On September 30, 2009, there were an estimated 423,773 children in foster care. (Source)
I wonder how many of those children still have hope…..hope to find a home, hope that a family who will love them, hope that they may be able to go home again, hope that where they spend the night tonight will feel welcomed, not so foreign and scared.
May is National Foster Care month – an opportunity to examine what you can do to help children who are in the system, come along families who are housing children or even just actively pray for all involved.
My story of involvement with the foster care system is currently being written – we became licensed just over a year ago and took our first placement last June – a newborn baby straight from the hospital. An incredible 3 week journey ended in heartbreak for our family, but God picked us up and we began to get ready for our next assignment.
In December we took placement of a little guy we lovingly call “Foster J”.
He has become a part of our family, actually a very integral part – and has created unimaginable blessings for us. It is funny, I think when you begin a journey where you think you are going to be “helping” someone else or doing “someone else a favor” you can get a little prideful in the process.
I will admit, I was very “proud” of myself when I came to the realization we as a family were going to sacrifice in order to help someone else, especially a child.
But you know, as much as we have sacrificed – we have been blessed by the presence of these two little people in our lives more than I could ever have imagined.
Boy, does God have lessons he still wants to teach me and He certainly has an entertaining way now to do it!
Now, becoming licensed to do foster care is certainly no for everyone – but if your heart has been feeling a tug, truly give that tug some credit – pray deeply about what it means.
I can tell you – and one day I will share with you more our journey to get to this point – but it is “crazy amazing” how God changes OUR plans with HIS plans!
If becoming an actual foster family is not in your cards right now, please do not pass up other opportunities to help those who already are. For example:
- Offer to babysit for an evening/afternoon
- Pray for the children who’s names you will never know
- Collect items which can be donated to families who are fostering
- Offer to bring dinner over for a foster mom who is TIRED!
- Find an organization who supports fostering and find out what they need (ex. Olive Crest)
I love stories of adoption – it is a great beginning for so many families who long to add children to their homes. But what gets to me sometimes is that so many families travel thousands of miles to make a difference in one person’s life, when the person who needs someone to care may just be down the block. Please do not get me wrong – I am not bashing foreign adoption by any means – but please realize that we have SO many children RIGHT HERE, who need help, need someone to care, need a place to call home.
Consider how you can be part of someone’s solution – be part of someone’s HOPE.