Whether she’s sitting on the floor playing with foster kids or spending the day at the zoo while the kids visit with biological parents, Tiffany Maddox loves being part of the foster care journey.
“Our foster kids make me laugh and there is never a dull moment. When they run to me and give me a hug because they are so excited to see me, it just makes my day,” she said.
For Tiffany, her path to a career in foster care was different than she planned.
“I graduated from college with a degree in music and a minor in counseling and Biblical studies,” she said. “After graduating, I began working for DFCS in order to help my younger brother, who was living with me and attending the same college, finish his last year. I feel like foster care chose me. I worked for DFCS for eight years and have now been with FaithBridge for three years.
“Foster care is important to me because it provides a safe place for children who have been abused and neglected by their caregivers. It also provides the needed services for parents to hopefully address the root causes for their children needing to come into foster care. FaithBridge takes it a step farther in that we provide each child we encounter with the hope, healing, and love of Jesus Christ. It also gives us the opportunity to share Jesus with the families as well, and, in many cases, establish a support system for the family to include the foster parents who continue in the children’s lives even after reunification.”
Over the years, Tiffany seen all the facets of foster care – the good and the bad.
“You see some of the worst atrocities done to children by the caregivers who are supposed to love them more than anyone else in the world. But as hard as it is it can also be wonderful,” she said. “You can see lives of children and families changed – often times your own.”
People often ask Tiffany how she does it. Her answer is always the same – she doesn’t do it, Jesus does it in and through her.
“He is the only reason I can wake up in the morning and face the things I will have to see and deal with,” she said. “He is the only one who allows me to see these parents/caregivers through His eyes and understand that He loves them just as much as He loves me. He gives me the ability to love these children as long as I have them to care for and once they reunify with their parents to trust that He will hold them even if I never see them again.”
Even outside of work, children are a huge part of Tiffany’s life. She has numerous nieces and nephews and spends as much time with them as she can, whether hiking through the woods on an imaginary bear hunt, going to the fair, or just blowing bubbles.
“I am very close with my family and love spending time with them. My little wild man is Rigsby, my Jack Russell Terrier. He is high energy but loves to just be with me and is always so happy when I come home,” Tiffany said. “I also love music and my church family. I sing on the praise teams at church and am always listening to music. Music is my escape and helps me through good days and bad. I am a hometown girl who cheers for my Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, and GA Bulldogs. I also like camping, horseback riding, and white water rafting.”
When it comes to foster care, Tiffany has one major request.
“We need more families who are willing to walk through the mud of abuse, trauma, tears, anger, fear, hurt, and hopelessness,” she said. “We need these same families to introduce not only the children but also the parents to the God who can overcome all fear, anger, hurt, and hopelessness. It does not happen overnight and may take months or years, but God is faithful, and if allowed to work, we have seen some amazing things happen with our kiddos and their families.”