At Causeway Coast Vineyard we sense something is stirring around adoption, fostering and respite care. As we explore this together we wanted to share with you stories of those who stepped into this adventure.
Here is an inspiring and encouraging story from Debbie who is part of our community and has been on this journey for many years now. We asked her a few quick questions this week to find out a little bit more of her story in respite and foster care.
Q: Debbie, how many years have you been fostering and how many children have you cared for in that time?
D: I have been fostering for 16 years and I have had approximately 158 placements of children in that time. A placement can range from one day to as many years as may be necessary.
Q: Can you share a little bit about how your journey into fostering began?
D: I was working as a classroom assistant in a local primary school when a lady from my church asked me if I would be interested in doing respite care. She herself fostered children and was looking for someone who could give her a break. I said yes and I am so grateful I did.
Q: You have a real passion for respite care and fostering. What is it that makes you come alive in this area?
D: I love fostering and I believe God has given me the gifts and abilities needed so that I can make real differences in the lives of the children who are perhaps suffering through no fault of their own. I believe God uses me to show his love in real and practical ways to the children in my care, showing them that they are loved and cared for.
Q: What would you say to someone who is considering respite care or fostering?
D: Although every day is challenging, I would say that it doesn’t matter what age you are or whether you are single or married, as I myself am a single parent. What matters is that you have a heart for making a difference in a child’s life who is perhaps going through a traumatic situation. I would say to anyone reading this to never underestimate the difference you can make and the hope that you can give to a child in this way.
Debbie’s story isn’t the only story of hope being brought through foster care in our community but it is one that we hope leaves you encouraged! If you're interested in finding out more and this is something on your heart we would love to hear from you.