Fostering the Heart

Excerpt from Fostering the Heart Devotionals by Niki Barlow

“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3, NIV)

            Night cloaked the neighborhood in a dull-gray haze. The dust lining the cement drive swirled about her scuffed and tattered shoes. The child stepped closer to the door, pulling her life in an oversized, blue plastic bag. The building loomed larger with each heartbeat.

She wanted to go home. At least there, she knew what to expect. Her bedroom closet with the hidden nest of blankets; Mr. Snuggles, matted from years’ worth of tears; and a few hidden gold fish snacks. What would this new house bring?

They would probably make her, and her siblings leave like the last two places did. The first called her temporary, whatever that meant. The last was mad when she made them sick. She told herself it did not matter. The couch was hard, and the loud talking kept her awake at night. She would leave here too, and she knew why: she was bad. They would not love her. No one did.

            The thoughts of children entering foster care vary, but the uncertainty of the future is a common thread that runs from one circumstance to the next. Foster parents are in the trenches, the first line of defense to change the odds of children’s lives. Statistics show an increase of homelessness, teen pregnancy, being targeted for sex trafficking, generational abuse, or prison time for foster children. My prayer for you, as you reach out to love these at-risk children, is that you will go beyond providing tangible security to helping them heal. May God help you fight the battles the kids cannot, providing them with hope. Let the Lord lift you up with strength, wisdom, and the blessing of seeing your hard work and love transform the lives of traumatized kids.

As foster parents, my husband Richard and I would like to encourage you to join us in caring for at risk children. Whether you want to become a foster parent or are looking at how you can help from the sidelines. We encourage you to do all you are capable of.