I normally try to keep things pretty light around here, but I have some things that have been on my mind for a few days, and I just felt like sharing them here.
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. After spending three years working in the field of foster care and adoption, these things are very close to my heart.
While working in a foster care program, I had the privilege to work with some incredible foster families. These families do one of the most selfless things a family could possibly do. They open their homes to these precious children for a few days, a few months, a few years, or forever. They are truly living out God’s command to care for the fatherless, and it is such an honor to know and to have worked with such amazing families.
I also had the privilege of being a part of the lives of some of these precious children. My favorite days at work were the days I got to go do visits with my kids. I may be a little biased, but my kids were pretty much the cutest kids ever!
I met precious little A when she was just an itty bitty little thing! She was eventually adopted by her incredible foster family, and I was so honored to get to be a part of that wonderful day!
There are over 8,000 children currently in the foster care system in Oklahoma. 8,000 in Oklahoma alone. I don’t know what the nation-wide numbers are, but I’m sure the number is huge. Honestly though, it’s horrible to think about even one child not being able to live with his or her parents.
There is a great need for foster parents in this country. Oklahoma has a shelter where kids go when there are no foster homes available for them, and many times it is over capacity. There is not enough space and not enough beds to accomodate all of the kids. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be in such a scary situation, and then not having a bed to sleep in.
Foster care is something that has always been on my heart and something I hope to do one day. I have so much respect and admiration for the people in my life who are foster parents.
Joyce and Wade are currently fostering three precious little kiddos.
Regina and her husband have fostered several kids. You can read more about their foster care journey on her blog.
If you are in a position to do so, I encourage you to look into becoming a foster family. If you aren’t, there are many other ways you can help these sweet kids.
*Donate clothing, toys, backpacks, or money to a foster care organization. State agencies and private agencies accept all kinds of donations.
*Provide a meal for a foster family. I know from the families I’ve worked with that this is a HUGE blessing!
*Become an alternate caregiver. Did you know that foster families can’t leave their foster child with just anyone? All childcare providers/daycares have to be certified. It’s not a difficult process, and it is a great way to help out these families.
For more information, contact your local department of human services.
One of the biggest reasons I hear for why people choose not to foster children is “I would love them too much to let them go”. Leah, one of my former incredible foster moms, says it best. She posted an article on Facebook about a child who was horribly abused by its parents. She had this to say about the article:
“These babies need safe homes! So many say “I couldn’t let them go, I would care too much about them” …. I promise, I care about them too…. I care so much I can’t sit back while this happens every day.”
If any of you are involved in foster care in some way, I’d love to hear about your experiences!