Have a testimony you would like to share? How has God blessed you through foster care and adoption? Let us know!
A reason to help others...
"About five years ago, Cynthia and I were blessed to build our home on my parent's property. We were overwhelmed with this blessing and so we began to pray nightly that the Lord would allow us to use our home to bless him and to honor him. At various stages of building we would walk through our home going from room to room praying and writing verses and passages of scripture on the walls and floors. These are our markers and they are buried under drywall and carpet. Two of those passages are James 1:22-27 and Matthew 25:31-46. We had the perfect little family, we had a good home and yet Jesus' words in Matthew 25 had really come alive to us and challenged us. Our prayers were transformed from simple requests of 'let us honor you' to prayers of 'let us live Matthew 25 and let us glorify you with passion and conviction.'
Two years passed since we had built our home and we were still praying. During that time we met Lexi here at Paso Robles Bible Church. She was a county foster baby being cared for by another couple in our church. Cynthia loved seeing her here at church. They built a special bond mainly because they both had the same birth mark in almost the exact same spot. After a few months went by we were asked if we would want to adopt Lexi. I will never forget it, it was a Tuesday night and we were sitting in the hot tub. I had never thought of adopting or fostering a child so what happened to us was a miracle. As I sat there relaxing and looking at the stars, Cynthia said , "I got a call asking if we would like to adopt Lexi." We prayed right there in the hot tub. We said yes and Lexi entered our hearts.
We had more questions then answers from that prayer though. We were not foster parents and didn't know what was needed to become foster parents or to adopt her, but we took a leap of faith and decided that if this was what God wanted us to do then we must be obedient. You know what? A miracle happened in February 2007. In most cases it takes months of planning to get licensed to care for a foster child, but not that February, we got licensed in two days. When the lady from the county handed us our license she asked, "How did this happen so fast?" I responded, "When God moves, He moves!"
This one simple step of obedience has lead to a lifetime of blessing for us. Sure there are ups and downs. Lexi was potentially to be reunited with her birth mother; we were told she might have had AIDS and so on. But God gave her to us and we trusted that he had a plan for her. We know our children are ours for a season, but we do not know how long that season is. Our natural children can be taken away from us just as fast as our supernatural children. We had to trust God that he had given her to us and realizing that, I believe built faith in us. God answered our prayers again when Lexi was given a clean bill of health!
We became a rescure shelter for a time, taking in kids sometimes for days and sometimes for only hours. Some common complaints we often hear when people say they could never get involved with foster care or adoption is that having foster children or adopting a stranger's child is too hard. It will cost us too much and I can't imagine how horrible it would be when you get attached and then they have to leave. What if it doesn't work out? I can't ease those concerns except by saying that we serve a God that is greater then chances or our circumstances. With Lexi we had to endure waiting on the courts to decided if she would be adopted by us or reunify with her mom, and when it seemed she might go to her mom, we had to teach her mom how to care for her. So I can tell you this; it is hard at times. Doing the right thing usually has it's hard times. We had two boys come and live with us for a week in June 2008. They were 3 and 5 and when they came to our house they didn't own underwear and they had sun burnt blisters from head to toe. They had been living on an abandoned boat in the harbor; the three year old was wearing his dad's shirt and coat, because he didn't have his own clothes. These kids are right here in our wealthy county.
One night as I tucked them into bed, the 5 year old asked me, "why do you have everything in the world and we got nothing?" I didn't know what to say, what do you tell that 5 year old? Everything!? I was just complaining yesterday about what I don't have and he thinks I have everything! I finally said, "I don't know, but I know this: Jesus loves you. The Bible tells me so." I'll never forget what he said next. "Mr Ted, I haven't met Jesus yet, but I know he is coming for me one day."
That moment was worth all the trouble, it's worth any amount of money. It could have cost me $1000 to have those kids in my home and I guarantee you I have spent $1000 more follishly then that before, but it didn't cost me anything, except time and a few hugs - and then I sat there and held him as he cried himself to sleep. I wept, and my faith grew.
The baby came to us when she was 6 weeks old. She was supposed to be here for a day or two and she never left and 6 months later her two older sisters moved in. As I look back, there were times when we didn't know what was going to happen, how we were going to afford it and where we were going to put the beds - but God did! He has provided funds by social services, accessibility to WIC programs, health care and even tax incentives. He even provided a lawyer who represented us in the adoption at no charge.
Matthew 25:31-46 has some strong words from Jesus about helping those in need. So I ask you, who is more hungry then a starving child? Who is more naked then a newborn baby? Who is more sick then a drug addicted newborn? Who is more thirsty then a 3 year old boy living on an abandoned boat in a harbor with barely any fresh water - but plenty of salt water? Who is more of a stranger that a foster child? Don't be like the disciples in Matthew 19 who turned away children - Jesus rebuked the disciples and said, "let the little children come to me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as theses." - Ted and Cythia Fletcher
"We learn from James 1:27 that in its purest sense, religion should include loving our most destitute of neighbors, widows and orphans, yet how many believers today act on this? Churches and Synagogues used to be God's hands and feet, but now, the State has filled in and unfortunately, is not able to provide the same level of fervent embrace.
My wife and I witnessed the transformation in our children, who came from a less than ideal situation but blossomed after being fostered by us for a year. Something as simple as prayer before your meal, is quite real to those who did not previously see God's provision in their life. So consider partnering with Fervent Embrace Ministries, and loving those who need it." - Pastor Jonathan and Melinda Dade