Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 297 - In Our Own Backyard...

When we were in process to adopt Julianne from Ethiopia, a friend on mine spoke at our church about the great need for foster care families in our county, our state. Honestly, before hearing my friend speak, foster care wasn't even on my rader. I was shocked to hear the statistics.

A few of the numbers I couldn't get out of my mind...

In Pulaski County, there are 1,100 children who are in foster care during the course of a year, and only 239 families to care for those children! 68% of children who come into foster care in Pulaski County are placed outside of the county.

*About 200 teenagers "age out" of foster care every year in Arkansas. They may have NO home to go to. The outcomes for many of these teenagers is alarming:

According to Pew Research:
*One in four will be incarcerated within the first two years after they leave the system.
*More than 20 percent will become homeless at some time after age 18.
*Approximately 58 percent had a high school degree at age 19, compared to 87 percent of a national comparison group of non-foster youth.
*Of youth who aged out of foster care and are older than 25, less than 3 percent earned their college degrees, compared with 28 percent of the general population.

Due to the shortage of foster homes, Arkansas is ranked #2 nationwide for the great number of moves our children make while in foster care.

Because we had two small children and were in the process to adopt one (or two) more from Ethiopia, I wasn't sure how (in the world) we could help...but I knew we had to answer the CALL. We went through the process of getting certified as foster parents with the intention of providing respite care (babysitting services for days, weeks) for foster parents. I really didn't think we would ever be foster parents.

Then we saw a video like this one...

...and we were goners! Haha!

Can you imagine being that little girl in the video? She is Hillary Ashton's age. I cannot imagine how scared she must be. We was just taken from her home and now she has no where to go. It is soooooooooooooo sad. It breaks my heart.

I am ashamed that I was the person on the other end of the phone call making excuses a year ago when they called me about Jonah. After the initial phone call, I had no intention of taking the child they described to me over the phone. I answered the CALL, but made excuses about why we couldn't take care of him. Others calls were made to try to find him a home. I prayed about and was convicted...big time. Thank goodness, I was convicted. I can't imagine missing the last (almost) year with our precious little Jonah!

Will you answer the CALL?

1 comment:

Renee said...

Thank you so much for sharing the video and your thoughts! In our foster care classes last week, the trainer said he tried to place 6 day old twin girls and couldn't find a home for them. Can you imagine?
I was one of these wounded children, but God provided mentors in my life to guide me through horrible circumstances to show me what true love is. I thank God for his great blessings!