Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's Time

Time to stand on my cookie box and scream into the wind again that is.

Every little while I read things about kids and I want to stop the world and shout--we're missing the point here!!

This is for all of you who aren't called to leave home to fulfill your God given mission. There's plenty to do around here in the good old, US of A. Heck, try on your state or county.

These are quotes from Understanding Foster Care and Adoption through the Eyes of a Child. Produced by Adoption Resources of Wisconsin.

*At any given time in a year, there are over 500,000 children in foster care; around 25% of those children are available for adoption.

*Many children in foster care wait an average of five years before finding permanency through adoption.

*Data from the January 2008 Department of Health and Human Services' Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System indicate that each year, the number of children who become available for adoption is greater than the number of children who are actually adopted. In fact, every year 20% of children exit foster care at age 18 without an adoptive family.
*Quote from a foster child* "I want a family so I know I will have people I can count on to be there for me when I need some support, a helping hand, or a shoulder to cry on. I want a family to have at my high school graduation, to see me off to college, to come home to from my college spring break, to be there when I get married, and to see the birth of my children."
Try, just for a second to breath this all the way in.

These are kids. KIDS. Teens and pre-teens and they are scared and worried. They wondering how it's all supposed to work. They know they are supposed to work hard to graduate and go to college, get jobs, marry, have kids, live happily ever after. They have the same dreams. That isn't different because they are foster kids or because they come out of horrific abuse and neglect. But they wonder. And worry. And who wouldn't. So far, all the adults in their lives are failing them.

I wonder how motivated I would be to work at graduating high school if I knew that there wouldn't be anyone there to see me do it. There wouldn't be anyone who even cared that my name was read or I walked across the stage. Would I work hard to achieve it, if there was no one there to hand me a rose or shake my hand. What if there would never be a person to hug me or tell me they were proud of me, would I keep on?

What would it be like to be living a life knowing that I would never have a daddy to walk me down the aisle and hand me over to the man who loves me? Would I ever even look for a man who loves me or would I just be throwing myself away to anyone?

What is it like to live a life knowing that other than making a spectacular news story as a foster kid, no one really cares if I live or die in the system?

Think about your own kids. Think about all the little things we do that we think don't count for anything, all the things both we as parents and they as kids take for granted and imagine life without it. We know what sort of sandwich our kids like for lunch. We know their favorite clothing styles. We know how to order a pizza our kids will like, we know what sort of movie to rent for them or what kind of gift to get. We know what nicknames they love and cringe at.

Imagine life shuffling from home to home, none of them your home. Imagine being a forever guest, packing and unpacking.

Remember that feeling of going on a long vacation and longing to come home and just be home, the sweet release of that first night back sleeping in your own bed with your own pillow. Now imagine a life without it.

It's just my day to shout at the sky. That's all.

There's no harm in world missions. Certainly it's needed. Our world is filled with suffering. No question there. But there's a lot of suffering right here in our own back yards too.

Somehow in our current American version of Christian, we really, really overlook and undervalue those who serve the local abandoned, abused, neglected and orphaned. Somehow if it isn't a mega ministry or a big program it isn't worthy.

It seems a shame to be out saving the world but stepping over the orphans at our feet.

On another day I'll hit the related topic that surfaced yet again in the morning paper. Most minority girls--teens and pre-teens believe that being hit or sexually forced is a normal part of a healthy, average relationship.

That ought to make you slightly queasy at the very least.

We're missing the boat with our kids, every single step of the way.

They aren't accessories. They aren't puppies.

They are real live little human beings.

When did we forget the value of a person?

Why is there even a need to say these things?

It makes me so very grateful for a God who is bigger than all of this.


JCzaplewski said...

Wonderful post! I'm happy that the "Through the Eyes of a Child" article resonated with you - and that you shared it with your blog readers!

~Jenna from Adoption Resources of Wisconsin (ARW)

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