"Abby's Message" is written from the perspective of a teenager whose family decided to step boldly into the world of foster care.
I could not have imagined how much having foster kids in our home would change our small family. It was definitely a huge adjustment from our lives before. One area that comes to mind is my change in perspective as I watched my parents become parents to other children. Being the youngest, I had never seen them care for children younger than me. Being the youngest is all I’ve ever known, and I quickly realized that being the middle child for some time, changed my relationship with my parents. It also showed me a different perspective of who my parents are. I was able to see my mom patiently help them with homework, something she is pretty experienced in doing as a teacher. I quickly realized that these girls didn’t have the same educational opportunities as I have had. One of them struggled desperately to understand even the most simple words or concepts and my mom celebrated each little accomplishment with her and patiently tried different methods to help her understand. I watched my dad play soccer with them, teach them how to roller skate, and yes, pray with them each night. In all of these activities and tasks my parents showed great patience and love. I usually was on the receiving end of the patience, being the youngest, and had never had the opportunity to see my parents extend this to a younger sibling. I noticed how much closer my parents and I became because we now had a new experience and responsibility that we shared. We held each other accountable and encouraged each other throughout it, which created a new aspect to my relationship with them that I did not have before. There were times when I watched my parents being challenged by all of the change and struggles. My mom had many things to juggle with doctors’ appointments for the girls, schoolwork, and wanting them to feel at home. I also watched them fight against lies about failure and not being “good enough” in this new situation with God’s Truth. This first foster care placement was definitely a changing experience for our family and, even though these girls have moved, the change remains. The growth that came from this one placement has made our relationships different, and I’m thankful for that.