Summit Family 'Forever Changed' By Loving Foster Kids
Mar 03, 2017
Opening your heart to child who doesn’t have a home can be a scary ride, full of the unknown, frustration, and tears. But obeying God’s mandate to take care of the orphan can open your life to a love that is so vast and deep that your life is forever changed. And for Jeremy and Cortnee Pierce, that makes it all worthwhile.
Jeremy and Cortnee decided early in their marriage to take seriously the verses in Scripture that speak to taking care of the orphan (e.g., James 1:27, Psalm 82:3). For them, taking in the orphan was their “plan A” for having children.
“Orphan care is a part of the Great Commission,” Cortnee said. “Just as we are all called to preach the gospel to all nations, we are also called to do this through opening our hearts and homes to the fatherless.”
Jeremy and Cortnee have three beautiful children with varying shades of skin tone and ethnicity. To see their family portrait is like viewing what heaven will look like, with people from all walks of life. They have formally adopted two of their children, Allison (6) and Alex (3), and are fostering their third. Another daughter was with them for several weeks before being reunited with her grandparents.
Jeremy and Cortnee’s first adoption took several years, and they did not meet the birth mother until the final court date, when the mother’s parental rights were severed. The birth mother actually thanked Cortnee and Jeremy for loving and adopting her child.
“After the hearing,” Cortnee shared, “I was actually able to go over and hug my child’s birth mother and tell her how much I loved her child. We both cried together. There wasn’t a dry eye in the courthouse.”
While Cortnee will acknowledge that fostering can be heartbreaking, she firmly believes that each child that comes into their home should be loved like there’s no tomorrow.
“The whole point of fostering has always been re-unification of the children with their biological family,” Cortnee shared. “As a foster parent, though, I can’t ‘half love’ these children, even if I know that there’s a very good chance they will leave me. I can’t worry about what might happen tomorrow. God has promised grace for each new day. His mercies are new every morning, and that is what I cling to.”
Cortnee relies on God’s grace when responding to the misconceptions surrounding fostering and adoption, which are sometimes huge obstacles to overcome for families who are interested in becoming foster parents. For example, Cortnee has been accused of only taking children in because of the money they receive from the government to care for them. In reality, the money they receive is more like a supplement to what it actually takes to raise a child. Both Cortnee and Jeremy work full-time jobs in order to provide the life they want for their kids. She’s also been told that white people shouldn’t be allowed to raise children who aren’t white because they aren’t able to understand them, but foster parents are required to take classes that address this topic as well as a variety of issues that could come up.
Loving children that aren’t biologically related to her and do not share her skin color has never been an issue for Cortnee. Being able to proclaim Christ’s love to their case workers, the judges that oversee their cases, and anyone who hears their story makes it worth all the uncertainty and sleepless nights.
“Christ adopted me into his family and has commanded me to love the orphan. He has opened my heart up, and love simply pours out for these children. It’s something I can’t even fully explain.
“In the end, Jeremy and I have no regrets. Whether we are able to adopt our third child or not, we will never regret pouring our life and love onto this beautiful child and any other children that come into our home.”
By Elizabeth Ashford