400,000+ children in foster care. 100,000+ children waiting for their forever families. I don’t want to imagine what the pandemic did to these numbers.
Yeh, we are so grateful you are here. Likely, you found your way here watching our IG. I recognize that foster care in particular is not an easy subject for many. I’m not sure where you are in your awarenesses of the kids and families in your community who have found themselves in the system. If you’re like most of us you may not be super aware but have some strong opinions about the foster care system. What I have come to understand from friends is that they had no idea that the families in their churches and communities that have said yes to this path of foster care need your help. They need a village. Not all of us feel prepared to bring kids into our homes but there are many things we can do that don't involve fostering or adopting - things like wrap around support for foster families and biological families, mentoring, babysitting, providing respite, bringing meals, supporting financially, etc. Hear me… You do not have to provide a warm bed and a place in your home to make an impact your community. What we need to recognize is that healthy families have ‘social capital’ in the bank for those times when life is hard. This is something foster families and biological families find themselves in need of. Emotional capital is your village that comes to your side when life is tough, when you have a baby, loose a job, find yourself deep in depression, etc. It’s the people who come alongside you when you’re drowning and this is where you the village can step in.
For many years I stood on the outside with a mantra that the foster system was broken, like I wasn’t part of it. Then one day it hit me, ‘wait, I’m part of the system I am so adamant is broken. I’m part of the system.’ It hit me that the system is not the just the government’s role in caring for the most vulnerable of our community but that actually, we are part of that system. This is where you come in. You’re part of it too but the fun part is you get to decide where you take an active role. This works a whole lot better when we all recognize that your gifts are not mine and mine are not yours and so we need each other to tackle this in our communities. We're hands, feet, ears, legs and toes (1 Corinthians 12) - utterly reliant upon one another more than we can possibly comprehend. We function best when we do different things, but do them together.
Resources I have found to be of great help along this journey.