Our first hosting placement has recently come to an “end”. Baby Carter is enrolled in quality childcare for when his mom is at class and at work. Elimination from her workforce development program due to unreliable childcare is no longer an ever present worry. Housing is stable and supportive. But most importantly, beyond a crisis averted, baby Carter and his mom, once strangers, are now considered friends of their Safe Family, the Dennis Family.
Not all placements will turn into lasting relationships. Some parents utilize Safe Families For Children simply to help them through a crisis, and after receiving the support, move along and go on their ways. Others are evidence of a hosting placement being like a seed of support planted, blossoming into a relationship where ongoing mentoring and friendship are cultivated. When hearing that this young mom and baby had nowhere to go for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Dennis’ extended an invitation, letting them know that there was a place for them at their table. The invitation was accepted and today, at the Dennis’ house, there are two extra place settings.
Through Safe Families For Children, baby Carter and his mom, once on the outside, have been drawn in to family. What a beautiful picture of Romans 9:25 – “I will call those who were not my people, MY PEOPLE. I will call those who were unloved, BELOVED.” As we move into this holiday season, let us challenge each other to reach outside of our normal circles and embrace the paradigm shifting words of wisdom from Mother Teresa: to widen our circles of family, to embrace the stranger, to love our neighbors generously, and to set an extra place at the table.