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On the surface, Victoria (Tori) Petersen’s story doesn’t sound full of hope. Her growing up years were filled with abuse, a mom who struggled with drugs, and more than 10 foster homes with no hope of adoption.

But God’s heart for Tori wasn’t death; it was life. Through a series of relationships and her own study, Tori learned about God. She experienced sacrificial love and community in the church and through her foster parents. It changed her whole future.

“The encouragement, the support, and the ability to see that through their words, through God's speaking through these people and acting through these people in love showed me that I did have a future, that God did have a plan for me and that if I trusted in him, that plan would blossom into something.”

After emancipating from the foster care system, Tori’s life has had more ups and downs. But, she is confident in her identity in Christ and learning more every day. Now as a mom and wife, God is redeeming her story and using it to encourage others who are a part of the foster system.

“I think foster parents remembering that they are image-bearers and in those hard times to be able to humble themselves and say,’ I am weak and I'm going to call on God's strength to love this child.’ Also communicating to the child that they're made in God's image. They are loved despite any kind of behavior or any saddening event that they have been through. Identity in Christ is crucial to the relationship between foster youth and foster parents.”

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