Blog  /  Parenting  /  Orphan Sunday : Transformational Love for Foster Kids (Part II)

Sunday November 7th is Orphan Sunday.  A day set aside to remember God’s express command to care for the needs of orphans.  Here is Part 2 of the story of our dear friends and partners in ministry, the Bartolini’s, who have answered this call with serious action and self-sacrifice.

Transformational Love for Foster Kids | Part II

My wife and I also have children of our own, 2 that share our DNA and our adopted son.  Foster care is one of the best ways we can show our kids the reality of Christ in our own life.  We are given the opportunity to share with them what it means to care for others in the name of Christ, what is means to pick up our cross, and what it means to love others as we love ourselves.  We have brought the front lines of God’s battle into our home and are waging war on the enemy alongside our kids.  Our kids need opportunities to exercise their growing faith and lean on Christ.  Bringing foster kids into our home gives them that chance.  The result is that we are raising some amazing kids.  That said, please understand that my wife and I are normal parents with everyday struggles and problems.  We are not super-parents.  We have the same bad moments that all parents have.

Two years ago, we were asked to have 2 young girls, 3 and 5 year old sisters, in our home while their foster parents prepared for the birth of twins.  When they arrived and we all greeted them at the door, they explained some of the important things about their life: what they like to eat, the toys they liked to play with, what they brought with them, and that their dad raped their mom.  It was so nonchalant, like a script they have delivered many times that it was missed by my kids and didn’t require explanation.  The foster parents were very quiet, calm, and deliberate people.  They didn’t have any other kids, the twins were going to be their first bio kids.  The sisters were reticent and uneasy.  At first I wasn’t sure if they were reserved or if they just needed time to warm up to us.  As it turned out, the sisters were not reserved.  They liked to have fun and they had fun at a high volume!  The sisters fit in well with our 3 high-energy kids and we ended up with 5 kids from 3-6 all high-energy and ready for fun.

The girls ended up calling me Peter Pan as I was more of a camp-leader/toy for wrestle-time and piggyback rides (being a foster dad will save you time and money at the gym).  The twins were on their own schedule and we ended up keeping the girls for 3 weeks.  It was a hard 3 weeks.  It was hard on our kids and hard on us.  The sisters told us many times that they wanted to live with us and wanted us to be their foster family.  We found out later that they cried all the way home and were sullen for many days afterward.  But then, as if waking from a dream, they were never the same again.  Their foster dad said it was like a weight had been lifted from their shoulders and they were finally able to just be kids.  We didn’t do anything extraordinary for these kids.  We were just a normal family and, for probably the first time in their short lives, they were shown what a real family looked like, how a sister acts, what a brother does.  We just gave them a picture of what a family should be.

For more information on Orphan Sunday click HERE.

Peter Bartolini

Peter Bartolini is a member of Family Matters\’ board of directors and is part of our Speaker Team. He and his wife Julie have been foster parents since 2004. They have 3 children, Natalie- age 9, Morgan- age 8 and Sammy- age 6. They currently have the blessing of an 11 month old foster care placement living in their home and bringing them joy daily. Since they became foster parents, they have had 19 foster kids in their home and look forward to many more! Peter blogs at http://peterbarto.wordpress.com/

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