I DARE you!

I have a foster child in my home today.  Not because I'm a foster mom.  I should be.  We all should be.  I have the same excuses you do probably.  I work.  My home isn't ready.  My family isn't ready.  My husband doesn't want to.  Blah, blah, blah….  I ask myself the same questions you probably do that allow us to hesitate.  "Where would I find the free time?"  "How would it affect my child?"  "What if they have more problems than I know how to deal with?"  "How would I ever say 'good-bye' if I got attached?"  "What if I wanted to say 'good-bye' as soon as they arrived?"  
Today I am providing a little assistance to one of those moms who is braver than I am.  One who didn't let the excuses stand in her way.  One who is willing to look at the numbers and DARE to respond.  DARE to open her home, her heart, her life, and her family to children who need them all.  There are 10,896 foster children in the state of Oklahoma today!  Read that sentence again!  That number is staggering.  I DARE you to let that sink in.    And there are only 2,500 certified foster homes In Oklahoma.  Not enough have DARED to help these kids.

The little boy I'm spending my day with is a delightful 3 year old.  He is fun, funny, polite, affectionate and easy to have in my home.  I don't know why he isn't with his parents.  I don't need to know.  Here is what I know.  I know he has brothers and a sister that he talks about with a great deal of love.  I know that he has thanked me for every thing I've given him today.  I know that he loves his mamma and he doesn't care that the bicycle he has been riding is Barbie pink.  I know his eyes smile when he laughs and I know he listens when you talk to him.  I also know that he doesn't care about my excuses.  He cares about having a place to sleep, eat, play and be hugged.  I also know that because of brave people like my friends there is still hope.  There is hope because children can be safe, loved, nurtured and encouraged even when they can't be at home.  There is hope when people DARE to care.   

Have you DARED to care about somebody today?  Have you opened up your heart, your life, your schedule, your home to somebody who might be changed by such a gift.  These kids didn't even choose the things they are experiencing in the first place.  Perhaps you could offer respite care to a foster family and just keep kids for a weekend.  Maybe you would be willing to educate yourself about the foster system in  your area.  Maybe you could volunteer this holiday season at an area shelter where these kids are having to live.  Or donate clothing and shoes so these kids don't have to go to school in the same thing everyday. Maybe you could do something.  Anything.  I DARE you!!

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