A Moment In A Life – Celebrating National Foster Care Month
The challenge of parenthood is to equip and empower your children for their next step in the journey of life. For foster parents, the challenge is the same but often within only a brief moment of time. As a foster parent, you have minimal control of your foster child’s next step of the journey, so you simply love them the best you can and then hope and pray it is enough.
“We love these babies…for the time we have them they are ours.”
This quote is from a foster parent my wife and I have the joy of working alongside. Neal and his wife, Jane, are my inspiration. As foster parents over 30 years, they have held and let go of literally hundreds of children in their care. Many of these children were medically fragile or drug-impacted. Most stayed for only a short window of time (often 6 months to a year) and, because of their age, they may not remember the love and care given to them in their early years.
Theirs is the story of so many foster parents, those who act not for self but for others. Parents that rise to the need of the community around them.
A Personal Journey
Two years ago, when our family set out on the journey of fostering, we were lucky enough to be surrounded by incredible people like Neal and Jane. People who loved unconditionally, knew the challenges we would face, and supported each other through the tough times.
I’m going to be honest with you: fostering is tough. It’s filled with broken people working within a broken system that often leads to uncontrollable outcomes. It’s frustrating. It’s sad. And yet, it is filled with some of the most amazing individuals and families.
An Example To Us All
These are people who are examples of how civil society meets felt need. People who care for the most fragile, not out of some external compelling force, but out of compassion.
As we focus this May on National Foster Care Month, let us look to people like Neal and Jane. People who give large chunks of their life to support people for merely a moment in time. Moments in time that lead to a life changed and instilled with opportunity and hope for a lifetime.