Katie Davis was 18 when she started an orphanage in Uganda and began adopting 14 children. I have seen interviews where this young woman dishes out healthy doses of truth. She recounts how people would tell her how great it was that she found her purpose in life so young. Her response was simple, she listened to God’s commandments.
There are often things in the Bible that are open to interpretation or argument. But when God wanted to make his point, he wisely was very direct with us. In the Great Commission, we are commanded to make disciples of all nations. In James 1:27 as stated above, we are commanded as Christians to look after widows and orphans in distress. I want to focus on the orphan.
I am very proud that we are a resource family for the New Jersey Foster Care program. Our foster journey started in March 2016 when we submitted our application and took a giant leap forward on October 11, 2016 when Giovanni came to live with us. We spent a few months in the limbo that is the typical foster care experience, but a sense of permanency began to creep in. We are so happy that his adoption should be finalized before the end of the summer and he will legally be what God ordained from the beginning – our son.
When you have a foster placement that is moving towards adoption – the state will not place another child in your care. You are supposed to wait three months until after the adoption is finalized. Or so we thought. This past Friday, we received a call about a three-year-old boy (the oldest of three siblings) that needed placement. The other siblings were sent to other foster homes as there was no family that could take all three. After the call came in, we started preparing for the unknown. The amazing support network my wife has developed snapped into action and we got the room ready for him. Last night, after five days in our care, the judge reunited the family and he went home. His room is empty, waiting for its next occupant. He left our home with a lot of clean clothes, new shoes, a few new toys and a piece of our hearts. He left behind a cup he didn’t like to drink out of and one little plastic dinosaur.
But he also left behind a huge impact. We are hurt and we are angry. Hurt that the state needs to step in to provide the love and support that families are supposed to provide. Angry that the state had to separate siblings and break their own rules by placing a child with us during our period of ineligibility because there was no other place for him.
We are REALLY angry that this is such a simple problem to solve: Christian, right now I am looking at you. We need to do a better job which means you need to step up. Christ Jesus made clear that we are to treat others as we would want to be treated. Not a person among us wants to be hungry, homeless and desperate for love and support. On any given day in the United States there are approximately 428,000 children in foster care. Interestingly, there is estimated to be the same number of churches in the United States. I was never all that great at math, but even I can figure out a ratio of 1:1.
It is a simple problem to solve. You are the solution.
Get information. Reach out to someone who is already a resource family and ask some questions.
Open your heart and your home to a child in need; it will change your life for the better.