The Road to Foster Care
“Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” – Josh Shipp
Michael and Allison Robinson met on January 5, 2019. As it is with most relationships, their mutual interests quickly bonded them. However, unlike most new couples, their common ground was much more profound than movie or music genres, coffee style, or even pet preferences. Long before they ever met, God planted in each of their hearts the desire to foster and adopt. In fact, both Michael and Allison have friends and family who have been touched by foster care and adoption. Seeing orphan care up close opened their eyes to the need and the opportunity to reach kids in their own backyard.
Michael shares, “We have heard countless stories about children who have gone through terrible experiences that no child should ever go through. It’s not fair, but the reality is that it happens. We recognize that we have both been blessed with incredible parents who have poured so much love into our lives so we can have an abundant life. We see this blessing as something not to keep to ourselves, but to share with children who may not have had the same experiences we have been fortunate enough to have.”
By the fall of 2020 they were married and it didn’t take them much time to start the licensing process to become foster parents. However, the road has been longer than expected. Because of the overwhelming number of children in foster care, you might think that getting licensed would be a quicker process, but the truth is that child placing agencies are often understaffed. This understaffing can cause frustrating delays, especially when you’re so eager to welcome children into your home.
Despite the challenges along the way, Michael and Allison have kept their focus on the endgame. “We just want to be able to provide children in need with a healthy, loving home in hopes of giving them a chance to succeed.” And the best part about it is that they aren’t walking the road alone. They have one another and an incredible support system on their side. “We have met a diverse group of people that have been a part of the processes in all stages. It has been helpful and encouraging to gain their wisdom and perspective.” They have also had a chance to get their feet wet by doing respite care for a single foster mom in their circle. And one of the biggest encouragements has been that their parents have stood by them every step of the way, vowing to love their children no matter how they come to their family. “We know our parents will love our foster children as much as we do,” Michael explains.
The Robinsons know that it won’t be easy. They know that the foster care journey is a dichotomy of challenge and reward. They know it’s a calling to combat and not comfort. But ultimately they know they are on the right path and are confident that this is what God is calling them to do. They don’t doubt it for a minute. “There is just an overwhelming peace that this is where we are supposed to be. This is what we are meant to do. We both believe that this is one of the main reasons that God has brought us together.”
What is your story? You may relate to the Robinsons’ story or perhaps yours is much different. Maybe you’ve just recently become aware of the need for foster and adoptive families. No matter where you are on the journey Michael would encourage you, “be patient, be diligent, and be confident knowing that you are on the right path. God has placed you on this path for a reason. Even though there are bumps and detours along the way, God never fails nor changes, and He will see you through the process.” We aren’t all called to foster or adopt, but we are all called to do something. As believers, James 1:27 urges us to be a part of the solution. The question now is, what does that mean for you?
If your church has an orphan care ministry, perhaps now is the time to get involved! If they don’t, could you be the catalyst to start one? It’s not about what you believe you can do, but about what you’re willing to let God do through you! For more information click the link below!
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