Everyone has a talent, a gift… a superpower, if you will. The difference in a “superhero” and the rest of mankind lies in what is done with our God-given abilities.
I Peter 4:10 encourages us to share them! “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Many years ago, Julia DesCarpentrie made the decision to use her talents to be a voice for at-risk children in Saline County. “God has chosen to use an imperfect mom to be His tool, His ‘mega-phone,’ for the fatherless in our community,” says Julia.
Julia and her family moved to Saline County from Illinois almost 10 years ago. The move was intended to be a temporary home, but God had other plans. “Shortly after our move to Saline County, my husband heard about The CALL from a co-worker and we decided to attend an information meeting. We were disappointed to find out that The CALL was not in Saline County at that time, so we inquired about how to help start it here.”
Julia immediately began to use her gift of “spreading the word,” by serving on the newly-forming advisory board. The CALL launched in Saline County just a year later in 2009, and in 2012, Julia accepted the role of county coordinator. “The challenges and joys I have experienced as an imperfect mom of five children help me relate to other parents. I have been a wife for 21 years, a mom for 17 years, an adoptive parent for 13 years, and we fostered for four years. Having that experience has certainly helped prepare me to support foster and adoptive families.”
Through Julia’s role as county coordinator for both Saline and Perry Counties, she has the privilege of sharing the mission and vision of The CALL with churches, civic groups, classes, and organizations. “I serve alongside a large team of volunteers and two other staff to keep our ministry operating within our mission and to equip churches to help care for the families. I love interacting with people of all walks, all ages. So much of what I do is just listening and then sharing the needs with others.” The CALL’s mission is “to educate, equip and encourage the Christian community to provide a future and a hope for children in foster care in Arkansas.”
Julia embraces the biblical command to care for the fatherless and believes that can look different in each life. “For some, that means fostering or adopting. Not all are equipped for fostering and adopting; however, all can be involved in some way by supporting families, volunteering or donating. Too often families are not willing to prayerfully consider fostering or adoption because they do not trust God with their emotions, finances, time or families.”
The families with children in foster care are members of the community in crisis. It takes the entire community to rebuild a family; from foster and adoptive parents willing to help the family heal, to local churches committed to the cause, and even those eager to donate goods and time. Everyone plays a part. “These children are the future of our community. Investing in the children in foster care and the families who love them is an investment in the future of Saline County. Healthy and whole children will be our community leaders,” Julia reminds us.
Julia considers the opportunity to serve both with The CALL and as a mother to children from different backgrounds, a humbling but fulfilling experience. “I have been given many experiences to draw from as a mother to help families, but also serve with wise foster or adoptive parents that have helped me with some of the struggles we have faced in our family.”
Julia’s nomination submissions speak loudest to her commitment and dedication to the children of Saline County:
“She works tirelessly to keep The CALL in our county moving. It is because of her that Saline County has one of the highest foster family retention rates in the state of Arkansas and one of the best ratios of kids in care to open foster homes. Julia dedicates countless hours to helping ensure children in foster care in our community are welcomed into loving, well-equipped and well-supported Christian foster homes. She is amazing at what she does and is a blessing to all who know her.”
In response to Julia’s recognition, she says, “I am merely a representation of the many superheroes in our community! I am so blessed to serve with big-hearted foster and adoptive families, faithful volunteers and staff, hard-working Department of Children and Family Services employees, and to meet families who are recovering from loss and trying to rebuild. This nomination is for all of them!”
Because Julia DesCarpentrie, a self-described “imperfect” mother of 5, made the decision to turn-up her “mega-phone” superpower, hundreds, maybe thousands, of children and families across Saline County are realizing the beautiful gift of hope and healing.