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Friday, August 30, 2013

Forgotten Fridays: Heartbreaking Quotes from Children in Foster Care


“If the government or those who are in power want to make the foster care system better, what they should do is just ask a foster kid. Talk to one of them. They can tell you exactly what they need. What they need is what most children and even teens need…Someone who cares about them, someone who will listen to them and hold them when they are scared. What they need is what any child needs…a family who loves them.” - Luis 

“It’s about my entire life, it’s not just about my childhood. I want to know that I’m going to have someone to walk me down the aisle. That I’m going to have grandparents for my children.” - Mary


“It is hard to be moved around all the time. Permanency is important because then we can feel like we belong and settle, rather than get moved around and feel worthless because we feel that no one wants us.”  - Kaylee

(These quotes where taken from Time for Reform: Too Many Birthdays in Foster Care.)  

These words stab deeply into my heart.  It is not okay that children are going through these experiences.  All children deserved to be loved and have a family wrap around them for the rest of their lives.  They need to know who Jesus is and the hope and grace found in Him.  As the Body of Christ we can be that voice for the voiceless.  We can make a difference in the lives of children in foster care.  Advocate to your family, your church body, you community on behalf of children in foster care.   

Join Us in advocating for the foster care community:
Find an Advocate in your area. 
Become an Advocate. 

-- 
Jillian Kellenberger
picture of JillianJillian graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s degree in social work. She has a heart for the orphan and those who feel forgotten. Her role with TFI began as a volunteer, a year and a half later she serves full time as administrative and advocates support. Jillian has a passion for loving and reaching out to those who are hurting.

“So many individuals either do not know the needs or misunderstand the needs of the foster care community, I’m burdened to advocate for this forgotten community and ultimately make Jesus more famous.”

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Advocate Wednesday: Agency Workers


As an advocate for TFI I have been given many opportunities to attend events, speak at gatherings, sit in on county meetings, etc...

Just last week I was invited to be on the planning committee for The Heart Gallery Gala. I'm super excited about TFI having a booth at this event - hundreds of foster parents, social workers, and community members will be there. I expect the whole evening to be a blessed time for foster/adoptive families and an opportunity to make a lot of connections for TFI.  

As I sat there, listening to the social workers share I was reminded that one of the "forgotten" members of this community are the Agency Workers. I believe there is so much more we can be doing to tangibly touch the lives of those who give their days (and nights) to the children on their caseload and their birth parents. 

Two weeks ago, my husband and I were invited to share in an event called "Celebrating Siblings". It's a night of fun and games for foster children who are placed in different foster homes. All night we watched as the Social Workers (most of whom were females) manned the booths, served the food, took out bags of trash, and then spent hours cleaning up the mess that 120 children made! As we drove home, my husband said to me, "Where were all the men? Why was all that work left to be done by women?" Women who had spent their whole day working their caseload and then their whole evening making sure the kids had a fun night of memory making with their siblings. 

These social workers are my heroes! They give and give and give - so often all their time and effort goes unnoticed and unappreciated. But, they keep giving. 

I know I couldn't be a social worker. Knowing what they know. Making the decisions they have to make. Seeing a case go down a road they weren't planning. I just couldn't do it. But, I am so grateful for those who do. They are my heroes! 

I mentioned to some of the social workers at the Heart Gallery Gala planning meeting that I would love to get a team of men together to help with set up and tear down of these types of events. They were beyond blessed by the offer of this small act of service. After telling another social worker about my idea, she told me, "If we weren't in the parking lot, I'd be on my knees thanking you." (this is the social worker who we saw take several big bags of trash out to the dumpster in the span of just a few hours).
It doesn't seem like a lot, but they are so grateful. It really doesn't take much to say, "We're here for you."

I hope to start focusing on finding ways to bless and support agency workers. I'm praying for specific and inspired ideas for the Body of Christ to come alongside these special and forgotten people.  

For those of you who have baked goodies or made cards for agency workers I say, "well done!" I pray your efforts have blessed those who received them. And I know,that no act, no matter how small, goes unnoticed by our Savior! 

