The other day I met a sweet lady at the gas station. As I exited my car preparing to pump gas she came up asking if I had any spare change. I gladly handed her the small amount of cash I had and she insisted on thanking me by pumping my gas.
As we stood there waiting for the tank to fill, she complimented me on my beautiful children and I asked her if she had any children. She shared with me about her son who was adopted by some of her family members and with tears in her eyes, she said that she is no longer allowed to see him. She continued to tell me she has another son who is about to turn ten and lives out of state. My heart felt extremely heavy, I didn’t need to hear any more of her story to know her story. I am sadly all too familiar with moms in similar situations.
This is the story of a woman with her own personal struggles, limited resources and the lack of love and support in her life. In many ways, this is the story of every mother whose child is removed from their home and placed in foster care.
In recent years the need for foster parents has become more common knowledge. I recognize the need for foster care and foster parents and while many counties will tell you that they need more foster parents I present that what we need more of is help for moms, and help for families. We need to be about restoration and reunification first. We need to try to keep families together and get them back together with services and the support of the community around them. Whole families make for more whole communities.
As my new gas station friend finished pumping the gas and reached her arms out for a hug she whispered in my ear “just pray that I can see my boys again one day before I die”. Yes, I know her story – a story of brokenness and heartache, I may not be able to change her story but perhaps I can help rewrite it for others.
At Onehope27 we strive to bring hope to kids and families involved in foster care and in the year ahead we will begin plans to create a transitional home for moms with kids just entering the system. This home will have supports in place to bring families back together more quickly and successfully. In the months ahead we will be sharing ways for you to get involved with this new initiative or if you feel lead you can start today by making a tax-deductible donation. Together we will change the narrative and begin to tell a different story.