It's Gonna Take a Village
Six days ago, we were officially approved and licensed to provide foster care in the State of Massachusetts. It's been a long time coming...more than nine months in the making.
And if there's anything I know about this journey as a provider of foster care, I know this:
I cannot do it alone.
Our family cannot do it alone.
We couldn't have even gotten to this point without the love and support of our friends and family.
In the days ahead, we are going to need you like never before. Please know that we don't expect anything from you. If you feel something inside you reaching out to support us during this time, then we'd love to invite you into the community of people that will invest in these children. If you don't, we completely understand. Each person and family is called to their own passions and ministries. We simply want to provide an opportunity for other people and families to join us in this effort, if they feel so led.
There are no less than a dozen ways you can partner with us during this time. Here are just a few:
Pray for us. Please don't write this off as a generic request or easy choice. We will be supporting children and families who are in crisis. We will be battling against the horrible effects of addiction, violence, emotional abuse, malnutrition, mental illness, and, worst of all, hopelessness. Our deepest desire is to share an incredible Love with these children and their families...a Love that inspires hope like no other. We will need your sincerest prayers to be able to accomplish this monumental feat.
Give us a break. Oh, this is a biggie. Once a foster child is placed in our home, we will no longer be able to utilize our normal channels of childcare. Anyone who comes into our home will need to be approved by DCF...this could be as simple as completing a background check for short-term childcare or as complicated as becoming licensed as a respite care provider for overnight childcare. If you feel a tug to invest in our children by spending time with them, please contact us to learn more about becoming an approved childcare provider for our family!
Equip us for the task ahead. It is our sole responsibility to outfit our home with the equipment and tools we need to provide proper care for the children being placed with us. We have secured the most basic items: beds, an emergency stash of clothing and diapers, and a basic supply of feeding tools and utensils. Please check out our registry on Amazon.com. This list is simply a guide...we'd love for you to keep your eyes open at local garage sales or keep us in mind when you're cleaning out your kids' rooms. I found this perfectly good Bumbo seat on the side of the road the other day, and we all know that Allston Christmas is right around the corner!!!
Knit/Crochet a security blanket. Each of our children has a blankie that has become a great source of comfort and security for them throughout their lives. I would absolutely love to be able to give this gift to the foster children that come through our home. However, I cannot knit *or* crochet. If you're a master of yarn, would you please consider contributing to the stash of blankets that I will keep on hand for children who come through our home? Let me know if you're interested, and I'll send you more info! UPDATE: We have several friends making blankets and/or scouting local shops for blankets. I believe this need has been met at this time. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help us wrap these kids in love!!
Help me create a photo gallery in our hallway. Laugh all you want, but I'm serious! A great way to help a new child feel comfortable in our home is to incorporate their pictures and artwork into the pictures and artwork that are already displayed around our house. I have this great vision of a huge gallery along our (very long) hallway, but I can't seem to get it done on my own. I'd love to have someone to help me focus and get this done a.s.a.p. (Not to mention help me be sure everything is level!) ((This would also be a great excuse for us to hang out and drink tea or eat ice cream together.))
Share this post. Another way you can help is by connecting us with other people and families who share our passion to serve the families who are involved with the foster care system. Please feel free to share our story with others to help us build a network of people who can invest in these children and families!
Thank you so much for your interest in helping us during this critical time in our lives. We love you guys a ton! Oh! And if you have any other ideas or suggestions for things we might need or ways you might be able to help us (or the children we'll be welcoming), please, please get in contact with me and let me know!! Thanks, everyone.