We didn’t intentionally choose to step into the world of foster care, especially to the extent of adding it to the ever-widening array of services we offer at Roots &Wings. It just kind of happened.
When we stop and think about it, that’s happened a LOT in the course of the last few years. The growth and direction of Roots & Wings has always been very organic – a specific arises, so we look for a way to meet it. When it arises again and again, we start to take note. What is the Lord trying to show us?
Maybe it’s because our plans, our view, our scope of possibility is always so much smaller than the Lord’s. The great thing about it, is he doesn’t wait for us to clue in. He tends to put us right in the middle of it so that it’s impossible to ignore.
It started a year and a half ago, when a grandmother in the program became to sole guardian to five of her grandchildren. Our staff eagerly stepped in to help by taking some of the kids home a few days a week.
A dad went to rehab, leaving a mom of 5 with no one to watch her kids on the weekends that she worked. Again, our staff came to the rescue.
Another grandma in the program had to leave the city for treatment when she was diagnosed with cancer. She asked if we could find a family for the granddaughter she’s raising to stay with while she was away. So we did.
As a team, we began wondering, should we begin to prepare families for when these kinds of situations arise?
Thus began our foster care, or “extended care” program. A program, for those children whose primary guardians are going through a difficult situation and need a temporary home for their children that gives them the stability, security and normalcy of a family.
Any remaining uncertainty about whether this was God’s leading, He put to rest when early this year, we met a little girl that was growing up in one of the addiction treatment centers we minister at, abandoned by her mother who escaped the center and left her baby girl to be raised by the women that filtered through there.
Now, she was 4 years old, and a strong-willed child, and the rehab director couldn’t wait to get rid of her. “She’s on clearance,” she called us one morning and said. “Please come pick her up.” So we did.
Once again, a Roots & Wings team member took her in, but we knew we’d need more committed families for other cases that would inevitably arise. We scrambled to put together an 8-part foster care training, and spread the word of the need for foster homes.
In the month since our first families completed their training, they have already been called to task in providing a home for children.
It’s been a wild ride, and we’re just getting started!
And if you’re wondering about that little girl from the rehab…
Little did we imagine the miracle we would witness in little Hania’s life – and the life of her family. Hania quickly flourished within the consistent love and care of her foster family. Her mother, who was perceived as a lost cause, appeared one day and asked for our help to enter a rehab center. Hania’s grandparents and extended family began visiting her at Roots & Wings. Hania went from, for all intents and purposes, an abandoned, troubled orphan, to a child with hope for a family and a future.
It was definitely not a smooth ride, and there were many challenges and bumps along the way, but Hania is now, for the first time since infancy, in the care of her biological mother who is sober and putting all her efforts into learning how to become the mom God intended her to be for Hania.
Join us praying for this facet of Roots & Wings ministry, and if you feel called, you can also support foster families financially using our Donate page.
How you can pray:
- Pray for more foster families. Word is getting around that we help place abandoned children in families, but we have had to put the breaks on pursuing leads because we need more foster homes.
- Pray for our foster families. It is incredibly rewarding to welcome a foster child, but it is also incredibly challenging. Many times your prayers are their fuel to keep going.
- Pray for our foster support team – Vianney, Nancy and Aranztha. They put their hearts and souls into their work and we are so thankful for each one of them.