"The king will reply, 'Truly I tell you, 
whatever you did for one of the least of these 
brothers and sisters of mine, 
you did for me." 
Matthew 25:40

Becky DeCarlo
Forgotten Advocate: Bakersfield, CA
Email Facebook 

Becky and her husband Dominic have five children and are foster parents. When their hearts were burdened by the enormity of needs in the foster care system, they desired to be a voice for the fatherless. As an Advocate, Becky has a front row seat in watching the Body of Christ use their gifts and talents to share the love of Jesus with the foster care community.

“We truly believe the Lord is going to use The Forgotten Initiative to make His name and love known to those in the foster care system in Bakersfield and across the United States.”

Monday, August 26, 2013

Make a Difference Monday: Welcome Home Baskets

So often teens age out of foster care with no family to help them transition, no one to help guide them with job coaching or how to apply to colleges, and no one to help them get their apartment ready to live in.  With Welcome Home Baskets the Body of Christ can rise up, support young adults and prepare them for a life of success.  

"We’ve had amazing volunteers rise up and put together a Welcome Home Basket for a teen in foster care going away to college. A huge thank you to the Body of Christ for rising up and serving this young woman in a time of transition!" - TFI Elgin, IL 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Advocate Wednesdays: Human Trafficking and Foster Care

This is a heavy post. I apologize, but it is things we need to know to protect our children.
The back story:
My husband I first heard about human trafficking while watching a video by Sara Groves in which she introduced us to Gary Haugen…CEO and President of International Justice Mission.

This led us to the book, Terrify No More by Gary Haugen.

And our worlds were rocked.  This was back in 2008 and we could not believe that these things were happening in such immense ways and huge numbers. 
slaves2
We could not understand why this was not on the news and in the papers. We tried to talk to friends about it. Some listened. Others closed their ears.
We began a training session with IJM to become justice advocates with them with the purpose to educate and mobilize our local community and have been doing so since then. (albeit sometimes it has been slow going…but lately the church community has become alive and active fighting this! Praying that it continues!)
What exactly is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is the buying and selling of men, women and children within countries and across borders for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labor.
The United Nations defines the process of human trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”
image
Fast forward to just a couple weeks ago when this hit the news feed:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/child-sex-trafficking-rescue-fbi-announcement_n_3670749.html
“The FBI has rescued 105 child sex-trafficking victims, FBI Assistant Director Ronald Hosko announced Monday.
The youngest of the rescued children was 9 years old, according to Reuters.
One underage victim told officials she became involved with prostitution when she was 11, according to CNN.
"Many times the children that are taken in in these types of criminal activities are children that are disaffected, they are from broken homes, they may be on the street themselves," FBI Acting Executive Assistant Director Kevin Perkins said, according to the network. "They are really looking for a meal, they are looking for shelter, they are looking for someone to take care of them."
Another victim, identified as "Alex," told interviewers she became a prostitute at the age of 16, when she felt she had no other options to feed and clothe herself.”



and then this followed:
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/29/nation/la-na-child-sex-20130730
“The raids, carried out by nearly 4,000 local, state and federal officers, brought renewed attention to the vulnerabilities of foster children, who are disproportionately targeted and recruited by child sex traffickers, sometimes right out of the foster care system.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the information clearinghouse that tracks missing child reports in the United States, 60% of runaways who are victims of sex trafficking had been in the custody of social services or in foster care.
The center assisted the FBI in the weekend raids, part of the agencies' Innocence Lost Initiative that the FBI says has rescued more than 2,700 sexually exploited children since 2003.
"We are finding a very disturbing trend," John Ryan, the center's chief executive, said at a news conference at FBI headquarters. "They leave foster care and they literally fall off the radar. That's something that needs to be addressed."
The circumstances that put minors into foster care are often what make them especially vulnerable to sex trafficking, said Staca Shehan, director of the center's case analysis division”


This horrified me. In the last 4 or 5 years I had never heard of the connection between foster care and trafficking. According to the above article..60% of runaway victims of sex trafficking had been in custody of social services or foster care. That statistic is huge.
Children are falling through the cracks.
What is the answer?
It is very a multi-faceted approach that involves education, changing laws, arrest and prosecution of perpetrators and help for victims.  We each should playing our part.
The first step is Education.
Educating ourselves, the church, departments that work with children, and our communities, and specifically those vulnerable to it about trafficking.



