Stephen and Jandy Brentlinger, Arrow foster parents with our Beaumont, Texas office, are very committed to their faith. They are just as committed to the foster children who come into their home. So when Stephen saw our recent Facebook post showing the great need for more foster families, he was compelled to write his own Facebook post to encourage others to consider fostering.
Below is Stephen’s impassioned post…
Fostering can be hard. It can be an emotional roller coaster. It’s a family decision that affects everyone in your household. It can test your patience, love, kindness, faith, and many other things. Sometimes it seems like it might even be too much to handle. People will comment that they don’t know how you could do it, or ask how you could love a child then watch them leave your home. There are days when you might even consider quitting and running away. We have.
But then you realize that everything is totally worth it. You realize that all the risk, all the heartache, all the tears, and all the possible pain are totally worth it. Why? Because it’s never about us in the first place. Our life should be about loving and serving others, and considering everyone else higher than ourselves. Our call to foster is about loving kids that are in desperate situations that they had no control over. It’s about putting the well-being of a child far above yours. It’s about extending love and grace to someone that desperately needs it, but is hopeless to receive it apart from you. Literally, you can affect a child’s life forever. Even if they leave your home, by your plan or the states plan.
You can’t know how it will turn out, and sometimes you won’t be happy with situations. But you CAN be love and grace to a child that so desperately wants to be loved. So desperately wants to be held, fed, and cared for. A child that was not loved enough to know how special and wonderful they are. The fear of the unknown could stop you in your tracks and keep you from fostering. Or maybe, your love for others could compel you to becoming a foster parent. You could realize that literally everyday children need foster homes, and you could stand up for the hopeless and needy, and love them with all your heart! Love them how they deserve to be loved, even if it hurts later. But you know what? They also could end up being your forever child! The only way to find out, is to foster. I beg you, think and pray about fostering.
If you’re still reading this, I’ll share in a couple of sentences how we handle fostering. To sum it up, we don’t handle it. Yep, we are selfish and not capable of handling it personally. We instinctively run from tough situations. But the good news for (my foster child), is that we serve and love a God that provides all we need. We serve a God that is much bigger than anything in the world, and can provide peace, patience, strength, energy, love, and everything else needed to foster. In short for us, God gives us the strength.
I once was lost, hopeless, and in desperate need of help. I was longing to be loved and cared for in ways I didn’t even understand. I had emptiness in my life and needed to be cared for in a way that I didn’t even know how to ask about. Then God ran. He ran to me in that moment and showed me the love, grace, and mercy I so desperately needed! When I was lost, God found me. I was empty, but God filled me. I didn’t even know what I needed, but God did. Fostering/Adoption is a perfect picture of what God has done for us.
Please call/message me if you want to talk about fostering or anything.
Would you consider fostering?
Beautifully said Stephen. Thank you Stephen and Jandy, for your caring hearts and your unselfish service to kids in need!
For information on the next information meeting in your area visit www.arrow.org/meeting