A Child Needs You
Most of us know at least a few children whose parents, for varying reasons, needed to pass on their parental responsibilities with their children. So adoption isn’t a foreign concept. Even, if you don’t know someone who was legally adopted, you know of single mamas whose kids have stand-in grandparents, uncles, and aunts for family events.
What is shocking, though, is that right now, there are children in your state, in your city, who don’t have a mother to rock them to sleep tonight. Don’t have a father to take them fishing. Who literally have no parents anywhere telling them they are loved.
It’s not just parents that these precious children are missing; these children actually have nothing. They live in a temporary home. Sure they may be safe and fed, but they don’t know how to tie their shoes or play board games. They might not even know how to brush their teeth.
Because these foster children are missing parents! And parents are the ones who notice when it’s time to get a hair cut, when underwear need replacing, and when feet have outgrown last school year’s shoes. Most heartbreaking is the idea that these children have no HOPE because they have lost it after a time away from their biological parent’s.
But several families we know have answered the call to meet the need of homes to be open to these hurting little ones. These families have taken on the honor of welcoming foster children in, catching them up on hygiene and social skills and probably every school subject. They have accepted the challenge of outlasting the foster child’s fits and instead instilling better ways to express feelings. These dads have stepped in and played backyard ball with a child who isn’t his. These moms have taught grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning, so that a child who isn’t hers will have basic life skills…for as long as the child’s biological parents needs so that the child won’t have lost time growing up in the waiting.
Nicole, a Rhea Lana’s franchise owner in Cincinnati, shares that fostering is the most beautiful and most difficult thing she and her husband Tom have ever done. Tom and Nicole were foster parents for six years, adopting their now children through the state foster care system. Nicole credits Rhea Lana’s with helping her manage life as a foster mom for that time. Receiving only a small stipend for clothing her children, she was able to buy three times the amount of clothing and get several seasons worth by shopping the events. Most importantly, these four precious faces have a forever home because of one family’s courage.
Lynzie and Nathan, franchise owners in Edmond, Oklahoma, have also opened their home. Lynzie said she knew they wanted a big family from the moment they got married. They had their hearts set on biological children and adopting children. Foster care felt too scary, though. They could not imagine the thought of taking a child in and then letting that child go one day. Finally after a year of considering foster care, their home became active. In May of 2014, they two foster children, Emilee (3) and Gabe (3 months). During that time they found out that they were pregnant with their first biological child! JB was born in September and they officially adopted Emilee and Gabe in December of that same year. Nathan likes to say that they didn't go from 0-3 kids in one year: they went from 0-60! Since that time they have added one more biological baby boy, Beau. They are thankful for the jump they made into foster care. Through it they’ve learned much about themselves and others and have had their eyes opened to the massive need for families in our community.
Jennifer Rogers and her husband brought a nine-year-old and five- year-old into their home almost four years ago. She says for us, it is a privilege to raise all the children we have been given. Being called “mommy” is a weighty thing. It’s hard, but it pays you back no matter how it’s done. Do it well. This blog post is adapted from her personal posts about her family’s foster journey.
Join the ranks of these courageous families. There are children who needs homes. For more information on fostering or adoption contact your local Department of Human Resources office or search for adoption groups in your area.