You should Google “Foster Care Blog”. Not now, but later you should take a look. When you do, you’ll find about a dozen excellent blogs on faith-informed foster care, such as Jason Johnson, The Forgotten Initiative, and The Promise Blog. So why would we start another one? What can we add to the conversation? These are the questions that have gone through my mind since we launched Foster the Bay. However, this mindset has slowly been chipped away, and today I’m convinced that this is the right thing to do and the right time to do it.
Let me tell you why.
First, because the Bay Area matters.
We launched Foster the Bay in 2015 with a mission to inspire and equip churches to raise up foster families and support friends until there are more than enough families to provide a loving home for every child in foster care. Before we began, we did some research, and we found many other movements with similar visions launching across the country. In the last few years, there have been faith alliances formed in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Oregon, Arkansas, Florida, and Washington D.C.! It seemed as if the Holy Spirit was stirring a new passion and commitment in the American Church to care for vulnerable children. This knowledge reinforced our belief that this movement is bigger than us…that it is God’s idea, not ours. It also elevated our perspective on what we were being called into. We began to realize that God was at the helm and that He had chosen our cities to be a part of the work that He is doing across the country. The San Francisco Bay Area matters to God, and as such, God’s work in and through the churches, families, agencies, and children here needs to be recognized and celebrated. We need to read about and celebrate the great work that God is doing in Georgia and Colorado, but we also need to share what God is doing right here in the Bay.
Second, because our stories matter.
Take the book of Luke as an example. Most scholars believe that Luke wrote his account of Jesus after the three other Gospels were already written. These Gospels were even written by expert eyewitnesses. From a Biblical perspective, it doesn’t get any better than what they have to share. It’s fascinating, then, that Luke begins his book with this statement: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account.” Luke 1:1
Luke basically says, “Many others have shared what they know about Jesus. I’m going to share what I’ve learned too.” What if Luke would have said, “Nah, there are already three other Gospels. Those guys had way more experience. What do I have to add?” We never would have had Jesus’ parables of the prodigal son, the persistent widow, the good Samaritan, and many more. Imagine the stories and insight about God that we could have missed!
In the same way, if our community holds back the experiences and lessons that we learn along our way, we will miss out on a greater understanding of God’s heart and plan.
Finally, we are writing this blog because you matter.
Foster care is hard. No wonder The Barna Research Group found that 50% of foster families will drop out after their first placement! Additionally, the Bay Area presents unique challenges to foster parenting such as culture, cost of living, and the fast pace of life. The longer that I am a foster parent, the more I am convinced that the only possible way to survive is if we walk this road together.
Hebrews 10:24 reminds us to “consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” This is an effort to do just that.
I’ve been a foster dad for 3 years. I remember coming home from our training classes multiple times and telling my wife that we must be crazy. We were stepping into intense brokenness, and it was scary. Thankfully, I had a couple of good friends who reminded me of why we were taking this step. They reminded me that God stepped into the brokenness for me. In light of that, surely I can do the same for someone else. If it had not been for those voices of truth, I might have walked away. I could have missed out on one of the most beautiful and formational journeys of my life.
For those of you who are in this foster care adventure, you’re going to need some voices reminding you of what’s true along the way. This blog is for you.
You’re going to hear from foster families, support friends, pastors, social workers, former foster youth, and many others. I believe their stories and insights will leave you refreshed, informed, and inspired. Regardless of whether you are already engaged or you’ve just begun to explore, we invite you to take this foster care journey with us. Welcome!