Foster Care: An Opportunity to Show Love (Impact Blog Post)

Few aspects of society more vividly display the brokenness of our world and its inhabitants than the California foster care system. It is here that some of the underbelly of society, many of the poorest, most underprivileged, most delinquent people, can be seen. Their children taken from them because of their irresponsible or illegal actions, usually relating to drugs, neglect, or abuse, the parents either flounder or win in a system that favors reunification of biological parent and child regardless of what may actually be best.

             My family has been involved in the foster care system for about three and a half years now. We have taken care of four children since we started fostering, and it has opened my eyes to a facet of American society that I had not previously been aware of. Right now we are taking care of a six-month old girl who was taken away from her marijuana-addicted parents at six days old. Over these past months, I have watched her flourish and grow in our home, while her parents ignore her, call her names, and make excuses for themselves in the four hours a week that they are allowed to see her. Despite their incompetence as parents and as people (they both have other children with other partners, a criminal record, and are homeless), it is likely that the court will allow Leah (name changed for confidentiality) to go back to them, despite the fact that they are obviously unfit to care for her and that she is happy and healthy with my family. It is the epitome of injustice.

            Fostering means interacting with many people in my home, from social workers to attorneys to therapists to other foster parents. It has happened many times that, in talking to these people, they ask how we are able to cope with kids returning to their dysfunctional families, as three of our foster kids have, or with the knowledge that they might. They notice that there is something about the atmosphere of my home that is very different from that of many foster families, who take care of kids for the money, not loving or accepting them as their own children like my family tries to. The answer is that my family sees foster care as one of the most tangible ways to show God’s love to those who are most helpless and vulnerable: little children without parents who care for them. For us it is something that we are called to do. Many of the people my family interacts with do not understand this concept, because all they see is the negativity and corruption that pervades the system. However, looking at foster care from a Christian perspective reveals opportunities to show love and compassion, both for the children and their parents. It is an emotional rollercoaster and is excruciatingly difficult at times, but it is a powerful reminder of both the inherent evil of the world and the presence of God even in the darkest of places.

1 Comment

  1. Profile photo of Matthew Kim

    Matthew Kim - September 12, 2015, 11:30 pm

    Nice job writing posting a blog about a trend using Christian perspectives, Claire. 🙂

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