Bill has been in foster care for two and a half years now. He has been the topic of my writing several times over the past two years, and we thought that last month we had a forever (adoptive) family for him. Prayers were answered and visits were started. Then Satan decided to get involved, again. He placed a grain of doubt in the perspective father’s head and he couldn’t break free of it.
Adoptive mom had fallen head-over-hills in love with Bill and could just see him being an integral part of their family. She spent time with him 3-4 times a week for around four weeks. After a few visits, adoptive dad started to come to visits. All indications were that he was “in,” meaning that he was ready to take on the responsibility. They were going to proceed with getting the adoption started.
In watching Bill’s interaction with them, he didn’t warm-up quickly. But, that is true with anyone that he doesn’t see on a daily basis. Usually, about half-way through the visit he would start warming up and by the end, he would be sitting on their laps. It was evident that the mom was all in, but dad never seemed to truly get comfortable. Before their last visit, all was good, but by the next day all had changed. We don’t know why, just that dad had changed his mind.
We are glad that it happened before they started the proceedings, but dad should have been more honest from the beginning.
Bill was starting to bond with this family. He was starting to get comfortable with them being there. Then, when visitation stopped. Bill’s behavior changed. For a while, he was angry – hitting screaming, biting. Things have calmed a bit, but Bill is now more weary of strangers coming in to the house.
We have not given up hope that right adoptive family will come along. Bill deserves it.
Today, there are over 10,000 kids in foster care in North Carolina. Two to three thousand of them are available for adoption right now. These kids did nothing wrong, but many have problems. Many have been abused: physically, mentally and sexually. Many have done without food for days because their birth parents would rather party or spend money on drugs/alcohol. These kids were not a priority in their own families. Most of the babies that are in foster care are victims of mothers doing drugs and drinking alcohol while pregnant. Fetal alcohol syndrome and ADHD show up in lots of these babies.
These kids have done nothing wrong, so they deserve a chance to have a family that loves them. Will there be problems? Yes. Will the children be angry? Yes. Will there be some learning disabilities? Probably. But, these kids deserve a home with loving, understanding parents.
What happens to a child that does not get adopted? Unless they sign an agreement to stay in foster care and go to college, they are released at age 18. Hopefully, they have bonds with their foster family so they can have some stability. Most often, they turn to drugs and alcohol. Many are homeless and get money through various ways. More often than not, they end up in jail for theft, prostitution, drugs…
Most of the girls end up pregnant. They continue using drugs and don’t/can’t get prenatal support. So, if the baby or the mother has drugs in their systems, the babies go into foster care. It’s a cycle that needs to be broken. It costs $1200 to $2000 per month for a child to be in foster care, but it costs the child a lot more.
These kids have done nothing wrong. Open up your heart and home and change the life of a child. Is it tough? Yes, but worth it a thousand times over.
Consider a career in foster care. There is a vast shortage of foster families and even a greater shortage of adoptive families. Step out of your comfort zone and do something that could change the world. Open up and change a life. Some how, some way, just get involved.
***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo and Olivia’s Sweet Adventure.