Sunday, June 08, 2014

My Sunday Feeling

Up until recently, my working knowledge of the foster care world had been pretty much limited to emergency situations back when I was a young Legal Services lawyer and-well-defended people that were accused of abuse and neglect.  Guess I better not run for office in Arkansas where you can be accused of being in favor of pornography if you represented a negligee store somewhere a long the line. Well, I had better not run for office for any of a number of reasons.

But in the past couple of years I have learned more about the foster care system, primarily from a lady I work with who, along with her husband, has been a foster parent.  And around December of last year I agreed to be a volunteer photographer for The Project Zero which is a private foundation that works with the Arkansas Department of Human Services.  You can check it out here: .

They had a big "Disney Extravaganza" last Saturday at a large Baptist church in West Little Rock.  Where kids played games, ate hot dogs and interacted with Disney characters.  I have to say that Cinderella was pretty cute. Well, she was.  Anyway, I assisted another photographer in taking pictures of the kids that are eligible for adoption.

We had to have done 50 that day.  Individual shots.  Families.  One group was a family of six siblings. From teenager to little bitty.  Six.  My suspicion is that these kids got removed from somewhere.  People don't just give 6 kids up.  In retrospect, I have to say that most of them there at the church that day were probably the product of abuse and neglect with biological parents who had their parental rights terminated.

I have to believe that there is a special place in Heaven for those that provide foster care.  As the friend at work says some of these kids come with all kinds of problems, some of which are almost insurmountable.  You get emotionally attached to some.  And so it hurts when they get adopted out or otherwise leave to go somewhere else.  And she describes dealing with the State as nothing short of a constant pain.  You have to really want to do this.

My friend E provides foster care on a short term basis.  She wants to adopt.  She was there last Saturday checking things out. I get smartphone videos from her occasionally when she has one underfoot.  She hates to give them up when it is time for them to go to wherever they go in the pipeline. God bless her.  She really wants this to happen someday. I hope it works out for her.

I don't know.  I love children.  And I thought as a young person that I would be a father someday.  But that didn't happen.  It's nothing that I go screaming in the night about.  After all, God knows I seem to be involved with everybody else's kids around here.  But there are people, like my friend E, who have this palpable need to have a child.  I do not.

God also knows that the need for foster care and adoption services is great.  Like I said, we had about 50 there last Saturday who would be perfect candidates for a good home.  But you have to really want it.  And I'm not that person.

If there is any justice at all, and I'm not sure there is, then there is a special place in Heaven for people like E who open their hearts and homes to kids in the system.  Maybe some measure of that place can be preserved for the guy behind the camera.

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