As a foster carer and a Christian, you can understand why this book grabbed my attention !
Fostering can be hard. To open up your home and your heart to those in need, especially those whose behaviour may be extremely challenging, is hard work. It tests your patience and abilities to depths you never knew could have existed.
But every child is precious and is entitled, at the very least, to a safe place to be. To be cared for and loved. They may not always appear to want it, and sometimes need to go through a few placements before they find the right place for them to be. Dealing with this is a part of the role that foster carers carry out.
This book highlights the highs and lows of being a carer, with a Christian angle to it that is insightful. A useful read for prospective and current foster carers.
Lisa starts with an open and honest account of her own childhood, and the traumas that no doubt have led her to have a deeper understanding of the situations that her fostered children have faced.
It is interesting to read of the challenges there are to the US social services system – the problems and inadequacies seem to be very similar to the UK system. Despite the worthy ambitions, the level of funding is such that the children rarely get the best solutions, and yet they really do deserve our best.
Lisa’s view is strongly that there need to be more Christian homes to take in Foster children, to raise children in an environment where they can see the love of God. She is not wrong, and certainly if more Christian families and churches got involved, it could make a hugely significant impact on the problem we have of there being too many children who need a safe home, and not enough carers.
In the Bible there is a fair amount of instruction to care for the widows and orphans. On this topic I often have a few lines from Psalm 68 very close to my heart – “…his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” (Psalm 68: 4b-6a). Helpfully, Lisa packs the end of each chapter with scriptures that are helpful to deal with the issues and challenges she discusses, always bring it back to the Father.
From our experience of fostering, we have often commented on how impossible fostering would be without the support and purpose that comes from having a strong faith, backed up by the support of a strong network of church, family and friends.
Lisa paints a realistic picture of what it takes to foster children. Yes, the hard work, dedication and challenges, but also the reward in knowing that you are doing the Father’s work. And Lisa clearly has a very big heart for it.