Joy Pollock writes about the launch of the charity Home for Good in Worcester at a special all age service in Worcester Cathedral. The charity works with churches to raise awareness of the need for foster and adoptive parents and to encourage families to provide loving homes for children in care.
As a kid, I used to go to Spring Harvest with my family year after year. So I grew up with an identity as a ‘Whizz Kid’, and then as part of the ‘Glory Company’ led by Ishmael. He made the Bible come alive through song and ‘Father God’ was one of many that I still remember and sing to my kids now. It permeated my being and I grew up secure in the knowledge of my identity in Christ.
Father God, I wonder how I managed to exist
Without the knowledge of your parenthood and your loving care.
But now I am your child, I am adopted in your family,
And I can never be alone,
‘Cause Father God, you’re there beside me.
Fast forward 30 years or so, and I find myself mothering three children. The oldest two – eight and six years old – are birth children, the little one – five months – is our looked after child. Along with my husband, we are a foster family for the local authority.
There are two questions I get asked the most: ‘What made you foster? is one of them. It was always part of God’s plan for our family and the seed was planted when Viv Thomas spoke at our church weekend away about his experiences as a child being in and out of care and finally settling with a Christian foster family. What he said he wanted was a clean home and regular hot meals. It was such a basic need – my house was cleanish and we had a hot supper every single night. I could meet that need for a child. The seed was further watered when I heard Krish Kandiah speak about ‘Home for Good’ one year at Spring Harvest.
Home for Good is a charity with a vision for a home for every child who needs one. In the UK, 4,000 children are waiting for adoption and 9,000 foster families are desperately needed. Home for Good believes that the Church can make a difference. It raises awareness of the need for foster and adoptive parents, encourages families to provide loving homes for the children in care, and equips the Church to offer welcoming communities for them.
Home for Good works on the ground with ‘local movements’ – collections of churches who have caught the vision to see vulnerable children’s lives changed. Here in Worcester, there are now eight churches with a desire to make a difference, and we want that number to grow. Our launch event at Worcester Cathedral, marks the beginning of a story here in Worcester to raise awareness of the need and engage people in fostering and adoption and support.
Which leads me to the second question I get asked most frequently – how can I give them up? Well, it’s hard. Very hard. But, children who have suffered loss, trauma and neglect need me to love them more than I need to protect my own feelings. They need commitment from me and to feel a sense of belonging. And the support and scaffolding I have experienced from my church family at times of loss and stress has been such a blessing. Freezer meals, babysitting, chocolate, nappies, baby clothes and equipment at the start of a placement, and cards, flowers and even a spa day at the end of a placement have all characterised Christ’s love to me. So, the invitation to be involved in Home for Good through the local church is one we must accept. All Christians are adopted, and the church must bear witness to this new family into which Christians are adopted. Let’s offer an extraordinary, radical alternative family where all are welcome by God’s invitation.
Local Authority foster carer and a member of All Saints Church, Worcester