Foster Care Awareness Month is over, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about it until next May rolls around. There are kids living this reality every single day, so let’s remember their stories every single day.
Whether that means giving to an organization financially, volunteering your time and/or resources, or purchasing from online shops that give back to foster organizations, there are a vast number of ways to get involved and give honor to a kid’s story who is going through the heartbreak of foster care.
Think outside the box, too!
For awhile, I struggled with knowing what I could do to help.
I was raised in a home that fostered kids, so I have a unique perspective on foster care. While my husband and I have been asked many times when/if we will start a family, and whether or not it will include fostering, I need to remind myself not to feel pressured by those questions.
Of course I want a family, and of course I want to serve hurting children.
But there are more ways of doing that than simply signing up to be foster parents. I do think that challenges can be a good thing even if you don’t think you’re necessarily ready, BUT life is about seasons, and it’s about asking yourself, “What can I do in this season that I am in?”
Almost every time, it looks different for each person.
For me, I felt that because I had such a unique perspective on foster care, I could write a book about it. But I didn’t want it to just be a book that I created from my own story.
I wanted to honor the stories of kids who have actually walked through it directly. What better way to do that than to sit with them and let them share their life story? It was hard.
It was hard to hear the pain they’ve been through, and the hurt they’ve carried with them for so many years. To be honest, I didn’t know what to say in response to some of their past.
That could have just as easily been my story.
They didn’t deserve it.
They didn’t ask for it.
My heart hurt for them, and I felt overwhelmed.
It took time for me to process these stories, and figure out how to combine their valuable stories into a character that would honor each individual. I wanted to honor the life they’ve lived, and the hope that each of them have.
After hundreds of emails, questions, and prayers, More To Me was born.
I questioned myself during the majority of the process to publication. I wondered if this would be too heavy of a message, and whether I truly did justice to the stories that were shared with me. I doubted my writing capabilities.
But I stuck with it, and I’m now receiving dozens of messages and emails from people who have read this book and felt touched by it’s message. I’ve gotten responses from past kids in foster care, current foster parents, and people who have never been around foster care at all.
It offers grace, and it gives hope.
This is what I’m supposed to do in this season I’m in. I may not be in the child-raising season quite yet, but what I realized I could do has begun to change the world in little [and big!] ways.
What can you do in this season YOU are in?
NOTE: From now until June 9th, More To Me is free on the Kindle store, so grab your copy and dive in! Here’s the link.