Sarah and Leland

Meet SC Foster Parents: Ryan and Dixie
Ryan and Dixie
December 30, 2016

Leland and Sarah’s interest in fostering began several years ago and, like everyone else, they faced many hesitations. As full-time working parents, would they have the time needed to help foster kids? Would their biological daughter get lost in the mix? How could they add to an already exhausting schedule?

Leland’s biggest hesitation was simply whether or not they could handle all the demands of fostering. Their free time is already so limited, and Sarah plans to continue her nursing education in the fall. Sarah admits that fostering is “an opportunity to live radically, serving in an area where I have no expertise.” Instead of using these hesitations as excuses, they chose to fulfill God's desire to “seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.”

Sarah explains “God put foster care on our hearts over a period of several years. He began to gently weave the idea into my heart in subtle ways years ago, and then in stronger and clearer ways more recently in both of our lives.”

Sarah is a nurse and business manager, and Leland is a young adults pastor. They love the outdoors, staying fit and drinking coffee! When time allows, they enjoy taking family walks with their golden retreiver Riley, either on the beach or on trails through local parks. This family loves to laugh, and those laughs come easy with a sweet three-year-old in the house who “thinks she is the boss.”

The family has cared for four foster children since they became licensed in 2017. Their home is open to children ranging from eight weeks to eight years old. Sarah recognizes the challenges offered by fostering, but views them instead as opportunities. She says, “In this environment, we have a unique opportunity to have a window into the human heart. My story is different from their stories, but my heart’s needs are similar in a lot of ways.” Leland’s favorite aspects of fostering include watching a child heal and learn to trust, and also explaining to people why he chose to foster during such a busy phase of life, a great opportunity for evangelism. Leland and Sarah are a great example to others who have fears about fostering: they didn’t use their already busy lives as an excuse, and you shouldn’t either.

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