Peaks and Valleys
Over the past three years, I have been honored and privileged to work with and walk alongside Agape foster families through the peaks and valleys of foster care. We have smiled and celebrated children finding permanency, but we have cried tears of sadness together when walking with children through difficult circumstances. Agape foster parents continually inspire me by their commitment to help the children in their care.
One recent valley involved a foster parent who welcomed a sibling group of four into her home.
After the children arrived at the house, it became apparent that each of them had significant needs. One child in particular faced extra challenges. Our Agape foster parent began educating herself on the particular difficulties this child faced both at school and in the home. When problems arose at school, she educated herself on the rights of children with special needs. She then advocated for her foster daughter to get the best education possible.
At home, she learned ways to help de-escalate behaviors and soon, the meltdowns began to decrease. The child began to thrive and do better in school and at home. She began to enjoy school more and was proud of her success. Likewise, the foster parent experienced great joy that the child was now thriving in her home. This encouraged her to keep up the hard, but rewarding work of foster parenting.
It would be easy for foster parents to become discouraged when parenting a child with significant needs. This parent however remains committed to learning how she can best be of help. I am humbled by these parents as they teach me so much about patience, love and adaptability. While this child has begun to do better, life is not without its challenges. There are still tough days in the midst of positive ones.
I am thankful for God’s grace. The way he strengthens and sustains each one of us through our peaks, but more importantly through our valleys.
About the Author:
Jessica Rush, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is a Foster Care Social Worker at Agape and has served here for 3 years. She enjoys spending time with friends and family (especially her nieces and nephew), playing tennis, and taking her pup on walks in her neighborhood.