read books about foster care in the mean time to learn more about the topic and what it was like to be a foster parent. I didn't nag Nick about the topic. I did share with him interesting things I read every once in a while, but that was it.
Slowly, Nick's opinion started shifting. He was more open to the idea and we decided to learn more about it together. Suddenly, we saw people we knew in our community becoming foster parents. Nick and I heard random radio ads about foster care from a local agency, and I decided to google it. Before we knew it we were registered for an information meeting on foster care and adoption. After that meeting, we worked with a licensing specialist to answer a few more questions. Soon we decided together that we would pursue getting licensed.
I experienced childhood trauma and learned a lot from the healing process. Working through trauma involved (and often still involves) attending therapy and spending a lot of time in prayer. Nick did not experience childhood trauma himself, but he walked through this healing experience with me and was such a great support for me.
We both learned a lot about how the mind and body respond to trauma, specifically childhood trauma. I truly believe that God wants to use my story and experiences to help other people suffering from childhood trauma. Most children in the foster care system have experienced some form of neglect, abuse, or other childhood trauma. We hope to provide empathy and support to kids who are experiencing childhood trauma in the moment, and provide a home for them where they are safe and know they are loved.
We aren't going into foster care looking to adopt a child. A lot of families go into foster care with a goal of adoption, but many people don't realize the primary goal of foster care is to reunite children with their birth families. Adoption is wonderful and a beautiful picture of the Gospel. It isn't off the table, but it is not our focus with foster care.
Our hope is to make an impact on the lives of foster children and their biological families in our county. We plan to serve as a respite foster home. This means that we will have children in our home anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks at a time. Children will visit our home while their foster families are on vacation, they are in-between placements, while their family is unable to care for them, or for a variety of other reasons. We're kind of like the fun aunt and uncle the kids get to visit!
Have you ever felt called to help children in need? There are ways you get involved and make an impact on kids who truly need it. Here are a couple of ideas and resources to help!
The Forgotten Initiative: Faith-based resources for prospective foster parents, churches who want to help foster and adoptive families, and current foster families.
Children's Home Society NC: If you live in NC and are interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting, this is a private foster care and adoption agency.
Boys & Girls Homes of North Carolina: If you live in NC and are interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting, this is another private foster care and adoption agency.
My heart with sharing our foster care journey is to encourage and equip other people to help vulnerable children.
If you are interesting in helping vulnerable children through foster care and adoption, please let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to answer them the best I can or point you to someone who can help!
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