A Call to Foster Care
A Call to Foster Care
Nikki and her husband believe deeply that they have received God’s call, which would be achieved through foster care. Inspired first on a mission trip in 2005 to Jamaica, they saw so many children needing care. They considered adopting, but felt their financial circumstances were not the best for an adoption. In 2011, friends of theirs had stepped into what Nikki called radical service for two medically fragile twins who needed to be fostered. Nikki says, “God lit one of those ‘God fires’ in me that I could not ignore. Those embers that had been simmering since Jamaica were now a blazing flame that was unmistakable. Everywhere I went it seemed like I met a foster parent. I was hearing radio commercials and seeing billboard signs shouting at me to become a foster parent.”
Nikki shared that throughout the training sessions as part of the foster care licensing process through St. Vincent Catholic Charities she listened and nodded in agreement. She candidly admits that she had some unspoken ‘contract conditions’ with God if she was to be a foster parent. “God, I want to serve you and I know that you are able to give us the strength and everything we need. BUT, I want a child that needs a forever home because I couldn’t handle loving a child and then having to give them up. So, as long as you can work that out we’ll be good. Oh, and I don’t want to have to deal with the biological parents, because you know how I’m not good with confrontation. Ok, thanks.”
Foster Care Journey Begins
Before long they had their first foster child, and the circumstances did not lineup with her unspoken contract conditions. Nikki shares, “for a month I sat with baby girl in the hospital feeling brokenness over her situation and anger towards her mom. Then the day finally came, the day I met her mom. God did something I never expected. I walked into the room, saw her tears and I walked straight over to her and hugged her, a huge close extra-long embrace of this complete stranger. The Holy Spirit had filled me with a gut wrenching grief, love and compassion, and an overwhelming need to help this woman whose life and circumstances were totally foreign to me.” Mother and child were ultimately reunited.
Nikki was convinced that the next placement would be a forever placement. The call came and it was a baby. God had other plans for this baby and a forever family. “As this second placement was coming to a close, I was having a tearful tantrum to my amazing, gentle licensing worker. She reminded me of a basic truth; that foster care is about the kids. That I signed up for this to help the children and that is exactly what I had done.”
Nikki and her husband have continued to foster, learning much about themselves, and their capacity to love these children unconditionally.
“When we serve them, when we help, when we welcome them into our homes and share the abundance of blessings we have been given, WE are blessed. Ultimately, I’ve learned that my fear is that a child in need may never know the love of a family or the extravagant love of our Heavenly Father. And so for that reason our journey continues.”
To read the original story, view Nikki’s blog. To learn more about how to become a foster parent and the foster care services offered at STVCC, visit https://stvcc.org/services/foster-care/.