Faith & Family

How the father heart of God led to foster care and adoption

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Casey and Erica Wilson

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1

Life doesn’t always unfold the way you’d expect. For many, the natural flow goes like this: you meet that special somebody, you date, decide to get married, and then come children. When we were married back in 2006, we expected life to flow in this natural progression. From the beginning we did not use birth control, but were willing to begin a family whenever the Lord saw fit to allow us to conceive. But as the years rolled on, children never came. 

Early on in our marriage, we were very involved in youth and young adult ministry and didn’t think too much about it. However, as time went on, we began to be concerned that children were not coming. And so we covered all the “P’s: we practiced, we prayed, we had other people praying, and a few even prophesied over us regarding children! We were available and willing. We were making disciples and being about God’s business in many ways raising spiritual children. But 13 years went by, and physical children did not come. 

Then, in 2019, the story that God had written for the creation of our family began to unfold. And its implications were bigger and more far-reaching than just the filling of our home. But the first step was to change our hearts — by revealing His.

CASEY & Erica Wilson

In this season, as we were studying God’s Word and character, we were faced with scripture after scripture revealing to us the heart of God. How He pursued His people. How He rescued them, avenged them, came for them. I (Casey) saw that there was no passivity in The Father. It’s not just that He made salvation possible — He secured it! 

It wasn’t enough that we loved people or that we loved children. Let me tell you, I loved kids! I always wanted and loved children, but I had not been willing to pursue them. It was a different kind of love. The unconditional agape love of The Father was not in me. But when we saw His heart, everything changed. I knew God was calling me to pursue, to take action – to adopt like our heavenly Father adopted us as sons.

We began contacting various adoption agencies, but the high cost of that process was not going to be feasible for us. Some friends recommended we look into foster care and the possibility of fostering to adopt. The Lord was doing a work in our lives, and He opened our hearts to pursue this option of providing not just a home but a family to a child or children who needed us, for as long as they needed us. 

He had to give me a heart of a father. And that is not based on the value or the merit of the child, nor the needs, nor the length of time, nor the possibility of adoption. We made an agreement with one another, in faith, early on, that if it worked out for a child or children to be placed with us, that we would be there for as long as they needed us. If we could say “yes” at that moment, we treated it as a “yes” forever. Our love would be modeled after the Father’s.

From my (Erica) perspective, many people questioned our eagerness to serve such a “broken system.”  They warned us that we would experience heartbreak, discouragement, and frustration. But God gave us the faith to believe that His people are meant to be salt and light in difficult places, and to answer the call to be the solution for our community’s issues. We were not to look to government to solve society’s problems, but as a community to create solutions — especially those of the community of Christ who desire to see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. His will was to see that orphans and widows were cared for, and (like Psalm 68:6 says) to place the lonely in families. So, we (as a couple) were willing to labor to that end, knowing that He would give us the grace for the difficult days and circumstances.

Our journey to be licensed as foster parents began in the spring of 2020, just as the COVID crisis began. We completed our final weeks of training though mail correspondence and had our first placement of three children that May. Being involved in foster care opened our eyes to see the great need that Macon County has for foster homes. God has given us great faith to believe that as the local body of Christ and as a community, we could be a great answer to the issue. We have been loved and supported by many in the Macon County community, including organizations like Kaylee’s Closet, Magnolia Mission, Yes We Can, Discover Church, The Inn, and the Franklin Police Department, just to name a few who do many things to come alongside foster families. People are making a big difference in the lives of these children and the families that care for them – and more is needed!

Since 2020, we have had the joy and honor of becoming the adoptive parents or guardians for six children. It has been the hardest and best thing we have ever done! If we could encourage this community in any way, we would ask that first you would seek to discover what the Bible says about God as an Adoptive Father so that you, too, can be moved by His love that caused Him to seek out and save that which was lost. Then, we would encourage you to prayerfully consider how you could get involved in being that Love to foster children in this community. There are many ways to do so, from volunteering as a Guardian ad-litem, partnering with any of the organizations that love on foster children and foster families, and perhaps even becoming a licensed foster family yourselves.

The big picture God is giving us is this: when we restore family, we will transform our community. For many children whose families have been torn apart, or whose parents have let them down in tremendous ways, the concept of family can be greatly disfigured/distorted. But we were created for family. Love through family is our greatest need and our greatest source of identity, stability, and security. A healthy home causes us to become healthy adults. Healthy adults have healthy families that create healthy communities. If we can lay down our lives as a living sacrifice and be used by God to help pull the lonely into families, we will see transformation in our community — and our own lives will be changed for the better.

“A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.” ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

May is National Foster Care month and many organizations, such as the ones mentioned in this article and others, rely on donations to continue supporting foster children and families. Plus, the Macon County Department of Social Services can answer questions and oversees informational and training classes, such as one April 30, 6 p.m., at Discover Church. For anyone interested in possibly becoming a foster parent, visit