Defining "Foster"

Luke Foster.

Melody Foster.

Melody Foster….. Melody Foster….

Still sounds odd.

But his name is soon becoming mine. Now that I have begun to wrap my mind around the fact that I’m exchanging nearly three decades of “she’s a Brickhouse” jokes for a fresh name (with all of its unique jokes, I’m sure) I can’t help but perk up when I hear the word “foster” in conversation. And like so often when you learn a new word or phrase, I’ve started hearing it everywhere.

I sent the definition below to Luke on Sunday when I got curious and looked it up.

fos·ter | \ˈfȯ-stər

verb: encourage or promote the development of (something, typically something regarded as good)

synonyms: encourage, promote, further, advance, forward, cultivate, nurture, strengthen, enrich, aid, assist, contribute to, support, back, be a patron of, bring up, raise, care for, take care of, look after, provide for, mother, parent

My favorite thing about thing about the way “foster” is used in conversation is the positive, cultivating nature of its context. As a married couple/team/united front, Luke and I so often talk about how in our home and in our life we want to be conduits of community, healthy biblical relationships, open honest dialogue, encouragement, and overall nurturing. (Yes, this would lend itself well to hosting a small group.) It fills my heart to think about beginning a home with such a foundational definition to our name.

Not unrelated, I find it hilarious that the word “foster” derives from the Old English/Germanic word “fōstrian,” which has ties to the provision of food as nourishment. As one whose love language is providing delicious food through hospitality, this feels wildly appropriate.