When we think about a journey, it often involves stepping outside our comfort zone, going beyond familiar routes and venturing into the unknown. Nicole Snow and her family found themselves on such a transformative journey – the world of refugee foster care. What guided them was not a meticulously detailed plan, but a genuine desire to create a difference in the lives of others. Nicole explains, “We knew we wanted to foster, we just didn’t know quite what we wanted to do… but something just pulled us to welcoming someone into the U.S and helping them start a new chapter in their lives.”
Their journey led them to Bethany, a place where they could become foster parents. Expecting to welcome an American child into their home, fate had other plans. Instead, they opened their doors and hearts to two young boys from Afghanistan, who were on the brink of adulthood.
Stepping into a new culture wasn’t easy, but the Muslim Foster Care Association was there to support them. They learned about Ramadan, about Muslim customs, and even about the prayers the boys practiced. Nicole embraced the experience by even participating in fasting. “I called it a baby fast… I ate a little meal in the morning until the evening, but just wanted to support them and support what they were doing… and it went beautifully.”
Their home became a vibrant blend of diverse cultures. The sound of shared laughter filled the rooms as they cooked Afghan meals together, swapping stories of their differing beliefs. This was a home filled with love, respect, and mutual understanding. Nicole reflects, “We have fun together… I just can’t imagine not having the support and the safety that we can give them… they are free in our house to do whatever it is that they need to do,” her words full of genuine warmth and care.
The choice to open their home to refugee foster care was not a simple decision for Nicole and her family. But it’s one they would never take back. Sure, they encountered complex challenges, but the way this journey transformed them, expanded their worldview, and filled their lives with a deeper sense of purpose. In Nicole’s heartfelt words, “These kids eventually will leave our home, but they’re never going to leave our hearts and our lives…”
Nicole’s tale is more than just a heartwarming story of family and fostering; it’s a potent call-to-action. She wholeheartedly encourages those considering this path, stating, “I do absolutely encourage anyone who’s thinking about it… go for it because you will be forever changed.”
It reminds us of the immense potential we all hold to be catalysts for change, to affect lives, and in the process, find ourselves fundamentally transformed. The journey may not always be easy, but as Nicole’s experience shows, the enduring bonds formed and the lives forever changed make every step worthwhile.
Watch Nicole’s complete story as part of our “Our Journey Together: Sharing Experiences of Foster Parents and Refugee Youth” Workshop at: https://youtu.be/En1OX6D6cfc
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