Helping in the Harvest: Foster Families Part 2
As promised, I have more advice, information, and stories about foster care from my Grammy. I’ll just let you hear her wisdom in her own words:
“I think when we counted; we had approximately 150 [foster] kids in and out of our home. We had many of them the year we were an emergency home, so the turnover was great and most of them stayed just for a day or two.
“The biggest lesson I learned being a foster parent - that we always have enough love and space in the house for those kids who need it! (But that we also shouldn't neglect our own kids in the process). And that like Jesus feeding the 5,000, we always had enough food!!
“The greatest experience we had as foster parents - One short answer would be when we had a child that was scared because she had heard awful things about foster homes, and she said ours was not what she thought it would be; it was a good place and she felt safe and happy.
“The main thing I wished that we knew sooner was what I’ve told your mom - stand up for yourself with the Social Workers, because they know a good foster home when they see one and will overuse you (because there is such a shortage!) So be sure to take breaks between kids, get your own rest breaks as a family, because 'burnout' will happen otherwise.
“One scripture in particular I loved for the kids, especially when they left our home and I wondered what would happen to them? Had we taught them enough? Would they remember that we told them ‘Jesus loves them’? - I found Philippians 1:6 (Philippians being one of my favorite books of the Bible) ‘Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’
“To me this meant that if we got the ideas and love into them, it was God who would carry the rest of the work out in their lives, I just had to trust that someday something would pop into their heads about God's love for them.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”
How To Help
For more information on Foster Care, contact your local County’s Child Protective Services, or visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/acf_services.html#aafc or http://www.childwelfare.gov/nfcad/ or http://www.nationalfostercare.org/
I love Philippians 1:6. It is a wonderful verse that I often pray over the foster children my family has taken in. Just thinking about that promise gives me hope for the foster child we’ve had and also for the children we have at the moment. (I have one of them in my lap right now as I write!) They may go home and I may never meet any of them again on this earth, but you can be sure I will never stop praying that I can meet them in Heaven. And who knows? Maybe I will.
Will you pray about becoming a foster family? Will you pray for the over 460,000 children in foster care? Will you pray for my family and the lives we are touching? Will you pray for the lives you are touching?
By becoming a foster family, you give your time, love, and prayer to children in need- and also to their families. Their parents are in much of need of prayer as their children are. Your example of love and kindness to their child, coupled with prayer, can have a drastic impact on their life.
In Your Community
“Advice for those who want to be Foster Parents/family - my advice is to do it with the right motives: because you love children, want to serve them and to bring Glory to God, not yourself! As a family, it should be a family decision, though the parents hold the biggest vote if they think it will work out... We could not have done it if we didn't believe that it was something God had for us to do, and we couldn't have done it in our own strength.”
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”