Their sweet faces fill up the screen and their giggles filtered through the speakers of my small computer like music from above. There are five of them. Four boys and one girl. Each with their big brown eyes and a love for each other that stretches beyond the history they have together. And this history? Well it’s not a pretty one. It’s full of pain and heartache. Abandonment. Neglect. The five of them ripped apart and forced to other families where life never really feels like home because they’re not together.
The laughter resounds as the video pans out and shows them playing games and riding on rides. They smile in unison at the questions asked until they get to one-the one. The question about living apart, and that’s when the resolve crumbles. That’s when the reality of the burdens these little shoulders carry sinks in. Tears stream from the nine year old that has the heavy heart of a much older man. I can only imagine the responsibility he has taken on. the charge of trying to keep his little family together. The nights spent awake, wondering where they are and if they are safe. These are worries to big to bear for a child-ye
t in his eyes it is apparent that this is exactly what he has done. All others have failed, so it must be up to him.
My heart broke as I watched this story. A story that brings back the memories of our earlier life as we fought to become parents. We chose to fill our home with kiddos who needed it most-those in foster care. It wasn’t easy, and some days it still isn’t. Our kiddos have been through things that no child should. They have lasting effects of the lives they lived in the ‘before’. There are things we will never be able to fix, and as a parent that is the most frustrating thing of all. But there are things we can do.
We can provide a loving home. We can give warm food and full bellies. We can insure that they are clothed and have a home to live in. We can help them keep relationships that otherwise might not have been.
But there are so many more. So many little hearts and spirits that are waiting for their forever home. And my mamma’s heart wants to take them all. To open up a big ‘ole house out in the country where there is room to run and play and grow. Bedrooms with cozy beds and lots of blankets to help warm the memories of nights when their were none. Fields of grass to play outside on, with balls and bats and catching gloves. A kitchen full of food, to fill the bellies that were empty for so long. And the ability to take not just one, but siblings as well. Families were meant to stay together.
It makes me want to get re-licensed. But I know that right now I can’t. Right now my responsibility is to the kiddos who fill the bedrooms in this house. But my hope is that some one who reads this may have an open door and an open heart. The ability to provide a home and a family for kiddos in need. Is that person you? Have you thought about opening your heart to children in care? If so, please take the step to get licensed as a foster or foster-adoptive parent. You might be the only person who can make a difference in a child’s life. And just maybe, you can offer some one a forever home.
To watch the video I reference, click here.
About becoming a foster parent:
Dave Thomas Foundation