Tuesday, October 6

How Foster Care Wrecked My Life {Guest Post}

Hello, friends! Today we are so excited to feature a guest post from Stephanie Bruce on how becoming a foster parent changed her life. As many of you know, Kendra was a foster parent for many years and adopted two of her children out of foster care, so it is something that is near and dear to our hearts. Here's more from Stephanie: 

On a Sunday in January 2013, our pastor interviewed a woman at our church who kept children in foster care. She spoke about our state’s broken foster care system, the many children in foster care, some of whom DCS had lost track of or had actually died while in custody. She told about the children that she had had in her home and I felt the Lord begin to nudge my heart. The final blow came when she said (and I will never forget this), “If the church had been doing what we were supposed to do, our system would not be in this mess.”

My husband and I both heard the Lord calling that day and we decided to bring foster children into our home. We finished classes and home-studies and were approved to be foster parents. During the mass of paperwork you do in training, you can decide what kind of children you are willing to foster. We were fairly open, our children were grown and out of the home, we had plenty of room and two friendly dogs to help ease the transition to a new home.

The one thing we specifically asked was that we not have teenage girls. My husband was a teacher at the time and he would be home alone with the foster child (or children) many days in the summer. I worked outside the home, and we had heard scary stories about accusations made against men, so thought for our safety that it was best to not have teenage girls. In March 2013, we got our first call…for a teenage girl! Did they not even READ these profiles??


We talked and we prayed and we finally agreed. Despite our initial fears, we really felt the Lord moving us to take this young 15-year-old. Plus–the agency sent us a picture of this beautiful young lady–we were hooked!

As we were going through the classes, I kept thinking, “We have raised two children; we know how to do this!” Actually, for all of my pride in how WE had raised our other children, we had NO idea of what we were getting into. We really had no concept of what children and teenagers were facing these days, and how much trouble a young person from a hard place could get into!

I’m here to tell you that the journey was hard, so much harder than we ever expected. We had a young lady in our home who had experienced SO much trauma–things a child should not have to experience. We absolutely were not prepared, but each day (and I mean this from the bottom of my heart), God would equip us for that day’s challenges. I used to be fond of saying, “We were set up for failure; we were not prepared for the challenges that our teen foster daughter brought into our home.” In reality, we experienced the fact that we can do nothing on our own. We literally experienced the power of Christ in us on numerous occasions. (Don’t you love when you get to experience what the Bible says is true?)

For us, being a foster parent meant we got to go to juvenile court numerous times. I was amazed that we were almost always last on the docket! I know now that our timing was God-ordained. As I listened to each of these families and children’s stories, God began to shatter my heart. I could not believe what I was hearing–the things the kids had been through. Each day in our home and each time I would sit and listen in a court setting or a team meeting with DCS, it slowly began to dawn on me–this is spiritual warfare of the highest magnitude! Satan is fighting for these kids’ souls!! And I was totally unaware of all of this until we brought a foster child into our home. How could I have been so unaware? How could I have been so comfortable? How could I just be living the American dream while right under my nose, in my own little town, these horrible things were happening?

I believe it is time to hear what the Father is asking us to do. And it’s nothing more than what he has done for us! To love as Jesus loved, especially the unlovely, for that is what we once were.


Stephanie Bruce is a daughter of the King and resides in Hendersonville, TN. She is married to her knight in shining armor, and together they seek to make much of Jesus and what he has done in their lives. She says, “My life really is a fairy-tale story with a happy ending, complete with dragons, a prisoner set free and my knight who loves me more than he loves himself!”

1 comment :

  1. This woman speaks from her heart! She is an inspiration to me and I am proud to call her my sister in the Lord and my sister in the flesh!

    ReplyDelete