Compassion for others led Ben and Jessica Martin into their careers, he as a special education teacher, and she as a social worker.
It’s also the driving force that led the young couple to open their home to two foster children.
“I’ve always felt the call to help people,” said Jessica, as she sat on her living room floor and played with her 11-month-old foster son.
The baby boy and his 8-year-old brother found a home with the Martins after the couple prayerfully began fostering.
Jessica said she started contacting various foster parenting agencies and chose Sunrise Children’s Services because it is a non-profit, Christian based agency.
Jessica and Ben were certified after attending the required training and were notified in November of the two brothers needing a home.
When the call came, it meshed perfectly with preparations as co-workers, friends from church and others began offering items and assistance.
For example, Jessica took the call just as she was sitting with a friend who had an extra twin-size bed for the oldest boy. The couple sent out an email to their Sunday School class, and they received every item needed for the children, without duplicates.
With that help, the Martins have provided a loving, stable home for the children, reminding them that they’re in a “safe place.”
The Martins use that term often with the oldest boy, Jessica said, and their desire to provide that refuge was one of the reasons they became foster parents.
However, even as she looked back on those hectic first days, Jessica was smiling because she and her husband know that they’re making a difference in the lives of these children.
Thankfully, fostering is a task that doesn’t come without help. Sunrise Children’s Services offers 24/7 support, monthly reimbursement, and a 140-year history of caring for the abused and neglected children of Kentucky.
The rewards have been plentiful. The older boy is outgoing and is easy to talk to, and the baby is learning new things almost on a daily basis. The Martins recently got to see him take his first steps.
But the couple is also modeling lives of giving and service into two young lives.
“We’re teaching them things that they can hold onto for the rest of their lives,” she said. Info: Sunrise Children’s Services, 1510 Newtown Pike, Suite 120. www.sunrise.org or (859) 455-8185.