Bringing a community together
Teri and Brian Hrabovsky started talking about their desire to adopt on their first date. The two had met at church and had lunch together the next day. Within a year they were married and Teri was pregnant with the first of three daughters.
As the girls grew up and life started getting easier, Teri and Brian’s thoughts returned to adoption, but the timing never seemed right. It was during a prayer time that both Brian and Teri felt like God was directing them to move forward.
In 2007 they received their foster/adoption certification through the state of Louisiana. Their hearts were moved by the tremendous need for foster parents in their area. Teri and Brian have fostered more than 40 children, including sibling groups, children with shaken infant syndrome, and physically and sexually abused children. They have had children stay as short as one day and as long as a year. During this process, they have adopted two children—Isaac and Brie—who came to them as babies born with disabilities.
“At first we were reluctant to adopt such young children. We thought we might be too old,” said Teri. “But we have a family motto: If we are going to err, always err on the side of compassion. So in faith we moved forward trusting God.”
Today Isaac and Brie are beautiful thriving children. But the Hrabovsky’s work is far from over. With the support of members of their church—many of whom witnessed the transformation in Isaac and Brie—Teri and Brian have founded a foster ministry.
While several people have decided to become foster parents through their involvement with the ministry, Teri says their work is about much more than recruiting foster parents.
“We strongly believe that everyone has a role to play in the lives of foster children. Not everyone can foster or adopt, but everyone can do something. We are providing an avenue for folks to participate in the care of foster and adopted children through various means, including donations of clothes, beds, cribs, and toys.”
Beyond making donations, members of the growing foster ministry offer support to foster parents in many other ways. Some members lend a hand with babysitting, provide respite care, and bring meals to families. Others help organize events, such as a luncheon honoring foster parents during National Foster Care Month in May, a National Adoption Day event in November, and picnics for foster families.
“Members of our group are paying attention to the needs of our foster families in the community. People really want to help but don’t know how, so we give them an avenue to participate in a way that works for them. Together, with each of us doing our part, we can make a difference in the lives of children.”