May is National Foster Care Month… Did you miss it? It hasn’t been well publicized by the media… but then, who wants to hear about a bunch of kids who come from broken up lives???? We’d rather see pictures of children in other countries than our own. Ooops, I guess I got on a soap box……
Let me be clear: I DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYONE IS CALLED TO FOSTER OR ADOPT CHILDREN. And, if you’re feeling condemning guilt, remember that condemning guilt comes from the devil. Convicting guilt, on the other hand, is another story.
If you are not called to foster or adopt, there are soooo many ways you can be involved, and help these children and/or the families that care for them. A friend of mine (fellow foster mom) is dedicating the month of May to all things foster on her blog, Mothering in a Shoe. She’s covering all types of subjects, I highly encourage you to read a bit on her blog
Prayer is always needed. I can’t tell you what the prayers of others have meant to me through this journey. I have had comfort when I didn’t expect it, and have walked through the valley of the shadow of death literally feeling God’s presence. Our family has been up against walls, and been faced with letting our daughter go, and had the peace that passes all understanding through it all because we knew we were being prayed for diligently, and we knew we were always praying God’s will above our own. There is a prayer guide online if you’d like to hold a prayer vigil as a family or church, but just praying specific prayers for a foster family you know means the world to them.
Foster families need stuff. And time. If you know of a foster family and you have some gently used items, chances are, they’ll take them and either use them for themselves or pass them on to another family in their agency. I can’t tell you how blessed we’ve been by our friends and even strangers who have donated stuff. In the issue of time, one thing people don’t often realize is that foster children often come with many, many appointments with doctors, therapists, case workers, court dates etc which really takes time away from the home. Foster parents are often juggling many different calendars and still faced with having their homes “CPS ready” all the time, because CPS workers can, are required to, and do make surprise visits. This adds an extra element of stress to the already stressful situation. If you know a foster family, consider giving them some of your time. Either make them a meal, or offer to do some laundry, or clean up the house, or sit with the kids while they do. What about a quick grocery trip? Are you headed to the store? Call that foster mom and ask if you can pick up some milk, or frozen burritos for her. A little bit goes a LONG way in the essence of time for a foster family!
If you do feel called to foster, get involved right away. The process is a long one, so the quicker you get started the quicker you can start fostering. If you do not feel called to foster, please consider other ways you can support these children. It is only right to take care of our helpless.