Why Foster Care? Part Three of three
Before I post part three of this series, please allow me to share a little of the enthusiasm that I am trying to keep from busting out at the seams as I sit in front of my lap top this evening. Your comments have been inspiring and I am grateful for each of your visits. Janice, who shares an outstanding blog with Susan at 5 Minutes for Mom , has posted an interview (May 16) featuring this blogger! How exciting, for me, to network with other women who care so deeply about children in need. You have each blessed me with your compassionate interest; thank you so much.
Case by case, foster family by foster child, individual intervention is not the only answer to this complex social problem. While government intervention is significant for programming and funding, there are also many private organizations that work diligently to ease the conflict that exists for children growing out of the foster care program. Downey Side Adoption Agency, originating in New York, located locally in St. Paul, works exclusively and energetically to place orphaned children with qualified and loving families. Lutheran Social Services, Children’s Home Society, and the Blair Foundation are also examples of ministries reaching out, working to provide lasting families for children and teens that need loving families. With the advent of the Internet, many organizations literally reach around the globe with the single purpose of “link[ing] individuals, companies and churches with organizations that assist children in need” (Gods Kids. Org). In addition, it cannot be understated, each and every social service agency that is unable to work the goal of reunification for a foster child, seeks a permanent family when at all possible.
It is clear; the answers will not come from one avenue, rather from our society, our community at large. As Gary Stangler, director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative states, “[we have created our initiative to] transform the way communities view their responsibility to youth who have been removed from their families and placed in foster care” (cited in Kelley, 2001). Perhaps, if society would not limit its responsibility to single foster families, but could see it fostering these youth as a whole, foster children would not feel so abandoned, yet again, when permanent families are not available. Certainly, Christians should be the leaders in the work of finding permanent and viable answers as they listen to the heart of God and the heart of children who say:
There is a sound the heart makes. You can hear it if you will only bother to tune in to those communications that come from beyond words. It can come from people of both sexes and all ages; from people close to you and people you hardly know. It may come through the eyes, or perhaps through some part of us we don’t yet know. It can be a cry for help that is inexpressible in words, because the kind of help needed in not fully understood. Or it can be a high pitched “Understand me! Please, just understand me! I don’t even understand myself!” Sometimes the heart asks only that you notice it is there, so that the owner may be sure he truly exists. (Morrison, 1983, p. 220).
This is our challenge; not disguised by a façade of legitimacy as conflict theorists may suggest, but rather, finding clear, practical and meaningful ways, to successfully make a way for the full blessings of God to reach all of His children. We know from reading Psalms 146:9a that God deeply cares for and sustains the “fatherless.” As Christians, as parents, as former children, we must make a difference in the lives of those God holds special concern for. To be used by God, in His providential care of these children, is a blessing.
Personally, Gordy and I have discovered it is not only a blessing but also a miracle; that in spite of our concerns, our failures and our mistakes, God intervened on behalf of Diana and is leading her to fullness in Him. This success did not require us to be perfect, just available. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.”
Tomorrow, I hope to post some related blogs and websites for your consideration. I just love the energy of caring people! For today, please stop by 5 Minutes for Mom; give them a "shout out!" Enjoy browsing a great blog that is dedicated to "bringing Moms the best in Blogging, Shopping, Parenting and Education."