These people – the ones who have stepped into foster care, not by bringing in fosters of their own, but by choosing to circle around us are too the faces of foster care.
Texts keep coming. “What do the kids need?” “What do you need?” “How can we help?” “How are you holding up?” “You’ve got this!” Toys are on their way and art supplies should be here by week’s end. Voicemails are left to remind us who we are lest we forget somewhere in the midst of the sadness and struggle.
These people – the ones who have stepped into foster care, not by bringing in fosters of their own, but by choosing to circle around us. The ones who have opened up room in their hearts – these generous, dependable, necessary people will not let us down. Most importantly, they will not let these kiddos down, because they too are the faces of foster care.
Our foster community is fortified through these individuals. No matter their role, a single act of showing up is a pledge of support for the vulnerable child and a foster family exhausting their resources to ensure the stability and healing of those children from hard places.
The faces of foster care are varied and vast, and we are grateful for every single one of them.
The faces of foster care are varied and vast, they range from our closest family and friends to organizations who understand and support our vision, and we are grateful for every single one of them. They keep us from drowning during the tumultuous first days of a placement. They keep us afloat until we can start to paddle on our own again, and they race right back should we start to sink. This is how a foster family is built – with love and late-night texts, freezer meals dropped off, respite on standby, cartons of goldfish and Amazon box surprises. Contrary to popular belief, a foster family is never just one family. It is a web of hearts and hands and helpers all tuned in to the same frequency, all answering the call to foster in their own way.
This May for Foster Care Month, we aren’t asking you to consider fostering a child. Instead, we’re thanking those who foster love and support for our foster community right here in West Michigan.
Have you always wanted to do something for the foster community, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:
Become curious about the foster care system and connect with us
Sign-up to make freezer meals
Donate to Michigan Fosters 21-22 Program Funding Campaign
Offer to provide respite to a foster family
Ask your church what they can do to better support the foster community
Take steps to become trauma-informed to better understand the life of a foster child & family
Pray for children in care
Pray for parents with children in care
Sponsor a Michigan Fosters program or event
Encourage your coworkers and neighbors to learn about the foster community
Send a note of encouragement to a foster family
Do you have unique ways that you help support the foster care community? Comment below!