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Parents Use Faith to Foster

Foster care experts John and Kelly DeGarmo say foster care and adoption can be tough. But having parented over 40 children, they discuss how adoption is a calling and a gift from God. Read Transcript

In our home, there's no label.

There's no biological, there's no foster, there's no adoptive.

They're all our children, and we love them equally,


NARRATOR: John DeGarmo is a recognized expert

on foster care and adoption.

And while his faith now empowers his ministry to children,

at one point in his life, he wanted nothing to do with God.

JOHN DEGARMO: Our first child died of a condition called


Some pronounce it anencephaly.

It's a condition where the brain never truly forms.

And I turned my back on God.

I was full of anger.

I was full of bitterness.

I thought how can this be.

When our next child was born, Colby

was born I wouldn't even have her baptized in a church.

I was that full of anger and sadness.

NARRATOR: But a vivid dream brought him back to his faith.

JOHN DEGARMO: Felt as if I was just encompassed in evil.

And when I spoke to my minister, he

told me that it was as if Satan was

trying to grab a hold of me.

And it was at that point, I realized

I had to make some life changes.

NARRATOR: Those changes included heeding

what scripture says about caring for widows and orphans.

John and his wife Kelly have three birth children,

and over the last 20 years have adopted three children

and fostered 50 more.

JOHN DEGARMO: There are 450,000 children in the foster care


In roughly any given year, 125,000 of these children

will go up for adoption.

There are so many children out there

who will never find a family.

NARRATOR: The DeGarmos believe that opening up your home

to a child in need is a practical and loving way

to spread the gospel.

KELLY DEGARMO: This is one of the best evangelical ways

of showing somebody else Christ's love.

And it's pretty easy with children, because,

in my opinion, children, no matter

how bad they think they are, they're so easy to love.

And a little bit of love goes a long way for a child.

JOHN DEGARMO: Matthew 25:35 says for I was hungry,

and you gave me something to eat.

I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink.

I was naked, and you gave me clothing.

That's these children.

These children are suffering.

And that's what the church can step in

and say, hey, I will help feed them, I will help clothe them,

I will help give them something to drink,

I will help love them.

The widows and orphans that Jesus talks about,

that's these orphans.

The mission field is right here in America.

NARRATOR: Both John and Kelly are

quick to point out the challenges and heartaches they

face everyday.

JOHN DEGARMO: We've had children come

into our home who have suffered horrific trauma, suffered so

greatly from those people who supposedly loved them the most.

And when the children do leave our homes,

our hearts are ripped out.

Our hearts hurt.

These children need us to hurt for them,

because they may have never had anybody love them

in an unconditional fashion.

KELLY DEGARMO: When a kid really needs some comforting

they'll often come mom.

So I think the emotional stress is more on the mother.

You'll have some really bad days,

and I feel like I can't go on, I can't do this anymore.

I cannot wipe one more nose, fill up another sippy cup,

or change a dirty diaper.

And then something magical happened,

and the child will run inside and give you a flower

and say, I love you, Mommy.

And everything's great again.

NARRATOR: The DeGarmos are in the process of building a group

home for boys ages nine through 18

the most vulnerable and least wanted of adoptive children.

JOHN DEGARMO: In our group home, Never Too Late,

we're going to give them an environment where they're

going to find a forever home.

We're going to give an environment where they're

going to find someone who will say, I will love you,

I will help you, I will take care of you.

NARRATOR: Despite the daily challenges,

the DeGarmos say they wouldn't have it any other way.

KELLY DEGARMO: They might not remember us, or our names,

or our house, but they will remember a feeling of safety,

and love, and security.

And they can hold onto that feeling,

and then they will know that there can

be a different future for them.

JOHN DEGARMO: It is the greatest thing

that has happened in my life.

I can't imagine not having these children in my life.

We are all children of God.

And I was adopted as well.

I was adopted by faith.

I was adopted by Christ.

God adopts us, and he loves us unconditionally,

and forgives us our sins, and glory be to him.

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