From the very earliest times, there have been Christians who responded to the good news of God’s grace by caring for children in need. Many still respond in this way, including Lynnette Lovasco, a former member who graciously shares her story with us below. Read to the bottom to find out how to join us in supporting foster families.
Fostering. I’m often asked what got me to this point. I grew up in a large family who regularly spent time with families who fostered. I loved the impact these families were making on the children in their homes and I thought that would be something neat to do some day.
Fast forward many years. After becoming a mom to a beautiful baby girl at the end of 2007, I realized I was done giving birth to babies but knew I wasn’t done having kids. I am very much a “baby person.” [My husband] Peter and I intermittently discussed fostering and adopting, but our kids were still little. It took about a half dozen encounters with foster care situations before we were ready to move forward. God was showing us that it was time.
We took the required classes and six days after graduating, we were licensed and brought home a sweet 4-week old from the hospital. We had her in our home for just over 6 months and remain in regular contact with her and her parents. Our second was dropped off on a Friday night for “just the weekend” and remains with us 18-months later. We have had 13 foster children in our home through respite and permanent placements.
Do we enjoy it? Most of the time. Why do I say that? Because it’s hard. It’s hard caring for little ones whose parents have made bad choices or don’t have the ability to care for them and keep them healthy and safe. I get the backlash from the anger, aggression, and fears from the “heart children” placed in our home. (We don’t usually call them foster kids in our home.)
When I’m asked, “how can you do it all?” my answer is that it’s truly God’s grace and strength that gets me through each day. It’s only through Him I can do this. And I LOVE IT! I love being a mom to three gifts God gave me nine+ years ago. And I love that I get to be a mom to other little ones while their bio-parents can’t. I can’t think of a better way for our family to serve God right now than to care for children. Mark 9:37 says, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” We read of the Proverbs 31 woman, “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20). I am instructed to be caring for these children.
I have also been asked how to get involved.
- First you can foster. There are several types of foster parents from emergency to permanent placements.
- You can also “adopt” a foster family and help them with transporting kids, babysitting, or folding laundry (I do 20 loads a week).
- You can send a foster kid to camp during the summer. DCF doesn’t have the funds to send every kid to camp.
- The biggest encouragement is to pray. Cover foster parents and children in prayer.
Fostering is tough. Sometimes results are not immediate. But the investment pays long-term dividends both in the lives of foster parents and in the lives of children as they establish healthy connections with loving adults. Making the decision to take in children has been a huge blessing for our family and our marriage. It is a joy to watch my husband love and care for children who aren’t biologically his but who he calls his own. It’s wonderful to listen to my big boys and girl read to the little ones. It’s fun to sit around the dinner table and hear the conversations with the little ones interjecting giggles. We know God has placed us right where we are supposed to be. <3
We know that children need connections. Beginning on day one, a child’s brain develops in response to the stimuli all around – not just the physical environment, but the nurturing of their caretakers. Loving, responsive caretakers establish a framework for healthy emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual development. This should be no surprise – God exists in community and God made people for community.
Children in foster care often lack these critical connections. Due to circumstances they did not choose and did not cause, they depend on someone to care for them until they can be reunited with a parent or adopted by another family.
Churches are ideal places to plant foster families because they can provide a network of respite and support to families and long-term, healthy connections to kids. To be part of an effort like this, consider joining us:
Tuesday, May 30th at 7:00pm
Home of Bob and Nancy Stallard: 1067 Bay Road, Hamilton
You will have the opportunity to meet representatives from the Department of Children and Families and other families from NSCBC.