A foster family with a teenage daughter named Marianne welcomed three little ones into their home. Siblings. Foster children from a tough, struggling neighborhood. They were only in care for a few weeks, but in those few weeks, they made a mark on their foster family.
During their time with the family, Marianne participated in a youth group event. She and her friends spent a Saturday doing a service project. Being in a major, metropolitan area, there wasn’t anything too unusual about the project itself. The church partnered with a local nonprofit and to do yard work and provided a community picnic for residents.
What was unusual, however, was Marianne’s reaction to her surroundings that day. Having gotten to know the foster children and realizing that the place where she was serving was similar to where her temporary foster siblings lived, the challenges of a struggling, rough neighborhood hit close to home. They had names and faces, personalities and stories. It wasn’t somewhere completely unfamiliar or impersonal anymore. It was reality for three children who Marianne had started to love and value and with whom she had built relationships. There was an unexpected overflowing of compassion exploding from this teenage girl as she served that day.
But it didn’t stop there.
Upon returning home, she shared with her parents that she’d like to major in social work when she goes to college and hopes to work with foster children one day. This sweet, young woman will never again be the same after experiencing God’s heart and compassion in a way only possible because of the relationships formed with her temporary foster siblings.
*Details have been changed to protect the identity of and for the safety of the children.