Foster care ministry provides a unique opportunity to see firsthand how God restores families in ways that are best for the children all too often caught up in the consequences of the sin in the lives of adults. Grace and mercy sometimes pave the way for a child to return home to a safe, improved environment. Sometimes, a child is adopted by a new family who claims him or her as their own. And sometimes, the idea of family is outside our normal thinking and others step up to become the plan for a child in care.
Sally* is a middle school girl who lived through this type of story. Her mom and dad were unable to care for her, and so a loving, caring FaithBridge family stepped up to take their place. In the process of working with her birth parents, it was decided that the best possible plan for the child was not to return home. In the meantime, while decisions were discussed and possibilities were presented, the Lord worked in some seemingly simple coincidences…but they probably weren’t coincidences at all.
The foster family and some extended birth family members were the same Christian community. Unknown to either of them before they shared a connection to Sally, their worlds had been intertwined. When it was time to find a permanent home for her, the transition was simple. The foster family and the extended family worked together to create a plan for Sally to move in permanently with those biologically related to her.
God calls some to foster, which is incredibly challenging. They are called to love and let go in ways that are often beyond human capacity. It is not only difficult to love a stranger as your own family member but also to let go of that child when the time comes.
*Names and details have been changed to protect the privacy of the child and respect the families involved.