ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Stateline Church, 601 N. Perryville Rd., celebrated their fifth year of operation with a party for local foster families.

It was everything a party needed to be, with food, fun and games. One local foster family spoke about what events like this means to them.

“We’re very excited to be here,” said foster parents Joey and Leah Clapp. “This is probably not something that we would generally get to do all together, and so this was a gift just to be able to come and enjoy all the different activities.”

The Clapps have dreamed about being parents for 13 years, and their dreams are now a reality. They have been foster parents for two years, and they said that it has been a fun ride jumping into the roles of parenthood.

“And this is an opportunity for us to sort of get to know some of the other foster families in the area, as well as just be encouraged by some of their stories as well,” they said.

Being a foster parent is not easy, according to the Clapps, but knowing that there are other families in the same boat gives them hope in difficult times.

“We thought this would be a good idea, because it gives the kids a chance to be a kid and it also gives the adults a chance to kind of rekindle that kid like spirit,” said Logan Phillips, worship pastor at Stateline Church.

The purpose of this free “Family Fun on the Road” event was to bring foster families together to connect with each other and to show that they are supported, according to Phillips.

“I hope that they feel a little bit more seen and just feeling, like, for the 2 hours that today, was that they were like, just take a little bit… the weight off their shoulders for a little bit helps them feel more connected,” Phillips said.

The Clapp family said that knowing they are not alone in this journey, they feel the love and support from the community.

“Having a community to surround us and encourage us has really helped us to keep going… and given us hope when it’s sometimes difficult,” they said. “And this event has been a lot of fun to be able to just relax and have fun together as a family.”

The Stateline Church has more fun family events coming up.