28 Aug A Simple Way to Support Foster & Adopt Parents
After three days with our first foster placement, I remember thinking that I would never know what it felt like to breathe again.
I was wrong, of course. We settled into our routine and learned how to manage the increased stress levels in our home. We had taken the classes and mentally knew what to expect, but I was not prepared for how emotionally exhausting it would be. Every day felt like a roller coaster.
I remember the first night that my husband and I had away together. We only had one of those for the eight weeks that we had our first placement. A very brave relative who is a social worker offered to stay with our three biological children and high-needs foster child so that we could go to dinner, and I have never in my life appreciated a babysitter as much I did that night. We went home renewed and ready for the battle. A few hours away to have uninterrupted conversation was a real gift.
A few hours away to have uninterrupted conversation was a real gift.
As a family with young children, having regular date nights had been a high priority in our marriage. But the extra demands of an additional child in the home made it very difficult for us to have those regular nights away. We needed them more than we ever had before, but working out the logistics felt like too much of a task. I felt guilty for asking a sitter to handle something that I couldn’t even handle well. And I couldn’t imagine what we would need to pay someone to take that on.
When we found out that our church had something available to us once a month, for free, I could have cried. The need to get away and have a nice meal or even just run errands without the stress of children was huge. Knowing my kids were being fed and having fun was an added bonus. We utilized it every month for quite sometime. My kids started to expect it and would ask when we would be going back. They looked forward to it, and we looked forward to it.
I felt guilty for asking a sitter to handle something that I couldn’t even handle well.
Caring for orphans through foster care and adoption can be difficult and draining. When we’ve been in our most difficult days we have been blessed by the volunteers who are willing to serve our family by playing with our children one night a month so that my husband and I could have a night away.
Not everyone is supposed to be a foster parent, but there are so many other practical ways to help. The Foster & Adopt Parent’s Night Out is a monthly event that is offered to all Grace Church families who are fostering or have adopted. Children eat and have fun while their parents have a few hours “off duty.” This is a tremendous blessing to these families and provides a great serving opportunity for you and/or your community group. Maybe you are in a season where you cannot serve weekly but you can give one evening a month. Maybe your group wants to find a way to serve together. If so, please consider this opportunity to have fun with some kids and provide a break for their parents!
Want to support foster & adopt families in this way?
Foster & Adopt Parent’s Night Out is an opportunity for members of Grace Church who are kinship caregivers, foster, or adoptive parents to have a night out with free childcare and meal for the kids. We provide dinner, crafts, a Bible lesson, and fun & games for kids of all ages while parents run errands, have a date night, or simply use the time to rest and reset.
Foster & Adopt Parent’s Night Out is led entirely by volunteers and is a great opportunity for individuals to meet new people while serving foster and adoptive families in a unique and impactful way. Families and community groups are also welcome and encouraged to serve together. If you are interested in volunteering, click the button below to learn more and sign up.
Natalie is a mom of four who enjoys writing whenever she can find a few quiet minutes. She is passionate about foster care and adoption and loves connecting with women who are in the trenches of this hard and beautiful calling. Coffee, college football, and guacamole are a few of her favorite things. Natalie attends our Spartanburg campus.