We are the Graves and have been in and out of the fostering world for seven years. We love outdoor adventures and west Texas sunsets.
Being a parent is probably hands down the most difficult thing I’ve ever embarked on, yet it is in my opinion, one of the best adventures too. If you are a parent you know the seasons of sleepless nights, potty training, teaching your children how to get ready for the day and as they get older how to play with others, interact with their peers and regulate their emotions and so on. Taking care of someone else (or many someones) is always in front of you and its a great privilege and responsibility.
Many times in your parenting, and the other day to day things that must be accomplished, you realize you haven’t had a date with your spouse or taken the time to recharge your batteries. In the fostering world, arranging for childcare is not as easy as calling up a friend to help. If you are a foster parent you need to find someone who meets the agencies policies in order to watch your children. Often, you just don’t know of anyone that is trained and can watch your kids for you. You can easily just rationalize that it’s too hard to make happen and go on doing what you’ve been doing day in and day out. The only problem is, no parent can survive without a breather, without a break from time to time.
Any foster parent would tell you that having the ability to have a night out, a few hours to do whatever you need, or to do absolutely nothing, is such a gift. Thankfully, local churches are stepping into this place of need for foster parents through efforts such as “Foster parents night out”, which is instrumental in giving caretakers that regular moment of rest .
My family and I have personally benefitted from this ministry over and over again. To know the kids in your home are in a safe environment, and are going to have fun and be well looked after is a blessing. It’s not uncommon for our kids to ask after picking them up “Hey, when is the next one of these?.” It is so humbling to see the church take the time to sit in on training and prepare their volunteers to serve families in this way. Respite is a huge need in the foster world for caretakers and “foster parents night out” is one great way that need is being consistently met by those generous individuals who care for your kids.
Please visit our website if you would like more information on Foster Parent Night Out (FPNO)!
Read more of the Graves' journey through foster care here.
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