Brandon and Cherith Craft are no strangers to doing hard things. In fact, it is such a part of who they are that they put it in their family mantra: “We’re Crafts. We do hard things and we try new things.” But when God nudged them to start foster care nearly 10 years ago, their initial response was, We don’t think we can do this right now. Several years later, God would prompt them again to foster and this time their answer would change. Through fostering five children in five years and becoming TFI Advocates in Baton Rouge, LA, they’ve learned to do the hard things, rely on God, and listen to what their family needs in every season. I know their story will be an encouragement to you today!
TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. It is normal to feel tension or fear when you feel called to foster.
We’ve heard so many stories from foster families whose gut reaction to starting foster care was fear. That’s not wrong! We naturally will feel the tension of our life circumstances and busyness telling us that we can’t possibly foster right now. While you shouldn’t totally ignore those feelings, it is normal to immediately think of all the reasons you can’t foster. But God calls us into those hard things because He is going to be right there with us to support us and make the journey possible.
“It was so clear that God had prepared us for this and I knew this was what he was asking us to do, but it scared me…”
2. Be prepared for the hard, but also be honest about what is sustainable.
There are going to be times of adjustment whenever a child is placed in your care. In these times, it’s important that we stay consistent and remind ourselves that this is just an adjustment period. However, foster care will teach us a lot about our capacity and will lead us through some really hard stuff. In this episode, we heard the Crafts talk about some of the boundaries they have put in place as a family as they learned what they can and can’t handle. The goal of fostering is not that we grit our teeth and bear it all. That will only lead to burnout. It’s important to learn what your family can handle so you can be healthy and sustainable.
“We take a step back and ask, ‘What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What needs to change in the future?’ We have stuck by those guidelines and it’s been positive for us.”
3. Intentionally being a steady presence can have a ripple effect for more than just the child in your care.
Brandon and Cherith share about relationships they’ve built with biological parents that have led to them being able to see true healing take place down the line. We all need other people to support us. It’s important that we try to support biological families in the same ways that we have been loved and supported by others.
“We didn’t just babysit that kid for a year. We got to see real restoration and healing happen.”
Meet Our Guests
Brandon and Cherith Craft have been married for 17 years and have three beautiful daughters between the ages of 10 and 15. Over the last five years, they have fostered five children. In addition to their time as a foster family and TFI Advocates, Brandon and Cherith work full-time running three small businesses in home-building, realty, and interior-designing in Baton Rouge. When their girls are not busy with cheerleading, soccer, swimming, and horseback riding, they spend their weekends chasing a slower pace of life at their farmhouse.
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