We asked Andrew and Christina Stoltzfus the following questions to gain some insight into their foster care journey.
1. How many years have you been foster parents and how many foster children have been through your home?
We have been foster parents for seven years and have taken care of nine children. We have adopted three of our children and currently have three that we foster.
2. What is your favorite thing about being a foster parent/family?
My (Christina) favorite thing about being a foster parent is getting a chance to love on these babies that have had a rough start in life. Our children have been through incredibly hard things, but they are resilient. Seeing their physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental healing and the difference that Jesus’ love makes in them is so rewarding!
3. What has been an unexpected blessing of being a foster parent/family?
There have been many times when we felt God calling us to say “yes” to a child and we knew it would be uncomfortable or not easy for our family. Being faithful to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to foster has grown our family’s faith exponentially. One unexpected blessing is the incredible people who partner with us to advocate for our children. We have become friends with some amazing people in Department of Human Services (DHS), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Guardians Ad Litem (GALs) and with doctors, nurses, schoolteachers, therapists, and of course Krista Burkholder, our NHM caseworker. Recently I took one of our children to a doctor’s appointment and she was in tears to see the difference in how this child had healed physically.
4. What has been a valuable lesson you have learned?
The hardest and most valuable lesson we are always learning, no matter the case, no matter the caseworker, judge, bio family, or child, is to trust God completely through it and to love each one involved in the case even when it’s difficult.
5. What words of wisdom would you pass along to someone considering becoming a foster parent/family?
Hurt people hurt people. Healed people help people find healing in Jesus. If you want to help these children find healing in Jesus, you first need to find healing in Jesus. One practical way we do this is by taking time daily to examine our own hearts for any lies we are believing and reminding ourselves of God’s promises. And along the way we have found people involved in every case who need a touch from Jesus. Remembering that we are not the Savior in these children’s lives – Jesus is and always will be. We just get to play a part in these children’s lives, some longer and more than others, but each is precious in His sight.