Generally, between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the former gets the most ink. After all, mothers give birth - which from what I hear, hurts a lot. So, they probably deserve the extra attention. Yet, more often these days, we hear about the enormous influence fathers have on the lives of their children. Studies and anecdotal evidence back this up. And we’re not just talking about birth fathers. Good foster fathers, adoptive fathers, and stepfathers all contribute towards the health and well-being of children and youth. Just having a positive, engaged male role model enhances the self-esteem and influences a child’s psychological, cognitive, and social development.

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Melissa and Michael Reed’s foster parenting story began more than 20 years ago, and it’s through foster care that they’ve built their family. It’s also led them to the path they now travel – one which they never could have predicted or planned. After adopting their daughter in 2002 when she was just four years old, they proceeded to adopt four more children who now range in ages from 13 to 24.

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High school sweethearts, Melani and Colton have lived in Pleasanton all their lives. It’s home in the most meaningful of ways because they are connected to the community through extended family, former classmates, and the neighbors they’ve known since they were kids. Theirs is not an unusual story in that regard. But shortly after their marriage five years ago, it became plain that their lives would be anything but usual.

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If you’ve followed Saint Francis Ministries’ social media activity at all this month, you may have noticed several stories about foster and kinship parents. They form the foundation of everything we do here – providing healing and hope to children and families. So, during Foster Care Month, we like to share their stories, as well as their thoughts about how fostering has changed their lives. And it does change lives.

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Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

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Easter 2022

April 2022 · Forward in Hope

“Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, as he said.” Matthew 28: 5-6. I find it interesting that in each of the four Gospels, followers of Jesus are told in one way or another to fear not, that they have no reason to feel afraid or alarmed. They quickly learn that all is well … that all has been made new.

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