Emily and Jason grew up in church, but they mostly stayed away in adulthood. And that worked for them, for a while—until it didn’t anymore.
In 2014, the Sabos moved from Connecticut to Zionsville, just the two of them (and three dogs). As they adjusted to Midwest living, Jason un-baby proofed their new house: they had already agreed they didn’t want to have children. Things were good, but as Emily says, “There was definitely something missing in our lives.”
That’s when they decided to go back to church. Traders Point was an easy choice because it was close by. It didn’t take long for Emily and Jason to realize what had been missing: life with Jesus. They decided to go all in, and were baptized soon after.
And if that was the end, it’d be a great story. However, if you’ve been following Jesus for any length of time, you know that Jesus changes everything.
One Sunday morning, a video played in service about Live 1:17, a ministry dedicated to advocating for children through adoption, foster care, and Safe Families. Emily and Jason shared a knowing look, but didn’t talk about it until they were driving home from church.
In the New Testament, Jesus was known for asking hard questions—the kind that made people rethink things. The Sabos could hear Jesus asking them to rethink some things that day. If Jesus was that ‘something missing’ in their lives, could He also be what was missing in someone else’s?
For Jason and Emily, the answer was pretty clear. They didn’t know how, or where to start, but they knew that there were children all over the city missing safety and shelter, love and care of adults, and the opportunity to meet Jesus.
Jason and Emily jumped right in, and started the process to become foster parents. They didn’t know how many hoops they would have to jump through, how much their lives would change, or how much control they’d have to let go. “While I might not know the plan, He does,” Emily said.
Jason re-baby proofed the house, and they began the licensing process in January of this year. It was completed in May, and within a week, a five-month-old was at their door. A couple of weeks later, a two-year-old joined them for a short stay before rejoining his two brothers. Another two weeks passed, and another two-year-old was placed with their family.
When Jason and Emily talk about their experience, you can feel how much they care for children who don’t have a home. “We had no idea how to parent before we got a five-month old. We didn’t know what we were doing, but you learn, you pick it up. God gives it to you. He equips you. And you figure out what you need to do to care for the kids,” Emily says.
Even if you’re not sure if you could be foster parent, there are tons of ways to help out. “If you don’t think that you’re suitable to be a foster parent right away—everyone, no matter what your circumstances, can help somehow. I mean, when we got our first placement, and we had never had kids in our house before. Some of our friends from Live 1:17 brought meals over—something as little as that to just take a little bit off your plate right away goes a long way. Little things like that really do make an impact on a new foster parent,” Jason says.
As Christians, it’s natural to care about what God cares about. We’re supposed to hurt for what hurts Him. “I always hear from people, ‘Oh, I could never do what you do. I would get too attached.’ But that’s the point,” Emily says. “If we don’t give these kids a hundred percent and a safe place and lead them to Jesus, then who else will? So yes, of course you get attached, and it’s not easy. But you can know that you provided a safe, loving, caring environment where God is the center for as long as you have them.”
Who else will? Who else is going to rethink what’s missing? Who else will stop saying, “I can’t,” and start saying, “I will”?
“I was praying out loud (in my kitchen one day), and as I finished my prayer and said, ‘Amen,’ I heard a little voice say, ‘Amen.’ With his head bowed, hands folded—it was so worth it,” Emily says. “All of the stress and frustration was all worth it to have [him] pray with us.”