In October 2017, I had the privilege meeting with a special young couple, Isaac and Patricia Johnson*. Married just two years and only in their early 30s but compelled by their own life experiences, they had a desire to help at-risk foster children and youth. In their words, “We want to take the children that others won’t.” After five months of paperwork, training and completing the formal assessment process with an agency social worker, by early February 2018 they were approved as resource parents. Less than an hour later, they received their first placement referral call. Although never having experienced being a parent, they said ‘yes’ to 11 and 9 year-old siblings, Amy and Michelle. The Johnsons were able to keep Amy and Michelle in the school they were attending, ensuring that their academic and social needs would remain stable. They have also been very supportive of the children’s continued contact with their parents and several extended family members.
This April, the two girls will transition into living with relatives who have kept in touch with them throughout their foster experience. Not surprisingly, Amy and Michelle have asked for continued contact with their foster parents, inviting them to an upcoming school function. Despite the challenging circumstances that led to their need for foster care placement, the girls have enjoyed and valued the time spent with their foster parents, including being able to attend church and youth group activities with them. As a result of the incredible support this young couple has provided, the trauma and impact of loss while in foster care has been minimized. Exhibiting great patience and flexibility, important traits of successful foster parenting, Isaac and Patricia have greatly blessed two vulnerable girls, enabling them to remain together through this difficult season in their lives. And the Johnsons themselves feel blessed and privileged to have met these sweet sisters.
*All names have been changed to protect the identity of both the foster parents and children in this story.