What WFTW means to The CALL

Every day, more than 2 dozen children and youth come into foster care through no fault of their own. Each one deserves a home, a family.

Arkansas needs more than 1,800 additional foster families for foster children and youth. More than 365 children and youth are waiting to be adopted. The CALL is reaching communities around the state, mobilizing the local Church and preparing Christian families to bring home waiting children and youth – whether for a season or forever.

 More than 1,800 Christian foster and adoptive families recruited by The CALL have changed the lives of over 11,000 children since 2007. With the help of Sponsored Walkers like you, kids like Vanessa are finding a family:


Vanessa’s Story

“If my parents hadn’t gotten involved with The CALL my story wouldn’t be what it is today. I am grateful for my life, and I am grateful for my parents teaching me about love and family.”


Children and youth like Vanessa are waiting for a home today, and we can all do something to help!

Whatever you can raise during Walk for the Waiting, you give the gift of family by expanding The CALL across Arkansas, mobilizing Arkansas’ 5,900 churches statewide and providing locally accessible training and support for foster and adoptive families in your community.

 

On behalf of all of us at The CALL, thanks for being a part of the Walk and helping us all make sure that every child in Arkansas has a family and a future.

Thank you,

Lauri Currier

Executive Director of The CALL

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What WFTW means to Project Zero

Project Zero’s goal, our singular focus, is to have ‘ZERO’ children/teens in foster care waiting to be adopted. The funds raised from Walk for the Waiting have had a tremendous impact on the life and scope of Project Zero. Walk funds have allowed us to purchase two additional Heart Gallery exhibits and to continue shooting short films featuring our waiting children/teens. We believe that every child is special and unique and that every waiting child/teen deserves to have a voice.

Raymond had been waiting in foster care since 2009; hoping, longing, and wishing for a place to call home. In the fall of 2017, Project Zero, in partnership with Nathan Willis Films, shot a short film about Raymond that allowed him to share his story in his own words. His film reached thousands of people resulting in families from all over the country inquiring about him. It resulted in something else too…..Raymond found a forever family.

https://vimeo.com/227460283/394885ebe9

Thank you for your support, your prayers, and your passion. Thank you for faithfully giving, serving, and partnering with Project Zero and Walk for the Waiting to make ‘zero’ a reality. Your support is changing lives and futures, like Raymond’s, every day.

Love and blessings,

Christie Erwin, Executive Director/Project Zero

www.theprojectzero.org

 

Bubbus #ForeverFamilyFriday

Our story began almost 10 years ago.  Alan and I were sitting in church and Mary Carol Pederson, from The C.A.L.L., spoke about the need for Christian foster families in Pulaski county.  We had never heard of a need for foster families.  I had never met a kid in foster care.  Our eyes were opened.  Alan and I decided this was a no brainer.  So in the next 2 years we went through all the necessary training and paperwork to become approved to foster or adopt. During this time we had David, our first born.  Shortly after his first birthday, we began fostering.  We had 10 kids in and outof our home in less than 18 months.  It was a whirl wind of emotions.  We experienced heartbreakand great joy.  The Lord was using these children to bless us in ways I never imagined.

