Healthy Reunification is the Heart of Foster Care

Tom Lukasik, 4KIDS VP of Engagement

It was 30 years ago this April that God used an ad in the Buffalo News to change our lives. My wife Linda and I saw an ad reading, “House Parents, Wanted” – 1,371 miles away from our home in Buffalo. We sold our house, sold our cars, left comfortable jobs, and took off on a new, half-time life adventure. What really made that ad stand out to us was a verse our pastor had shared a few years prior, James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” 

We set out to be “doers” of the word, and 30 years later, I like to say it’s been a long obedience in the same direction. 


A heart for home

These days when I look around and see the Hope, Homes, and Healing that is being extended to kids and families through 4KIDS I see God’s hand in every detail and in every life’s story. The Homes part of what we do is such a deep and integral part of my own life, it was how we got started in this work. That advertisement led Linda and I to first serve as house parents to six girls, all between six and 12 years old.

We learned so much in that first home and continued to learn more and more over the years as we went on to foster 57 different children. Each of them had different stories and needs, and the amazing thing about getting to look back on their lives is having the advantage of time to see how God fulfills all of their stories exactly as He designed. 


Restoration through reunification

Tom and Linda Lukasik

For the majority of those 57 kids, their journey in foster care came to a conclusion by being reunified with their biological family. June is National Reunification Month, and with it comes a time to reflect on the very heart of foster care – healthy reunification. 

The last kids we fostered were two siblings, a teenage boy named *Kyle and his little sister. Throughout their time in our home, we advocated for their dad to help restore their family – we could see his effort and desire to be the parent they needed. In time they went back to live with their dad, but as a teenager it was still hard to imagine how Kyle would continue to grow up.

I couldn’t believe the voice on the other end of the phone recently when Kyle called after Marine Corp boot camp. He was filled with purpose, determination and excitement for his new life. Today, Kyle is serving in Japan, something I couldn’t have pictured years ago but a testament to God’s ability to write stories far better than our own.

Kyle is just one of the countless stories we saw taking shape in our home. There is also Rachel, who we also fostered, who today is about to be a mom of four working a job at TD bank. Linda and I love hearing updates from the kids we got to love who are now adults and forging their way in the world. 

We see God’s faithfulness all over their lives today – so many of them are parents, and they are able to be the kind of safe, reliable parents who their own kids can depend on. They are breaking generational cycles and in many cases going back to their families to shine a light. 

As Christians we can get so familiarized with the story of adoption; it is modeled all around us and in God’s love for us. It can make walking the road of reunification feel uncertain or unknown, but it is still filled with so much beauty. So many of our 4KIDS families are living out stories of reunification in ways that are changing not just the lives of kids but the lives of their parents as well. I encourage you to scan the QR code below and see a 4KIDS family sharing their own story of reunification. In it you’ll see how God expanded their heart and their impact in a profound way. We know that Psalm 68:6 tells us that, “God places the lonely in families,” and sometimes that can look like God mending and restoring a family that was once broken. 


God’s calling

It’s amazing to see how God had Linda and I play a part in these stories. The fact that He would use me in this way has brought me more joy and gratitude than I could have ever known otherwise. God is writing incredible stories in these kids’ lives, and He wants you to be a part of it! My encouragement to my fellow believers is to step out of your comfort zone and experience the adventure God has for you. Sharing Hope, Homes, and Healing with our neighbors is something everyone can be a part of, and my prayer for you is that you discover your part in this movement for kids and families. 


*Names were changed to protect confidentiality of the children we serve.

For more information on 4KIDS of South Florida, visit

For more stories on foster care, visit

Share this article