Amber probably thought she was coming into just another foster home when she came to Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch. After all, she had been in foster care so many times. For the first two weeks, she was quiet, withdrawn and shy.
We assigned her to one of our six homes, complete with a mother, father and eight “brother and sisters.” As she experienced life in a loving, Christian family with homeparents she could trust, along with counseling and consistent care, she finally began to talk.
About the neglect. The sexual abuse by her brother. The sadness of losing her father.
Then about her hopes and dreams for the future.
“Once her and I made that bond, it grew and blossomed from there,” said Teresa, Amber’s homeparent mother. “Now we talk about what her wedding will be like and someday having a baby . . . She wants to go to college and be a doctor . . . All the things you think about in childhood.”
Amber’s transformation didn’t happen overnight. It came with a lot of hard work. She learned to do farm chores, like milking cows, help younger children care for our goats and to ride horses.
Our new knitting and sewing classes helped build her confidence as she saw her skills increase. She discovered her talents in archery. At school, she participated in cross country and softball.
With help from our onsite tutors, she became one of the top students in her class, allowing her to think about the future in a new way, even becoming a doctor no longer seems out of reach!
But most of all, she learned to love the Lord. She was baptized a few months after coming to Shiloh. Now she attends church on Sunday in the morning and again in the evening with her Shiloh family. They also attend a Wednesday night Bible study. She and her Shiloh brother and sisters pick out scriptures and read them and close with prayer before heading off to school on many mornings.
Amber also sets in on family devotions, which help her discover and follow God’s amazing plan for her life.
Amber still gets to see her mother during supervised visitations. She loves her mom, but is grateful to have a safe, stable home at Shiloh. Her sister is also in her Shiloh family as well, giving her even more reason to want to stay.
“Amber is a wonderful young lady. We’re so happy to have her as part of our family,” said Teresa. “I’m proud to call her my daughter.”
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