This month OCA will spotlight foster families in our network to bring awareness of Foster Care. Michael and Jacinda Hall foster in Jefferson County. According to the Department of Community Based Services:
70% of children who come into the State’s care are reunited with a biological family member
80% of children adopted through foster care were adopted by their foster parents
Currently, there are 1,030 children in out of home care in Jefferson county. Join us on Thursdays in May to read stories of foster parents and their journey as they have cared or are caring for children in the foster care system.
Meet the Hall Family
Q: What lead you to becoming a foster parent?
We mostly sought out foster care because of the incredible need. We found out that, at the time, there was such a need for foster homes in the county that children were being sent out to other counties. God has placed in our hearts a strong conviction to step into needs in the community where He has put us, and this need kept coming to the forefront of our lives. In addition, we saw other people of God stepping out in faith into foster care, and their examples truly pointed us to put our trust in God and follow His leading in our lives as well.
Q: How many placements have you had?
We have had two placements.
Q: How long has your home been open to placements?
This isn’t the case for everyone, but the day our home was approved for foster care we got a call for a placement! That was a little over two years ago now.
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?
I feel like our friends, family, and church community should be answering this question, because they have absolutely lived into this and supported us above and beyond what we could’ve imagined! The practical things are just glorious, as they are in any home with little ones … meals, cleaning (I’ve had a friend make my bed for me!), help with laundry, babysitting, etc. Even more than all those things, though, the spiritual support is what has held my soul up to God through the uncertainty of foster care. There were moments recently when all I needed from my support group was Scripture and prayer. It was as if they were standing in the gap for me when I didn’t even know how to pray or what I needed. My biggest encouragement is to pray over foster parents, ask them specifically what they need prayer for in their own hearts, and listen with open hands to the God who helps.
Q: If you have biological children in your home, how does having foster children impact your home?
We now have a biological daughter and adopted son, and we have just received our foster daughter; so this question is at the forefront of our minds and lives. It has definitely been two-fold. If I’m honest, there is an element of hardship and suffering that foster care brings to my children. They don’t understand the uncertainty, but they can feel the effects of it in their little hearts. It breaks our hearts to see them endure hardship that we have introduced into their lives, but we are confident that if God is calling us to foster care, He is calling them to it too and will use it for good. Which leads us to the beautiful ways it impacts our home. We get front row seats to watching our children’s hearts grow in love. They are learning and practicing from a young age to love big in the midst of uncertainty, and it’s an amazing picture of the gospel that we all get to experience together.
Q: What is the most challenging and rewarding thing about being a foster parent?
It’s easy to immediately think of external challenges and benefits, like our life being defined by uncertainty or the moment of joy when our son became a permanent part of our family. However, I was struck after our son’s adoption that peace doesn’t come from certainty or finality. As wonderful as it is, the fact that our foster situation turned into adoption isn’t what made it rewarding. Foster care is rewarding because of what it does internally, to my faith, my family’s faith, and in the hearts of people around us. The true challenges and rewards aren’t the hardships or results but are the things unseen … The tests of faith. The dying to self. And the beautiful way that God meets and carries us through. Foster care has put us in a tangible situation where we are forced to trust that God is in control and we are not, and the freedom of living that out that amplifies our lives in ways we never imagined.
I think John Piper says it best, “the Gospel is not a picture of adoption, adoption is a picture of the Gospel.” If you have been thinking about fostering, stories like these may help you make your decision. OCA has so many resources to help you fulfill what your heart desires.
After hearing this story, if you have any questions about the Hall’s journey or the general foster care process, comment below or call our office at 502-498-4765.