Tonight in class I learned several eye opening Foster facts. Did you know that there are over 400,000 children in the United States Foster Care system? Did you know that 60,000 are in California? In San Joaquin County, where I live, there are over 1,400 Foster children.
I asked the social worker tonight what the average length of time is from certification to placement. She replied, "Same day. Definitely within that week". Shocked me. I was expecting weeks or even a few months for some reason. But, she said they have so many children and not enough Foster families.
If you feel like you can give a child or children a loving, nurturing home, I urge you to consider becoming a Foster parent. The difference you could make in a life is profound and the effects are limitless. One of the reasons I did NOT want to become a Foster parent is because I know I am the kind of person to get attached. But guess what. These kids need someone who will be attached. They need someone who loves them that much. We are hoping to adopt, but we are planning to go through the Foster system. It doesn't always work out the way you expect, and I know I will be heartbroken if a child is removed from my home... but I need to love them with my whole heart anyway, and support them returning to their bio families if that is what the court sees as best. This will be hard. It might be the hardest thing I've ever done, but I cannot deny the strong feeling I have to move forward in this direction. If we can make a difference in someone's life, even for a short time, then I feel, it is worth it.
I believe in God. I believe that He inspires us to do things sometimes that might be out of our comfort zones, but I know that if we listen to those promptings, there are huge blessings that await us. It might take some courage and will take some faith, but if we do what He asks of us, we cannot fail.
One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
As a Foster parent, you might have hard days, but the good will outweigh the bad. If you are called to do this work, help will be available, from a loving Heavenly Father, who is just a prayer away to social workers, counselors, friends, and other supporters. If you're thinking about it, I encourage you to do something about it.