Megan is an amazing woman of God, so gentle and loving! She is patient and kind and it has been so very cool getting to know her through Instagram. I pray that her story speaks to you and that the Lord uses it in mighty ways!
Married to my high school sweetheart for 5.5 years now
How long have you been a foster family?
Foster fam since May 2017
What led you to be a foster family?
My hubby and I had just moved in with my mom and sister and we had an open bedroom. We were in a season of going deeper with God and surrendering more areas of our life. Some friends asked us if we’d ever consider foster care. Honestly, I had not. There weren’t many people that I knew growing up that fostered, so I didn’t know much about it. But we all prayed about it. And God confirmed it a few different ways so we started the process of getting licensed! We love learning about other cultures and think there’s so much value in living life with people that have had such different experiences growing up! So we pursued the refugee foster program.
What is one of the hardest moments you’ve experienced as a foster mom?
One of the hardest moments honestly was when our first placement (a teen mom and her young daughter) decided to move out after a couple years of living with us. I loved them so much! And in our refugee foster program, reunification isn’t super common because a lot of kiddos haven’t been able to have family identified due to fleeing their country or are orphaned. So I wasn’t really prepared honestly! But they found another African family from the church they had been going to that they connected with and wanted to live with.
What is one of your favorite moments as a foster mom?
I LOVE the fun cooking that comes with the teen girls we’ve had. It’s cool to try their food and see a little bit of their culture that way! My favorite moments though are when we’re having family game night or some other shared experience and we’re all in it and present together and really does feel like a family that I’ve had my whole life. Hard to describe. But I think it’s so beautiful when Jesus brings people together, with completely different pasts and ways of doing life, who can live together and really enjoy each other! (Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely rough days 😅)
Do you have plans to adopt?
Not through the refugee foster program. In foster care, the first line of thinking is always “reunification” and getting the kiddo back to their home or family when and if it’s safe and the right time. Adoption is very rare in the refugee foster care situations. However, a lot of the kiddos are teens and you become their American fam forever if they stay in the states, go to school or work a job and become independent, even without being legally adopted. Just like you’d raise your own kiddos from birth to become independent and they come home for holidays or whatever. Whether the foster kiddos want to legally be adopted or stay in “foster care” until they age out of the system— they’re still family either way. My hubby and I were pursuing domestic infant adoption (separate program and situation) before getting preggo with our now 1 year old daughter! We will hopefully pick this back up later this summer and pursue this route to grow our family this year!! So yes plans to adopt— just not through our current foster situations :)
Do you have any advice for families considering foster care?
Don’t let fear of the trauma or hard times stop you from being obedient to what the Lord is laying on your heart. If you are a follower of Jesus, you know transformation can happen. To any of us. That includes foster kiddos too that carry trauma and hard background... Yes, I 100% recommend having a discussion with your immediate household, praying through timing, identifying support people, and being in the right mindset to start the process. And remember, we’re always going to be “busy” or there can always be something else that we could fill our time with. So it may not feel like the perfect timing. But when you sense God is leading you down this path, He will honor your obedience and surrender. He will give you the tools, the people, the patience, and the love we may not think we have to be able to welcome kiddos into our home that need a temporary (or sometimes forever) home. Ask questions. Seek out other foster families and ask them questions. And then be obedient and open to what the Lord is asking of you.
I am so thankful for Megan and her family's obedience in this foster care journey. Also for her willingness to answer these questions! Please keep her family in your prayers! You can connect with her via IG @megdykstra.