A Changing of Hearts

God had big plans for an Arms of Love foster family when baby Felicity* was placed in their care shortly after she was born. In the season when Felicity was in the foster family’s care, the foster mother and Felicity’s mother, Jennifer* formed a special bond. Both of their hearts were changed through the friendship they formed over caring for Felicity. Read the first hand account from the foster mother below:

“Felicity* was placed with me [last summer] when she was just two days old. She remained in my care for 11 months and 11 days before being reunified with her mom. During this time, I was able to get to know [her mom] Jennifer* and soon found that she tugged at my heart strings, which is something I often don’t allow for boundary purposes. We exchanged emails, I sent pictures and videos of Felicity in between visits, taking pictures in new outfits that her mom would often send from visits. She never let Felicity lack clothes. Her mom never missed a visit or doctor’s appointment unless it was an urgent care trip, in which case I would update mom before, during and after. I soon felt safe giving Jennifer my phone number so I could text her, send her pictures and videos and soon she started doing the same during her visits. I eventually asked her to attend church with us and have a park and lunch day after church. She was so excited and didn’t hesitate to say yes and then for Easter weekend, she asked me if she could attend church with us. Of course, I proudly said ‘well duh, of course you can!’ I made sure Jennifer always knew I was on her side and as long as she was doing everything necessary for Felicity, I would continue to be her and Felicity’s advocate. Jennifer always showed complete respect for me and for my family. She was extremely gracious from the beginning. I will never forget our first encounter right after removal and her first visit, I introduced myself at the Department of Child Safety (DCS) office when picking up Felicity, and with tears and a really tight hug, she just kept saying ‘thank you’. I made sure she knew Felicity was safe. I advocated for her in court, during Child and Family Team meetings and monthly case worker visits. She has worked extremely hard for Felicity and not just for DCS but for the long term. I always say God places a child in our home for very special reasons. I couldn’t figure out that reason especially when there were so many moments that Felicity and I just were not clicking. She was anything but easy, by far the hardest infant I had ever [fostered]. I soon realized after building this relationship with Jennifer that it wasn’t for me to teach her something and act like I was doing her a favor. It was God teaching me to listen, give grace and have compassion if I want grace and compassion. It was to show me to not judge by how many kids she had removed from her, it was to show me that Jesus died on the cross for her also and I was no better than her. We are all capable of making mistakes and we are all capable of change regardless of our past and our circumstances. We are all worthy of love and we all deserve extra chances and it’s so much easier when we know that someone believes in us. I told Jennifer time and time again how worthy she was and she deserved everything good in life no matter what her past was.  I handed Felicity and all her belongings off to her mom right after court and I believe she hugged me tighter than she did at our first encounter. I didn’t want DCS to have the honor of doing that. I selfishly wanted that moment for us. I was so proud of her. She will always have a place in our family and she knows she can come to me no matter what, any day, any time. She has been sending me pictures and videos since then and I am so grateful. I asked her how it felt to have Felicity home and she said it is the greatest feeling waking up to her baby’s face, and it just makes her whole day. This is forever imprinted on my heart.” *Names Changed