The following is a guest post from Kristin Hunziker, who is an Oregon foster parent:
“Words alone change nothing. Words connected to your heart can change everything.”
We stand in church and sing so many songs whose lyrics speak of giving our lives to God, telling us how in all facets of our existence to submit ourselves to the Creator. It’s so easy to rise when instructed and sing along because we can read the words. It’s another thing entirely to live out those words we speak. If we praise God, follow the instructions of Scripture, and tell Him that our life is His, then we should be willing to live in faithfulness to that.
For our family, this means that our home is open to young people in foster care. “Why foster?” you may ask. Because Christ calls us, as the church, to care for the widows and the orphans and those in distress. Because children are a gift from God, whether we have given birth to them or not. Because Jesus saves us in our need. Because the Creator of all things has given us forgiveness, love, compassion, and mercy, and we would be fools to keep that to ourselves.
The gifts that God has given us can have results that are like the ripples made when a rock is thrown in a pond or a lake. There’s one “kerplunk” at the beginning, but the ripples — some small, some large — move on and on and on, ever outward. And so, we welcome these young people into our home. Hurting, broken, abused, and traumatized. We welcome them with their pain, their emotional baggage, so to speak. We invite them to unpack. To stay awhile. To learn. To grow. To know that there are people who have more to offer them than empty words and broken promises.
When I tell you that I’m a foster parent, please don’t praise me for being a “good person” or “doing the right thing.” When I tell you that I’m a foster parent to teenagers, please don’t criticize me for “ruining my other kids” or tell me I’m “crazy.” I want you to know that I am doing what needs to be done because it is the right thing to do. There is a need, and our family is capable of helping to fill it, therefore we do.
And if you want me to tell you how you can do it, too, all you need is to tell me, “I couldn’t do that!”
Editor’s Note: If you would like to join Kristin and other Oregon foster parents, now is the time. Oregon is in emergency need of foster homes. Start the journey here.
Oregon Right to Life advocates for the most vulnerable human beings whose right to life is denied or abridged under current law. We work to reestablish protection for all innocent human life from conception to natural death. ORTL is nonsectarian.
Since I have been back in church (12 years now), I have been involved in the lives of people who were denied the privilege of raising their own children and babies, so I have also been praying for our church members to see foster care as a real need. Adoptions have been taking place – praise the Lord – but foster care lags behind. I started this concern when I was 61 and I am now 73 and living in a Senior residence. My heart aches over what I cannot do; but I still keep praying for those who could and hoping that God will open hearts to that possibility. Thus I am sharing this blog with everyone I know. Sharing the possibilities is the way I try to help with this issue. Come to think of it, my church will be studying Deuteronomy this fall and winter and he theme will be aimed toward helping our community (Salem) so I will suggest a time of considering foster care!
Thank you, Cheryl!
I love children being a mom of 2 younger ones.I would foster a huge house and teach Gods word.But reality is tiny home and only able to afford my two kidos.My open heart to move to be able to help is in Gods hands showing me the way.I wait patiently and open to this idea with the Lords blessing.Thank you for your honest truth and wisdom. Most important your hard work being a momma to others that so dearly nee d it.hugs n prayers to you and others doing it.
Thank you for your heart, Erica! We recommend looking up Embrace Oregon because there are still ways to help, like being an office mom. 🙂