Hi, my name is Sabrina and my journey with foster care started when I was eleven years old.
Kathy, who is now called Nanny by my own children, was a medical foster parent who attended the same church I did. Her adoptive son, Chris, and I sang in the Children’s Choir together. This meant that Kathy was at every practice and performance. She always had little kids with her that I was drawn to. When we would take breaks from practicing to play on the playground, I found myself playing with her younger children. At that point in time, I had no awareness of foster care or what it meant for these kids. I started going to Kathy’s house on school breaks and weekends to play with her kids, so that she could focus on paperwork or wash a load of laundry uninterrupted. (I had no clue at that time how valuable that play time was!)
Fast forward seven years and about 10 kids later, I found myself working for two foster families while attending college. After I married in 2004, my husband and I baby-sat for three different families on a regular basis. Ever since I was eleven, I knew that foster children would be part of my family one day. My husband and I had our first biological child in 2008 and life just got away from us. We had always talked about fostering, but there was always a reason to wait. It took our three year old daughter making a profound statement about someone giving us two children and us having another baby before we buckled down and said, “It’s time.”
We started classes at the end of August in 2011. We received our “Yay! You’re licensed!” phone call on Tuesday, November 29 and our first placement came on Wednesday, November 30. Now here we are, three and half years and 9 foster children later! We currently have six children in our house under the age of 7! Whew! Crazy, yes!
We are often asked why we do what we do. The answer is simple for us. We feel that God placed this calling on our lives. He asked us to do it, so we do. I had the realization not too long ago that God calls us to things that are greater/bigger than we are or ever could be. I was struggling one morning because my patience was gone and it was only 7:00 AM. ☺ I had raised my voice more than I wanted to and as I sat in front of my children’s daycare scolding myself for not being patient, I turned to God and said, “I thought this is what you made me for, but I really stink at it!” In that moment, I felt Him speak to me and say, “It is what I made you for. But I didn’t make you to do it in your own strength. If you could do it on your own, then you wouldn’t ever need me.” I say all of that to say this- if you feel like God is asking you to do something that seems bigger than you, then hold on to Him with all your might and follow His lead. For those that are questioning your calling, just remember He’s got you! It doesn’t mean that the road will be easy, just that you never have to walk it alone.