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September 18, 2022
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FOSTERED. This word means the world to me. Its Old English roots indicate not much has changed about his word since its first appearance in the early 13th century. Dictionaries spout the continued connection between these eight letters and encouragement, nourishment, and support, with little need to alter its meaning over time. Yes, I was a foster kiddo, and I was blessed enough to have foster parents that took this word very seriously, even when I didn’t. But that was not the first or the last time I was fostered.

Listening to my mother’s strong voice fighting for a life she knew she wanted as she sang beautiful songs to me fostered strength and resilience in my very soul. My foster mother’s fervent prayers upheld me in moments I didn’t even know I needed the support and taught me to look around once in a while at those holding me up. Teachers invested their time and talents as they nourished my mind and encouraged my gifts. My friends gave unconditional support and care, and sometimes tough love, as they stood beside me and built me up. Even my children bring a spirit of comfort when their actions remind me that they heard what I was teaching. My heart has been well fostered. Especially by God. He has been my encouragement, my nourishment, and my support. His love continues to feed my soul as I grow closer to Him every day.

To be honest, I hope everyone is fostered. I hope every soul on earth knows the blessing of being taken in, cherished, brought up, and set free to fly. No relation required. Only love.

Shannon Leach is an inspirational encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart. She writes both fiction and nonfiction stories about leadership, life, and loving people in order to encourage others and remind them they are not alone.
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