What Can I do to Help?

Sometimes when we hear about a need we just don’t know what to do about it. I find this often to be the response from people when I share concerning the vast need in foster care in our country.

Although I would be oh so glad to hear that every person who read my blog, heard my testimony or met my family was inspired to go out and do exactly what I’ve done, I know that isn’t likely. After all, not many folks are going to feel led to adopt seven children. This was and is our very unique path and calling.

So, if you aren’t able to adopt or foster children, how can you help? So many ways! Countless ways!

First of all, become aware of the need, look it square in the face and refuse to divert your eyes from the ugliness of it. Yes, it is ugly, terribly ugly. Children waiting in limbo like unclaimed luggage at a train depot; aging out of the foster care system without being adopted is an UGLY scenario.

According to http://www.adoptuskids.org/meet-the-children

“Each year more than 20,000 children age out of the foster care system without being adopted. Today there are 104,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted ranging in age from less than a year old to 21.”

Over a hundred thousand children WAITING to be adopted! This statistic applies to children who have had biological parental rights terminated. They legally have NO PARENTS.

I hope with everything that is in me that made you gasp out loud. Perhaps you may have even had a tear come to your eye as your heart was moved by compassion. And listen to this, there are more than four times that many children in foster care all together.

This is huge. This is vast. This is where most people stumble off the path of compassion and onto the path of complacency. It’s just too big; or so it seems. You can make a difference.

After you are aware of a need, you have a choice to make. You can take action or turn aside. For those of you who are unwilling to turn aside, here are some possibilities.

Contact your local DHR or DHS and ask to speak to a volunteer coordinator.

Contact you local church denominations and ask if they know of a local foster group home.

Contact a foster family in your community and ask what they need.

Simply put, if you can’t foster, support those who can.

Henry and I are no longer foster parents. We were foster parents for fifteen years and fostered forty-five children. We adopted seven children out of the foster care system. Many people would say we’ve done our share. We are so busy, so stretched for time and space and money and energy that you can’t imagine. But, just this week I was reminded by a little girl of the great and vast need that still exist. She looked into my eyes and with haunting innocence, after hearing my girls call me momma, said, “I wish I could call someone momma.”

I will not look away from the ugliness of it. I will answer the call of God in my heart. I will not divert my eyes. I will continue to rattle people’s comfortable cages until they are willing to go into the jungle of the foster care system and make a difference in the life of a child.

Ask yourself this question. How can we do more than what we are doing? How can we not?

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. (Proverbs 3:27 NLT)

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