Our family’s journey to foster care began in the early 90’s when I started working at Grady Hospital. I took care of numerous babies whose moms did not have custody, were addicted to drugs or had abandoned them. My first inclination was to think, “What a loser,” or “I would never do that.” And then I would read their social notes and see a glimpse of their lives and would think, “Well no wonder. Would I be any different if I had lived the life they have lived?” The cycle of poverty, drugs and abuse is ugly— it is overwhelming and crippling. And without God it is hopeless and will be carried on to the next generations. Fast forward fifteen years when my son went to a “Right to Life” program at Perimeter School. He came home asking if we could adopt. I explained about foster care and he was on board. We began praying as a family.
We always refer to ourselves as a “foster family” rather than “foster parents” because we are all in this together. Bob is an amazing daddy to these children, most of who have never had a true father in their lives. Josh and Sam are a huge help with the kids and so gracious in sharing their lives and their time with them. Gus is a true friend to the kids…the first real friend for a lot of our kids. It truly does take all of us being a team. We believe in the mission of foster care…to provide a safe and loving home for children while their families are provided a time to heal. We believe our purpose and calling as a family is to be available to assist other families in their times of stress. Our goal is to have families stay together and reunite, not to add to ours. We would consider adoption if it ever arose— but that is not our purpose for fostering.
We feel like God has called up to “stand in the gap” for these families. We have been so blessed to get to know many of the families of our kids. They are not bad people; they just have really hard lives. We are fortunate that we are able to keep up with most of the kids who have lived with us. We’ve been able to see a 17 year-old-mom, who was in foster care herself, regain custody of her son and graduate from COLLEGE!! We’ve seen a crystal meth addict go through rehab, get a job, secure housing, and regain custody of her boys. We’ve watched a distant cousin step forward to raise a baby whose mom is mentally ill. We’ve witnessed a little boy, whose mom died suddenly, be reunited with his dad and grandparents. When children return home, it feels like a graduation— putting a puzzle back together. We miss them terribly, but we always keep fixed in our minds that we were obedient to God and the job to which he called our family. What breaks our hearts the most is seeing the potential in these kids and knowing that in reality they may not be able to live up to it. They come from broken families who have huge struggles and lead very difficult lives. It is hard to put a face on poverty and see the hurt of this world, but we choose to believe that God is sovereign. Although we cannot see the reason He would allow such hurt and brokenness, we choose to trust Him. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:18