Katie and Stuart's story

Katie and Stuart share how God led them to fostering.

We have both always been passionate about welcome and hospitality, and in the early years of our marriage we made sure we kept an open home, regularly hosting and supporting people. A friend of ours is a social worker, supporting young people coming out of care, and he made us very aware of the need of people to care for vulnerable children through fostering or adoption.

Going to a Home for Good seminar at the Catalyst festival was a significant turning point as God really fanned our calling into flames, turning ‘if we foster’ into ‘when we foster’. We decided together that this was the path for us, wanting to take seriously the command in James 1:27 about putting love into action by caring for the orphan and widow.

Obviously, ‘orphan’ is not really a suitable description nowadays, but for us this means the neglected child, the abused child, the abandoned child – who could resist pouring out love on such a child if we have the capacity to do so?

We needed to move house before we could apply to foster, and that was certainly challenging and full of trials, but our church family were amazing through the whole thing. At every single step we were surrounded by God’s people, demonstrating God’s love for us. We registered our interest to foster with our local authority as soon as we were settled.

The application process was incredibly intensive, but we trusted God and every obstacle we faced was dealt with – partly because our church continued to be brilliant and supported us at every stage, with some people stepping up to be our back up carers. They have become a Home for Good church and as we have welcomed children into our home for a few weeks or a few months, they have really helped us.

Our first placement was a little girl who with us for a little over five weeks, and we experienced both triumphs and trials. We learned such a lot through the hard times and we experienced joy too as we were able to care for her.

Our second placement was a baby boy who was with us for nine gorgeous months. We were so honoured to be part of his life and to develop a relationship with his parents as they fought for him and did all they needed to do so he could return to them. People constantly tell us how hard it must have been to say goodbye, but although we were sad, the joy we had in seeing him return to his birth family and the peace of knowing we played a vital role in his life made it completely worthwhile.

A further privilege has been the birth family’s willingness to keep in touch with us, and they even invited us to his Christening service. It was so wonderful to see God at work in their lives and see them all so happy!

We know that God’s heart is for family and as we continue to foster and welcome vulnerable children into our home, we trust that He is faithful and will keep us going through challenges.

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