Note: This post was originally published on December 6, 2010. We went thought all the licensing work (classes, training, background checks, home studies, etc) but ended up housing others who needed a place to live - first a disabled vet and her kids for a few months, and then my sister and brother-in-law for a few weeks while they transitioned to the East coast, and then a young family who was also in transition - albeit a bit longer one. Our house is finally empty again, but we're expecting baby #3 in the spring and felt like we wouldn't be able to give our best parenting to a teen in foster care while we're adjusting to a new baby. We still have extra room, so we're applying to be a host family for international students at the local community college. We just can't help ourselves! We love to "entertain strangers" - and who knows, maybe we'll entertain some angels unawares.
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Heb. 13:2.)
My husband and I are applying for a license to provide foster care. We specifically want to foster children who will be available for adoption, although we know that it won’t always be the case.
I’ve been reading Gene R. Cook’s Raising Up a Family to the Lord, and then searched on lds.org for some articles about foster care. I read a few good stories from other saints who have cared for other children in their home, and the scripture above from Hebrews stuck out to me.
Since I was a young child myself, I have had a desire to be a mother – and not just a mother to my own children. I want to be a mother to any child who needs a good mother. In the case of foster care, it may not be permanent, but I know that if I will make myself available, the Lord will bless these children through my efforts, and will also bless me through these little angels.
Every child deserves a chance to see what a good, functional family unit looks like.
This is what I want to accomplish as a foster parent:
We may have these children in our lives for only a brief time before they go back to their own families. They may not return to ideal situations, but the children go home knowing a little more about how a family unit should function. Later, when they become adults and parents, examples from good foster parents can influence the choices they make in life.
If I can just be an example that will influence their lives, sending them back to their parents will be a joy for me, instead of a loss.
Do you have a desire to influence other children for good? What have you done lately to nurture a child other than your own?