When Safe Families came to our church, we gladly applied to serve as Family Friends. After all, our own two children are small and our lives are filled with work responsibilities and family commitments. One day in early fall, our Ministry Lead told us that an inmate at the local prison had asked for Safe Families help with her soon-to-be newborn son. Brad and I talked about the baby and the possibility of becoming a host family for him but it just seemed like too much. Then, one day we each shared with the other that we felt God’s call. Because we still had a few months worth of lead time until the mother’s due date, and circumstances can change, I decided to not purchase anything for the hosting except a “sleeper” for the baby. I hung it in my room so that every time I walked past it, I could stop and pray for this sweet boy and his parents.
Brad and I started preparing our children for the hosting.We talked to them about it frequently so that they would understand that the baby was coming to live with us for a short time, not forever. We even explained to them that the goal was for this baby to live with his mommy and daddy just as soon as they were able to take care of him. Until then, we said, we would love the baby for them. Our family started praying for this family in crisis because it would be hard for them to be separated from their newborn.
A couple of days before baby T was born, I walked past my room to see my own children praying over the sleeper for the baby and his mamma to be healthy and for us to be able to love them well. It brought tears to my eyes. I felt like they understood why we wanted to do this. They knew that we just wanted to love like Jesus and they, too, could be a part of that. So many things have happened since we said yes to this baby boy that confirm that we made the right decision, listening to God and saying yes to Him. We love baby T and we hope to stay in contact with this little family long after the hosting is over. But, even if that isn’t what his parents choose, we will know that we still made the best decision and we were able to provide for a need and show the love of Christ to this family.
– Whitney & Brad, southern Illinois host parents
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