"'How long have you been foster parents?' I asked. "'Four years,' he replied. 'Seven kids and I miss them all. I wonder what they will grow up to be. If somehow I was able to have an impact on them. Never knew I could love someone else's child like that.' It is a special thing to be a dad. But it is a divine calling to be the dad of someone else's child. A holy opportunity." (Day 4)
- Pray for those parents who are learning how to become parents, not biologically but still in a real way. Telling family can be hard, and understanding how to be transparent with a child and their birth families can be hard.
"'I'm not adoptable,' he stated flatly. "What?' I was surprised by him comment. 'I'm. Not. Adoptable.' He repeated it more loudly, as if perhaps he thought I was hard of hearing. He was sitting on my exam table, and I had just been looking in his ears and asking him about school and friends and girls. Then the conversation turned to family. His parents had lost their rights years ago. 'I went to this adoption party, and I overheard some people say that I'm not adoptable because I am too old.' Ad that, tears welled up in his eyes and began to spill down his face. He took a few deep breaths and went on. 'I met some people who wanted to adopt a son. They talked to me for a little while but then moved on to meet other children, and I overheard them saying that I was too old, that no on would want to adopt someone my age.' ... 'Do YOU want me? Would YOU ever adopt me?' I was frozen. Of course I wanted him to have a family; I just didn't want the effort of being it. He could sense y struggle, and his face changed again, this time looking reserved and emotionless. 'It's OK,' he said. 'My case worker says I need to spend the next couple of years learning how to take care of myself anyway.' Head down, I left the room and went on to the rest of my day, but I never forgot him. And I didn't sleep for a week. And I felt like a fraud. And I have always wondered if he should have been MY son." (Day 5)
- Pray for the older children in Foster Care/Adoptive lists. Often they are seen as the burdens in the system. It's easy for younger children to be placed because they don't have as much baggage. They know the truth and the statistics. Pray for families to desire to take in older children and love on them.
"Her email asked how she could become more involved with helping foster kids. She wanted to volunteer at the shelter, or perhaps become a mentor. We met to discuss the options - find her a good fit. At 21, she seemed more mature that most 40 year olds I knew. I wanted to know more about her, and over several cups of coffee her story unfolded. Not too great of a childhood. Instability. Loneliness. Abuse. Pain. Lots of pain. Then, at 14 it all changed. She didn't even own a Bible. Had no context for the songs being sung or the messages she was hearing. But soon she found herself moving toward the front of the auditorium. More importantly she found her should moving toward her Creator. How did that happen? How did a kid who barely wondered if God existed wind up as a sol out follower of Christ? ..." (Day 8)
- Pray for younger adults pursing to help the Foster Care system. There is a driving reason for them to go into that line of work, and it's often because of a heart that has been through some of the same things. Pray for strength and support from their families.