Foster Care Changed My Life

Hands of Hope Blog

Have you ever made a decision that changed your life? That’s what happened to Whitney Small when she and her husband decided to become foster parents.

The Smalls felt like God asked them to foster children in their community, not only to impact families, but also to serve and care for social workers and caseworkers in the process. From the beginning, they have viewed fostering as an outpouring of their faith. But obedience to God’s call isn’t always a walk in the park. As the Smalls began taking steps to becoming licensed, the details and paperwork became paralyzing. One year later, they still found themselves staring at a stack of forms that needed to be filled out. On one of Whitney’s afternoon walks, she began to see signs throughout her neighborhood that said, “Become a Foster Parent.” Then she listened to a podcast that talked about the power of obedience. It was then and there that the Smalls committed to finishing the paperwork and getting licensed.

Within two hours of becoming licensed, the Smalls received their first foster placement. Since becoming foster parents in April 2018, they have fostered nine children.

Along with fostering, the Smalls have two biological children ages five and seven. Whitney explains how excited her bio kids become about the opportunity to serve other families. She and her husband explain to their kids, “Our job is to keep these children safe and show them love until their mommies and daddies are able to keep them safe and show them love.” This helps set the expectation for their children of temporary relationships, easing the grief later on.

The Smalls have become missionaries to the foster care system with Whitney serving as the Central Indiana Regional Manager of Hands of Hope, overseeing 15 counties and 19 DCFS offices. When asked how this journey has changed her, Whitney says, “God has given me more depth in my compassion and empathy. Every story is unique, but what’s not unique is the hurt and pain surrounding it.”

There’s no denying it; foster care changes lives. And it can change yours too. For more information about foster care, click here.

Written by: Maggie Johnson