What led you to becoming foster parents?
Our hearts have always broke for the young lives around the world that are left hurting from broken homes, absent parents, and the orphaned. Early on in our relationship, we knew that we couldn’t go through life without opening our home to these children when we have been blessed with so much, yet we never thought that we would have started fostering so soon (and definitely not teenagers haha). We got married and moved to Bradenton in April of 2016. We always assumed that we would first have biological children and then foster and adopt later down the road. However, once we moved here, we could not ignore the foster care crisis in our area. It didn’t take long for God to open our eyes and hearts to the need that we could meet, so we started the process of fostering.
What is your best memory as a foster family?
Our teenage foster daughter was placed with us only 2 days before we were leaving to go to our high school student retreat called CIY. We asked her if she wanted to come along, and she said she wanted to, so we got her a ticket. Once we got there, you could tell that she felt very out of her element and wished she would not have come. By the end of the week, things had changed dramatically. She started making friends with the other students and started asking us lots of questions about “this whole church thing.” We were continually encouraged by her interest and good, thoughtful questions. About a month later she told us that she wanted to get baptized and follow Jesus. We both had the privilege of baptizing her at our church on the following Sunday. We are so proud of her!
What would you say to a family that is considering becoming a foster family?
You will be stretched thin. You will have wonderful days and days that you never want to experience again. You will learn so much about yourself. You will have days that you don’t know why you are fostering, but at the end of the day, we would encourage you to do it regardless of those things. Our sole purpose on earth is to bring glory to God and be His love to the world. We don’t know a better way to do that than to accept a child into your home and leave an eternal print on not only their life but also the lives of their parents, their teachers, and their siblings.
– The ‘H’ family