Hebrews 13:2 – Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing
some have unwittingly entertained angels.
What do these words mean and how do they pertain to the mission of fostering and adopting children through our Florida Department of Children and Families? As a recruiter for Kids Central, the nonprofit organization charged with coordinating child welfare services in Circuit 5, Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties, these words have a special meaning for me. They mean that the wonderful families I work with are not only blessing our children but being blessed by them as well. As a former foster parent in Florida and an adoptive parent, these words have even greater meaning for me! My family is built upon these words and upon the great blessings I received as a foster and adoptive parent.
Before becoming a foster and adoptive parent, children were always been part of my life. As a horseback riding instructor for many years, I guided them on the path of competing in equestrian events. A foster parent recruiter and trainer for the Department of Children and Families, Patti Gilman, knew me for years and begged me to become a foster parent. She told me, “For children, being with you is like a festival Rosey!” But I was too busy as a single woman with a demanding and high profile career in radio and television, in addition to my hobby of equestrian sports.
One day one of my riding students needed a place to stay while her family home was in turmoil. After that short experience, I knew I could help children and that they would bless me too. Did they ever, that’s where the “entertaining angels” came in. In some ways I think foster parenting saved my life; it certainly changed it forever in a positive way. I was morbidly obese and probably on a path to an early demise because of health issues associated with that obesity. Training kids to ride was easy, because I was too big to do it myself anymore.
Becoming a foster and adoptive parent gave me a reason to want to be around for a long, long time to see my “children” become adults. I wanted to be by their side as they married and became parents. To be able to continue to mentor them and most importantly, love them, always and forever! My work with foster children centered on teens, a group that scares most people off. After the initial shock of taking in teenagers, I learned they needed me the most. There was not much time left before they would “age out of the system” and be on the streets, in most cases alone. My time with them was precious.
In the process of all of this, they gave me back such love, such joy, such a feeling of being needed. It was and has been the greatest blessing in my life. And so I know that my children today, my son and daughter, both approaching 40 years old now, have most certainly been angels to me, as are the lovely four grandchildren they have blessed our family with!
Looking back at the children who came in and left to be reunited with biological families or to move on their own paths, I learned so much and was so blessed by them as well. Angels? Perhaps not in the ethereal or biblical sense, but certainly in the figurative sense, for they blessed me too. They renewed my faith in God, brought me back to church, back to my daily life of prayer and introspection. They gave me the motivation I needed to get healthy, lose weight, begin to ride again and most importantly to want a long, long life to share with these blessings!
Think about what it might mean to your family. Think about the “angels” God may have in mind for you. The blessings He is about to bestow upon you for giving hope, love, and a future to teenagers, to siblings who all too often are split apart by foster care. Remember to “…entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels”.
Get more information on becoming a foster parent here.
By Rosey Moreno-Jones, a contractor for Kids Central, Inc. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the philosophy, strategies or opinions of Kids Central.