Why Foster Parenting

When I was 21 years old I took a part-time job for a non-profit organization called Mentor Co. My "job" was to mentor, tutor and enrich the lives of children who were wards of the state in the foster-care system. It was to this day, the best job I ever had. I only worked there for a year or so and then funding was cut so the program ended. Over the course of my time there I worked with 3 children. Trey was 5 years old, he lived with his maternal grandparents, his parents were both in jail for dealing and using drugs. He was precious. I went to his head start daycare twice a week to work with him on his social skills and to give him some much needed one-on-one attention. His home life was a wreck, his grandparents fed him junk and only junk, and he watched TV all day after preschool til late into the night. His preschool teachers told me had "behavioral problems". You think? How could he not? He was starved for attention and affection. What he wanted most when I came to visit him was for me to hug him, and he loved the fact that I was there just to see him.

Sarah, was 7, she had been in and out of foster care and was back home with her mother when I first started tutoring and mentoring her. She was so sweet and so smart. She soaked in her school work. She really didn't need tutoring, just someone to remind her to do her homework. Something her mother was far too lazy to do. I couldn't believe the filthy apartment she lived in with her mom and 4 siblings. Her mom was usually high when I picked Sarah up and dropped her off. She said she wanted to come live with me, because I was so nice.

Then there was Max, he was 14. He had been in foster care his whole life. He had been in one foster home for over 8 years. There he was neglected, crammed into bedrooms with way too many children. He and the other foster and adopted children were so poorly supervised that some of them were sexually abusing one another. This was by the way at the home of people who claimed to be Christians. Max was behind in school and he was so angry and hurt over everything in his life. He was placed in a new foster home of a single mom and her son. She didn't care about Max, he was just a pay check for her. After a few months there, she said she couldn't handle his temper any more and Max was sent to live in a group home.

Not once did I meet a parent, foster parent, or teacher of these children that cared. That thought they could really amount to anything. That was willing to put in the extra effort needed. What is heart-breaking to me is that there are thousands more children like those kids who will just continue to slip through the cracks, barely noticed. And we as Christians will not help them, we will see them going to school with our own children and we will keep our kids away from them, we won't invite them over to play, we probably won't even learn their names. Maybe some of our churches will bus them in for Sunday School, probably keeping them in their own separate classes. And we'll think that's enough.

One pastor said that if every professing Christian family would foster parent or adopt just one child in the U.S., there would be no children left in the foster care system. We have thousands of children around us that need a home, a bed, parents who will love them. Nothing extraordinary, just a real home; one that won't give up on them, or get rid of them. I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty, just wanting us to think.

I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father has adopted me into His family. And He won't kick me out, no matter what I do. He loves me and cares for me.

That is why I want to be a foster parent. Not just because I love children, or because I want to feel like I've done something good with my life. I want my children to see an example of what Christ has done for us. I want them to grow up in a home that loves others and gives to others. I want to give as many foster children as possible a home where they will be loved and where they can learn about the love of our Savior.

We are currently in the process of becoming licensed foster parents. I can't wait. Hopefully sometime in June we will have two little girls added to our family. We are praying that God places two girls with us that we can eventually adopt.