2004 - 2012
Unexpected paths sometimes lead to beautiful destinations. Such is the story of Fostering Hope. Early in their marriage, Fostering Hope’s founder and his wife, Jonathan and Virginia Reid, can’t recall a single conversation about foster care or adoption. It simply wasn’t on their radar. That changed when Jonathan and Virginia experienced the pain of unexplained infertility. After years of walking this path and after a lot of twists and turns, they decided to grow their family through foster and adoptive care. Little did they realize how this decision would radically change their story.
As children in foster care entered their lives, their hearts began to break for these incredible kids. They began to see them not as mere statistics in a category but as real kids who needed real love. These children especially needed safe, supported foster or adoptive families. This experience compelled them to do what they could within their personal capacity. Over the years, they have cared for thirty youth in foster care and have adopted four.
At the same time, Jonathan developed a deepening conviction that… As Jonathan surveyed the fact, the need for safe, supported families could be met if people of faith would increasingly engage. As Jonathan scoured New England looking for an existing, faith-motivated effort to support, he came up empty. Compelled by the local need, Fostering Hope was born.
2010 - 2015
Baby Steps –
Incorporated in 2012, our early years can best be described as a classic, grassroots “founder” organization. On a volunteer basis, Jonathan and Virginia sought to raise awareness through church speaking events and smaller information gatherings. They also consulted with families interested in foster care or adoption and catalyzed small service projects to the foster care community. During this time, our founding board along with other early volunteers were instrumental in getting us off the ground.
We were thankful for the many families and children impacted during this season. At the same time, we recognized that for a generational movement to emerge, something had to change, including Jonathan shifting to Fostering Hope as his vocation.
A New Vision -
Jonathan transitioned to working half-time with Fostering Hope. This was a season of studying emerging research on foster and adoptive care as well as learning from national leaders and organizations who so generously shared their time, best practices, and wisdom. During this important season, a program model began to develop that would allow Fostering Hope to help churches create sustainable cultures of service to the foster care community.
2016 - 2017
2018 - Present
Growth and impact -
In the Fall of 2017 Jonathan transitioned to Fostering Hope on a full-time basis. In January of 2018, Mike Brown joined the organization as its Director of Programs and Development. As we increased our work with individuals, churches, and organizations, we discovered that a movement had been growing throughout New England, particularly Eastern Massachusetts. We began to apply our developing model in partnership with this emerging movement with encouraging results. Churches were engaging, networks were forming, and lives were being impacted.
As of early 2020, we have the privilege of helping to lead three church networks in Eastern MA with more around the corner. The vision is for a day when every child welfare office in New England has a network of local churches committed to caring for children, families and professionals impacted by foster care in their region.