Meet the Schoomakers. When the Schoomakers heard that little Carson* was going home, they started the process of transitioning as they had done several times before. Carson was going to be placed with a relative who lived a short distance from the Schoomakers’ church, Four Points Church in Acworth, Georgia. Julie and James Schoomaker have two biological children, Isabel (14 years old) and Brad (12 years old). James explained that it is a challenging experience for the entire family when they are receiving a placement and when a placement leaves because there is so much preparation that the entire family undergoes.
“But it’s all worth it,” James explained as he reflected on the challenging experience, “There is nothing easy about this work but we must think about the big picture.”
Carson’s “big picture” was that he had biological relatives who loved him dearly and were able to open their home to care for him. The Schoomakers were happy to experience a snapshot of this precious baby’s life and although it was difficult when it was time to go, they were excited to see a family reunified and lives transformed.
The Schoomakers experienced God’s amazing ability to transform situations not only in the lives of the families they support through foster care, but also in their personal lives.
“My husband was transformed by Christ three years ago and the transformation I saw in him and our family has amplified my existing faith immensely. When my husband felt called to foster care, I wasn’t hesitant to follow,” Julie says.
James didn’t grow up a Christian but now, he celebrates three years of sobriety and three years as a Christ Follower. This is his truth. This is his big picture.
“What a huge testimony to be able to show people in your life that they can be transformed and that God can change anyone,” James says, “But when our friends started fostering, we honestly thought they were crazy! This was an investment beyond just children but a whole family ministry.” The Schoomakers feel their biggest calling is to birth family restoration. James ministers to a number of birth parents who struggle with addictions hoping to see more lives transformed.
So when the Schoomakers met Carson’s relatives, they immediately invited them to church. They planned to meet at service on Sunday. Little did the Schoomakers know, although they had planned baby Carson’s departure out of their home, they would not have to plan his departure out of their lives. Carson’s relatives loved the service and community so much that they made Four Points their permanent church home. Now, the amazing community of Four Points Church will play a part in framing baby Carson’s big picture for years to come.
If you’d like to read about Carson’s story from his adoptive mother’s viewpoint, click here.
*Name has been changed for privacy.