Over 15 years ago, my wife and I found one question lingering in our minds: Why foster? After much prayer and deliberation, we made the decision to answer that question with action and become foster parents ourselves. Following our training and home study process, we dove right in to taking care of children. The next several years were not easy, but they were certainly the most rewarding for our family. Not only did we have those who were placed in our home; we were also raising our three biological sons.
Our primary reason for becoming foster parents was simple; it was our love for Christ. We knew the Bible’s command to love and serve those who are downtrodden, abandoned or oppressed, and we had been able to watch other parents foster children through the state system while raising their own biological children.
We learned through others that it wasn’t easy – in fact, it was mostly difficult – but their zeal for the Lord and for children was compelling enough for us to enter into serving. Even beyond providing the children with stability and access to excellent mental and medical health, they were having a positive spiritual impact on those little ones placed in their homes.
Even beyond providing the children with stability and access to excellent mental and medical health, they were having a positive spiritual impact on those little ones placed in their homes.
Another reason we decided to foster was our church community. The church had an active foster care program that supported foster families, and we had watched how members wrapped around those parents to provide them with meals, respite care, car seats, date nights, and other generous act of service to help ease the weight of fostering. The body of believers through the local church truly does provide the best support for those who are fostering.
When my wife and I began our fostering journey, we worked through an outstanding child-placing agency. (As an aside, the decision around which agency to use is huge on the part of those seeking to foster.) First, the agency we aligned ourselves with shared our values. We didn’t want to be loving children while dealing with challenges over our Christian values with our partner agency. Second, we weighed the agency’s history and talked with others fostering through them to learn about their experience and how the agency had supported them through the process. The agency was very willing to point us to parents who had fostered through them so we could ask those questions. Third, we looked at their training program and expectations. When they provided us with a binder outlining everything we should expect, it brought us tremendous clarity and peace, and it ultimately finalized our decision to align with that agency.
So, why foster? It’s a great question to consider before making the decision. As you’re looking for those answers, I encourage you to do the things my wife and I found so helpful – seek out an appropriate child-placing agency and research their training opportunities and expectations, learn about the foster care support ministry at your church, and ask other foster parents about their experiences. Above all, bathe the entire question in the admonitions found in the Bible. These will most definitely help answer that burning question, and they might just put you on the most rewarding journey of your life.
WinShape Homes is a fantastic child-placing ministry in Georgia for those interested in or considering foster care. Our foster care team has many years of experience in the foster care arena that enhance our distinct ability to support our parents and the children placed in their homes. Our foster parents are supported not only through our services but through our partnership with their local churches, as well. With over 15,000 children in the state foster care system, there is so much more room in our ministry for those families – the ones that are sensing the Lord leading them to foster and experience our exceptional service and support in the process. If you are interested, we’d love to start the conversation.