Lovin' my kids!

My life as head of the Looney Bin!

Friday, June 02, 2006

So incredibly sad...

I had waited since last week to watch it...Diane Sawyer's Primetime Live special on foster care. I thought it was awesome! Any of you who know anything about me at all, know that this is very near and dear to my heart. I guess you could say it's a passion of mine.

I was heartbroken over those children. Summer who had been so sexually abused and forced to eat dead deer off the kitchen table because her mother was too strung out and too busy with her sex life to give a hoot. They kept showing this teenage boy over and over; he was blonde with braces and glasses, and he kept telling all kinds of good things about himself. I nearly cried because he was giving his "sales pitch", hoping that somebody would be interested.

Andy and I got into foster care after having numerous miscarriages. Once I got pregnant, I couldn't stay pregnant. We went for one meeting with a fertility specialist. When we left, we agreed that instead of bringing a doctor into our bedroom, we would find a child who needed us. We contacted DCS and started the paperwork. We were young with no other children and lots of energy, so we went the therapeutic foster care route. Therapeutic foster care is now done through contract agencies in Tennessee (Agape, Omnivisions, etc.). It was defined as fostering children with severe psychological, physical, or emotional needs. We finished our training and began waiting. One day, the call came. It was our worker, Suzanne. She said she had a four year old little boy that needed a home NOW...could we take him? I called Andy and we agreed. We were incredibly nervous when Glenna, Daniel's worker, brought him to our house. We had wondered all day long what he would look like. He was THE cutest kid I had ever seen. He was fair skinned, with the perfect sprinkling of freckles, chipmunk cheeks and a high pitched squeaky voice. He had on clothes that were too small, cowboy boots that were split open across the top of the foot, and a coat that the sleeves were about two inches above his wrist. He had an incredibly worn blue bird stuffed animal tucked under his arm. That was back when hoods on coats still had strings on them. Daniel sat down on our couch and proceeded to sit flicking those string ends together. They told us all the important info and left. Daniel was placed in our home because of his ability to tantrum for hours (no joke). There were times when Andy and I had to restrain him to keep him from hurting himself or us. Then one day, it hit me. His outbursts came shortly after taking his Ritalin (he was on a mega dose...40 mgs. 3x/day!!) I got him off of it and he turned into a different child! That was 13 years ago, and Daniel has been our son legally since August of 1995. It's not always been easy or fun or sweet or great, but it's been rewarding, and has given me a huge sense of accomplishment. Daniel is almost 18 now, and is trying typical 18 year old stuff (wanting to leave home, be emancipated, he doesn't want to be corrected, etc.), but he's still MY son...Andy and I are the only parents he remembers.

Then we have our sib group of six (was a group of seven before Georgia died). We didn't take them all at once, and they came at different ages from 2 days old to 4 years old. Tucker and Sean had suffered failure to thrive and malnutrition and Kaymie "severe abuse". Asher is still developmentally delayed because he was left laying in a carseat for hours with little to no stimulation. Where would they be today? They would most likely be spread out all over this part of the state and would never know that the others existed (there are three more in different parts of the country). Does anybody realize that they can have a ready made family?

Daniel's situation is not unique, there are hundreds of thousands of Daniels out there. Why don't people want these kids, I've often wondered? Maybe the fear of the unknown...although you are not promised perfection if you give birth; I have a cousin with severe birth defects and retardation. Maybe people want babies. I understand that, I know probably better than most anybody the ache for a baby (I've had 10 miscarriages). I've even had it hinted to me that I was selfish for taking another baby when there were so many people waiting. I truly believe that I have this sibling group and my biological daughter, Tilley, because Andy and I were obedient to the Lord and started this foster care journey.

Here's the whole thing in a nutshell...the Bible says this, " James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." I believe that anyone that watched that show last night and doesn't seek the Lord's will for their life regarding these hurting, broken children will answer to the Almighty some day. I can't imagine how this grieves Him.

So, take a look here at just a few children in TN who are waiting for their forever home. If you'd like to adopt any of them but don't live in TN...NO BIGGIE, that's what ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) is for. It takes a little longer, but it's worth it!!!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't let this opportunity pass you by........


At 10:54 PM , Blogger Pep said...

Jill, I appreciated this post! I also watched the Prime Time Special... Emotionally, it had a huge impact on me. I find myself asking "Lord, what can I do"? Although I haven't found the answers yet - I know in my heart I would like to make a difference. I appreciate your friendship - you're an inspiration to me. :D


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