thinking….

so our job is to take care of the babies/kids…but my heart sometimes aches for the parents of our fosters.

It is quite common that they themselves were in foster care, or at least have a rough history.  If they had any good support around them, then their child would not be in foster care; they’d either have been guided by their family/friends, or their family/friends would have custody of their child(ren).  If they end up in the system it’s because there is no possible person suitable to take their children.  Can you imagine having no one around you suitable to help out with your kids? No one out of your friends or family who can pass a homestudy?  I think some of these parents don’t even know that a world like ours exists.

The other day I was in a room with another mom & when fostering came up she just casually said that she grew up in the system & that she wishes there really was something in place to help the parents more, bc it really is best for kids to be with their biological parents (when everyone is doing well, right, & the situation is right….no worries, I’m still a huge advocate of adoption).  I don’t know what kind of support there is out there for parents. I know there are classes they have to take, but I’m not even sure what they’re like. I’d kind of like to take one of their parenting classes!  do they teach them that kids really can drink water & white milk? & that they can eat fruits & vegetables?  & that they can get on a good sleeping schedules?  So my mind has just been racing.

Let me jump to another subject that really does tie in…really, just bear with me for a bit….so in the last presidential election Robbie really got into supporting Ron Paul.  Ron Paul is very much into small government.  The hope/plan/expectation with small government is that if the government stays out, & takes less taxes, then we, the people, will have more $ to put into church organizations that do what all the government programs do.  Part of that is hoping that the church will step up & help!! really help! roll up our sleeves & get dirty with that other world that’s right next door.

SO…..if we put those 2 things together….what if the church stepped up & helped these parents from world hurt & addiction, see that there is another world…..world hope!!  We could do simple things, like a basic parenting class.  some simple recipes, scheduling tips, discipline tips, those things that come so natural to us & are so foreign to them.   One of our foster’s parents asked me one time “how do you get _____ to not drink chocolate milk all the time”?  My mouth almost dropped open.  “Umm….you just say no!!!”  You keep a cup of water available all the time & believe it or not, they’re usually ok with that.  It kind of gets me excited to think about this…about getting some moms (& dads) from our church to do some classes & mentoring…& my mind wanders off to if it goes well getting more & more churches involved!! Can you imagine the impact the church could have?!

still in the thinking & praying phase….but it’s starting to get me excited.  It may never happen. I admit that I’m a bit of a dreamer.  😉

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3 Responses to thinking….

  1. Rachel says:

    I agree, for one the government has tried to take away the responsibilities that God gave the church. Then again, we’ve allowed it and expect the government to do our (the church’s) job. I’m a member of Mobberly Baptist Church and helped start this little ministry of Life Matters. Life Matters wants to reach out to anyone affected by adoption, foster care, and crisis pregnancy. When I started my personal focus was adoption. After learning more and more my heart is for the foster kids and starting to turn towards those families. Where do we go from here, how do we give them support, what can the church do for these families? Not only support for the families but education for our church family and community. People just don’t realize what life is like, as you say, the world next door.

  2. Mallory Staats says:

    Ok, I know this is so incredibly random and a bit late, but thanks to the sisco’s links I just read this post. I love hearing about your fostering journey. Please keep posting! My family fostered all through my high school years and I have such a heart for it. Most of our placements were the standard “kids come, parents clean their act up just enough, kids go back”. My parents were cautious and for the most part didn’t get to know the parents except distantly (sent them pictures and notes, a Christmas present, but didn’t really meet them.)

    until, we had 2 little girls whose mom was 19. My older brother was 20 at the time and my parents just felt love for her and understanding of why she parented the way she did. She didn’t know better. Exactly what you were talking about. We each began to pray as often as we remembered for her and she began to see that we were in her corner. Altogether, we kept her 3mo and 21 mo for 9 months. about a month out from reunification, my mom spent the day with this mom at the park. The mom prayed to know Christ and begged his grace and forgiveness over her life.

    That was 8 years ago. We kept in touch – at first simple things, I mean, she hadn’t lived with her kids in 9 mos. Then she became the expert on her kids and my mom was able to help grow her parenting confidence. We still see the girls occasionally. They’ve spent the night at our house on occasion. They know us, but don’t exactly know how they know us. About a year ago, the mom (now married to a man we really like) invited us to their baptism. She still calls on occasion for advice from my mom or just to update us on how the girls are doing. Just yesterday, I was thinking about them. Their first week of 3rd and 5th grade and their mom posted precious pictures of them on facebook.

    She is such an unbelievable example of how the system should work. A life of drugs transformed to the point that she is a good, respectable wife and mom who I care a lot about. She needed encouragement. She needed to get clean. She needed purpose. She needed freedom and redemption. the removal of her kids was the eyeopener she needed, and since then, she has thrived as a mom. I guess I just share this because there is hope. you hit the nail on the head. Sometimes, these parents need some love, confidence, and practical help to ensure they succeed in parenting their kids. That, and the grace of Jesus. Can’t wait to hear how the Lord uses you in your fostering journey! Thanks for inspiring me today and helping me remember all that the Lord has done!

    • rmljones says:

      Mallory, I’m so glad you wrote! thanks!!! what an awesome story about your family & the way God worked mightily through your parents to radically change a family! so exciting to hear!
      I have only met a couple of the birth parents. I just feel that I’m too young to really be that older wiser voice they need. (although sadly, a lot of these parents are a good decade younger than I am. )
      It’s like when I watch teen mom or 16 & pregnant, I just want to take in the baby & mom!!
      thanks for your support of our blog/& adventure!

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