I was adopted at ten days old. My own mother was adopted when she was two years old from the very children’s home where we adopted four of our children. If it had not been for the love and dedication that my family had for me as they raised me, I could have been a statistic. (One-fourth of the kids who age out of foster care go to prison within the first two years of leaving the system and one-fifth of them become homeless.) I want so much for these children to feel what I felt growing up. I didn’t feel as though I was less than anyone. My dad and mom who adopted me made me feel chosen. As parents of foster and adopted children, if we are to be effective, we must help our children to feel chosen as well. They are chosen by God and chosen by us to be someone important in this world.
I decided to foster and adopt because I wanted other children to know what it feels like to be wanted and loved, just like I felt. The difference you make in these kids' lives not only affects this generation but will shape the world in generations to come. If you can help to break the cycle of abuse for one child or empower them to become all they were designed to be, you truly will make a difference in hundreds of lives over future generations.
My mother passed away in 2008. I was 28 years old and perceived myself as much an orphan as if I had been five. I have never felt so alone, so guilty, feeling as though surely I had failed, or the outcome would have been different — and so unloved. It was as though no one in this world truly loved me — not the way my mother had. My mother thought that the sun rose and set in me alone; I was the smartest, most beautiful child — in her eyes.
One day it struck me I that this is how children in foster care feel. They are all alone in this world. We can buy them nice clothes to wear and give them a beautiful home to live in but these things do little to fill the void within them. What they truly need is to be loved. Not in a superficial way by simply saying “I love you” when you leave or tuck them into bed. But loved, loved like my Mom loved me. They need to be the most perfect person in our eyes no matter what they do or say. We must give of our lives for them, to them, and love them because they are the most beautiful, wonderful person in the world - in our eyes.