What does fostering mean?
This past weekend our family began a new journey. We officially entered into the world of fostering. We have been certified as a foster family for 9 or 10 months now, we just received our first placement this weekend.
We received a call Friday evening and a short 4 hours later K-Man (that’s not his name but that’s what we will call him on here) arrived at our house. The little guy, 2 years old, was tired and afraid as he arrived. After about an hour of helping him settle down he went to sleep and Gloria and I quietly starred at each other as if to say, “here we go, let’s do this.” The next 24 hours were incredibly hectic as we had to get him clothes, hygiene items, shoes, and even make a doctor visit. Through it all our kids did a great job of loving on and caring for K-Man. In fact, he did quite well himself.
Some of you might not be aware of the foster care system but let me tell you that there are essentially three ways in which fostering works. One way is to foster only. This means that there are foster parents that offer their home during the in between time. The time while the state has custody of a child for any myriad of reasons. During this fostering period, the foster only parents have no intentions of adopting but simply to be an aide during this difficult time in the child’s life. There is a great need for more people to fill in this role. On the other end of the spectrum there are those that are Adoption only. This means that they are only wanting to have a child placed in their home that is eligible for adoption. In many cases, the child might leave a “foster-only” house to go to an “adopt-only” house. We, however, are on the foster to adopt list. What this means is that we are willing to foster a child with a willingness to adopt them. They may be in our home for just a short time and then be able to go back to stay with their family. Or they may end up needing to be adopted and if so, we would take the steps necessary to bring this about.
We consider it a great privilege to help care for this little boy during this challenging time in his life. We do not know very much about his background and we do not have to right now. We simply know that we are responsible to love him and care for him as long as he is with us. Gloria and I want to thank you already for your prayers for our family as we adjust to this new situation. Please also pray for K-Man as he adjusts to us crazy Hunsbergers. In addition, please pray for his parents who are certainly struggling in some manner during this time. Pray that God would use this as an opportunity to display the love of Christ to K-Man and his parents.