"I was shy in the beginning but this is the best place ever, I'm never gonna leave!" We couldn’t have received better affirmation from this nervous child participating in the recent Fairfax Foster Parent Night Out (PNO) hosted by McLean Presbyterian Church. The volunteer playing with the child noticed how quiet she was at the beginning of the evening, but as the night went on, the volunteer watched this child blossom: “I was happy to see her enjoying herself and laughing.” That child no doubt has experienced deep brokenness at a crucial developmental time. The foster parents caring for her are doing their best to bring restoration and stability to her.
The local church can be a part of that restoration as they serve hard working foster/adoptive parents. One way is by providing a free Parent Night Out. The Fairfax PNO served 25 children who played, enjoyed pizza, games, art projects, and a movie, while adults, sensitive to their situations, cared for them. Those foster parents enjoyed four hours of rest.
Clearly, the parents and children aren’t the only ones who benefited. Volunteers were blessed by their time with the kids. Watching the kids get more comfortable in their surroundings and serving together as a team were two notable takeaways. If the thought of fostering/adopting is intimidating, consider supporting those parents doing the work already.
Isn’t this how God’s Kingdom works? “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25). When we serve others’ needs, the blessings flow in both directions.
Parents’ Night Out is one tool Project Belong uses to resource the church to love vulnerable children. If you’d like to learn more about hosting a PNO, please contact Chris Seaton at firstname.lastname@example.org