A mom steps timidly forward.
A protective older brother watches cautiously.
A baby looks for reassurance.
A mom stands courageously to the side.
And the photographer positions the moment I met my son in a larger story:
his foster family loved him well.
In January 2013 we were just starting our foster and adoption home study, paper work, and classes. The Ahrens family was just finishing the same. Within hours of being licensed as a foster home, they received a call to go to St. Louis Children's Hospital to meet their first foster child.
They could have said no.
They could have focused on the obvious reasons to walk away:
wires, alarms, rare diagnosis, no known date a forever home would be found.
But Blake and Gerilyn, and their children Andrew, Allysia, and Jessica stepped courageously up to God's call to become a foster family.
It is what foster families do.
They step up. They step in.
They love a baby well.
Used as an adverb, the word well means completely,
meticulously, profoundly, personally.
Used as an adjective, the word well means strong,
thriving, blooming, vigorous.
The Ahrens family did both.
They loved our Nathaniel well.
Our son's life story includes the brokenness and tragedy of being a child in the state foster care system. But God's grace transcends systems and places a baby deep in the heart of a family.
"And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42
Tonight we join the Ahren's family at the 10 year anniversary celebration of One Heart Family Ministries. One Heart trains and supports Christian foster and adoptive families in the St. Louis area. For more information on how you can become a foster or adoptive parent or to support the work of One Heart in offering restoration and healing to children in the foster care system, contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1st photo - Clint Thayer Focal Flame Photography
2nd-5th photos - Blake and Gerilyn Ahrens
6th photo - Greg Herndon Greg Herndon Photography