As many of you know, there are two things that I am passionate about….foster care and adoption. Did you know that it would take less than 1% of American Households to empty the Foster Care System? That blows my mind. Its what I tweeted this week in the hopes of reaching other like minded people. And, happily I found a few. Yay! Hopefully, together we can make a difference.
Seriously people, we CAN do this! We’re talking less than 1%. Why are so many kids in foster care? Without permanent homes? Why aren’t there enough foster familes? Well, I don’t have all the answers. However, having been a foster parent myself, I do believe it has a lot to do with lack of information, mis-information, and fear.
I was so moved and felt compelled to write this blog after stumbling upon this emotional video on youtube (yes, get the tissues). I think this is what Brandy Mychals was talking about this week in her blog. I am compelled Brandy. This is the kind of stuff that brings me to tears and breaks my heart. And, my hope is that you will feel complled too. I am not saying you have to be part of the 1% and become a Foster Parent, but please take the time to hear what the kids are saying. If it moves you and you feel you can help by spreading the word, telling a friend, having a new clothes drive, collecting backpacks for school, used suitcases, or learning what repsite care is about, all of these things can have a huge impact!
It may be that the fear is based on the assumption that the kids did something wrong or that they’re bad kids. Sure, there are always a few misguided kids in the world, and not only in foster care! So, I’d like to stress that these kids are not a bunch of bad kids! It is NOT their fault. They are innocent victims of their home life situation and thrown into the Foster Care System! They are taken away from the only people they know. They are scared. In many instances they get moved around…a lot! Their lives get turned upside down often. All in a matter of minutes. It takes time to adjust. Can you imagine moving 5-10 times within a year?! To total strangers- each time? Always keeping a suitcase (if your lucky, otherwise its garbage bags!) packed. How would that affect you emotionally? I can’t even go there.
And, its not just older kids in foster care. There are new borns, toddlers, and tweens! They are innocent children unable to help themselves in need of loving homes. They crave moms, dads and siblings to feel a sense of connection, to be part of a family. The ONE thing common to all kids (foster or not) is that they want to be LOVED.
These kids learn from an early age that they are not in control of their future or their destiny. Fraceska says of foster care – ‘its just hard.” Christa said I want to feel secure. As I said, these kids are in desperate need of capable caring people to love them and guide them in their journey through life.
In the video Cassandra said, someone doesn’t have to be my blood family to know they are going to be there for me and not leave. She feels she is too old to find a family who will adopt her. She says it hurts. HOW sad is that at such a young age?! Like her, I wish there was some magic answer. There is not. However, I believe together, we can all make a difference in the life of a child….no matter how small…it all adds up.
Every child in foster care is looking for a guardian angel, to feel secure, to know they have a permanent home, to feel they are loved. I can’t imagine being so young, so afraid, so lost and so desperate. As Christa says, we need more good Foster Parents, they have so much love in them, they are angels, like guardian angels.
These are the children of the future. They are victims. We need to support and protect them in any way we can. And, conveniently, May is Foster Care Awareness Month…..what better time to “start” making a difference….just saying:)
So, to my friends and fellow bloggers thanks for listening to my rant….and hopefully being part of the solution. It’s always greatly appreciated.
To the Foster Kids, those in the system, and aging out, I want you to know that we think about you, we care about you, we are pulling for you, and we want the best for ALL of you. You are loved! We care. And, together we are trying to make a difference.
Hang in there,
Have you ever thought about being a foster parent? Know anybody who has fostered? Want to learn more about fostering? Did you know there are different kinds of fostering (full, emergency, respite care) and ways you can help? Would you be willing to spread the word? If so, how can you make a difference?