Then my mind turned to what a huge need there is in both foster care and adoption. Why don't I know a single other foster family? How can there be such a lack of fulfillment for such a huge need. I can think of 10 families I know right now that would be SO GOOD at being foster parents. Don't worry, I won't call you out here, but I imagine you know if you are one. : )
Way back when we were taking the classes to become licensed foster parents we would walk in to Youthville and inevitably there would be some kids waiting there in the lobby. Often they had a beat up looking duffel bag at their feet or sometimes just a trash bag with them. Their belongings. Everything they had to their name. They were waiting for an emergency placement home to take them for the night. They would then return the next day to wait in the children's lounge the entire next day and do the same thing that next evening. Waiting for a placement. Someone to want them. The need is SO GREAT. Please DO NOT talk yourself into thinking that the children in Wichita foster care all have homes to go to. They don't.
What is this doing to them? Is there any way to measure the damage that this will permanently cause them as they quickly mature into young adulthood?
Is there a bed in your house? An extra chair at your table? I imagine there is. I know, not everyone is called to be a foster parent or adoptive parent. But some of you are. Some of you know it now. Please, please consider looking into it further. Talk to Derek or me. Go to an informational meeting at Youthville. Check out these children that are waiting RIGHT NOW.
You don't have to be long-term foster parents like us. There are several options:
- Adopt only
- Foster only
- Emergency placement home (places children coming straight out of the home before a foster home is found, usually 2-3 days)
- Respite care (places children whose foster parents are needing a break or going on a trip for short term)