Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Foster Care Guest Post // Lindsay Wallace

Katie asked me to share our heart for foster care and how God lead us to where we are now. I started out thinking of useful information and statistics and facts to weave into our story, and I may still find a way to include some of those BUT, I am going to stay true to her request and just share what God has done in my heart and in my husbands heart in regards to foster care and the American orphan.

Let's start here ----> We never intended to be foster parents. It was not on our radar or any to-do list. We began the process of international adoption in 2009. We ended up with two biological kiddos and continued our pursuit of international adoption. Foster care literally never entered our minds.

My thinking was along the lines of "Kids in the US have roofs over their heads, clothes on their backs and food in their tummies. Their parents are not dying of AIDS at alarming rates and they are not dying themselves of dirty water. The needs of children overseas are greater." (I. WAS. WRONG.)

Flash forward to 2012. Through a series of events only God could orchestrate, we became involved with a local family in need. We stepped in to care for the children for a short season so their mother could position herself to properly care for her kids.

And that's when God went to work on our hearts.

He re-wrote our story to include the American orphan. God knew we needed to see it for ourselves, in our own living room. So we became foster parents.

He showed us how the effects of neglect, abuse and trauma in the United States are NO different than the effects of neglect, abuse and trauma in Africa or Haiti. He opened our eyes to the 500,000 orphans in our own country who will go to bed tonight as wards of the state. He taught us that while yes, children in third world countries are more likely to be on the streets in the only shirt they own begging for food and living in a carboard box beacuase their parents are dead or dying, the effect parentlessness has on them is no greater than the effect of parentlessness on orphans right "here".

Their needs are the same. The same as children in Africa. Children in Russia, India and Haiti. The need for lovers of Jesus to fight for the American orphan is the same.

There are currently over 100,000 children in the US foster care system who are legally available for adoption. Did you know that? One year ago I did not.

There are a lot of myths regarding foster care and adopting from the foster system. Unfortunately, the only stories that receive media attention are ones where a birth parent shows up years later and demands their kid back. Or stories of kids who linger in the states care for years and years.

While these things do happen, they are not the norm. More importantly, the system may be broken, but God is sovereign.
If you'd like to learn more about foster care or adoption in your state visit Focus on the Family.

Lindsy and her husband William live in Kentucky with their four preschoolers and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a toddler from Africa. She blogs about orphan care and Jesus at word from the wallaces.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this story, thank you for sharing it!