Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guest Post in honor of National Foster Care Month

Hey guys! Today I am so excited to share a guest post by my friend Lindsy! I love her heart for foster care and I have been so gripped recently by the mis-education out there about foster care and even adopting children from hard places. All I know is that we need more families ready to stand in the gap for these babies! In honor and celebration of National Foster Care Month, Lindsy has done an amazing Foster Care series over at Word from the Wallaces that I HIGHLY recommend you check out when you're done here!

Take it away, Lindsy!

I'm excited and honored to be sharing our foster care journey and a bit of my heart for orphans with you today! God may have this post specifically for you OR this may not be your calling.

Do whatever He is calling YOU to. He is calling you to something!

Let's start here ----> We never intended to be foster parents. It was not on our radar or any to-do list. We began the process of international adoption in 2009. We ended up with two biological kiddos and continued our pursuit of international adoption. Foster care literally never entered our minds.

My thinking was along the lines of "Kids in the US have roofs over their heads, clothes on their backs and food in their tummies. Their parents are not dying of AIDS at alarming rates and they are not dying themselves of dirty water. The needs of children overseas are greater." (I. WAS. WRONG.)

Flash forward to 2012. Through a series of events only God could orchestrate, we became involved with a local family in need. We stepped in to care for the children for a short season so their mother could position herself to properly care for her kids.

And that's when God went to work on our hearts.

We learned early on in our placement with the boys that they might not be leaving anytime soon. In fact, it became apparent they would likely be going into foster care. Since we were not certified foster parents, that would have meant them being pulled from our house and moved into a state certified foster home.

He re-wrote our story to include the American orphan. God knew we needed to see it for ourselves, in our own living room. So we became foster parents.

He showed us how the effects of neglect, abuse and trauma in the United States are NO different than the effects of neglect, abuse and trauma in Africa or Haiti. He opened our eyes to the 500,000 orphans in our own country who will go to bed tonight as wards of the state. He taught us that while yes, children in third world countries are more likely to be on the streets in the only shirt they own begging for food and living in a carboard box beacuase their parents are dead or dying, the effect parentlessness has on them is no greater than the effect of parentlessness on orphans right "here".

Their needs are the same. The same as children in Africa. Children in Russia, India and Haiti. The need for lovers of Jesus to fight for the American orphan is the same.

There are currently over 100,000 children in the US foster care system who are legally available for adoption. Did you know that? One year ago I did not.

There are a lot of myths regarding foster care and adopting from the foster system. Unfortunately, the only stories that receive media attention are ones where a birth parent shows up years later and demands their kid back. Or stories of kids who linger in the states care for years and years.

While these things do happen, they are not the norm. More importantly, the system may be broken, but God is sovereign.

The state's job is to protect children but the state cannot and does not nurture children and point them to the only One who can heal him. His Bride must do that. If not us, then who?
If you'd like to learn more about foster care or adoption in your state visit Focus on the Family.

Lindsy and her husband William live in Kentucky with their four preschoolers and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a toddler from Africa. She blogs about orphan care and Jesus at word from the wallaces.


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