March 3, 2011

Why Foster?


Reason #389:

Change takes Action.

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while.  I feel like we’ve been so lost in transition that it is hard to focus.  But, I’m in the middle of co-teaching my second foster parent training class, and there’s nothing like explaining foster care for three hours a week to remind me why these kids need advocates so badly.


  I recently read

                        This Article

                                         with a myriad of emotional response.  I had to let it sit a while before I posted anything on it to let my soul find some grace for my response.  The article is about a  woman who was recently charged with attempted second degree murder for leaving her son in their attic and almost starving him to death.  24 hours from death, the doctors say.

   I don’t process this article with out some pretty deep seeded bias.  Our sweet boy, X-man, came from a situation not too awfully far from this one.  After nursing a child back to health from the brink of starvation, it’s difficult to look on this story without the eyes of a mother severely scorned.  But after some thought:


  I say praise God that this woman was charged to the fullest extent of the law.  If this story makes you sick, it would make you twice as ill to find out how many people in cases like this are let off the hook, in every sense of the expression.  Rarely are parents in child abuse cases actually tried as criminals.  And that is criminal.  So lets hear it for DeSoto, Kansas – at least someone is willing to do the hard thing for these kids.


  It also struck me that anger is probably a pretty typical reaction in reading a story like this.  Most people probably read this article and feel angry toward that mom, angry for the child, and a sadness for his plight. 

  And it should.  It should make us mad that things like this happen to children (every day.).  We should read it and say, “How can this happen?!!?”

  But I want to ask a hard question.


What difference does it make?


  What difference does it make that we feel angry?  What difference does it make that we cry for this little boy?  Because the reality is, is that after his mom goes to jail, this little boy needs somewhere to go.  Somewhere to heal.  Somewhere to thrive.  And our anger does nothing for him.


Unless we let it move us to action.  Unless we let it motivate us.  Unless we let it call us to the plate.


  There are lots of ways to advocate for these kids.  Our country is in sore need of good foster parents.  There are also programs like CASA that make a huge difference in the lives of these kids.  County foster programs are a great place to go to find out what you can do.  And in the end, some of these kids will need adoptive homes.


That’s Why Foster.


(I realize foster parenting is not for everyone.  That is why I try to include other ways of serving and getting involved.  But – maybe it is for you – I bet you’d be a great foster parent!)


  1. Exactly - thank you! Would you mind if I linked it to my blog? Its a message that I'd really love to spread.

  2. Elise - No problem! Let's spread the advocacy love!!

  3. don't forget mentoring at-risk children or volunteering in group homes/children homes.

    if you volunteer in these homes, you have to have a background check, and go through small training. but you could do anything from help with homework to play with the children to running arts and crafts or running teen movie night. -- a way to connect with kids who need good role models and connections.

  4. Maggie, so so true. I think one of the hardest parts for fostering for me is not being so mad at the parents for putting their kiddos in the situation where they would need to be removed from their home. I know that you are supposed to try to work with the birth parents to reunite them with their kids, but that is going to be hard. I will have a hard time letting go and possibly letting the kids return to a bad situation. I will just have to love them as much as I can while they are with me and pray for them once they aren't with us anymore. I am excited about the possibilities. Nervous too, but more excited than anything. Thrilled really at the crazy adventure God has us on, knowing that it will be wild, and hard, but SO worth it! Thanks again for helping us think about fostering!!!


Thanks for commenting!!


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