Choosing Foster Care Over Comfort

Prior to getting involved, we both felt quite leery of looking into foster care. The stigma was strong growing up and we had our reservations about opening our home to the government! The horror stories and bad experiences people love to talk about were in our minds as well. But once we started pursuing it, we realized that these were nothing more than stigmas and that even if they were true, our desire and faith are stronger and greater than our fears and reservations.

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Outside of our Comfort Zones

Letting this fear rule me, listening to horror stories from the news and Facebook pages.  This wasn't helpful thinking, either. Instead, we have been able to tackle foster care one day at a time. It's not always easy, and sometimes loving someone from a hard place is HARD, but again, it's so very worth it. The benefits and character growth that I've experienced through foster care is worth so much more than the pain and "suffering" it has caused. 

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How Did I Decide To Become a Single Foster Mom? 

Not a day goes by without someone asking how I decided to be a foster mom.  Maybe it’s because I’m single, have a full time lawyer job, and have no biological kiddos.  Maybe it’s because it seems crazy to sign up for almost guaranteed grief and a life that is all but impossible to plan.  Whatever the reason for the question, it’s a good and important one. 

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How Foster Care Affects You

The amount of homeless people would decrease, crimes would decrease, drug consumption would decrease, break down of the family would decrease and much more…You see 20% of children aging out of foster care instantly end up homeless, 80% of men who age out of foster care are arrested and 60% of these men are convicted, 1 out of 2 kids who age out of the system become substance dependent, 7 out of 10 girls who age out of foster care are pregnant by the time they turn 21 and their children often enter foster care, thus repeating the cycle of breaking down families and growing our nation’s foster care crisis.

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One Child's Perspective On Growing Up At An Orphanage

I want the world to know that family is not only blood relation but that love makes a family. Love is what keeps this family, my family, going. I want the world to know that no matter who we farm kids are, where we are, what we have, we are all going to shoot for the moon because we have been given the love and support to believe in ourselves and our futures.

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Why Some Orphanages Are Good...

Throughout the world (and I’ve seen this with my own eyes, my own heart), there are committed people filling desperate gaps in a broken system with boundless love and tireless energy. These people are heroes not villains. They are providing hope in hopeless stories, shining a light in the darkness, sacrificing everything so that a few children can shine. They are part of the solution, not the problem.

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Welcome to Good Shepherd Agricultrural Mission

There is a place that exists on the India Nepal border, that is home to 70+ orphaned and abandoned children. This place is an oasis in the midst of heartache and brokenness, which are born from poverty and broken families. Rarely, would I claim, that an “orphanage” is a good place, but this place, The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission, is a good place. In fact, it is a good home.

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Unintended Consequences: Why International Adoption Is Not the Answer to the Orphan Crisis 

This is where taking a “let’s just adopt all the children currently living in orphanages” approach to solving the orphan crisis becomes deeply and systematically complicated. There are many unintended consequences to this approach, which negatively impact the international adoption process as a whole. More than that though, it can negatively affect children and families.

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Closing Down Orphanages...

They tearfully spoke of the hardships they’ve encountered…one told me in the quiet of an evening that his only dreams for the future were that his boys, HIS boys could one day have jobs and be okay in life. So when the director of one home tells me about how international policy makers had recently began a large push to shut down all children’s homes, I was stunned.  I didn’t get it. (I still don’t). Who could be against this?  Where would all of the kids go?

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What is KidzNet???

She said, “the thing is, no kid is in a children’s home because of something they did wrong…every kid you’ll encounter is there because someone else failed to care for them.”

And I froze.  Therese and my team went on with the rest of the training, but my heart was stuck.  

But before we get there, I should probably introduce you to Therese.

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Welcome to Sri Lanka

You see, almost a year previous, I received an email from a woman named Julie. Julie was excited about the direction and emphasis The Archibald Project was placing on ethics and orphan care and how we were sharing stories of alternative ways to care for vulnerable children, outside of the traditional orphanage narrative. Yet, she wanted to speak up on behalf of an organization that she holds dear to heart.

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