Tyler* was 3 years old when he entered the foster care system. Developmentally, he was behind. There were significant problems and concerns for the child’s future, and it was deemed unsafe for him to stay with his mom, so a FaithBridge family welcomed him into their home.
This was the start of a six-month journey with a much happier ending than beginning.
During those six months that Tyler was in care, it was determined that he would eventually be placed permanently with his Aunt Janet because his mom could no longer take care of him. While Aunt Janet was working on a plan to eventually receive custody of her nephew, the foster family developed a relationship with her. They helped her learn how to buy healthy groceries, talked about daily care for young children and got to know her. A genuine friendship was formed.
Tyler made significant strides in his progress and was no longer considered developmentally behind. Aunt Janet worked diligently and also met all the goals set before her. Just before Tyler would move into his aunt’s home both his biological family and his foster family gathered to celebrate his birthday. It was clear to this little boy that there were many people who loved him, and there was no awkward transition from one place to another because those relationships were seen as safe and consistent. Even today, Aunt Janet sometimes calls the foster mom to ask a question if she’s not sure what to do with Tyler. Parenting is tough, and all moms – whether biological, adoptive or foster – need someone to call for a second opinion at times.
Fostering is designed to be temporary. It’s a vehicle for reconciliation, restoration and redemption. It’s the Gospel, in action. And when a family reunifies, even if it looks a little different than it originally did, it’s a beautiful picture of grace and growth made possible by the Living God who’s in the business of redeeming relationships.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
-2 Corinthians 5:17-21
*Details have been changed to protect the identity of and for the privacy and safety of this child.