Just A Foster Parent By Rev. Dr. Jalene C Chase, Pastor Emmanuel UMC – Beltsville, MD
The phrases "Just A Foster Parent” and “Just A Foster Child” always annoy me.
Using “just" in that way minimizes the role we play, and the commitment that we make, as insignificant. It implies that we merely, only, or simply, play a small part; indicating that what we do is not important. When a child is identified as “just a foster child”, it dehumanizes them, lessens their value, and makes them feel undesirable. Those comments are counter to what we, my sister and I, believe as Christians. It is an oxymoron because it contradicts the definition of foster, which is to encourage, promote, nurture, and develop. When our oldest niece died at 25 years old, she left two small daughters. Two years later, her father, our oldest brother was killed. When her mother could no longer raise our grandnieces, they were put in the Foster Care System. My sister was called as part of the process. My sister and I sold our condominiums, bought a home, and committed to raising them. Kinship Care began our 17-year journey with the Child Welfare System. Over the years we have done Respite, Foster Care, and now Guardianship.
As Christians, our faith guides our decisions. That means we behave according to what is morally right and fair. We operate according to standards. We do what is right, we do want is just. It is a call on our lives. We raise, cherish, nurture, and encourage positive growth while promoting healthy development for children that we did not give physical birth to. We tell them that they are birthed from our hearts. God has plans for them, like all of God's creations, and expects us to treat them justly. It is a responsibility that we do not take lightly. They are God's precious gifts to our future. They may have had a different start; it is our desire to help them work towards a great finish.
You may start hearing the term “Resource Parent” used interchangeably with “Foster Parent.” I like resource. The definition encourages me to advocate so that assets, actions, strategies, support, and revenue is available to a child(ren). With resources, a child(ren) can function effectively, with purpose, and they benefit from things their former situation may not have provided.
The Pandemics have increased the need for homes that will encourage, promote, nurture, and develop a child. Every Child Deserves A Home. If you have room in your heart and home to be a “A Just Resource Parent”, we work with a great agency. Consider calling or contacting CONCERN: 301.429.2370, CONCERN4KIDS.ORG, for information. Tell them I sent you. Blessings.