They Need Us

Have you considered foster care?

Not everyone is called to foster.  But I personally spend a lot of time – too much time – wondering, how many people feel the pull to foster, but ignore or avoid it, because they are afraid.  Afraid to care for children who have “baggage” and “issues” or are “damaged.”  Afraid of “loving them too much” or “having to give them back.”  Afraid of having to “deal with too much.”

Afraid of getting hurt.

Every time I hear something like this, it infuriates me.

Why?

Because I want to save them all.  I mean that: I personally want to take every single “unwanted” child and house, feed, clothe, and love on each and every one of them.  And – obviously – I can’t.  But you know what would make feel a teensy bit better about that?  Knowing that there are plenty of other homes out there who will take care of the children I can’t.

And not only do I not know that, but the truth is that I know the exact opposite to be true.  There are not enough willing foster homes for all of the children who need them.  And all of the above reasons are nothing but selfish.

You are afraid?  Afraid of a little emotion?  Afraid of loss and pain?  What about what these kids go through every single day?  Would you look a hurt and wounded and scared child in the eye and tell them they weren’t worth it?

What if it was your child?  What if something tragic happened to you, and no one was able or willing to take care of your children?  “But these kids are in the system because their parents did __________________ (insert assumptions here), and I would NEVER do anything to get my kids taken away from me!”

Okay, besides the fact that there are MANY reasons children are in the foster care system, those reasons are ALL irrelevant, because it is NEVER a child’s fault that they are in foster care.

You never know what might happen; your children or grandchildren or great grandchildren could end up in foster care someday; and would the fact that they are yours make then any more worthy of a loving home than someone else’s children today?

I know that not everyone is called to foster.  But if you do feel the pull to help these children, don’t let your own fear keep you from it.

You’ll never regret helping someone; but there is a strong chance you may wake up one day and regret that you didn’t help.


 

If you’ve considered foster care, but have questions or just don’t know where to start, feel free to email me at leigh(dot)michaels(at)authorleighmichaels(dot)com.

16 comments for “They Need Us

  1. October 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Actually, I’ve considered it. There are some reasons I couldn’t take it on but it’s a most important call you sound.

    • October 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      I’m glad to hear you’ve considered it. I think many people don’t ever get that far.

  2. October 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I love you leigh. This was the most awesome post from the heart and with passion and so very true. This message so dearly needs to get out there.

    I will never forget when I was working in foster care. The first child we went to pick up. I worked as the direct foster care worker with the kids and families in specialized foster care. I almost thought I could not go back. But I did. It left me with a passion that I never lost. I remember every one. I have taken in many kids over the years, though not foster, who needed a place for however long. Your message is beautiful, and what you do is even more beautiful. Thank you. Every child deserves exactly what you said.

    Tears in my eyes, hugs -CC

    • October 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you <3. And thank you for all you've done over the years to help out kiddos in need. That is equally important and beautiful.

  3. October 21, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I feel too old to start over raising kids, even though I was once a foster child. I have my book proceeds going to a group medical foster home.

    • October 21, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Sorry you were a foster kid :-(. I hope you had decent foster parents. That’s awesome what you’re doing with your proceeds! Like I said, not everyone is called to foster! Doing what you can to help is still more than a lot of people do! Thank you.

      • October 21, 2014 at 11:13 am

        Honestly, my foster homes really sucked. Poor drunks looking for additional income, rich folk who needed my room for their expectant kid, and over-the-top primitive religiosity…but the orphanage I ended up in was awesome. I learned about missionaries from faiths all over the world. It was an enlightening experience and I have no regrets.

        • October 21, 2014 at 11:17 am

          Very sorry to hear that. I hate hearing about things kids endure in foster care. As if having to be there in the first place isn’t bad enough. Glad you are able to take the good from it. I fear many children who have had bad experiences in foster care do not turn out so well.

          • October 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm

            I had some wonderful support people in my life at that time, so was able to process through the ugly and focus on the positives. That’s the amazing thing about good people who nurture us. They can help us see it is not so bad.

  4. October 21, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Funny, I was watching a woman carry her toddler out of the bank yesterday… she was swearing at him. I thought then that if I could save every single child from any kind of abuse I would. But the simple fact is, I can’t. I can barely look after myself while I’m looking after my own.
    One day when I’m rich though… Gotta sell my novel! (Heh, gotta finish it first. 😛 )

    • October 21, 2014 at 10:34 am

      You do have your hands full!

      If my novels ever make me rich, I’m right back to taking care of needy kids :-).

  5. October 21, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I always wanted to foster or adopt and I’ve had extensive talks with my husband about it, but he’s not into it. He’s scared the kids will do something to us and he’s really into this old world thinking of perserving the family line by having his own kids. Maybe someday I’ll convince him…

    You’re awesome for doing this. As someone who came very close to being put into a foster situation, I commend you for this.

    • October 21, 2014 at 9:54 am

      It’s too bad there are people with both of those ways of thinking (no knocks on your hubby – each to his own). I know lots of people who have bio children and foster. But both partners definitely have to be committed, or the marriage would suffer.

      It’s hard work, and extremely frustrating at times. But in the end, I believe it will all be worth it.

  6. October 21, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I know a few people who do foster care. It’s not an easy job.

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