Not every season and every case are created equal, but if given the opportunity to build a bridge with bio families, I encourage you to take the first step. It has drawn a map straight to our hearts about forgiveness, redemption and purpose in the pain.
I entered foster care at age four. By the time I was 15, I already had 13 homes including a failed adoption under my belt. Bouncing from home to home, I was subjected to physical and sexual abuse by several abusers. When I was 15, I finally found the courage to tell someone, and doing so unleashed a massive amount of fear and trauma that I’d been holding in for years.
CCHO has been a part of my life for at least 20 years. During that time, God has filled this relationship with a combination of wonder, trial, excitement and purpose.
Since leaving CCHO, I graduated high school and then served four years in the Marines. I started a family and transitioned into a new career. I became an electrician, but I didn’t stop there.
The man against whom this girl testified and had to face had gone free. Naturally, this invoked some pretty intense behaviors such as self-harm and running away, but guess who was there with her walking down the road, asking to stay with her and showing her unconditional love all the same. Rebekah!
James 1:27 calls God’s people to meet the needs of children living as orphans. Brian and Julie Ziegler answered that call by joining the Encourage Foster Care network. Learn more about their story and how Encourage equips them with the support and resources they need as foster and adoptive parents.
On July 11, 1997, a little girl was born to a single mom. That young mom was a former CCHO resident. Due to many circumstances, this baby came to live with my wife Susan and me only a few weeks after being born.