Meet Ashlyn, lover of kayaking, paddle boarding, healthy and eclectic food, spontaneous travel and her role as a single foster mom. For Ashlyn, “being a single mom who fosters hasn’t been harder or easier than being married with a family, it’s just different.” When asked what motivated her as a single woman to foster her response was passionate and beautifully articulated. “The Gospel compels us to lead a life marked by gratitude for our Redemption, and to mirror the grace and acceptance so freely shown to us. Foster Care isn’t the only way, but is a way, and a very tangible one at that; in which to reflect the truth of the Gospel to our community and our world. For many years, I’ve been actively involved in foster and orphan care in other countries, but over the past few years have specifically felt burdened for these vulnerable children in my own Country and Community. Choosing to be a foster parent isn’t glamorous, doesn’t suddenly supply you with a superhero cape, or any other preconceived idea that you may have. Simply, it’s a choice. A choice to be obedient. A choice to worship. A choice to give my life away in the little tiny daily ways, or the big emotionally draining ones; so that others may know Who I follow.”
The choice Ashlyn made let her to fostering through Miracle Hill and she’s had 4 placements so far. Learning to parent children out of trauma has been something that has been difficult, but Ashlyn has sought out training and is constantly learning how to adjust her parenting to meet the needs of the children in her care. Ashlyn feels that her singleness affords her the time and opportunity to love in some unique ways. “It’s not a question of which is better, we need both. It’s a question of – where has God called you to serve the orphaned and vulnerable children, the “fatherless and widows” with the strengths and gifting that He has given you?” When asked if there was any message that helped her navigate this journey, she shared the following that serves as both a challenge and encouragement to us all “In the Gospel it says “I see you where you are and I am coming after you.” Foster care and adoption are beautiful echoes of that declaration.” Ashlyn is perfect evidence of someone who proves that a willing spirit, submitted to the Father’s plan can be a powerful extension of His love for the least of these.
Photography by: Corey Pelton