|The Lehne Family|
LE: How did you know your family was supposed to foster a child?
Kris: God led us to foster when He revealed to us that there were babies being born in our county that did not have a home. In our county, there is still only one bed for every three children that come into foster care. Our group homes are overflowing with kids.
LE: What has surprised you in the process?
Kris: What has surprised us the most is how many organizations exist to support foster children and foster families and yet so much of the public does not know about the need for foster homes. The other surprise is once educated, how few Christian families accept the calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus to these children. The reasons I hear for their choice are usually ones like, "I couldn't love them and let them go." I say, "Did God promise you your children would be with you forever? He didn't make that promise to me. I don't know how long any of my children will be in my life here on earth. Foster kids need a family, a place to belong, unconditional love and most of all to have Christian families to introduce them to our redeemer, Jesus Christ. Christian families need to love them for a season, no matter how long the season, just like we do our own kids."
LE: What have some of the challenges been?
Kris: The challenges are dealing with the trauma behaviors of the children, working with a broken Government system and not getting enough respite from the ministry. We have been fostering more than seven years and have not had more than a few weeks break between placements. Every time one of my Bio kids turned 18 we took in another foster child or adopted.
LE: What would you tell people considering being foster parents?
Kris: The reason you foster, and continue to foster, is because your family gets to participate in the redemptive power of Jesus Christ in the life of a child. As you begin to provide consistent food, clothing, shelter and unconditional love, these children feel real love for possibly the first time in their life. The transformation that occurs before your eyes is an absolute miracle. The one little three year old girl who was brought to us on our wedding anniversary, did not know how to sleep on a bed, eat at a table, take a bath or any other hygiene routine, talk, use the potty or wear clothes. She had not been taught any of these life skills. In less than two months, she had been redeemed from all these and more!! God opened to doors to adoption and she became a Lehne about a year and a half later.
In our family, fostering has been an incredible ministry for us to work in together. I know these children have made an impact on each one of us in a way no other ministry could. We share many fond memories of the children God has allowed us to love for a season. Foster children that we stay in touch with remember how fun our house is and going to church.
Thank you, Lehnes, for being the Super Good in this world!