How Home For Good Was Started
Updated: Jan 30, 2019
In 2012, we adopted our grandchildren, Wendy and Jeb. My husband is an attorney and he knew exactly what to do to secure the children's placement in our home, first as guardians and then as parents. He was fully aware and capable of moving us along through DCF to final adoption after we had secured guardianship. On the heels of taking both kids in, we felt as if we were totally led to the exact professionals we needed. We did not, however, find that our church decided to preach from the pulpit the James 1:27 command despite my request. I am actually not very upset with that because, if the truth be told, I have lived long enough to experience that the waiting time God gives us is as important as the perceived immediacy of the ministry. So, no problem. Over the years, we believed we had a journey marked out for Jeb and Wendy that could not have been of our doing as we were hardly smart enough to know how to handle certain issues. But God did and so we are very grateful.
Other families who have wanted to foster or adopt often do not know what they are getting into and it is our heart's desire to help them with as many resources as possible to help their child grow into the person God intends them to be.
About 8 years ago, after the dust had settled and we were in the adoption journey, I began to feel God's tug to take this journey and see how this might be a blessing for other adopting or fostering families within our church. I remembered that my husband and I had taught a New Believer's class years earlier with a couple (Doug and Carol Mostrom) who ended up adopting two kids from Guatemala. We loved them dearly. We got together for dinner and asked if they would like to start a ministry, and the answer was a resounding yes. The very next day (Sunday) when we went to church, I was told that a woman named Ali Broughton at Grace Chapel’s Wilmington campus had just had a Matching Assistant Program class for families who might like to foster (MAPS is put on by Department of Children and Families). We connected with Ali and Home for Good was born. We started out with some fun events at our house - pool parties and Christmas service projects and meals together and soon learned that the real need was to have a support group to be able to talk through our family needs together and to strategize and pray for one another and to be "family" to our kids. Our children all have a similar story, so it was good to be able to identify each other in church and to also be together each Wednesday night.
After a short while, Grace Chapel began something called Grassroots Ministries which are adjunct ministries that are recognized by the church but not financially supported. We had access to space so we put on several conferences which were pretty well attended and then primarily landed in the support group mode as that seemed to be everyone's greatest interest.
Not much later ( a few months), Vision New England learned about us and wanted us to take our model and duplicate it in interested churches throughout New England. We brought together a small number of people and we began to meet as reps from our various New England states to see how God might do something through interested churches. We had quite the dialogue together and have become quite close with the other members. We meet about once a quarter. Since then we have established a general website called NEFAM which is New England Foster and Adoption Ministries.
God has brought a second major coalition into our lives that has to do with inner city churches (Boston). Often, the African American churches manage fostering and adoption very differently than the suburban churches. There is now a movement to bring urban and suburban together. Several of the big churches in the city are willing to open their doors to be Hub churches to the smaller ones that they might have conferences around adoption, training from DCF, and opening their space to the smaller churches to meet for their needs around adoption and foster care. All this to say, through another God moment, some months back, I met the Assistant Director of the Emmanuel Gospel Center in Boston. They do the same kind of work for the inner city churches (strengthening their ministries with resources and collaborations) as Vision New England. Her name is Liza Cagua-Koo. I introduced her to Jonathan Reid who has a ministry named Fostering Hope. Jonathan is the Rhode Island connection for NEFAM and the moment we met I realized that he was the perfect lead for establishing a viable adoption and foster care ministry in New England. God has used him and his partner Mike Brown to forge amazing awareness and significant growth in the suburbs of MA and in Rhode Island. We have been meeting every other week with DCF city recruiters who are amazing and thrilled to be welcomed by the churches and ministry heads around adoption work and are being guided by Liza and Ricardo Franco who is Family Support Services Coordinator for Massachusetts Adoption Reliance. The real vision is to supply more trauma trained and equipped waiting families through the churches than waiting children. The other ministries in the churches can choose to support these families in different ways through service projects (providing clothing, kind deeds of service like babysitting or household duties, etc.). Once DCF has approved families and have moved to adoption, Home for Good comes in to encourage and create meaningful support groups with tons of local resources and an understanding of a path for each family that helps to eliminate or reduce a lot of the terrible volatility that goes on in a family with these precious kids.
Home for Good Networks exists to educate, encourage, equip, and engage the church in caring for vulnerable children.