I remember taking one of the kids to court.  That day the judge ruled that he should go home. In my humble opinion, a lot of work needed to be done on his parents part before he should go home.  I called a friend and told her he was going home.  Her kind response was, “isn’t this kind of what you signed up for?”  I just cried.  It was what we had signed up for, but my heart was still broken. Then I called a fellow foster mom and told her what happened in court and she just began to cry with me.  It was obvious that this was not an easy road, but I knew I was supposed to advocate for these precious children.
In early March of 2013, while we were fostering a 4 year old girl who was transitioning home, we received a call from Christie Erwin, from The Project Zero, about adopting 2 boys.  She asked if she could give my number to their grandmother and I said, “of course.”  I was so excited.  I can remember the next week driving to their grandparents home.  The whole way there Alan said repeatedly, “Don’t get excited. This probably won’t work.  Let me do most of the talking.  I don’t want you to get yourheart broken.”  Within 30 minutes of meeting the boys and their grandparents Alan asked, “so when can the boys move in?”  It was a beautiful moment!  We are so blessed that Evan and Ethan are in our lives and that their precious grandparents are like a second set of parents to us.  The boys started coming to visit when our foster daughter was visiting her biological family.  June 2, 2013 those two sweet boys moved in and became ours forever.  It wasn’t always easy, especially since we had just opened our 3rd restaurant and Alan was in his 3rd year of law school, but God’s grace is sufficient. In July of 2014, Evan and Ethan’s adoption finalized.  It was so precious to have 3 little boys. Little did we know just 2 months later we would find out we were pregnant with Moses!  It was such an affirmation of our faith in our Creator and Sustainer that we had been obedient to His call to foster and adopt.  Moses was born in April of 2015.  It was so sweet to have 4 little boys.  Our hearts and our arms were full.  But God wasn’t finished yet.
Four months later I received a phone call from our HR director at work asking if we were still foster parents.  He was told by one of our managers that an employee was probably going into foster care because of some things going on at home.  I called everyone I had ever known who had anything to do with DCFS and fostering to try to help out this young man.  No child deserves to live in a place that isn’t safe.  Within a few days my request had made it all the way to the top and my prayers had been answered.  They were going to let this young man live with us while we worked to get all our paper work and training up to date.  Sadly, after the DCFS inquiry to his home, they decided it was safe for him to stay where he was.  We called him into Alan’s office and simply asked him his story.  My heart was broken for this young man.  We all cried. By the end Alan told him, “if you ever need a safe place to stay, you are always welcome to stay withus.”  It was so emotional for us all.  I didn’t know what was going to happen, but God knew.  Two dayslater this young man, JP, called me and said, “my dad is drunk and I’m scared to go home.”  I told him to come on over!  And that was that.  He’s been with us ever since and is now our son!
When we started our foster care/adoption journey, I would have laughed if you told me I would adopt a 16 year old.  The thought of that was beyond my reasoning.  But His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.  (Isaiah 55:8-9) Now with baby boy number 6 on the way, we again have our hearts and our arms full.  Since we can’t foster or adopt, we are seeking how God would have us help the cause to raise awareness and funds for these kids who need a safe, loving home.  Although we may not all be able to foster or adopt, we all can do something

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#ForeverFamilyFriday – Webb Family

This is a story about perfect timing, from a foster and now adoptive new dad’s perspective…

  On a Thursday night in February 2016, we were headed home after just picking up a 5 year old boy from his current foster home.  Becca had agreed to watch him for a weekend, his current foster mom was going out of town. At the time we had our now adopted son and two other foster kids in our home.  Becca by this time had around 8 years of parenting under her belt, but I was a fairly new dad. And any new, honest dad will tell you parenting can be a little overwhelming at first. But it was just for the weekend and Kenny seemed to fit right in.  

  Our youngest foster child at this time, “J” had been with us since July 2015, when she was just a few days old.  The rest of that year was spent in and out of Childrens’ Hospital, with a couple of extended stays in the NICU, dealing with J’s many health issues.  In spite of the challenges, we loved “J” as our own. And as we got ready to start the weekend with our house guest, she had really turned a corner and seemed like a normal healthy, happy baby.  We had a great weekend. Kenny and our oldest son Lamar got along great. Kenny, in spite of his special needs, just seemed happy all the time. At the end of the weekend we took Kenny back to his foster home.  We then learned this was Kenny’s 3rd foster placement, and he was about to be moved again. We talked and prayed. Kenny’s biggest need was stability, and a routine. As crazy as our home seemed at the time with three kids, we just felt Kenny’s next stop needed to be with us.  We were warned by those involved in Kenny’s case of his challenges. But the more we heard, the more it confirmed what we felt we were being led to do. Kenny was coming home.

  A few days later we got a call.  Unexpectedly, the decision had been made that “J” would be placed with an aunt & uncle to live.  We were surprised, shocked, devastated that we wouldn’t have “J” in our lives anymore. We were torn. We knew God was in control, but our desires and vision for the future was not this.  We were hurting. But we kept going, kept trusting Him.

  A short time later, another call.  Kenny had a younger sister. They had been split up with the thought that Lynn would be more likely to find a forever home by herself than in a sibling group with a special needs brother.  “Are you able, and would you consider having Kenny and Lynn in your home together,” we were asked.  This past December, right before Christmas, Kenny and Lynn became a part of our forever family.

  This story, our story, is a story of God’s perfect timing.  Becca and I, both married previously, both ending in divorce, crossed paths at just the right time.  We both desired a family, and through adoption, God gave us our son Lamar, and Kenny, and Lynn. We have had a few foster placements in our home, and we have loved them all unconditionally.  When each placement leaves, it hurts. But “C” and “C” and “J” and “V” came to us because it was just the right time for them to be in our home. And while we have cried every time they leave, it was all in perfect timing.  His timing!

 

 

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Foster Family Story: DeClue

“You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. GOD, my God, I can’t thank you enough.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭30:11-12‬ ‭MSG‬‬

This thing we call foster care has rocked our little world and tiny home greatly. We opened as an Immerse home in September on 2014. As a foster home June 30th 2015. We became adoptive parents on August 2nd 2017. Biological parents on January 16th 2018. In this seemingly short span of time listed we have had just over 20 humans enter our home to shape our house and lives for the better.

