Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just a little bragging...

I hope to have the time this evening to blog about our recent travels, but for now I want to share an article that was published in our local paper about our friends who are fostering "Little Guy" and "Baby Girl". (I removed mom & dad's names from the article)

Having walked this whole journey with them (I am their certified caregiver... well so is my sister now too) I have to say that they are such giving people. Very generous of their time, efforts and money.

Fostering is no walk in the park. Aside from caring for children from hurting backgrounds - which is A LOT of work- DHS is constantly looking in on things and making decisions that the foster parents may or may not agree with. And with all that said, I'd like to brag on my friends a little ;)

Foster parenting is experience of lifetime

We encourage you to consider opening your life and home to Oklahoma's abused children. It might be the most rewarding thing you'll ever do.

My wife and I have had foster children in our home for the past year and a half. When friends and neighbors learn that we are fostering, they often say, "Well, isn't that sweet of you." We don't think it is, and with May being National Foster Care Month, this seems like the right time to explain ourselves.

If you could see behind the cloak of secrecy that surrounds child abuse, you'd find children all around you who need you. You haven't heard much about these kids, as child abuse is usually hidden from the public eye. Would you believe that 500,000 children across the U.S. are in protective care?

That number is both stunning and alarming. These children could fill a city the size of Tulsa. The enormous financial cost of caring for these children is overshadowed only by the emotional cost shouldered by the children themselves.

Caring adults can make a tremendous difference in the lives of abused children. And, my wife and I know that people care. When we tell family, neighbors and friends about child abuse in Oklahoma, the typical wide-eyed response is, "I had no idea."

And then these very same people offer to help us with our foster children. We have been given baby clothes, toys, diapers, food, offers of baby-sitting and more. Many gifts have been left at our door, the donors anonymous.

We have fostered for only a short time, and yet the experience has been one of a lifetime. Our first foster boy arrived at our home with a broken leg. He also had suffered a broken arm, three cracked
ribs and a fractured skull. He was 18 months old. Despite the abuse he had endured, he was a sweet little boy.

We mentioned this to a supervisor at the Laura Dester Children's Shelter, who gestured toward the shelter's children and responded, "All of these kids are sweet kids. (How could you not know this?)"

And he was right. All of our foster kids have been wonderful kids, a pleasure to know. In retrospect, the label of being sweet has been misplaced, and it rightly belongs to the foster children, not to us.

Caring for our foster children has been an honor, a privilege and an obligation all at once. We encourage you to consider opening your life and home to Oklahoma's abused children. It might be the most rewarding thing you'll ever do.

1 comment:

Mountain Mama said...

Awesome! What a blessing there are people like them loving those sweet abused children.