John and Linda Muhlbach are lifetime Lutherans. They’ve monetarily supported Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) for many years but learning about the Be The Light campaign inspired them to do more.
The campaign created a statewide foster care recruitment team to address the critical need for loving foster families for children in North Carolina. After hearing about the need at church, the Muhlbachs decided to do more than give monetarily, they decided to become foster parents.
“There wasn’t a lot of discussion. We were both like, okay let’s do this,” Linda Muhlbach said.
Linda Muhlbach says the foster care program spoke to her because she has a need to be a mother. The couple are empty-nesters and have filled that void by becoming a host family for international students at Davidson College. The couple said that has been a fabulous and educational experience.
They keep in touch with the students, do emergency laundry, take them to Target, and helped them navigate securing a job on campus.
“A lot of times it’s the first time they are out of their home countries and away from everything that they know. They just need a mother. Someone to pull them off campus and let them just relax and take care of them for a couple of days,” Linda Muhlbach said. “And a lot of times when they have their breaks, the college wants them off campus, so they stay here.”
Working with the college, along with John Muhlbach’s own family experience with foster care helped the couple make a final decision. His grandfather was once a foster child and stayed connected with his foster family and their family members for years after he became an adult.
Fostering through a religious organization was also appealing to the couple.
“Hopefully through a Christian home they will gain what we are all really trying to portray, what it’s like to live when you have Jesus and your Lord and Savior,” Linda Muhlbach said. “It’s (fostering) serving where we have the means to do it, and because this is what Jesus would want us to do. He wants us to take care of each other.”
The Muhlbachs have already taken all of the required courses and are on the path to officially becoming licensed with LSC. They are excited, nervous, and ready for this adventure.
“We are definitely going into this completely new and with very little expectation whatsoever,” Linda Muhlbach said. “Hopefully we give them some stability and normalcy, but in a very Christian way, by praying for them and caring for them. That’s all you can really do is be the hands and feet.”
For more information about the Be The Light campaign, visit https://lscarolinas.net/be-the-light/. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, visit https://lscarolinas.net/foster-care-treatment-parenting/.