In Search of a Better Way

One of my absolute favorite parts about being a foster parent is the ease at which teachable "Jesus" moments come unexpectedly. We had a newborn and a toddler join us for the night this past week. As soon as they were dropped off, everyone started doing their part. The big kids welcomed the toddler, fetched baby gear and watched as I fed the baby. Everyone was just giddy to be the hands and feet of Jesus for these 2 little ones.

One new thing that happened with these placements was that my oldest daughter was very concerned about the birth parents, mentioning often how sad they must be that their kids were taken away. How precious for her to realize this aspect of foster parenting when most adults don't. It's easy to forget that most birth parents haven't lived a privileged life like us. A majority were raised in foster care themselves and/or abused and neglected by those that were supposed to protect them. Many have aged out of foster care because they were considered "too old to adopt" or "unadoptable." The statistics are awful for most who age out of care. A lot end up homeless, involved in sex-trafficking and/or in jail. The cycle of foster care continues for many when they end up young and pregnant with no support system. There has to be a better way friends.

The number of children in care in Oklahoma is growing by more than 1,000 every year. 3 years ago, there were 8,000. At the beginning of 2014, there were 11,400 children in state custody. Mentor, advocate, foster, adopt... the opportunities are endless. Listed below are some Oklahoma organizations striving to help in this area, click on the underlined text for their website.

Bethel Foundation for single moms - this is an incredible organization that I am personally connected to. Contact them for needed donations and volunteer opportunities.

OK Foster Wishes - (from their website) "OK Foster Wishes shows people ways that they can get involved with a foster child without the commitment of becoming a foster family. Most people don't know that there are many ways to help a child in foster care like mentoring, baking a birthday cake or buying a gift, or just taking them to the zoo for the day."

Breaking Chains & Mending Hearts - this is a new organization in the OKC area that is helping connect mentors with pregnant teens or teen moms in foster care while developing plans for a girls' home. "Like' their Facebook page for more info.

Stand in the Gap Ministries - "Stand in the Gap Ministries is a prayer-based, church-driven, small group movement, focused on helping a neighbor rise above overwhelming life challenges through a loving, spiritual family experience."

Infant Crisis Services - "Infant Crisis Services provides life-sustaining formula, food and diapers to babies and toddlers in times of crisis..." This organization is an invaluable resource for birth families and is always needing donations. Please like their facebook page for more info.

Next week marks the 2 year anniversary of the death of Hannah's birth mother who was a victim of many of the hardships I wrote about above. Pray for compassion, forgiveness and salvation through Christ for those who have had their children removed from their care. Everyone has a story and everyone is in need of a Savior.

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