I've just completed the Foundations course, so how did I find it?

Experience of the Foundations course

I've just completed the Foundations course, so how did I find it?

There is always something special when souls connect sitting around a table. And that's what we did for the six weeks of the Foundations course, we connected whilst talking about the hard stuff with a hopeful heart. Exploring big questions like, why do children need homes? What is foster care? What role can I play? And what does the Bible have to say about it all? The whole time, believing that in whatever role that looks like we can bring a bucketful of hope to create change. Laura is someone with an incredible heart for vulnerable children, she shares her thoughts of how she found the Foundations course.

"Lion. This is Us. A movie, a TV series. I like to think that’s where it started, but the truth is it probably started long before that. That movie and that TV series just served to bring something to the surface that had been there for a very long time. And that ‘thing’ was my desire (and my responsibility) to help care for vulnerable children."

It's never really ONE THING is it? it's hundreds. Thousands. Thousands of words in many a conversation, each like a droplet creating a wave in us. Each conversation, story, movie character, all nudging gently that part of the heart that says, could I?

This conversation was something that was never far from Laura as her profession as a youth worker gave her the opportunity to walk alongside young people in care, foster parents and kinship carers.

"For the past 15 years I have had the privilege of being a youth worker, so young people have often been a part of my life. My husband also works for a charity that cares for vulnerable children in the developing world. Alongside this we have some incredible friends who have fostered or adopted. So during the summer of 2018 the conversation that bubbled to the surface was one about how our family might play a part in supporting young people in care."

But this unearthed so many questions: how will this impact the family life? What is the assessment process like? Can you work and foster at the same time? How will this coincide with our work schedule? What perceptions do I have of fostering or adoption that aren't accurate? The Foundations course was an ideal space to unravel these idiosyncrasies.

"When the opportunity came up to be part of the Home for Good Foundations course and to explore this more I jumped at the chance. I have loved being part of our group. Our evenings have been marked with honesty, insight and vulnerability as a variety of foster carers, adopters and social workers have shared their stories and perspectives. It has left me more passionate about pursuing the role that I believe God is calling my family to, and practically equipped me to take the next steps forward."

Throughout the six weeks, being able to intertwine personal stories, terminology and scripture, gave room to air discussion and dispel any myths. And in this mixing pot of hearing inspiring families, unpacking the emotions of a child leaving home, being aware of the stats representing the need in our community, the exploration of Biblical adoption all gently unfolded.

"I’m not entirely sure where we’ll end up, but for now we are pushing the door. Respite foster care is our only current option (unless someone buys us a bigger house!) but being part of this group has helped me to see the significance and value of every aspect of foster care. Brennan Manning describes home as

'that sacred space...where we don’t have to be afraid,

where we are confident of hospitality and love'.

So in spite of our practical limitations as a family, I hope what we do have to offer is hospitality and love, and a space where people don’t have to be afraid."

With Laura and her husband working full time and neither in a nine-to-five capacity, and with two little ones aged two and five, it is important that they take time to not rush into anything, and ensure the whole family are onboard. And not just as a 'support' – each member has something to give to the children that may walk through the door. It’s about birthing hospitality in children in whatever way that looks like. "There has always been a warmth, attentive and role of caring after and they can be absorbed into the fabric. For us, our kids get to experience choosing items to give to our sponsor children, they come into my work and know the young people. There is a connection for them. No matter what age they are they have a role to play, showing love. They have something of worth to contribute and its bringing that to life for them."

"To anyone considering doing the Foundations course, do it! It’s provided a biblical foundation, practical advice, and some pretty raw insights into the process and reality of fostering and adoption. But above all, this overwhelming call to do something, to step up, to be available, to see and care for those children and young people who have faces and names and needs, and to trust that every ounce of love and attention and kindness offered helps to make a difference."

Author:
Home for Good


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