From the moment Fay Evans answers the phone, I can tell that I’m in for a blessing.
Her compassion and charisma is evident within the first few minutes of our conversation. When I ask her how long she’s been involved with helping young adults, she laughingly tells me of her daughter’s remark to her many years before:
“Mama, you’re always bringing someone else’s children home.”
Evans, who is currently the resident foster parent for AGAPE’s Young Adult Foster Home in Raleigh, tells me that she’s been working with teens in some capacity for most of her life. Whether it be through mentoring programs, church affiliation, or family connections, she’s always had a passion for helping young adults bridge the gap into adulthood.
A resident of Virginia for most of her life, Evans says that in 2005, God took her passion for young adults and used it in a new way- to have her to help and guide young women. Evans said the Lord called her to North Carolina, telling her to show young women His love through her own heart.
So Evans picked up her life and moved, a decision that she admits was easy to question at times.
Determined to discover God’s purpose for her, she began calling local foster care and adoption agencies. Some agencies didn’t get back to her, while others just didn’t feel like the right fit. Eventually, she found AGAPE of North Carolina.
“I kept seeing AGAPE, feeling like I needed to call... When I talked with Kim, we just had a connection, like we were both looking for each other.”
Evans’ partnership with AGAPE led to her being placed as the resident foster parent for AGAPE’s Young Adult Foster Home for women in Raleigh; an experience that Evans says is challenging, but rewarding.
She explains that caring for and guiding young adults is different because they have already formed their own opinions, personalities, and value systems. The process of learning each other’s likes, dislikes, and triggers has been a process, but it reaps reward as well.
“Days when you see them excited because they cooked a meal or filled out an application- those days make it worthwhile... If I can help one or two, I know my call is not in vain”
Her determination to guide young women has been a long time coming; she recounts the concern she felt when watching her niece, who was also a foster parent, work with young adults who were aging out of the system.
“I had never done foster care in my life, but I had the feeling those kids weren’t ready. They needed more tools, and they didn’t have them yet”
That is Evans’ ultimate goal: to give her girls the love and the tools they need to create options for themselves. She tells me that she knows that they will make mistakes, but she wants them to have enough resources to be able to recover from those errors and try again.
Evans recognizes the importance of second chances in homes like hers. However, she tells me that the girls recognize the beauty of second chances as well.
“I’ve heard one or two say that they are so thankful for a new beginning.”
As our conversation comes to a close, I ask Evans how she’s seen the girls she’s worked with over the years grow and change. Her answer is simple, but poignant: they begin to think of their futures.
She explains that when the girls come into the home, they often have no clue what they want to do with their lives, but now, when she sits and talks with them, they have goals. They have hopes of college, of owning their own cars, of eventually having their own homes. They have hope that their lives can be in their own control.
“Around here, we talk some of the past, but we focus on the future.”