Sarah and David Velmont are foster parents living in the Humble area. Sarah shares their experience as foster parents and how “God stepped in” to provide and lead them through the process of licensing and parenting foster children. Their story illustrates the extraordinary things God can do when we step out of the way and give all of ourselves to Him.
By Sarah Velmont
God had been nudging us to foster in the early years of our marriage. He planted seeds early as David had been the biological child in a fostering family who cared for teen boys and my family had been a safe-haven for teen girls needing emergency shelter. When we moved to Texas, both of us sensed that our new house “wasn’t just for the 4 of us,” and we knew God didn’t just mean that we needed to get a dog!
For a few years, we discussed becoming a foster family, but we always had a reason why we should not to start the licensing process until one Sunday morning we saw in the bulletin that the Christian agency we had researched was holding licensing classes on our church’s campus (First Baptist Humble). God stepped in and gave us one less excuse not to start the process. The church was providing free on-site childcare during the trainings; with no family in the state, that was a huge help. The decision was made to start the process, so we did.
After more than six months of attending training and inspections completed on our home, we were prepared, but nothing could really make us ready for welcoming children into our home through foster care. The kids joining our family had experienced so much hurt and trauma; they needed love, attention, help with hygiene, and constant supervision. In the beginning, we surrendered to the process. Navigating the CPS system for the first time ever, tackling the mounds of paperwork, getting kids to appointments, helping ready them for entry into a new school, and being the air traffic controller of emotions for four kids was exhausting. We sacrificed sleep for days wondering if we had made the right choice, if the foster kids were feeling welcome and safe in our home, if our biological kids were adapting okay, if someone was going to come demand to have their kids back. We had no idea how intense the experience would be in the first few weeks. We also sacrificed a lot of little things, like changing our standards about keeping our house tidy (we still wave the white flag on that one). Many nights we sacrificed nutrition for sanity and our kids ate cereal for dinner at least once a week in the beginning as we were dealing with our first foster son’s extreme tantrums. A nice dinner was no longer top of the list – love and safety became the priority.
We had an idea of how our family dynamic should look and it frustrated us to no end that things were just not going our way. When we finally surrendered to God everything that was breaking our hearts and taxing our minds, we had peace and knew that He had called us to this ministry. He would sustain us. Over the first year of fostering, we learned how to manage time, emotions, and energy far better than those first few weeks. Being in a state where we have no relatives, the church is our family. God used those individuals and families to sustain us in this messy ministry, too. Oasis ministry has blessed us beyond measure.
When children in our home have had trauma reintroduced, the reaction can be extreme and scary. There have been many prayers cried out for “Jesus, take the wheel!” and “God, YOU alone have got this. I *don’t* got this, God! Help!” God has spoken through us to our foster children more than a few times. There have been intense moments when every ounce of our humanness is screaming from frustration on the inside, and the words coming out of our mouths are love and peace and patience. That is ALL GOD.