Ben and Jess are a Cincinnati family who attend a local church. Over a period of time, they sensed God calling them to become a foster family. “We felt called to this”, Jess explains. “I sensed that God wanted us to serve a sibling group that would otherwise be split up”. They had experienced a difficult season of life. Both experienced job losses. They relocated twice for employment reasons. A grandparent passed away. A parent moved in with them. But through the challenges, Ben emphasizes that “we chose to move towards something, not to turn away because of the challenges”.
Their local church hosted a series about orphans, vulnerable children, and how we are all spiritual orphans. The core message was that each of us can accept Jesus’ invitation to be adopted into God’s Kingdom. Then that local church began a collaboration with the Coalition of Care. The Coalition connected the church to a quality foster agency. Soon thereafter, foster training was hosted on the church campus. Ben and Jess attended the training, and became a licensed foster family.
“Jess is a natural mom” says Ben. Jess continues “The parable of the coins came to mind – we had been given the gift of parenting; why would we bury that gift in the back yard?”
Ben and Jess are now foster parents to a vibrant sibling group of five children, ages 8, 7, 5, 3, and 1. Over lunch, we listen to their story, while watching these gifted parents physically, spiritually and emotionally feed and nurture the two youngest siblings. They share about how one of the siblings entered kindergarten “non-verbal”, but within one week in their home, that child began to speak words. And within one month of being nurtured by this family, the child was speaking in full sentences.
These are five lives that are radically transformed. They’ve learned life lessons they will carry with them forever. Jess
Jess describes the entire sibling group: “These are five lives that are radically transformed. They’ve learned life lessons they will carry with them forever. They have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The siblings not only pray with us, but they lay hands on one another, and pray over each other.
Regardless of whether they are reunified with their biological parents, or become a permanent part of our family, the trajectory of their lives have changed forever”.