Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lost Children

The other day I got a phone call from Youthville, the agency we work with for our foster care placements.  A little boy was in need of a home to go to.  Only 18 months and strangers were searching for a family to love him in such an intense time of need.  While my heart screams to say "YES! Bring him to me immediately!", I have to be realistic about our family right now and what we can truthfully handle. Especially with the adoption paperwork taking over any scrap of time I can carve out.  So, I declined but the little boy was heavy on my heart for the rest of the day and evening.  Where did he end up getting placed?  Was it a Christian home?  Would they really seek out what specific needs he may have incurred during whatever circumstances brought him into foster care? 

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
  • Foster-to-adopt
  • 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)
Help give these lost children homes.  Give them back their childhood.  One that doesn't involve lugging their things around from home to home.  Or wondering where they'll sleep that night.  God's plan for our life doesn't always include us being completely comfortable.  Foster care isn't always perfection.  But there is no amount of bother that can make investing in a child not worth it.

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