Some time this month (October 2014) Jody and I expect to announce a happy and blessed event: the arrival of our third grandchild, the first child of our daughter Betsy and her husband Phil. We will share that joy with Phil’s parents, Valerie and Elmer.
No doubt we will post photos of the baby, of the proud parents, of ourselves, of Mica the pit bull au pair, and of any other visitor we happen to encounter.
Before that happens I want to correct an error of omission. Since joining Facebook I have shared several links to articles written by our son Andy for the Emerging Scholars blog. I have not posted but one link to the work that Betsy has been doing. We thank God and pray every day for our children: Andy, Jodi, Betsy, Phil, Caleb, Sadie, and Baby Girl S. They are all amazing people and we marvel at the individuals they are and are becoming, but I want to put Betsy in the spotlight for a moment.
First, a little history. Betsy was graduated from Messiah College in 2004 with a BA in Human Development and Family Science. Similar to social work, this program trains students in human development and family dynamics, with a goal of enabling graduates to serve in programs and ministries that strengthen families and promote wellness of individuals and families. After spending a year in Venezuela working for a nonprofit that provides residential foster care and orphan care, Betsy came home, moved to Philadelphia, and began working for a U.S.-based nonprofit that provides foster care case management.
Foster care is required when a family or a single parent is judged to be incapable of providing a safe, secure, and nurturing environment for a child. Foster care is always, ideally, a temporary solution. Once a child is removed to foster care, a secondary goal is introduced: to reunite with the parent or parents and support the parents in the appropriate care of the child.
What if families or single mothers could be helped and supported in such a way that enabled them to provide the proper care from the beginning of the child’s life? Think of the difference that would make in a city such as Philadelphia.
With that possibility in mind Betsy took a leap of faith. At the beginning of the recent recession she left her job in the foster care case management agency and enrolled in an academic program that would eventually award her an MBA in Urban Economic Development.
Betsy completed her MBA and began seeking a position where she could put that knowledge to effective use. As one might imagine, in a city that was struggling from the recession the opportunities for full-time work in urban economic development were limited. However, while working part time for another local nonprofit, Betsy learned about Cradle of Hope (http://cradleofhope.net/). This organization provides short-term residential support for young women who are single, pregnant, and short on the support and resources, especially housing, they might need to provide the proper care for their babies.
Soon after her initial contact with Cradle of Hope, Betsy was asked to serve on their board of directors. The organization then decided to take its own step of faith and create the full-time staff position of director of the residential facility. Betsy is a natural fit, of course, and began serving in that capacity in September 2013.
Now Cradle of Hope, with Betsy on staff, is stepping out in faith again. They are negotiating to purchase a house next door to their existing residence and renovate it, and use it to provide assistance to more women in need. Currently they are raising funds and are approximately two-thirds of the way to their goal of $90,000.
Please don’t feel obligated to give. If all you can do is respond to this post with well wishes for Betsy and Phil and their soon-to-arrive baby girl, God bless you. If you are able and feel compelled to do more, God bless you also.
Meanwhile, best wishes to you all for a pleasant and peaceful autumn. Check back here soon for photos of and stories of the adventures of Baby Girl S. and her family.
Thank you for reading.