Many families say they could never “do foster care” because it would hurt too much to see children go back to less than ideal circumstances. While there is truth in this fear, there is also another way to view foster care. When families open their homes to children in the foster care system, their choice to serve allows these children to experience God’s love. We believe that the Church is God’s plan A to care for “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40), and that the call for Christians to care for orphans and widows found in James 1:27 is a mandate to His people.
A family of five originally expressed interest in fostering a newborn baby. The family later became aware of a sibling group of three who needed a home and went to school with their children. This family could not turn a blind eye to their need, knowing that they could meet this need. The couple decided to put the children first, and changed their license from being able to foster just one child to being able to foster three children! This was not an easy decision as it stretched their family in ways they never expected. The family faced difficult situations with their own children, their foster children, the birth family and everything in between. Despite the challenges, they firmly believed that they were supposed to care for these little ones and pressed on, “exhausted yet pursuing” (Judges 8:4).
Over time, the family started seeing positive changes that enabled them to make better connections with the children they were fostering. One of the boys asked to “pray the pray” at dinner. Later, he climbed into his foster mom’s lap and cried in her arms as she held him like a baby. One of the little girls, who had been teased at school, asked her foster parents to teach her how to tie her shoes and to quiz her on her spelling words so she would no longer be bullied. Their older girl, who was at one point very angry and distant, began to warm up to her foster parents. She even asked them to keep her room set up for her “just in case.” As they prepared to be transitioned home to their biological father.
One day, as the family prepared for the children to reunify with their biological family, the foster mom went into the children’s room to help them pack their bags and witnessed a very special moment. Three of the children, biological and foster, were huddled together praying! A little voice said, “We did it. We did the pray.” The children had prayed for departure from their current home and for Jesus to be with them in their new life, unprompted. The Arms of Love team is grateful for families who open their homes to children in foster care, and to witness lives changing as God moves in hearts.
Arms of Love Foster Care is a ministry of Arizona Baptist Children’s Services & Family Ministries. We are a licensing agency contracted by the state of Arizona to work with foster parents. Our goal is to develop and maintain open, supportive relationships with foster families as they serve hurting families with the love of Christ. We view foster care as a mission field and foster families as missionaries. Opportunities to show the love and hope found in Jesus are endless as families serve not only children, but all those involved in their lives. We encourage foster families to support and minister to the children’s birth families while they work to break destructive family cycles. Please visit abcsfostercare.com or call us at (800) 678-0648 for more information on how you can support children in foster care.