Some of you know know that I am a foster care social worker. Some of you may not have know but now you do. I have been working with foster youth and their families since October 2007. I have moved across the country and continue to work in this field and one thing remains. There are never enough good foster parents. There is no one to adopt the teenager or older child. For those who work with foster youth, I am sure you can agree on this. However, this is a ministry from the Lord.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
6 And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
This sounds like the spirit of restoration to me. When a person is a good foster parent, with a child whose goal is to reunify with their families, they are walking in this. They are an agent of restoration to the family. What do I mean? You have the opportunity to love the children, the love the child’s parents and to help the family be restored. You can pray for the child and the family, you can be a support to the family, you sometimes can even teach the parents how to love their children. Remember most foster youth come into care because of neglect and or substance use from their parents. Often times the parents do not believe in themselves, have never been taught or shown how to love their children and how to interact and how to discipline. Loving the child and working with the family can be difficult and trying. You will get attached to the child, you will have your heart broken should that child return to their family but you will have made a difference.
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
The least of these, seems like we have reached that group….
For those youth that are unable to return home, the courts must determine a permanent plan. This is where adoption comes in. God has called us to be part of the family through the spirit of adoption. These kids, they want and need a family to call their own. We often hear stories of foster youth that bounce from home to home until they turn 18 and are released from the system with no coping skills, no concept of family and no supports. We then wonder why these youth find themselves homeless, in jail or involved in the child welfare system as parents of children.
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
An orphan is one without parents. In some states, parental rights are terminated when it is determined that a parent is unable to reunify with the child. They then become a legal orphan the state being their parent. Adopting children means being willing to say I love you and you are family.
When dealing with older children, this may not always be easy. They may act out, they may disobey, the may do all sorts of things to rebel against your love. They are testing you, will you love me even when I do….? It seems that this does not differ all that much from our relationship with God. How often to we rebel and run the other way when God tells us to do things. Maybe we are no different from these youths in this respect.
Ok so now the question is what can I do? How does this apply to me?
- Consider being a foster/adoptive parent
- Be a support for someone who is a foster/adoptive parent
- PRAY!!!!! For those who are foster/adoptive parents
- PRAY for the families
- PRAY for the youth
Questions email me or comment