There's an adage that goes: "Having a place to go is a home. Having someone to love is a family. Having both is a blessing."
Another one says: "No matter how poor a man is, if he has family he is rich."
These sayings are on my mind today because tomorrow will be our first day of foster care training. Four training sessions are required to begin the process of becoming a licensed foster family.
Family is an interesting thing, isn't it? We love them, we hate them, we ignore them, we take them for granted. We avoid them, we help them, we depend on them. We can't live without them. When I turned 18 and moved away from my family, they were still my family. Nothing beats that.
But what if you didn't have a family? What if, through no fault of your own, you were alone in the world? Some people choose this, certainly. They walk away from their families on purpose. But others, such as foster kids, have no choice. The choice was made for them when their parents violated the basic rules of humanity by failing to care for them and the powers that be were forced to remove them from their homes.
What about those kids? Suddenly they have no home, no family, and the world is a big, scary place. What will happen to them? Ideally, their parents will get their act together and get them back. But that doesn't always happen. And even if it does, what if it takes a while? What happens in between?
Those are some of the questions that compelled us to sign up for the foster care training sessions. We love and appreciate family, and I don't just mean flesh and blood. Family is much more than that. So we thought maybe a kid who's been separated from her family might find it a little easier to bear if she knew she had another family waiting to support her. To be there for the in between.
We want to be that family. How about you? Which makes me think of another saying: "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." Thank goodness for that.
Check out http://www.adoptuskids.org/ to learn more about foster care in America and even see pictures of kids in the foster care system who are waiting to be adopted because their parents have given up all their rights. Please check it out and consider what you can do to help. Because where would we be without family?