I think it’s important for fiction to reflect life, and, if possible, for it to reflect real issues and aim readers toward Godly answers. While we write stories, we can put in bits of truths, bits of wisdom, and bits of guidance.
The idea for my newest novel, Camp Hope, came to me while we were foster parents. I had a nightmare that our foster daughter was kidnapped and, when I woke, I began wondering what would happen if she were truly taken from us. How would it complicate things because she was a foster child? Thankfully, we have never had to find out the answer, and I pray we never will.
Being a foster parent was a hard job. It was eye opening to learn the scary statistics about abuse in our country. The mommy in me wanted to quit many times. But, for me, I think the hardest part was never knowing with any certainty what our foster children’s futures held. From the moment DCS telephoned us and asked us if we wanted to take a new placement until the time they went home (or in our case were adopted), there was so much “up in the air.” Family could show up and qualify to take them. The biological parents could complete their plans and earn custody back. While we prayed for the biological parents’ recovery, we also always prayed that God’s will be done in our foster children’s lives. And that no matter what happened, He would help us through it.
He has blessed us with three biological daughters and now an adopted daughter and son. We are no longer foster parents, having felt led to close our doors a couple of years ago when our adoptions were finalized. But my heart still longs to help. There is such a huge need for good foster families in our country. For a safe place for children who can’t go home. I am so very thankful that God called us to be foster parents, even if only for a few years.
The bond between a foster parent and foster child is different, but it is very strong. While our placements were in our home, they were our children. We were their advocates and we loved each of them. I still wonder sometimes about the ones who went home. I doubt I will ever forget them.
I’ve tried to incorporate these truths into my writing and raise awareness for an issue in a different way.
The characters in my book are not perfect. They have scarred pasts, traumatic childhoods, and rocky adulthoods. It is reality hidden within fiction. I hope that I have portrayed the strong bond and sense of responsibility a foster parent feels in my new novel, but I also hope that I’ve written Amy’s path toward healing well enough that it could touch someone out there who may need their own healing. Camp Hope: Journey to Hope is the second installment in the Love, Hope, and Faith Series, and it is my hope that is lives up to its name by helping a reader out there find new hope.