"I'm not giving up on you."
We were down to the last three of our six graduating high school.
It was the fall of 2010 while working in a group home. A co-worker tells me that I'm going to have to take a young man home with me because he lights up whenever my wife comes to work. He was 16 at the time.
I told my wife what was said and she told me it would be nice to have another child in the home. The more I thought about it the more I was convinced that we should open our home and start fostering him. We spoke to our six children and they were fine with it. This young man had become familiar with our family before we even thought about fostering.
In the spring of 2011, he was placed in our home and within days we went from Mr. and Mrs. to Mom and Dad. I had a plan in my mind, we were only going to foster until he graduated and then move on with our lives, free of kids in the home. Little did I know God would gift us a 16-month-old baby. The worker told us it would only be for two weeks, which was good as we hadn't had a baby in our home in 15 years. After the worker left I held this crying little baby and I told my wife this will be her home until she's grown. My wife reminded me that the worker only said two weeks, but I said no, she's ours now (she'll be 12 in September). We prayed and prayed and the more we prayed I came up with a five-year plan. Well here it is 2022 and we're still taking care of God's precious gifts. We have fostered over 40 kids now and love it. When they leave we always tell them they have a safe place in this home. It's ok to come for a hot meal or even just to talk. We have watched young boys become young men, several have visited and called, and several have sent graduation pictures, a wedding invitation, a baby announcement, and even a letter from prison, but at the end of the day, they are still precious gifts that God has allowed us to have a hand in help raising. People ask us all the time when we are going to stop, my answer is simple, God chose us to work for him and that is what we are going to do. It hasn't been easy; several have run away, one tried to burn the house down, and several have screamed and cursed me out. But I will give them the same speech as the one before, I'm not giving up on you. They cry, I cry, I hug them and tell them we're in this together and it's all forgotten. We love helping our kids and plan on continuing until God tells me differently.