Five years ago this month I attended an adoption conference in Nashville, TN and my friend Becca was there as well.  Several of us drove up from Austin and I’ll never forget sitting on the floor with her in a breakout session as we listened to a woman tell her story of her time in the foster care system.  Both of our hearts broke as she spoke of her traumatic journey in life.  LIttle did either one of us know that five years later Becca would be adopting her two sons from the foster care system.

Becca's adoption day:  11/7/13

Becca’s adoption day: 11/7/13

God is so good in how he orchestrates our lives.  Neither one of us had any clue then what the next five years would hold for us.  My kids came home a year 1/2 later, and three years later Becca’s life was intersected with two teenage boys that would eventually become her sons.

Becca's family on adoption day

Last week they became her sons.  The state of Texas declared them a family.  Their destiny was changed.  They have a mom that loves them.  They have grandparents that adore them.  Everything changed for all three of them.

SP_375305_LYTT_6_davion_8col

Davion

Recently the news went crazy when 15 year old Davion Only stood in front of a church service and put forth his request for a family.  When I first saw this, I honestly didn’t click on the link because I feared it was going to be some story made up for publicity.  Then I kept seeing the story and low and behold it was real.  Then I saw how many requests they were getting to adopt this young man.  Thousands of people were standing up saying “yes” we’ll be his family.  Thousands of people were putting a face to the system.  Davion was the first face they had seen, and it moved them to “yes”.  My first thought at this overwhelming response was with all the other thousands of kids in the system that need parents.  I wanted everyone that said yes to Davion, to say yes to someone else.  There are thousands.  {Kristen wrote about this so well on her blog.  I highly recommend you check it out.}

What can you do?

I want to encourage you if you have ever thought about foster care, to pray about it for real.  To sincerely ask God to show you how you can help.  Maybe it’s with interim care, or with household items for foster parents, or as a CASA volunteer, or with Christmas gifts for kids, or just maybe you are supposed to be a foster parent.  This life is so short, and maybe some of your time is meant to be poured out on other people.  {If you live in Austin, click HERE for some great opportunities to help}

 

the middle parent?

I spoke with a friend from an agency here in town and asked her what her needs were.  Of course they need families to adopt kids, but she specifically said she needs families that are willing to be that middle parent.  The safe, caring, loving home for the child when all else is falling apart.  The home for the child while they are in between their final destination.  The goal is always reunification with families, and maybe you are that home for a child while the parents get their lives back together.  What a ministry you could be to a family.

adoption?

She also said she needs more Becca’s.  People willing to lay down their lives for kids that are so close to aging out of the system.   210 kids are waiting to be adopted right here in Travis County where I live.  6500 kids are waiting to be adopted in the state of Texas.  The average age of children in foster care is 8.5 years old.  These kids need families and siblings and grandparents to love them and provide a safe, stable and loving family for them.

In 2012, 16,972 children in Texas were removed from their homes by CPS due to abuse or neglect (647 of those in Travis Co). Also last year there were a total of 31,302 children in foster care in Texas (976 in Travis Co.).  Kids who were adopted in Texas through foster care in 2012,  spent and average of 29.2 months in foster care before the adoption was finalized with an average of 2.7 placements.

such a great need

There is a great need.  Sometimes the need feels overwhelming and we feel so tiny, and so therefore we don’t do anything.  We sit and wait for a time to come where we feel capable of stepping in.  Friends maybe that time is now for you.  Ask God.  Ask him to move your heart towards where he wants you.  He will.

So, what can you do?  How can you be a part of the solution?  

I’d love to hear from you … have you fostered?  Tell us about it.  Are you considering it?  What’s holding you back?  Are you scared?  Let’s use the comments to encourage those that might be thinking about this.

 

*All of these stats come directly from DFPS data

 

 

Resources here:

Jen McManus talks about being the Middle Mom in this guest post.

Two of my favorite books I have read in the past few years about foster care:  THE MIDDLE MOM by Christie Erwin &  THREE LITTLE WORDS by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

Jen K tells her story about adopting from foster care

Jana tells her story about adopting from foster care

Cara tells her story about adopting from foster care

Kim tells her story about adopting from foster care

Becca talking about fostering

 

 

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