A reminder of hope from a special guest

We had the privilege this week of a visit from a former foster family that adopted children while with Covenant Foster Care. Rick Hourigan brought his wonderful family in from Arizona for a family visit and surprised our team with a brief stop. Our team was tremendously encouraged by the visit. I really didn’t know how much I was until today.

The Hourigan Clan

Earlier today, as I was sharing lunch with a local pastor, a girl walked by with a t-shirt that caught my eye. The shirt read, “Hope has no curfew”. The slogan made me think of the gap in time between the last time I saw the Hourigan clan and yesterday’s visit.

As I pondered the impromtu visit, my mind filled with recent struggles and victories. Serving in child welfare can be very challenging. In our work with children and youth ages 0-24, we face the daunting task of picking up the pieces of shattered lives and broken dreams. Although we extend the offer of “hope” it isn’t always received nor appreciated. In fact, it seems rejected at times. Thus, the t-shirt slogan and the visit prompted this entry.

As I visited with Rick and his children, I couldn’t help but look over their heads to the framed portrait on the wall. The portrait was a photograph of their family from 2007. In that portrait was Rick’s incredible wife, Laurie. Laurie has since passed away but her memory lives on in the face of her daughter, Sarah, and in the smiles on the other children’s faces.

Looking at the portrait also reminded me that time heals. The three adopted children that now sat on the couch in front of me, were once toddlers and pre-schoolers. Now, they are young men and women of God. This mental snapshot proved the t-shirt mantra to me … Hope truly knows no curfew and it has no boundaries!

The fact that these beautiful children and Rick, even through the loss of their mother/wife, were standing in front of me smiling presented a solution to a hopeless mindset. It is this: despite the risks, challenges, struggles and rejection tied to the work of serving foster children and former foster youth, it is well worth the cause and effort. We may never know the outcome of the work but we can rest well that we have labored for a cause worth the effort and love.

Rick’s visit was a God-send. It came at the right moment as we prepare for the 17th annual Royal Family Kids Camp of Bakersfield (RFKC). RFKC is a faith-filled week-long camp set in the cathedral of the outdoors. At RFKC, children experience the love and support of trained and screened volunteer staff that have come just to love and encourage … to bless. RFKC can be rough as the children are 6-11 years old and we take 50 foster children! We need hope and we need hope that doesn’t have a curfew.

I hope you are encouraged today to keep moving forward in serving and giving. Remember, it isn’t our task to see the end result but to be faithful through the process and to do our part. The rest … it’s up to God!

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