By: Haley Hisle, OCA Marketing Coordinator
According to ABCNews, approximately 800,000 children every year come in contact with the foster care system. On average, children stay in the foster care system for nearly three years before being reunited with their families or being adopted.
Imagine, 3 years of a child’s life without having consistent support and love. When I see these numbers they seem so big and overwhelming and I start to doubt what I can do to help. “We are broken vessels that God can use in mighty ways.” Brittany Underwood, founder of Akola Project, said.
Here is a glimpse into how God is using a local Indiana couple, Jason and Nikole Skaggs, to be Jesus to their little girl.
Q: What lead you to becoming a foster parent?
We wanted to grow our family through adoption. We initially tried international adoption for a couple of years, and that didn’t work out. We did some research and realized that there are many children in the U.S. that were in need [of families]. We also found that for many families, fostering-to-adopt is a much simpler, quicker and less expensive route than international adoption.
Q: How many children have been placed in your home?
We have had one so far, but we should be getting two more in a couple of months.
Q: How long has your home been open to placements?
For almost 5 years.
Q: What advice would you give to Christians who aren’t in a season to Foster to encourage them to support the foster parents at their church?
We would encourage Christians to think of the foster care system as a mission field, and the foster families at their church as local missionaries. Parents come in contact with a lot of people in the foster care system (children, biological parents, case workers, therapists, court officials, and others), and they have a wonderful opportunity to represent Jesus. And just as with missionaries, the most important thing you can do for foster families is pray for them. We have experienced the power of prayer with our foster placement, and it has carried our family through several larger-than-life problems.
Q: If you have biological children in your home, how does having foster children impact your home?
We don’t have any biological children.
Q: What is the most challenging/ rewarding thing about becoming foster parents?
The most rewarding thing is seeing the child grow and blossom before your very eyes because of the stability and love they are receiving.
The most challenging thing is understanding how to discipline kids from hard places. It takes lots of patience and compassion.
The Skagg’s family really embraces each day they are given because of the mighty things that God has called them to do. How are you going to make a difference in the life of a child? Currently, the Skaggs are the lay leaders of the Indiana OCA Connect group. If you want to learn more about how to get involved at OCA or start receiving front end education or back end support of foster care, visit an OCA Connect or call our office (502) 498-4765.