Thursday, May 15, 2008
May is National Foster Care Month!
foster care is close to my heart. as i studied God's word through the years and started to see this one phrase repeated over and over..."care for the widows and orphans" i would always think....hmmm, i don't really know any of those. i know there are orphans in romania, africa, and even as close as mexico, but not really around where i live.
well, as i learned more about the american foster system, i realized, these were the orphans. their parents may not be deceased, but they were definitely in need of care and were one of "the least of these" for many reasons.
foster care gets a bad rap. most often it is only covered in the news when there is some scandal and foster parents are abusive or foster children hurt those that take them in. these cases are valid and the system is obviously not working. the fact remains. there are hundreds of thousands of children in our own country whose parents cannot care for them.
i heard an ad campaign once say "not everyone can be a foster parent, but everyone can help a foster child." i believe that to be true. my husband and i have decided for the safety of our children, we will not foster any child older than our youngest. when our children are grown we will be more available to take on higher risk children, but right now we are not able. maybe others aren't able to take in a child at all. there is still much you can do and i believe we are called to do.
we were incredibly blessed to adopt the very first and only foster child we ever had. this will not be the case every time. the way i choose to see it is any time and any love i am able to give to a foster child will be a privilege and more than if i had given up and never tried. these are children who did not ask to be in the situation they are in. they are not old enough to choose for themselves and almost all of them end up repeating the choices their parents made that began the cycle.
the problem is so big, so very complex. i know no one will ever be able to remedy it completely. i really have to take the starfish approach and do the little i can to heal what has been so deeply hurt.