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A 10-year-old girl navigates her way through the foster care system, after being removed from her home and separated from her younger brother.

Watch ReMoved and ReMoved 2.

ReMoved

 
ReMoved 2

 

A Letter from the Front Lines

We achieved the American Dream: college degrees, successful careers and 2 beautiful, healthy girls.

September of 2006 we keep seeing all these articles and news stories about kids being abused, neglected and killed. We kept saying “someone should do something about this” And the Holy Spirit nudged “yes you should.” Our response was wait God we have a 3 yr. old and a baby who is not even 1, our plate is full, maybe when they are older.

But all our reasoning did nothing to quiet that still small voice in our head and heart.

Across town a little girl’s chaotic home was escalating to an unsafe level. God had a plan for her. What if we had waited, rationalized a later date, filled our days with other “good” things…

May of 2007 we welcomed a little brown haired, brown eyed 7 mos. baby girl into our home. Our lives forever changed. Our 1 yes, so scary, so uncertain and yet used to forge a foster/adopt movement in our church and city.

Our ride through the foster system has been wild, scary, heart breaking, inspiring, and most of all a huge faith journey. Pretty much everything we imagined we could not handle or did not see margin in our life to incorporate, God allowed to happen to refine us, stretch us and testify to His strength, provision and power. As a foster parent you have all the responsibility and absolutely no control over where the child will land. For a person who put her security in my illusion of an ability to control variables and thus the future this was a huge shaking to my world. But God used this to teach me and remind me that He loves this child more than I ever could and He does not need me to “save” her. He didn’t need me to create her or the first 7 months of her life. He brought me to the end of my strength, ability and beyond my perceived limits many times and that is where my village stepped in to keep us afloat.

So after loving this baby girl for 1 1/2 years we kissed her goodbye and prayed for her daily. Yes is was hard, yes it hurt BUT at the end of the day I was an adult dealing with these big emotions. I lived in the same house, with the same people, in the same neighborhood, with the same friends, family, smells, sounds, routine…while a precious child dealt with big emotions of loss, new people, new house, new family, new neighborhood, routine and life. My hurt, loss pales in comparison to hers.

Our story is the most common reason I hear why someone would never do foster care, fear of loss. “It is a fear so deeply rooted that we easily excuse it as a reason to walk away from those who are deeply wounded by the bonds of wickedness.” Kristin Leininger

This is foster care. Faith and courage that says I will walk this road with you until God takes on us on different paths. I will not let the fear of our paths diverging or my selfish desire to prevent all vulnerability in my life keep you from experiencing a family, love and an introduction to the God who has a purpose for your life. There are no
guarantees in foster care (or life for that matter) except God is Sovereign.

“We want easy. We avoid the difficult. All the while, we neglect the very ones who cry out in need for the healing of the One whom we call Lord and Savior.” David Platt

2 months after she left we again welcomed home a brown eyed, brown haired, 23 month old little girl who fell right back into her routine as if she never left. And 1 1/2 years later into our forever family.

“May the church bring the light of His healing to those who are walking on the darkest roads. May we recognize the fear that is crippling us as the body of Christ and may we seek Him to deliver us out of this fear. When we are delivered from our fears, we can rise to defend.

Now almost 9 years later I am blown away by all God has done through 1 yes. Our family has grown to 6, we are blessed to walk with our 2nd foster daughter’s grandparents as they raise her and her siblings, we partnered with other foster parents to start 4KIDS of South Texas, a christian foster agency and help churches start foster/adopt ministries and support their families with the South Texas Alliance for Orphans. God radically changed the course of our lives and allowed us to encourage, equip and walk with countless families who have also chose to say yes to gifting their families to a child without expectation, living inside out with their palms up in surrender.

Grace Point is 6 years into foster/adopt ministry and the stories of life change are almost unbelievable. Over 30 families have fostered 70+ precious lives and adopted over 25. There are stories of mentoring leading to families reunited, children loved for a season until a family member stepped up, adoption that left space for birth family to share in their child’s life, 2 foster families adopting siblings and committing to become one big family, relationships with birth families that lead them into a relationship with Christ and the mobilizing of a massive village to wrap around, hold up and encourage those families called to the front lines of the orphan crisis.

Today a see hope. Hope for all the 4,800 children in foster care. Hope for the families called to foster them. Hope for the families who have adopted. Hope for a body of Christ to be equipped, resourced and willing to step up and step into this segment of our community. Hope for families where generational abuse and neglect will cease.

Jennifer S.