The initial goal of Rescue 100 was to have 100 families sign up throughout our church and community to become foster parents through an expedited process of becoming licensed in one weekend. Rescue 100 has now become a state-wide collaborative effort in Mississippi to recruit, train, and support foster families by expediting the licensing process to one day of in-person training and some online training as well. I attended the very first Rescue 100 training weekend in May, 2016. Pending my home visits, background checks, and paperwork, lots of paperwork, I was well on my way to becoming a foster parent.
After I completed the process and was officially licensed, I told my resource worker I knew a little boy in foster care at a local orphanage and I was willing to bring him home until they found him a forever home. I was so thrilled to tell him at my next visit that I was going to be able to bring him home. Except when I arrived, he was no longer there.
I was devastated, confused, and frustrated. I knew that little boy had been brought in my life for a reason. I knew I was supposed to fight for his life. I knew it. But I found myself standing there unsure if I would ever see him again. I did some digging and found out he was moved to another orphanage in a town about three hours from me. I started beating down doors, exhausting the phones lines, and email threads. I was doing whatever I had to do to make sure I was able to bring him home. Nothing worked. I was so confused. There was a boy in foster care that needed a home, and I was willing to give him a safe place, but the agency kept refusing without reason.
After months of fighting but still believing I was supposed to help this little boy, I told God if this was what He truly had for me and for him, that He was going to have to show up and perform a miracle. I was getting out of His way and I was going to let Him do what He does best. Be God. I stopped all the calls, I stopped all the emails, I stopped all the visits to the agency, I stopped with all the questions, and I stopped all the fight. I just stopped. I received daily requests to take in other children but refused, because it would leave me no room for Jeremy in case they called for me to take him. Every phone call ended in tears because I felt like the worst human for saying no to hurting children. But I had hope that my boy was going to come home.
I often go to the gym on my lunch break and this day was just like any other day. I headed out to the gym, jumped on the treadmill, turned on my music, pressed start, and prayed. I prayed for my boy. I prayed for a miracle. And after three months of silence, my phone rang. I stopped the treadmill. ‘Hello?,’ I said. On the other end were the words I had been holding onto hope for. She said, ‘I’m Jeremey’s social worker and someone mentioned to me today that you might be interested in taking him in. Is this true?’