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Episode 184: How Awareness Leads to Action (w/ Sarah Butler)

By May 22, 2023May 23rd, 2023Podcast

Since May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, I will be bringing you stories every week from the various perspectives of the foster care community—agency workers, foster parents, vulnerable adults, and children.

Sometimes seeing another family involved in foster care can change someone’s mind from “I could never be a foster parent” to “I can do this.”

Sarah Butler, TFI Advocate in Conecuh County, AL, didn’t imagine she would be able to be a foster parent. But after seeing another family foster, she saw it was possible and she and her husband felt God’s call to pursue it. Immediately after completing the requirements to be foster parents, they were told there was a child that needed a place to stay that very night. Since then, the Butlers have had over 30 children come through their home in four years.

In this episode, Sarah shares the challenges, blessings, hardships, and joy that comes from fostering, and what it looks like to take a step past the fear of the unknown and into the call that God may have for your family. I loved our conversation, and I hope you are encouraged and inspired by Sarah’s story today!

(Remember: Applications are still open for YOU to become a TFI Advocate, bridging the gap between foster care agencies and churches right in your local community. This only happens twice a year! Learn more and apply here.)

TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:

1. Trust God with the journey.

No one can fully be prepared for the experiences you will encounter as a foster parent. Sarah shared about how they received their first placement the very same night they were officially licensed as foster parents. If you are considering becoming a foster parent, do your research, ask good questions, observe other foster parents, and pray about the decision. Once you take that first step of faith, it’s important that you trust God to fill in your gaps. He sees you and He is with you.

“God fills in the places I can’t.”

2. Expect changes and challenges.

This is hard. You don’t always know what a child in foster care has been through or what trauma they have experienced. And when a child fits into your family well, there is an emotional toll on your family when that placement ends. The key is to give your family grace and time to adjust at the beginning of each new placement and when it ends.

“If a child needs a bed and a place to lay their head, this is what we have signed up for so this is what we are going to do.”

3. A supporting role is an integral part of the foster care journey.

It’s true! Foster parents are not superheroes or any different from you. If God has called you to a supporting role, that is a beautiful, purposeful, and meaningful calling. Those who are actively fostering are often able to continue to do this work because of the support from their community. Like Sarah shared in the episode: We couldn’t do this without you!

“Our churches should have people who are caring for orphans.”

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?

Share this post or rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen) and leave us a brief review

Today’s episode is sponsored by Samaritan Ministries, a community of Christians paying one another’s medical bills. It’s not insurance and there are no networks, which puts you in charge of your health care. It’s Biblical, affordable, and you can join anytime of the year.

LEARN MORE

Meet Our Guest

Sarah Butler is a TFI Advocate in Conecuh County, Alabama, a PRN performing hippotherapy as a physical therapist assistant, and a pastor’s wife. She has been a foster parent to over 30 children across four years. In her role as a TFI Advocate, Sarah maintains a relationship with the local foster care community and encourages the local church and community of believers to meet tangible and spiritual needs as they arise. Sarah and her husband, Neal, have three biological children.

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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