TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR FOSTER FAMILIES

“Over a decade ago, my spouse and I embraced a life-altering decision to become foster parents, opening our hearts wide. In those initial moments, a blend of uncertainty and hope accompanied the arrival of our first foster child. As the years unfolded, our family expanded not only in numbers but also in love and resilience. Through the ebbs and flows of challenges and joys, our home evolved into a place where wounds found healing, laughter reverberated, and dreams took root.”

“Each placement is different but always the same. Until you have been a foster parent that statement can be hard to understand. Children come to our home during a very turbulent time in their lives. They are scared, feel alone, and have been taken away from everything and everyone they have ever known. As a foster parent you wonder will I be enough to support and love them through this time. Can I make a positive difference in their current situation? As time goes on they become a part of your family and steal a little piece of your heart. Memories are made and yes you do get attached. Well meaning people will tell you how lucky the children are to have you but the truth is we are blessed to be able to walk with them on their journeys. Each child that has come into our home has taught us something and we are better people because we have known them. In the end you realize that they have made just as big a mark on your life as you hope you have made on theirs.

Alfred Lord Teenyson said “Tis better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all”. Isn’t that true in all our lives? When losing a loved one who says I had rather not known that beautiful soul who I talked with, laughed with, loved and was loved by. We cherish that person and even after they are gone we carry them in our hearts. It is the same with fostering. When the time comes that a child leaves your home you will rejoice with them that their family is being reunited and you mourn their absence but you know that they will forever be in your heart. You will wonder what they are doing. Are they happy, safe, and loved? You pray asking God to wrap his arms around them, who better to continue to walk them through this journey we call life? If a child is not able to go home and becomes part of your family forever you mourn with them for the family that could have been but what a celebration that you will be the blessed one to continue to walk this journey with them. To talk with them, laugh with them, love and be loved by them. No matter the amount of time a foster child is in your life they will be in your heart forever. So my advice is to choose love. Get attached, make a positive change in someone's life by just being there for them, and be amazed by the impact each one has on you.”

“Fostering teenage girls is a journey filled with unique challenges, but it also presents beautiful opportunities for connection and growth. The young lady we welcomed into our home yearned to be reunited with her mom, her heart torn between loyalty to her biological family and the love she found within ours. It was evident in her words and actions how much she cherished our family, yet her inner turmoil often led to emotional turbulence.
She confided in a counselor about the guilt she felt whenever happiness bloomed in our home, fearing it was a betrayal to her mother. This internal conflict manifested in self-sabotage, a heartbreaking cycle that kept her from fully embracing the love surrounding her. Witnessing her struggle was heart-wrenching, knowing that she deserved the peace and security of feeling cherished and accepted.
One February evening, our church hosted a Daddy-daughter dance, and I saw an opportunity to create a special memory with her. With gentle encouragement, I invited her to accompany me, assuring her that this night would be solely about her. She hesitated, concerned that my biological daughters might feel overlooked, but I reassured her that she was my priority for the evening.
We prepared for the dance together, selecting a beautiful dress that made her feel special. As I arrived to pick her up, I presented her with a bouquet of flowers, a small gesture to convey the significance of the evening. The dance floor beckoned with laughter and joy as we twirled and danced, her smile lighting up the room.
Towards the end of the night, we were prompted to write letters to each other, expressing the impact of the evening. She hesitated, feeling unworthy of such sentiment as she expressed her doubts about her place in our family. With a reassuring smile, I handed her my letter, filled with cherished memories and assurances of our unwavering support.
Her reaction was a moment of pure connection, as she hugged me tightly, tears of genuine emotion replacing the familiar drama. She read the letter then and there, allowing the words to sink into her heart, reaffirming her sense of belonging and worthiness of love.Though she has since returned to her mother's care, the memory of that dance lingers as a symbol of our bond. She playfully jokes with me about my dancing skills, but her quiet reminder of the letter we exchanged speaks volumes about the depth of our connection.As a foster parent, I've learned that love knows no bounds—it extends beyond biology to encompass all who enter our lives, if only for a moment. Every interaction is an opportunity to nurture and support, leaving an imprint on the hearts of those we encounter."

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