Last week, I kept my blog’s focus on foster care/adoption awareness. I shared with you all some of my own journey of thoughts, information, and real-life stories of families who have said yes to fostering and adoption. Let me just say, I am so incredibly excited about the great interest people had on these matters…especially the interest that people had in wanting to see and read the thoughts of and advice from families who were in the thick of it. I am especially excited to share that, thanks to a great friend, I have many more families who want to open up and share their stories with you as well.
I hope their stories will continue to bless you and will inspire us all to see how we can do what we have been called to do. I hope their stories will show that even in brokenness – hope and redemption can be found. I hope their stories will, ultimately, point you back to Jesus and the gift of rescue – the one so freely given to us.
Yesterday morning, I attended the launch of a new state initiative called Oklahoma Fosters. The governor has teamed up with the Department of Human Services in creating this program to help end the foster care crisis in Oklahoma. Governor Mary Fallin stated – “There are nearly 11,000 children in Oklahoma’s foster care system and we desperately need the hold of our entire community to care for them. These children are in state custody through no fault of their own. They need foster families to love and support them during their time of need.”
The call is not to do what is easy, but to do what is right.
Among the special speakers at the launch of this special initiative, there were three that really moved me.
- A young girl, at the the age of 17 stood in front of a podium and spoke to a room full of people – many of them strangers. The room was still when she spoke. There was such strength and courage exhibited by this young girl as she opened her heart and shared her story. A story that started tragically with a drug dealing father who was murdered when she was four to a drug addicted mother who taught her to lie to social services when concerned teachers or neighbors called in reports. Her life just continued to spiral in a downward motion. Then, at the age of 15 something changed – a family stepped in. You can click here to read more about this family and their mission.
- The other speaker whose words pierced every heart in the room, came from Chris Campbell, the executive director for the Tulsa 111 Project. He was there to represent the faith-based community. I truly believe that if there is anyone who can rally the Body of Christ to come alongside these children, it is him. 3. Finally, there was the National State Party Director of the Republican National Committee, Matt Pinnell. He shared his family’s story and how they came to be a foster family. I was particularly convicted when he began sharing the many excuses he and his wife came up with initially to not foster…ones I have heard often whispered in the church circles; ones I have thought or uttered myself. I appreciated his honesty in sharing where they were to where they are now in their fostering journey. These three statements of his stuck with me: 1. We (Christians) need to quit talking and start doing. 2. It (being a foster family) changed our lives, it enriched our lives. 3. The outcome is God’s responsibility, the obedience is ours. I am encouraged by the direction the state of Oklahoma is heading. I am hopeful for the many children who are waiting for someone to reach out and help them begin their redemptive story. I am, now, even more convinced that God has placed a passion and desire in my heart to be a part of the change for these children.
If you would like a chance to share your foster/adoption story, please email me at – firstname.lastname@example.org . I would love to hear from you!