In our Summer 2017 issue of One More Child we highlighted three foster families who are taking to heart God’s call to care for the orphan and widow. Here is some insight into the journey of one of those amazing couples. To begin YOUR foster care journey, learn more here.
ERICH AND ERIN DOHM – Lakeland
How many years have you served as a foster parent, and to how many children?
We have been foster parents for two years and have fostered five children (two respite, one sibling group of three).
Why did you become a foster parent?
There was a righteous motivation to live out the Gospel and bring reconciliation to broken families. However, there was also a silent expectation of personal fulfillment and satisfaction associated with parenting a young child. Little did we know the Lord would turn our expectation for one child into a sibling group of three. Our idol of personal fulfillment was quickly revealed as the transition was tougher than we expected. However, God has been gracious to redeem our motivations for foster care and transform our hearts for the orphan. God has lavished grace upon grace, giving us more joy through loving and parenting our three foster children than we ever could have imagined.
Why do you continue to be a foster parent?
We’re still on our first placement. If/when they are reunified, we will continue to foster because we know the huge need for foster families. We want to continue to love on foster children and their families.
Describe your family dynamic.
We currently have three foster children, ages 5, 3 and 2. We also have a biological son who is 4 months old. Our family dynamic has continued to change over the past two years, as we did not have any biological children when a sibling group was placed with us. Soon after, we learned our foster children had a sister. Six months later, we welcomed her into our home. One month later, we found out we were expecting our first biological child. Over the course of 16 months, we went from zero to four children. We are learning every moment, and we are thankful for God’s grace carrying us through all the transitions.
What’s your favorite activity to do as a family?
Our foster children love to do anything outside! We frequently go to the park, take evening walks around our neighborhood and go out for ice cream. We also will take some longer day trips to the beach, zoo, theme parks, etc.
What has God taught you as a foster parent?
God has taught us that Jesus Christ is enough. All too often, we find ourselves trying to be the functional “saviors” for our three foster children, trying to shield them from brokenness. We are often reminded that we have no control over the final outcome for our foster children. But, we also are reminded that we serve a good and gracious God, and for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Foster care is God’s calling in our lives. We have learned that Jesus Christ will always meet us no matter how hard the case. Jesus gives us sweet glimpses of His love for us