The McKisson Family: Demonstrating that God never gives you more than you can handle.
When families first consider foster ministry, one of the first questions they ask is “Can I really do this?” They worry that they won’t have the skills or the patience or even the heart to care for a child who desperately needs a loving home. While these doubts are natural, if we look to the New Testament we find that God has an answer for us. Paul tells us: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The McKisson family–Kale, Jeff and their son, Shane–is a true example of trusting that God never gives you more than you can handle. They began fostering six young boys, ranging in age from 3 to 8, through FaithBridge Foster Care. The boys are part of an eight sibling family who had been placed into foster care and separated from one another across several Georgia counties. When FaithBridge heard of their plight, they wanted to reunite the children–if not in the same family at least in the same community.
Initially, the McKissons fostered the two youngest boys, Alex and Jesus. After about two months, the family fostering the other siblings needed someone to temporarily care for the four older boys. Kale says that when Larry Grawey, their FaithBridge foster care consultant, contacted them about the situation, she knew they would ultimately make the decision to bring all six boys into the family.
“We think we’re crazy about every third or fourth day,” Kale says when asked how they manage it all. “But the moment comes and it goes. It’s a lot of work, but we get a lot of blessings from it.”
Naturally, there have been challenges. At first, the boys were competitive and protective of their possessions, but with time, love and structure, they have bonded with each other and with the McKissons. Kale says that all the boys watch out for one another, even taking on each other’s chores when necessary. They’re also doing well in school and get to visit with their two sisters, who are living with another FaithBridge foster family, several times a week.
For the McKissons, going from a three-person to a nine-person family has required a few adjustments, especially when it comes to transportation. They had to replace their sedan with the “family truckster.” And although getting places on time is a challenge, it doesn’t stop them from going out to local restaurants for family dinners. “We turn heads,” acknowledges Kale. “We can’t make a quiet entrance.”
These family outings also tend to spur interest from people they meet. “We get a lot of questions,” says Jeff. “We can’t get into a lot of details, but we use it as an opportunity to witness and talk to people about FaithBridge Foster Care.”
The McKisson’s continued faith and a few adjustments along the way were well rewarded. On July 22, 2010, the McKissons and their son officially celebrated the adoption of James Ray, Alex Charles, Jonathan Joshua, Joseph Allen, Michael Glenn, and Alberto Samuel.