The Haines: Their experience with, wisdom and heart for fostering children in crisis is a gift to everyone around them.
While making the move from Texas to Georgia, Steven and Jennifer Haines knew they wanted to continue in their fostering journey. After being with a faith-based foster care organization in Texas for five years, the decision to continue with a Christian agency was the path they were confident to continue down. Jennifer says, “We looked for a faith-based organization that would support us with prayer and with training that gave us not just what the State expected of us, but what God expected of us as foster parents.” Desiring to have prayer and support around them, FaithBridge’s Community of Care fit their longing perfectly.
The Community of Care is a unique model where foster parents and a support team of volunteers act as a support system to both the families as well as the foster children. It is designed to provide ongoing support and ensure that families have the help they need. FaithBridge has found that not only do the foster families and children need help while they are in the home, but also once the child is back with their biological family.
With five years under their belts, Stephen and Jennifer have a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that is a gift to anyone they encounter. Understanding that there is a need for fostering, as well as adoption, is important as a family prays through and decides which route the Lord is asking them to take. Jennifer explains that whether you chose to foster or adopt it is simply, “Loving with your whole heart. Whether it is forever or for such a time as this. These hurting children in our communities need families to come alongside them and love them in ways that their parents may not be able to do right now”.
The Haines recognize that if the situation allows, they can come alongside the birth parents with love and support, encouraging them to love their child and help equip them to do so. Stephen states, “They (birth parents) are capable of loving their kids in extraordinary ways.” He continues on to explain, “The truth is, it’s not easy (to give the child back), but it’s one of the tenants that you embrace in foster care. If you really do your job right–and the birthparents, or the guardians, does their job right then there will be reunification.”
Jennifer knows that with FaithBridge she will be covered in prayer throughout the entire process and that is what she says gets her through. “I can’t possibly describe how the reward outweighs the cost. It is absolutely one of the most rewarding things that we do,” explains Jennifer.
If you are thinking about fostering and have yet to take the first step or if you are currently fostering and need some encouragement through the journey, you are able to be a part of the solution in eradicating the foster care crisis in our country. God is calling each one of use to be a voice to the voiceless and to take care of His children. God is reaching out to you to be a part of His bigger story.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless.” Proverbs 31:8-9a NLT