Do You Have The Heart To Foster Or Adopt?

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I didn’t want to be a foster parent.

I thought my heart would be broken.

I also thought I didn’t need training.  I had four grown kids.

Fostering seemed scary and transitional, not permanent.

But, they were thoughts, not the actuality of my experience as a foster parent.  I’ll explain a little more.

The thought (note I said thought) of children coming and going was a little off putting, something I did not think I would like, or be able to parent/cope with.

When in fact, it was the complete opposite.   When we had finished our training and were waiting for our approval to become adoptive parents, I was called about fostering twins for the weekend.  I had to make a decision quickly, and the first thing out of my mouth was we weren’t approved.  Well that was done in an hour.  That happens when there just aren’t enough homes and it is late Friday afternoon.

That was quite a story but it was the first of many.  Those twins that came for the weekend turn twenty-one in August.  They became my forever children, birthed from my heart.

Not every child stays!

But, not every child that you foster stays forever.  Some are re-united with their birth families, some go on to be adopted by other families better suited to the child’s needs.  You see, my heart was never broken because I quickly realized every child that came had a broken heart, a broken spirit, and was confused, sometimes angry, but hurt, and definitely broken.

How would you feel if you were suddenly uprooted?

I mean, just think about it.  How would you feel if you were suddenly taken away from everything you ever knew?  A child doesn’t know whether they are living in poverty, neglect, abuse or in the biggest shiniest house in town.  They just know their surroundings, and the people who are feeding them, looking after them.  They don’t judge.  The don’t have that choice, or that freedom.

They become lost.

I have had a lot of children that I have had the privilege to care for.  Some for a few days, some for a couple of years, some for a month or two.  All were lost.  All had lost everything they knew.   And, unfortunately, some become lost in the system, staying there until they age out.

At eighteen we send our kids to college, but not so for most of the foster children who are “set free” at eighteen.  They are suddenly transitioned, if you can call it that, into fending for themselves.  Sadly many end up on the street, or in prison, not having the skills or education to survive.

This becomes a generational cycle.  I ask you the question, “what can we do to intervene?  What can we do to love and help these lost children?”  In this day of internet, social media, and a lessening of face to face interaction, these children are becoming invisible.

I wonder how many people I could ask on the street, if they knew about the growing numbers of foster children waiting for forever homes?  I am sure most of the general population, and most of the congregations of our churches are oblivious, and uniformed.

If this information has you thinking about being a foster parent please don’t hesitate to contact me.  You can leave me your email address and I would love to answer your questions.

Some of you know that I not only speak about adoption, I write and sing about this as well.  I would to give you a free download of the title track single from my last CD.  If you would like a copy of the song “Broken Hearts And Broken Wings” please download here.

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