God has been evident in everything. I have continued to cling to the statement, “God’s got this. He has a really cool plan. I can’t see it, but He has a plan.” Even when those words were uttered through clinched teeth and tear soaked cheeks.

 

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#ForeverFamilyFriday

Bo-Mackey from The CALL on Vimeo.

 

“When you sit & think about how his life could have been. It really shows you the impact the foster care could have on a kids life!” – Ashley 

“Is it hard? Yeah it’s hard! But it’s also rewarding!” – Jay

“You feel alive when your (fostering), like you’re doing what you’re suppose to be doing it! It doesn’t feel like a burden, it feels like a blessing!” – Ashley

After adopting Bo Mackey the family continued to foster & recently added a sweet baby sister through adoption to complete their forever family!

To a video telling more of their story click the link here!

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Fostering Journal – Cason Family

Fostering was never a part of my plan. But it was always in God’s plan. About 7 years ago, before my husband and I had any kids of our own, he randomly brought up how he felt like we should maybe foster or adopt. Our pastor at church had preached on the passage in James 1:27 where it says that “pure and undefiled religion is caring for widows and orphans”. He took that very literally and decided at that point that we should foster and or adopt. I was most definitely not on board. In fact, I’m pretty sure my response was “nope”.

 

Over the next 5 years God drastically changed my heart. He placed people and situations in our lives that continually brought up fostering. I fought God and I fought hard. I kept coming up with excuse after excuse of why we couldn’t foster. My loving husband never once pushed me or forced it upon us. God did all the work of changing my hard heart to what He wanted me to become.

 

In 2015, I finally told my husband that I was ready to seriously consider adoption. I had very strict guidelines on what I would and would not do. (ha!) We started looking into private adoption of a newborn baby and the door was quickly shut for us. So we decided we would begin looking into fostering. Again, I had very strict rules about what was going to happen. I knew that since we had two young biological girls of our own, my main concern was protecting them and doing what was in their best interest. Even after the first informational meeting I wasn’t sure I would be able to do this. I felt completely unprepared and had no idea how it would be possible. A very wise friend told us that we didn’t have to have everything figured out. All we had to do was “Take the next right step”.

 

So in January of 2016, we began the process of becoming an open home for fostering. My heart continued to be change during the next few months of what I wanted. By the time we were officially open in June, we decided that we were unprepared for any of this and that whatever God wanted to bring to our home we were willing.

 

In August of 2016 we got our first placement of two girls who were 3 and 6. So we went from a family of 4 to a family of 6, ages 2, 3, 5, and 6, overnight. To say that life was crazy would be an understatement. But God was so good and he continually provided for us. He gave us a peace like never before. He brought friends to us that covered us in prayers. The girls were with us for 16 months before we took them to their forever home in December 2017. It was the toughest 16 months of our lives, but we would do it again.

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Harris #ForeverFamilyFriday Story

I think God had been working on our story from the very beginning. Marc and I married in 2001, we had our first and only bio in 2002 and had been trying to conceive another child for several years. We often talked about adoption but didn’t know how to get started or how the process worked. We weren’t really proactive about looking into it. It was more of a casual conversation. We were in the starting process of fertility treatments when one Sunday we found out about The CALL,  They were showing a video at our church. When we saw the need was huge to take in foster kids we knew right away God was calling us to it. Naturally we had a plan, we would foster one at a time until we adopted one child but God had a different plan for our family. We took in a sibling set of two boys when we first opened and within a year we took another sibling set (brother and sister) to keep them from splitting up. We had Five children in our home within the first year of fostering.
Shortly after fostering, we soon understood what God was asking us to do. He wanted this to become a ministry , to reach out and help these families. Pour love into them, support them (within DCFS boundaries) and cheer them on as they got up and back on their feet to work to get their kids back.  We learned to build relationships that lasted , support systems to carry on even after the kids went home. Throughout our 8 year journey we’ve been able to foster over 15 kiddos, adopted 5 and continue to maintain relationships with the families we’ve been able to support. This journey has been such a blessing to me and my family. We are thankful God allowed us to be a part of it.
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Noah Davis #foreverfamilyFriday

Arkansas newest American Idol contestant, Noah Davis, sat down to tell us about how foster care & adoption formed his forever family. As an 18-year old you can tell from his interview that this really had a positive impact on his life.

 

“Having a flat tire is life not being fair! Not getting love & affection from your parents… thats just wrong!” – Noah

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