Learning Christ’s Love
They’ve been fostering for less than two years, but already can’t imagine a different life. For Jennifer and Shanon Pruitt, fostering has been a blessing for their entire family.
“We decided to become foster parents because our pastor, Johnny Hunt, told about how there was such a need for foster parents in our own community – plus we love children,” said Jennifer Pruitt. “We, along with our teenage biological daughter, prayed about it, and God put fostering on our hearts.”
Since becoming a foster family in 2016, the Pruitts have had four foster children placed with them at various times, including Josiah*.
“He was placed with us in August 2016, when he was two. We already had his half brother placed with us so the boys were able to be together,” Jennifer said.
“It had been sometime since we had a toddler in our home so we did a lot of childproofing. We basically worked on getting him on a routine and putting some structure in his life. We prayed a lot and learned to have a lot of patience with him.”
Josiah was placed into foster care due to neglect. His biological mom had substance abuse problems and an unstable life.
“When he was brought into care, though, Josiah’s biological dad was notified and immediately began coming to court and wanted to be part of his life,” Jennifer said. “He lived out of state so he had been unaware of what was going on with Josiah.”
It didn’t take long for Josiah and his dad to be reunified. He had been with the Pruitt’s for two-and-a-half months when they got the call that he was leaving.
“That very evening they flew to Wyoming where his dad lived,” Jennifer said. “I didn’t have much time so I quickly put a letter together for his dad and gave him my contact info in case he needed to contact me about Josiah. Once they were settled, his dad called me and we began communicating about different struggles he was having with Josiah, and we worked together to help him transition smoothly.”
The families remain in touch today and Skype at least once a month.
“Josiah’s half brother is still with us so we allow them to see each other as often as possible through video chat,” Jennifer said. “It has been a blessing to keep in touch with him and his dad and to see the love that his dad has for him.”
For the Pruitt’s, their faith has played a crucial role in their fostering journey.
“We feel as though God has placed each one of these children with us so that we can help them learn what Christ’s love looks like,” Jennifer said. “We pray regularly for the children, their families, and their futures.”
Their Community of Care through WeFoster at First Baptist Woodstock has also played a large role.
“They have been absolutely amazing,” she said. “They bring meals when we first get a placement. They have an awesome resource room that we can go to if we need clothes or car seats. And we have a clothesline meeting for the moms, which is awesome because we can share prayer requests or just support one another. They also have The Huddle for dads to get together and share their experiences.”
When they have a chance to talk to others about getting involved in foster care, the Pruitts encourage them to first pray and then find where they fit.
“Really pray about it and if that’s what God has laid on your heart to do you’ll know,” Jennifer said. “If you do not want to be a foster family there are plenty of other places that you can help. We need respite care givers, meal train providers, and people to just gather resources, so there’s plenty of places for you to help out if you do not feel as though you can be a foster parent.”
*To help protect the privacy of our foster children, names have been changed.