For us, Safe Families has been a way to express gratitude to God for the many ways our own community (family, church and friends) has supported us in the parenting process. So we want to pass on the support to other parents. It is hard work to care for additional children, but we feel the benefits outweigh the sacrifices for us. Our kids love the playmates, we enjoy getting to know and pray for hosted children, and we are glad to give parents a much needed break.
We have also made new relationships through our hostings; one family in particular who have become treasured friends. When there was flu at our house, they dropped off a meal for us. They taught us how to make real, honest-to-goodness fried chicken. They have welcomed us into some of their family events and we have done the same with them. The mutual hospitality and laughter and tears have been a source of real encouragement to us. Loving and being loved by this family has deepened our understanding and compassion for others and has fueled our desire to continue be available to help families in crisis.
Becoming a Safe Family is not for everyone. But it is definitely for those families who are open to new relationships, who have supportive community around them already, who love being with children and helping them grow, and who resonate with the heartbeat of the Triune God to care for the orphan, widow, fatherless, and marginalized.