Have you ever been interested in becoming a foster parent? I love this post because I have met the family behind the following information. They already have 4 beautiful kids and continue to open up their home to other children. The woman who wrote this post is simply amazing (and I love her mom too!).
“When I grow up, I’m going to live next door to you.” This sweet and simple desire was expressed to me by a young teen living in a group home where my fiancé (now husband) worked. Rich lived in a “home” with 6 other boys and a revolving- door of staff members. Group home indeed. It was a group all right, but not a home. There was no one at that home that really cared for or loved those boys. It was a dumping ground…just smaller and with a nicer name…group home. Rich’s wish wasn’t just about the future and living next to me, it was about the present and how devoid of love it was for him. All he wanted was a family to love him. That was the day when we realized that one day we had to become foster parents.
Today my husband and I are fortunate to have the opportunity to share our real home with children who don’t have a safe home of their own. We currently have a sweet 3 month-old boy in our home. Our children love their temporary siblings, and our whole family has experienced God in unexpected and wonderful ways thanks to the presence of these little guests.
Tragically, over 11,000 children are wards of Arizona’s Child Protective Service (CPS), yet fewer than 2,000 families are licensed foster families. The situation grows worse daily. In a bad economy, just as child abuse and neglect rise, many foster families have to drop out of the program because. they can no longer bear the additional expense of another child (even though most of the expenses are reimbursed by CPS).
The shortage of foster families is so severe that even infants are being put into group “homes.”
I received a call today asking if we can take another infant. A four week-old baby needs to be removed from his home, but CPS simply has nowhere to put him. Even our 8-passenger car has no space for one more child’s seat. How heartbreaking it is for me to tell the case worker that I cannot help a baby in danger.
Maybe you have been missing the voice of a child in your home. Maybe you love holding and cuddling babies. Maybe you are great with teens. Maybe you already have kids in the home, like us, and adding one or two more is just not that big of a deal. Please consider being a foster parent. YOU ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED. Please pray to discern whether this may be something you are called to do. It is tremendously rewarding for the parents, and literally life-changing for a child in need.
Let’s not leave these kids with hopes of a better life someday, but give them the love and safety they deserve today.
How can we get involved?:
· Look into foster care in your area and ask questions! Just like adoptions, foster care is a huge undertaking and often so intimidating, people stop the process before they really begin. Take a chance and see if it’s something you really may be able to do!
· Elizabeth was so generous with allowing me to post her experience, I’m sure if you had any further questions, she would be open to responding.
Many times it only takes one caring individual to foster resilience in a child!