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By Jesse Utz 

Admiration for foster care givers

Jess Shut Up

 


My wife and I have had it on our hearts for years to be foster parents. We even looked into adoption at one time and almost adopted a little girl from North Dakota. For many different reasons things just never panned out and we put a value on our family time and time together over other things. But here we are again at a crossroads, and this time we hear Gods calling loud and clear. We made the first step this past week, with many more steps to come. But how we got to this point is the better story.

I already told you we have thought about taking kids in before, but the strongest pull was when we were living at the Bar 41 Ranch. We had done all the paperwork and were waiting for an appointment with a worker from Spokane. For whatever reason, the employee never showed up and we lost all contact with them. Then things fell through at the Bar 41 and we moved back to Coulee. God’s timing, not ours.

Foster care continued on our hearts and God reminded us of it daily with kids, parents and care- givers whom we knew personally. Our hearts were constantly touched and we knew it was God calling us back to foster care. We then took some training in Wenatchee. God’s plan began to take focus. The first night there, in a room full of empty tables, two ladies asked to join us at our table. I was in shock when they told us their names and jobs. One was in charge of all foster care in King County, the other did the same job in Grant and Okanogan. They were supportive and kind and had great insights to the foster care programs. They also knew that we were supposed to be foster parents. They both were faith-bound ladies who just had a feeling when they sat with us. Before we even got home, they had sent us all the contact information we needed to get the ball rolling.

Foster care continued to echo in our daily lives. We admire the Olivers, Moores, the late Bev Hafner, Casey Parrish family, Bryan Kriger family, the Winzers, and all the other families who have taken in numerous kids over the years, showing them love, kindness and stability. I thought of them as we sat in our first training; I thought of their sacrifices over the years. I thought of their 3 a.m. phone calls. I thought of the heartache when a child is returned to the family. But I also thought of the bad places a kid can end up without a caring family to invite them in and raise them as their own. I know God called those families to take care of his children, and I know he is calling us to do the same. How do I know? Let me tell you.

First of all, in the Bible it tells us to. I could stop there, but this past Sunday I got a little extra encouragement. I watched my wife hold a little boy and feed him a bottle. I saw the contentedness in the little one’s face. I could not help myself, and when the wee one was done, I asked to take him. At first he cuddled in and went to sleep. The feeling of a young, defenseless child content enough to fall asleep in your arms is a feeling that, well, can leave you defenseless yourself. When he awoke, that is when he stole my heart with smiles and coos of pure contentment. It was then that I felt the love of our mighty Father, telling me this is what he wants us to do for these unfortunate little ones. Bring them in, love on them, give them some security and give them a chance for a future. Of course, I had to return the kid, but if God wants us to have a little or big cuddle bug, we will love on him or her the same. We can’t wait to see what God brings to our doorstep.

If you are interested in foster care, feel free to contact me, or you can find information online through the state website. There are lots of kids out there, of all ages, who need a stable place to land for a little while, and in some cases longer. We found out at class that the number of foster care families in eastern Washington currently would fill a classroom, but the kids in need could fill an entire school. We need more families to care for these kiddos. May God bless the foster parents as they take care of his children.

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