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Episode 222: Learning How to Give and Receive Care (w/ Randall Nichols)

By February 26, 2024Podcast

We are naturally fearful creatures. The older we get, the deeper our fears seem to grow. There is so much we can’t understand, so much that we can’t control. But it is in the middle of our anxiety that God often draws us to himself as our perfect father, our safe refuge, our resting place. Be encouraged and take heart, friends, for Jesus has overcome sin, death, and shame. Meditate on these words from Jesus in Mathew chapter 6.

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Has God ever led you somewhere that you were previously scared to go? Are you currently facing a situation where God is inviting you to entrust your fear and concerns to Him? What might God be teaching you in your fear?

This is what happened for Randall Nichols, co-founder of ECHO Family Care Partners and an adoptive parent. Through his work at ECHO, Randall is working to resource churches and businesses to meet the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children and families through foster care, adoption, and wrap-around support.

In this episode, Randall shares the powerful story of connection that introduced their family to special needs adoptions, how to involve your children in the decision to care for others, why community often is the biggest concern for those considering adoption or foster care, the importance of being able to give and receive care, and so much more!

TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:

1. We have to trust God.

Regardless of our role, this work requires trust. We are not in control of the outcomes, and we don’t often know where our “yes” will lead. We have to trust that God is in control and cares far more for the children in foster care than we ever could. Let me say that again, God cares far more for children in foster care than we ever could. Our God is good, would you trust in him and proclaim his goodness over your life today?

“You can only see a certain amount of what God can see and He’s got bigger plans. You just keep following and trusting and it leads you to places you didn’t expect to be.”

2. Give your children ownership in the decision-making.

It can be difficult to broach the topic of foster care or adoption with your biological children. They may be confused about the possibility of welcoming another child into your home. If they are old enough to understand, asking your children prompting questions can help them understand why there are some children who cannot live with their families for a time. Randall shares how they asked their children to help them brainstorm solutions to this problem, which led to a family-wide agreement on their next steps.

“It was an educational moment for us with our kids to say, ‘Do you know there are some children in the world who don’t get to live with their family? Or maybe don’t have a family anymore?’ Then ask them the question: What do you think we should do about that?”

3. We need to be able to give AND receive care.

Those who become supporters in the foster care community often have a tendency to be a helper. Many of you, when confronted with the reality of foster care, could not help but take steps into action and care. However, many of those with a desire to help tend to fear being too much for people or asking for help themselves. It’s just as important to practice asking and receiving care as it is to be able to offer it, especially if we want to enter this work in a sustainable way. Well cared for people, care well for people. The best thing you can do for those you care for is make sure you are loving from an overflow from the holy spirit!

“We don’t know what you need unless you tell us what you need.”

RESOURCES FROM TODAY’S SHOW

 

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SPREAD THE WORD!

We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guest

Randall Nichols is the co-founder of ECHO Family Care Partners, an advocate, and adoptive parent. Through his work at ECHO, Randall is working to resource churches and businesses to meet the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children and families through foster care, adoption, and wrap-around support. Randall and his wife, Kelley, have five children, two by adoption and three biological.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

 

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