I am making a shameless appeal to
About now dear reader you are saying, “Yes, you are crazy!” or “I could never do that. I could never love a child and become emotionally attached only to have that same child sent back to their biological parents.” Our hearts have been broken to pieces many times during this journey but I thank the Lord that one of our trainers said, “You have to love them enough to take them in and help them and you have to love them enough to let them go.” And really, does not every relationship on earth end sooner or later? What a thrill to know you have impacted a life for time and for eternity! Of course the decision to remove or return a child never rests with us. Humanly speaking it rests with the court system, DHS, coaches, or even the parent’s willingness to receive the parenting classes and substance abuse counseling offered to them. As Christians we know the Lord runs things and we must pray and trust His sovereignty in these and all other matters. Believe me when I say we have been driven to our knees in prayer many times when we see the stress these little ones have endured or the antics they perform on a daily basis. Malani once asked me, How old was I when you (dad) were pregnant for me?” That was a hard one to answer and I could not beg off by saying, “Go ask your mother.”
According to the state of Michigan’s official website, www.michigan.gov/fostercare there are thirteen thousand children in foster care and over three hundred that need a foster family right now in this state. Just Shiawassee County DHS alone has their work cut out for them. The foster care system in every state is under tremendous pressure from the massive caseload put upon them. Across the United States there were 427,000 foster children in care at the end of the fiscal year 2015 and in 2016 the number jumped to over 437,500! The opioid epidemic has further stretched overworked resources. Many times drugs and child abuse seem to go hand in hand. The worst states are Indiana, West Virginia, Florida, and Georgia. From 2015 to 2016 drug abuse rose an astounding 32% in these states alone! If these precious children
THEY CAME FROM A HARD PLACE
Not so long ago a mother is Shiawassee county was sent to prison for child abuse. The details are sickening and will not be covered in this post. Hopefully, the child will have no memory of this. However, you may foster a child that is old enough and remembers every detail of what happened to them and therefore will act out upon arrival at your front door. We know of a foster family in another county that had a child get out of bed, urinate on his pillow, and then go right back to bed using that same pillow! As bizarre as that is, it made perfect sense to the child. He had been living in filthy conditions and the smell of urine made him feel a little bit safer. Sadly, it reminded him of the home where he was removed. A child may have severe nightmares or as it is called night terrors when a memory is triggered by a seemingly normal event in our estimation. It may be a dog barking, a dish crashing to the floor, or a loud voice. Be ready for these things. They do not have to make sense to us. Remember, they came from a hard place. The social worker will let you know what is needed about the child and you take it from there. As the child is placed in a new environment many times they will naturally revert back to some old “acting out” to get attention or they may be testing the water to see what is acceptable in this new house.
This next piece of advice is priceless. MAKE SURE your biological children are