“We will foster somewhere down the road.”
Molly and Will Berg kept saying that — then they felt God calling them to do it sooner rather than later. Their journey to become foster parents began in January 2020 with plans to provide respite care (a break for foster parents by watching their foster children for a weekend or a week at a time) for children aged 0-12.
As they progressed through training, COVID halted Molly’s normal travel schedule for her job, and they felt God nudging them not only to open their hearts up to fostering, rather than respite, but also to older teens.
“We felt like God was saying ‘You can put your parameters on who you will serve and feel like you’re in control but if you surrender to me, I will give you everything you need,'” says Molly.
Last September, less than one week after the state approved them as foster parents, Molly and Will welcomed 15-year-old Jessica* into their home.
In the past seven months the Bergs have seen Jessica grow, learn to trust, and find hope in her future. They celebrated her 16thbirthday, complete with a yard filled with decorations from their Community of Care® (the friends, families, and volunteers who rally around a foster family to provide for spiritual and tangible needs). They have provided support in immeasurable ways, but also have taken the time to know and love Jessica. “I know that there are a lot of people who care about me,” says Jessica.
Jessica, who initially thought she would only last a week with the Bergs, now wants to be there for as long as she possibly can. A year ago, she felt like no one believed in her, but today she knows she is loved by God and the community around her. She has huge dreams for her future, and she now has the confidence she needs to pursue them. “Teens need a safe and loving space to grow, just like younger kids. The amazing thing is every day we choose her, and every day she chooses us. It isn’t easy, but there is nothing more joyful than serving where God has called us,” says Molly.
For the past three years, FaithBridge has seen a steady increase in teens needing homes – the most significant increase occurring in 2020. This trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down and FaithBridge is committed to meet the growing need to provide families for teens, who are too often placed in group homes. Our goal is to serve 100 more foster children aged 13 and older annually by 2022.
This National Foster Care Month, there are teens in foster care just like Jessica who deserve to experience the restoration experienced through the love of a Christian family. We have an urgent need for more families, like the Bergs, who are willing to accept children 13 and older into their homes and you can help.
*Name has been changed to protect the children and teens we serve.