Host a Video “Watch Party”

Hosting a video “watch party” can be a great way to bring awareness to the great need for foster care in your community and in the United States. Springs of Love has several original, inspiring short films that tell stories about what it is like to foster, or grow up in a foster family, from a Catholic perspective. Consider showing one or more of these videos as an event at your parish, with a time for discussion afterwards. This could be a stand-alone event, or part of a bigger Awareness Event for your parish.

More videos are available on our Video Stories page.

Tori’s Story: A Fostering and Adoption Story

Tori Hope Peterson is an inspiring former foster youth, best-selling author of Fostered, and was crowned Mrs. Universe in 2022. Tori shares the heartache of moving through 12 foster homes, being separated from her sister, and eventually aging out of the system. Yet her story doesn’t end there. With the encouragement of one coach who believed in her, welcomed her into his family, and shared the love of God with her, she went on to graduate college and become an advocate for vulnerable children in foster care.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What was your understanding of foster care before watching this? Did you imagine many kids in one home, or just one or two? Did you imagine kids going through many placements, like Tori and her sister did? Did you imagine children quickly returning to their birth family, children in placements for many years, or children in a foster home for a short period until they are adopted?
  • Is the government the only solution for children in need? What is the call for the Church in caring for vulnerable children? What does this mean for individuals, families, and parishes?
  • What happens when children like Tori turn 18 and are emancipated from the foster care system? What kinds of prospects will these children have in life? How can strong foster families and Church communities impact that?
  • Tori mentions at some points during childhood feeling “unadoptable.” How does God see that child? How can we make sure all children know they are loved and valued by God?
  • Tori encourages people to “do the next thing in love.” For some, this may mean becoming a foster parent, but she also mentions other ways to become involved. What are some ways each of us can improve the lives of children in foster care?

The Baird Family Story

Labor and delivery nurse Stephanie Baird saw the gap into which babies born addicted were falling.  She and her husband, Joseph, started the process of welcoming foster children into their family of five.  Now they have adopted their fourth child and are astounded at the blessings that have come since they stepped out in faith.

Questions for Discussion:

  • How can fostering affect a couples’ biological children? How has fostering impacted Stephanie and Joe’s biological children?
  • Joe quotes the scripture, “Any man who finds his life will lose it, and any man who loses his life for my sake will find it.” How do you interpret this verse in terms of fostering?
  • Stephanie talks about how the uncertainty, the questions like “are our hearts going to hurt?” or comments like “I would get too attached,” are holding some families back from taking the leap into foster care. What would you say to those families?
  • Stephanie and Joe’s biological children connected to their foster children immediately, becoming “instant family.” Do you think it would be harder for adults to feel that connection? What could make it easier for foster parents to connect to their children? How can a strong community help families feel connected?
  • Stephanie asks people to consider reaching out to a foster family to offer support. She found a lack of support in the Catholic community. Does your parish offer services or support for foster families? What could you do to help foster families in your community?

After almost three years of fostering two young boys, it looked as if PJ and Kristina would be able to adopt them. However, the boys’ father, Josh, notified the agency that he was getting out of prison and would do whatever he needed to get his boys back. PJ, Kristina, and their kids were heartbroken. But Josh soon realized how much PJ and Kristina’s family genuinely loved his boys, and saw how they’d opened their hearts to him, too.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Josh talks about how having children to care for became his wake-up call. How did having a goal of reunification with his boys change his life? How might his life have turned out if he was not given that chance?
  • When you pray for children in foster care, do you remember to pray for the families that are working to regain custody of their children?
  • When Kristina first picked up the boys to bring them home with her, they had only a few belongings. How much do children typically bring with them into foster care? What kinds of things will their foster families have to provide? How can a church community help?
  • How did this experience open minds – challenging both Josh’s idea of a foster parent, and Kristina’s idea of a parent who lost custody of his children?
  • In what ways can a foster family support a parent like Josh to help him regain custody of his children? How can a church community help?
  • In discussing foster care, you may hear the term “at-risk family”. This refers to a family whose children are not currently in foster care, but may be in danger of being taken into custody if the parents cannot improve conditions within their home. How can the Church identify and serve at-risk families? What types of support might help families regain stability and become better parents?