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“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” –T.D. Jakes

After graduating from college and getting married in 2002, I accepted a job as a Child Protection Investigator with the Department of Children and Families. I absolutely loved my job, including the long nights that sometimes included sleeping at the office with children because there were no foster homes able to take them. Once I had my daughter, I no longer felt that I could be a new mommy and put in the amount of time and energy needed to keep children safe at work.

I resigned from my position and pursued a second career as a middle school teacher (see the trend here!). At the time of my resignation, I told my husband that at some point in our lives, I wanted us to become foster parents. He was on board! Not sure if it was because he wanted to do it also or if he just knew it was important to me, but it didn’t matter.

Each year, around our anniversary, we usually discussed the timing of fostering children. We’ve always said that it would be better once our own daughters were a little older.

Fast-forward to May 24th, 2015, where the message at church was about meeting the needs of children with the Sponsor/Foster/Adopt Expo in the Lobby following the service. The date of this message had special meaning to us because it was our 13th wedding anniversary. We looked at each other and knew that it was God’s time for us to pursue fostering. We were ready and our daughters, Madelyn (10) and Molly (8), were also ready and excited.

We attended the Foster Information Dinner where we fell in love with the Safe Families organization and decided as a family, then and there, that we would begin the process to become a Safe Family.

On June 30th, we were officially certified as a Safe Family! And as I write this, we have two adorable little sisters, ages 2 and 4, upstairs in our guest room napping.

Is it exhausting going back to taking of care of toddlers? Yes! Is it worth it? Absolutely! Can it be heartbreaking? Incredibly!

As we were on our way to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt on their first night with us, they asked if we “had enough monies to buy us some yogurt too.” At that moment, we all knew we were making a difference for these precious girls.

The girls are so happy to be a part of a stable family. Everyday you can hear them talking about us being a happy family. Unfortunately, even providing them stability for a short time doesn’t cure them of their abandonment issues. I frequently get asked if Jason is going to come home and how do I know he is going to come home from something as simple as a grocery run.

These sweet little sisters have forever touched our family. We don’t know how long they will be with us, but whatever time we do have with them, we will love them like our own. They have taught us how to truly be thankful for what God has given us. We hope and pray that when they do go back home they will remember how much God loves them and how much we love them.

Guest blogger, Abbie Souza, is a middle school science teacher and she and her family have attended Summit since 2007. She and her family enjoy traveling, hanging out on their front porch, going to theme parks, and they are avid UCF Knights fans.