Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I graduated from college (the first time) with a Communications degree.  Let me be the first to say I LOVED my major but it's a hard degree to know what to do with.  When I graduated there was really no clear cut job for me to go find.  I interned in Marketing/PR but really couldn't figure out what I wanted to do.  So, I did what any person living in NWA does when they graduate and went to work for Wal-Mart corporate (I can still do a mean Wal-Mart cheer by the way).  I loved the division I was in, people I worked for, etc, but I knew that wasn't what I wanted to do long term.  So, I left and got into sales.  I loved the hours, flexibility, income potential and interacting with people.

I quickly learned though, that I was great at making new friends but I wasn't great at selling.  I could get appointments and talk to people all day long, but when it came time to closing the sell I wasn't good.  If someone said it was too pricey I would agree, apologize and leave.  I was always so scared they would spend a lot of money and not be happy.  That's when I decided I better go back to school.  I knew I was good at that at least.

I've determined I am the same way with fostering.  I am great at telling you our story and the ups and downs but when it comes to someone saying "I could never do that" I just get quiet.  However, I've decided I need to lay out the reasons why everyone can get involved.  

You do not have to be a stay at home mom to foster.  In fact, most people aren't.  Children can go to daycare or they are in school and DHS has people who can help transport to visits and court and so forth.  I just choose to help out with all of that because we did choose to stay home.  Would it be super busy to add more kids with appointments and so forth in the mix when you work?  Of course, but I have found life is super busy regardless.

I have heard so many people tell me they wouldn't want to expose their children to this type of environment.  Really?  I mean, we aren't allowing our kids to read their case files or anything but they do know some of the story.  It's also one of the reasons that while our children are so young, we are only fostering young children.  However, I know of people with young children who have also fostered older children and that's gone great as well.  You have to remember, that although the parents have made bad choices, most of these kids are just innocent bystanders.  Our 'Anna' is Addison Norman at age 23 mths.  She stares at herself way too long in the mirror, drags out every baby she can find, throws fits on the floor at the first hint of being told no, etc.  The only difference is God allowed Addison to be born into a stable family (most of the time).  The other day I heard Trey and Addison playing caseworker.  They may not understand all of it, but I can almost promise you they are learning a love for these children and their families that will carry over into adulthood.

You don't have to be in a position in your life to foster.  You can help in so many ways.  My parents and in-laws (and family and friends for that matter) have jumped in and taken whatever kids have been added to the family, whenever they are added!  Already, "A" prefers my mom over me.  It happens.  You can help support the ministry at your church, you can help start a ministry at your church, you can write down names and pray for them, you can go through the training to do respite care, you can offer to babysit, you can donate items.  You can do so many things.

We are not all called to foster or adopt but we are all called to do something.  I have not been called to go on a foreign mission trip but I am called to pray for those that do and support our missionaries from the church.  I have not been called to adopt internationally but I can pray for those that are.  We can all help out in some way but it's not enough to just read something and say good job.  We all have to act on it no matter the size of the action.

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