WHAT DOES FLM DO BESIDES PLACEMENT BAGS?
This week we received an email from our partner-Fostering Love Project- saying they were wondering if we could use the extra pack n’ plays, cribs, highchairs, and baby gates they had. After shooting off a quick email to our county workers letting them know of the request, we suddenly had five foster families asking for baby items! Knowing we didn’t have enough items as requested, I updated our current needs page and prayed we would be able to meet each family’s need. Watching God work things out this week has been pretty A-Mazing!
The first family we visited needed a crib for their foster baby. Since cribs are not easy to put together, I offered to help set it up while a few of my kids played with the other foster children in the home. We knew their ages ahead of time, so we brought a few items from our placement bags to give to them. As I worked to put the crib together (they aren’t that simple… ok!) with this single foster mom, I learned that she didn’t have a car, or school supplies for her kids, and that she was starved for adult conversation. Before we left, she made me hold the 8-month-old baby (ahhhh! Melt my heart!) and the kids waved us off as if we were good friends. On the way home, my adopted daughter shared how she absolutely loved going there because she was able to tell the girl her age that she was a foster child once, too. She also told me that when she showed the girl the gift we got her, she was so excited about the fact that it included crayons and markers. It was a way bigger deal than l even imagined.
The next day we had planned to go to this church event for kids that was giving horse rides out for free. I knew this foster mom couldn’t drive, so I thought that maybe she would be interested in getting out with the kids for some fun. I made the phone call a bit apprehensively, not knowing what she might think of the invitation, but I am glad I did. She heartily agreed to let me come pick them up, and we all had such a great time there that she wondered if we could do it every week! Her foster kids wanted to plan a visit to our house and the girl even asked my daughter if she could be her friend. By the next day, this foster mom called me to say that she was telling all her neighbors about her new friend now (me). How neat is that to be in such a position through FLM to build a relationship in such a short amount of time— one that will hopefully continue for years to come!
As I dropped off other baby items this week, I always asked if the family had any other needs and handed them a brochure of places they could go to for help (just a shortened version of the one on the website since I am realizing how many families don’t have access to internet). They always thought of something, which is great because that is why we exist- to serve and support the foster community.
There is one more story I HAVE to tell about another drop off this week. This foster family had asked for a crib and a pack n’ play on Tuesday, but I had to wait until Friday evening to bring the items over because I was waiting on the provision of a pack n’ play (remember my prayer for meeting these needs? Well, this was one of them). I had 2 cribs at home. One was big and bulky and the other was small and light enough to be transported without being taken apart. For some reason, I decided to go with the one that needed to be assembled. At 6 pm on Friday, I was finally able to obtain the pack n’ play and thus be ready to make the delivery. I remember saying a quick prayer for God’s direction and as I headed over to this foster parent’s house.
The address sounded familiar, and when I drove up to their house, I realized they lived two houses down from a good friend from church! At that point, I started really getting excited about what God was going to do. When I arrived, the foster parents informed me that they really needed a toddler bed because they were getting a 2 and 3 year old at 7 pm! I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t have what they needed, but they assured me it would be fine, and so I went to work putting the crib together. Thankfully, this crib was much easier to assemble than the last one. As I got to the end, I realized to my delight that it was a 3-in-1, meaning it was a toddler bed!!! Just as we pulled the sheet on the mattress and laid it down on the bed, the doorbell rang and in came their new foster placements. My kids and I made a quick exit so they could get acquainted and walked out to the van only to realize that we were now blocked in the driveway. This was kind of embarrassing, but I made the most of it by calling their neighbor-the one I knew- to tell her about this foster family. It just so happened that this neighbor was home and had been planning on visiting this family because they had JUST MOVED IN a few days prior! She had a meal in her freezer and offered to bring it to the foster family the next day. Things ended up working out just fine once the people who brought the kids over to the family left. I ended up chatting with the foster mom for quite a while afterwards, getting to meet the foster kids, and letting her know that her neighbor was going to bring her a meal. The foster mom was really thankful! It made my heart glad to know that she had a neighbor who would reach out to her and keep up a relationship. That is what we are all about!