Hear the remarkable story of how the Rider family’s faithfulness during loss and a seven-year wait for their daughter grew Promise686 as an organization, allowing many children and families to be united forever.
This section contains stories of God’s amazing work in the lives of families.
These testimonies show the unique ways in which God works in each individual heart.
Click a photo below to read about that family’s story.
– Rachel, Foster Mom, Alpharetta, Georgia
My first interaction with a child in foster care was while working as a Speech-Language Pathologist. I provided speech therapy services for a preschool-aged child living with her foster mother, a teacher at our school. Serving this child and interacting with her mother really planted the seed for fostering in my heart. Seeing someone I knew in the role of a foster parent made fostering seem real and doable.
Fast-forward a few years and our biological daughter was born. Still, I felt God tugging my heart toward fostering. When our daughter was about a year old, I talked with my husband about it and he said he was not yet ready to step into fostering. I trusted that if we were meant to be foster parents, then God would change my husband’s heart in His perfect timing.
Soon after we had this conversation, I saw a post in our church bulletin asking for volunteers to help support a foster family in our parish. I figured if I couldn’t foster myself, then I could do the next best thing–support another foster family. I joined our church’s Family Advocacy Ministry (FAM) and signed up to serve as a Child Mentor in a Care Community for our church’s only foster family. This experience was so eye-opening. It truly removed a lot of fears I had about fostering. Seeing the support this foster family received grew my confidence that maybe one day we could foster.
Around a year later, our church’s Advocate sent out an email stating that there was a need for another Advocate for our church’s FAM. I had enjoyed serving in a Care Community, and I was interested in being more involved in growing the ministry that would help more foster children. I agreed to attend the Church Advocate Clinic to be trained as a Church Advocate.
About a week after I agreed to become an Advocate, my husband brought up the topic of fostering. He said he felt like God was now calling us to foster. We both sensed that God had blessed us immensely and we wanted to live out the Gospel–using what we had been blessed with to bless vulnerable children. So, we attended a Foster Care Orientation with our agency and agreed that we were ready to become foster parents. We have been licensed foster parents for one year now, and have had two foster placements!
Right away, our Care Community stepped in and helped us immensely with both placements. It gave us so much confidence and peace as foster parents knowing we had a team of wonderful people praying for us, supporting us, and helping us out as needs arose. The meals that our Care Team brought were so helpful, especially when we first received our placement and had to do a lot of driving to appointments related to fostering, while at the same time transitioning to having an additional child in our family. Our Care Community volunteers also stepped in to provide childcare, sometimes on short notice, so that I could go to Court with our child, and so that my husband and I could attend TBRI training in preparation for our current placement. We are so thankful for the prayers and the time our Care Community has dedicated to helping us! We can’t imagine fostering without the support of a Care Community.
In addition, Promise686 has had a huge impact in our church. In the 2 years since Promise helped us kick off our ministry, we’ve been a congregation with 1 foster family to now a church with 5 fostering families! Today, our FAM has 50 volunteers serving in Care Communities who support these 5 families. These FAM volunteers have also provided meals for 2 foster families outside of our church and provided snack bags to Fulton County DFCS, our local Child Welfare office.
It has been so exciting watching our ministry grow and so inspiring to see volunteers go above and beyond serving not only our own foster families but also volunteering time and resources to serve foster families and vulnerable children outside of our church. We can see that through Promise686 and Family Advocacy Ministries (FAMs), our families are able to do more for the children in their care and they continue to foster longer!