The world of foster care is often heartbreaking and emotional; children’s lives are turned upside down though no fault of their own, and they experience more trauma and fear than we could imagine. Paperwork, appeals, and strangers rule the lives of these children, as they are removed from their families and comfort zones.
Yet in this bleak atmosphere is the light of families who have heard the Lord’s call and have prayerfully and cautiously walked through the training and licensing process to become foster parents. These families know the challenges of being foster parents, but they joyfully partner with 4KIDS and open their homes to children in foster care.
4KIDS is a foster/adoption agency, but our goal is so much more than just finding a physical home for children in foster care. We want to ensure a safe and loving home is available for every child that comes through our agency, and we pray for the peace and love of God to cover these children daily. As the bridge between the gap of the child’s old and new lives, we desire to bring children in foster care and foster families closer together and to provide special times and places of safe fellowship with other children and families who are in foster care or are fostering.
We were recently blessed with an opportunity to bring our 4KIDS families and children together for a BBQ pool party. What a fun and sweet time of fellowship and play!
We were at a ranch far outside the city, with a pool and plenty of room for the kids to run around and play—there was even a petting zoo, face painting, and pony rides! Parents held the little ones and floated around the pool, or set next the baby pool and splashed around with the ones not quite old enough for the big pool. Bigger kids climbed up and slid down inflatables or played in the pool with beach balls and pool noodles. The more adventurous kids fed the animals in the petting zoo or peered through the fence at the longhorn cattle in the field next door.
All the while groups of parents talked to each other and followed the kids around taking pictures and making sure they weren’t getting too adventurous. There were so many smiles and hugs for everyone. Everyone wanted to hold the precious babies or capture on camera sweet moments of all the kids playing together. Out here there was no paperwork, and the anxieties of appeals processes and uncertain futures could be set aside for a few hours to enjoy peace and community with other families and children in similar situations.
All of us from 4KIDS were overjoyed that families were able to get out of the busy city and spend some time playing and relaxing. We were so thankful to be able to arrange a time of fun and fellowship, and we thank our friends Madison and Cathy for opening their property to the 4KIDS family!
We know the heartache and bleakness of the foster care system, but we also know that God is present in all things and His love and peace shine through foster families. It’s not just foster parents that imitate the love of God (although they do so, so much!), but also their biological children who joyfully welcome new siblings into their home. One young boy at the pool party said having a foster sibling was like a having a sleepover with your friends all the time. He said it wasn’t hard to learn to share or to have more kids in the house, but rather that it was like having extended family stay over all the time.
He spoke with such seriousness and authority on the subject—despite his young age—and he mentioned that he had several foster siblings, what a pro! This love and acceptance from the parents down to the youngest child is what convinces us that God has peace and a plan for every child we place. We thank Him daily for the ways in which He provides for children in foster care and for all the families He calls to open their hearts and homes to these children.