Have you ever felt paralyzed to do something because you feel compelled to do everything? Last year the President recently declared the opioid crisis a national emergency; 42 million people face hunger in the United States according to Feeding America; 1 in 13 teens still drop out of high school in the “Land of Opportunity.” The problems always seem to be more readily accessible than solutions.
At Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, we love whenever people’s passion for a starving world and hurting children are paired with our purposes because it creates perfect “storms” to share Good News.
When you become part of the foster care movement it’s like God gives you a Golden Ticket. What is the prize, you might ask? The prize is you get placed into a space where God will challenge a lot of what know about families and trauma, and He will stretch you and use you in brand new ways. You will encounter more brokenness than you could ever mend on your own, but as you will learn, that’s the beauty of what God calls us to.
Most people understand that foster care provides opportunities to share hope with children who are familiar with trauma, loss and instability. The mission of foster care is always to help One More Child, but it is not the only redeeming endeavor of foster care.
Foster care is an intersection of working with families stuck in ruthless cycles and of becoming keenly aware of your own grips.
Where God has freed you from things in your past and where God in His infinite wisdom has made beauty out of ashes, He can now empower you to share those experiences with mothers and fathers who may have never seen the love of Christ modeled.
When someone’s child comes to live under your roof you are in the unique position to become an influential authority in the lives of strangers. Never discount any of the skills God has gifted you with because in foster care you get to utilize the entire repertoire.
Sometimes the opportunities to be hope through foster care are less obvious, but are likewise significant.
Maybe through co-parenting you will help a couple create their first budget or you will encourage a weathered single mother to finally attain her G.E.D. so she can provide for her children when they are reunited. Maybe simple tips about nutrition and safety for parents who have had to do things all on their own will be transformative in the development of their children.
When you say “Yes” to becoming a foster parent you can choose to become a joyful mediator in what can feel like a real-life Newton’s cradle between parents and the child welfare system.
In your dealings with family court judges or attorneys or child protective investigators you are bound to run into tired, irritated, forgetful people – because all of us fit that description more often than we would like to admit. But most of us still love ourselves despite those deficiencies and Jesus famously said something vital about loving our neighbors the same way.
As foster parents, you can exemplify the love Jesus talked about when you ask your Guardian ad Litem how they are doing or when you offer to pray for a case worker who shares with you that they are having a tough day. You personify grace when you make follow-up calls to kindly ask for an update instead of act exasperated that you feel like no one cares because someone forgot to get in touch with you.
There is also the added benefit that the child or children in your care and any biological children you parent get to see you putting love in action whenever there is a lot on the line and things don’t always go as you would hope.
One of the most life-changing revelations that is constantly reinforced when you become a foster parent is that God’s power is perfected in weakness, and He wants to use ordinary everyday people to demonstrate in eternity-shaking ways.
There are thousands of children waiting for you to open your heart and lives to them through foster care, but alongside them are hurting people who tend to hurt others, fragmented families and drained souls waiting for some Good News.
Interested in becoming a foster parent? Start your foster care journey today at FBCHomes.org/FosterCare.