No Passports Needed

Sarah Fiechter Profile
Article by Sarah Fiechter
Gateway Woods Foster Parent

My husband, Quinn, and I never would have guessed how God would choose to use foster care as a blessing to us. We decided to look into fostering when we weren’t able to have biological children. Both of us being teachers, we loved working with children. We had an empty bedroom and felt convicted to give God our "loaves and fishes" to help out hurting children. Little did we know that those children would actually be the ones helping and teaching us.

We had an empty bedroom and felt convicted to give God our "loaves and fishes" to help out hurting children.

We decided to get our license through Gateway Woods, and time and time again we have been so thankful for that decision. Gateway helps us keep track of our paperwork for the state, provides training to keep our license up, cover us in prayers, comes to our home monthly to check in, and supports us with any problem 24/7. Without Gateway helping us navigate through this journey, I truly believe we wouldn’t still be fostering. They not only give us the push when we need it, but also help us through the guilt when we’ve had to ask for a child to be removed.

Seven years, 30+ foster kids, and 1 biological child later, God has proven faithful every day of this crazy journey. It’s been the hardest, yet most rewarding chapter of our marriage. One of my foster friends said it well, "Fostering is being a missionary without needing a passport." With foster parenting, you're given the opportunity to teach children about Jesus while living out life in your own home.

I think one of the biggest surprises of fostering has been the empathy I now feel towards the biological parents. It had been way too easy for me to think, "How could anyone do this to a child?" when I have lived life with a strong Christian network surrounding me. But after hearing some of the parents' stories, I wonder if I would really be able to choose any differently had I not been given the gift of that Christian support group.

One of the hardest things for me to hear as a foster parent is when well-meaning Christian friends say, "I could never do that: I could never love a child knowing I would have to give them back." I cringe when hearing comments like that one. Jesus did not take the easy way out in His life. We aren't called to the easy things in life, to spread the news of Jesus only when it won't cost us anything in return. (I would argue the complete opposite is what Jesus lived and preached!) Jesus doesn't call everyone to foster, but He has commanded us all to help the widow, orphan, and the fatherless. I'll leave you with this question: what is God asking you to do for the helpless?

Sarah and her husband Quinn served as Houseparents with Gateway Woods. They are also former foster parents with Gateway Woods.