Q&A With a Foster Parent

What caused the Whitehurst’s to initially decide to pursue foster care?

            Jodi was told at a young age that she wouldn’t be able to have biological children. Because of this, Jodie and her husband knew that they wanted to pursue fostering and adoption from a very early point in their marriage. God miraculously gave the Whitehurst’s two biological children, a son and a daughter. After this, they still wanted to pursue fostering and adoption.

“We have always believed that fostering and adoption is a part of the ministry of the church.” -Jodi

After completing their training to become foster parents, they opened their home. One month after their first placement, they found out that they were pregnant with their third child. They kept their home open and it was at this time that they had their first placement.

 

How did you learn about The CALL?

They knew about The CALL through family friends who also fostered. While looking into fostering and adoption, they were told about the next informational meeting that The CALL was holding, and they attended it. Jodi started volunteering with The CALL in August of 2019. If you’d like to see more about her position, you can check out her Leadership Team Member Profile on our blog! While the Whitehurst’s were fostering, the person who trained them ended up being a good contact person for them and this proved to be very helpful while they were fostering.

“I love being able to see the stories of families that are still fostering because it keeps me connected to the children that we work with.”

 

What was your favorite experience in fostering?

            Jodi mentioned that the child who was placed in their home to be fostered had a lot of trouble going to sleep. Jodi would lay beside her at night and talk with her or read stories to her.

“There’s something about that time right before bedtime that makes children open up. It’s really just one-on-one devoted time.”

These were Jodi’s favorite moments of fostering because she was felt like it was amazing quality time with her foster child. She also loved bedtime because she would use this opportunity to pray with and for her foster child.

 

What was the hardest thing about fostering?

“To be honest, deciding to close our home was the hardest decision.”

After their first foster placement, Jodi and her husband prayed about whether or not they might be able to continue fostering with three young children in the house. They did not feel like they would be able to provide the adoptive home that their foster child deserved. Jodi and her husband would love to open up their home to fostering again one day.

 

What is one piece of advice that you would give someone who is interested in fostering?

“I always thought that I was a giver. I always thought that I knew what it meant to be a real servant and to serve people and serve God, but I don’t think that I really knew what it meant to sacrifice and to serve until I fostered.”

Jodi would tell others who might be interested in fostering that there is a lot of sacrifice involved, but in the end, the pay-off is completely worth it. She would also say that there is really no preparing for fostering

“One child will change the whole dynamic of your whole family. It completely changes your routine.” She encourages others to build a community that supports them in their fostering journey.

 

How did you talk to your biological children about fostering?

Jodi encourages other foster parents to be open, honest, and in constant communication with their children through the fostering and adoption process.

“When we fostered, it was a family decision. We made sure that our kids were old enough to completely understand. We also had a lot of family rules. We knew that this would have to be a whole family decision. My kids wanted to give.”

We are so thankful for the Whitehurst’s and the way that they have loved on and served this community.

Family waiting room revamp!

There are endless opportunities to serve and help out the community that supports foster/adoption.  Austin and Mandy Carter lead a team from their church, Sylvan Hill Community, to renovate the southwest DHS office’s family waiting room. This is an area that many children and families pass through on a day to day basis. They saw an opportunity to provide a need ofr families and they jumped on it! The reason? Here’s  why!
“We believe that as the church we are all called to “do something.” We cant all Foster/Adopt, but we can all do something. With the ultimate goal of reunification in the for front, what a great way show some love and support to the families that pass through the door, and to make a sometimes hard visit a little more inviting. Our hope for this room is hope. That is the design behind the “Dream Big” theme. The two rooms we have renovated were not in the best shape, with hand-me-down toys and furniture. We believe this can play a role in the interaction between the parents and children. We hope that the renovated rooms can spark a little hope for the future, and not for just the families, but also impacting the staff that walks by this room everyday.” – Austin and Mandy Carter