I am an author. I work successfully in my field. I am a mommy to three precious angels that have blessed my life since the seconds they entered it. I am a wife to a man who makes a difference in this world, every day. But before all of this, I was a child, and for a time, a child in need of a family. My birthmother had left me with friends and had not returned. There came a time when it had to be reported to the authorities. I became a child in care.
God bless those that open their hearts and homes in the most selfless and giving of ways to those that deserve it most—our children. I say, “our children” because that is what children in care become. When children must leave the homes they were born into, for a matter of months or permanently they become our wards. You do not have to be a foster parent for this to be true. I am responsible, you are responsible, our nation is responsible for these children. The way the least of us is treated, IS a reflection on us and our society. Every child deserves love. Every child deserves a home and a family. And along the way, what is often a hard and troubled way, these children deserve hugs and their own pillow and undergarments. They deserve support, praise, security- but where will it come from?
I will always be grateful to those that fostered me for the time between my birthmother closing that car door and driving away and the time I crossed the threshold of my forever family’s home. Foster parents truly do what they do out of a love for the children. Not a service one would ever do for the money, as the money foster parents spend is never equaled by the money they are paid by the state. That is not why they do it. Quietly and with love and patience they serve OUR children. They do not ask for praise for themselves, nor do they see themselves as saviors. They are people, real people who share their homes, their family, their dinner table and every extra minute of their time with these children and I was one. Someone fed little me, got me dressed. Bathed me. Snuggled me. Kept me safe. They did this knowing that one day I would leave. I would not be there forever. Knowing their heart would be sad, though they would be happy I’d found a forever home.
I have been many things in many life and a foster child and adoptee are just two of them, but I do know that without those who loved and cared for me I would not be where I am or who I am today- and for THAT I will forever be grateful. It is fitting for me that National Adoption Month in the United States comes in November, as November is the month of Thanksgiving for which I have much, and was the month I did find my forever family at 14 months old. There are so many children waiting- waiting for love. Be it for a time until they can be reunified with their birth family or forever. We can all make a difference.
It is my hope that all of those who would like to help, whether it means fostering, adopting or assisting those who do, will reach out to resources in your area. Even if you cannot foster or adopt, there are many groups that collect supplies for foster families who receive emergency placements or groups like My Very Own Blanket www.mvob.org who take donations of handmade blankets to give to foster children. There are always ways to help OUR children. It is amazing how much you will receive, just from giving.