May 22, 2020

The names in this story have been changed to protect the identities of the foster child and parents.

Last summer, Christina Cerroni, one of Koinonia’s social workers, asked one of her foster parents, Steve, if he would be open to the placement of a teenage boy. Parents aren’t always willing to take in a teen, but fortunately for 14-year-old Lucas, he found a new home with his foster dad, Steve. Over the past several months, a strong bond has formed; they are currently in the permanency process as both Steve and Lucas are looking forward to finalizing his adoption. During a virtual meeting with Christina, Steve shared that his aunt was planning to surprise Lucas with a car. Knowing Steve’s foster (soon-to-be adoptive) son would need a vehicle within the next year or so, this aunt thought it better to gift her car rather than sell it.

When they surprised Lucas with his very own car, he could hardly contain his excitement! This young man, who has not had an easy life, was floored by the generosity of his new extended family. To go from a life in which he could not call many things “his own”, to now being the owner of a car, is quite a change. Lucas may not be ready to drive just yet, but when he is, his family will be there to guide and support him. In the meantime, the car serves as a tangible incentive for Lucas to continue to work on achieving passing grades in school.

Christina was immensely encouraged by the generosity and thoughtfulness of Lucas’ new family. “As many social workers would say, our roles have many ups and downs when working with our families and kiddos. Seeing the picture of Lucas’ excitement brought so much joy to my heart. Moments like these help me to get through the tough days and remind me why I work with families and children in the foster care system.”

Nearly a quarter of the approximately 442,995 youth in foster care are age 14 and older. There is a massive need for resource parents to open their home to teens and give them a safe, supportive place to find their identity, to heal, and become successful, thriving adults. To get started on your foster care journey, visit

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