Sometimes we are the face of foster care and adoption. Sometimes we are the family that friends refer their friends to when they’re considering foster care or adoption. Sometimes we publish a website about being a foster parent in the trenches. And sometimes we advocate, loudly, for children from hard places. Sometimes we get more than our share of the limelight.
The truth is, we are blessed to have an amazing team of people supporting us in what we’re called to do. Today, we want to recognize the vital role that so many of our friends and church family fill. It is not false humility or lip service when we say they enable us to be the foster and adoptive parents, advocates, mentors, and resources we are to our children, other foster and adoptive parents, and prospective foster/adoptive families.
Foster parenting is chaotic, but our support from friends and family has surpassed the chaos! We are blessed with friends who provide us with clothes for #LegendaryE from what their kids have outgrown; all in bins labeled with the sizes of clothes contained within. The best part is, they keep the bins until we need them- no losing them to our attic!
We have dear friends who drove over an hour each way to donate months worth of time over the past few years to help us tackle renovation projects, like the installation of a handicap accessible shower, updating the kitchen, and installing hardwoods and tile.
We have friends who have brought us meals when we were in the depths of the emotional valley with one of our kids. Little Caesars pizza is delicious any day of the week! What a blessing that has been.
We have friends who were led to give financially to help us purchase clothes or toys for our kids. We were blessed by a kind family this summer that gave towards our renovations, which added two additional bedrooms and a second laundry room to our house.
We were blessed by strangers who drove hours on a Saturday to help us hang drywall in our expansion...in the midst of July’s worst heat!
We have had innumerable friends stop by to help with whatever they could for a few minutes or a few hours in the construction. Others rounded up (or guilted) help for us.
We have been blessed by our church family that has prayed for us faithfully, who believe in what God has called us to, who have provided wisdom and shoulders to cry on. They even brought a crew to make quick work of clearing out a two car garage full of tools and randomness so that we could begin the conversion into bedrooms.
We have sweet friends who will watch our kids, sometimes with little notice, so that we can be available to accomplish other things or meet with other people or go on a date. THIS IS NO SMALL TASK!
We are blessed to have our “bigs” that we can rely on to help with cooking dinner, entertaining one of the “littles,” changing a diaper, or settling an argument.
We have a fantastic foster care support group of friends who “get” us. They don’t question our crazy, they aren’t surprised by our humdinger of a story, and they expect our children to border on the fine line between sane and insane, because, well, theirs do too!
We have a foster care agency that supports us in parenting our children while they're in foster care. Oh, the love/hate relationship that we have with those bi-weekly visits, but we have always had their support during times of crisis, too! Miss Shonda is just like one of our family now.
Our families, though not close in proximity to us, have always loved and treated all of our kids equally. This has meant last-minute shopping for birthdays or Christmas because our family unexpectedly grew.
What I really mean is this: we’re just the front for a HUGE team that works behind the scenes to support us in raising children from hard places and helping them heal from the traumatic events of a stolen childhood.
I hope you never think, and we never give the impression, that we do this alone. We’re not that good and we’re not that strong! We are blessed with about 100 other people who aren’t called to be foster parents, but are called to do something to support the cause of the orphan. They are the unsung hero’s, and this is their song. THANK YOU, Team Cooper Crew!
If you’re not called to be a foster or adoptive parent, but would like some ideas for being a blessing to people who are, let us know! We would love to share some thoughts and perhaps connect you with a foster family who could use your encouragement!