When God called Scot and me (and our three children) to the state of Maine almost 10 years ago, we came believing that our primary ministry would be church planting – and initially it was.
Hindsight, as it often does, reveals that God “might” have had other plans for our family! As we built relationships with families in the community God placed us in, we began to meet an alarming number of people that were raising their grandchildren. Then, as people began to feel more comfortable with us, they began to share their stories. For the first time in our lives, we began hearing story after story of men and women that were raised in the foster care system. We were seeing how their childhood impacted and shaped their lives, and our hearts were broken.
“I’LL GIVE YOU A NEW HEART; PUT A NEW SPIRIT IN YOU. I’LL REMOVE THE STONE HEART FROM YOUR BODY AND REPLACE IT WITH A HEART THAT’S GOD-WILLED, NOT SELF-WILLED. I’LL PUT MY SPIRIT IN YOU AND MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO DO WHAT I TELL YOU AND LIVE BY MY COMMANDS.” EZEKIEL 36:26-27
We had known and supported several families that had adopted children, both domestically and internationally but did not know much about foster care. After 2 years of waiting for a domestic adoption opportunity and a failed adoption of a little boy, Scot came to me and asked if we should consider foster care. “We can take care of other people’s kids while we wait for our kid!” Foster care was scary! I was terrified that a child would be brought into my home, would fall madly in love, and then have my heart broken when they left. After much prayer, I realized that if this “idea” was coming from Scot, I had to take it serious and follow my husband’s lead. In March of 2011, we walked into our first class to train us on becoming a Resource Family for the state of Maine, and we have not looked back!
In the past six years, we have had 10 children come into our home and are currently in the process of adopting our fourth kiddo! Our hearts have been broken, but we have also seen the greatness of God in ways we never would have experienced if we had not stepped out in faith and obedience and loved on the ones that He loves! We have discovered that ultimately, this ministry is really not just about the kids! It is about the parents, about the caseworkers and supervisors, about the lawyers and judges, about the visit supervisors, about the behavioral health professionals and counselors, about the doctors and nurses…. Our lives now have a revolving front door with people from all walks of life coming in and out; each with their own needs and heartache. And as we build trust and confidence with all the people that God brings thru those doors, He provides opportunity after opportunity for us to pour His love out on them!
Now that our home is FULL with 7 kids, we have had to stop and ask God what He wants us to do next. Our home is full, but God has not removed the passion for this area of ministry! God has given us a vision of the Body of Christ in Maine rising up to take care of the orphans of Maine and is showing us what our role in that is: Project Sparrow!