We've somehow become identified with our heart for birth family ministry, but we failed greatly when we thought we could do it all.
That will work for one placment...
But if you continue to walk this road child after child, family after family, year after year...you glance behind you to discover tens and tens of families running behind you, families with deep need.
This is not a formula for long term discipleship and Gospel-centered friendship.
Personally, we've devised a slow and steady progression for walking with our children's families. This is essential as many of us as foster parents have learned, you can always add on, but it is almost impossible to step back in a healthy way.
~How Foster Parents Can Love Birth Families ~
- PRAY, PRAY, AND PRAY some more. Always begin here. Literally, lift them before the throne of grace with confidence from your knees. Satan longs to destroy families. We are in a war.
- Care for their children with excellence and the enduring love of Christ.
- Send pictures of the children (not you) with every visit if you are able. Text pictures to them weekly. The child(ren) in your home is your common ground.
- Create visit newsletters of things that have happened since the week before. There are so many simple programs to do this.
- Create a special “visit box” only to be used and taken out when the children in your home visit their family. Stock with new crayons, fresh playdough, cards, a special book, and a family question game.
- Write them a letter telling them about you, your motivation for foster care, and that you believe in them. So many of these parents have never heard that someone believes in them.
- Ask them for a picture of themselves to put beside your child’s bed or on the refrigerator.
- Make time once a week for supervised phone calls and FaceTime between the children in your home and their parents.
- Under your agency’s approval, begin to invite them to special events and doctor appointments.
- Do not do this alone. Seek the counsel of your elders or leadership at church. Introduce your child’s family to possible mentors. They can go places with that family that you cannot.
Because He is Worthy ~