Some cold hard facts:
    • Governments estimate there are 27 million slaves being held worldwide—more than at any point in human history. (U.S. State Department, March 2012)
    • Sexual exploitation makes up 79% of identified forms of human trafficking, including prostitution, forced stripping, massage services, and pornography. (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, 2009)
    • 88% of these victims are women and children. (UN Office on Drugs and Crime, 2009)
    • After drug trafficking, trafficking in humans ties with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today. It is the fastest growing. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011)
    • Most sex trafficking is regional or national and is perpetrated by traffickers who are the same nationality as their victims. (United Nations, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2009)
    • As many as 2 million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2011)
    • At least 15,000 people are trafficking into the United States annually. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2010)
    • Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide. (U.S. State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report, 2011)
    • Estimates suggest as many as 300,000 children annually are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. (Richard Estes and Neil Weiner for University of Pennsylvania, 2001)
    • The average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is 13- to 14-years-old. (Sara Ann Friedman for ECPAT-USA, “Who Is There to Help Us?,” 2005)
    • Nationwide there are fewer than thirty safe homes for victims of sex trafficking to receive treatment and services. This severe shortage regularly causes their inappropriate placement in juvenile detention facilities. (Streetlight Tuscon, 2012)
                                   Compiled list from nefariousdocumentary.com/learn-more/


Specifically look at your community and how traffickers are victimizing girls.
Here is one article in Virginia talking to a trafficking victim and how she was trafficked.
http://www.wusa9.com/rss/article/244281/158/Sex-Trafficking-On-The-Rise-In-DC-MD-VA
“She urges parents to check their teen's phone, and their Facebook accounts, because she says that's how traffickers communicate. She says teens should never hang out unaccompanied by an adult at the mall.”
You can also look at Polaris Project and see where your state stands on fighting trafficking and PLEASE enter the Human Trafficking Hotline number in your phone and share with your circle!
Human Trafficking Hotline Number (1-888-3737-888)
For those in Virginia.. the Richmond Justice Initiative is a great place to start.
Exodus Cry is wonderful tool as well.  The documentary Nefarious can drastically change your way of thinking. (We are showing this in Staunton, VA October 1)



 We need to be praying—praying for our children, praying for those trafficked, for the perpetrators, law enforcement, governmental leaders.  We need to call upon our God—a God of justice.
We all need to be “modern day abolitionists”. 
“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.”
--William Wilberforce

Charisa KnightCharissa Knight Family picture
Forgotten Advocate: Augusta County, VAEmailFacebook
Find LOCAL Current Needs/Upcoming Events
Charisa and her husband Greg have 5 children (two of whom they adopted from Ethiopia). Charisa’s was first introduced to foster care as a 6th grader, when she became best friends with her neighbor who was a foster child. Her heart for the orphaned and oppressed compelled her to become a Justice Advocate for IJM and to do more for the foster care community but she wasn’t sure how. When she stumbled upon The Forgotten Initiative, she knew that this was her answer.
“I have been blessed to watch the local church community come together and open up their hearts to the children, families, and workers affected by the foster care system.”


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Advocate Wednesday: A Clear Concept

When I stop and think about my day, my schedule, my kids, duties, responsibilities, appointments, my teaching and correcting; it really isn't all that clear. I mean, I know what I need to do or what I should do, but it doesn't always happen. As my day goes, things get pushed aside or completely knocked off with higher priority things.

One thing that is always clear is my relationship with my Creator! No matter what time of day it is or what is going on, I know that where I am at, is where He needs me to be! He has gifted me with patience and faith, so it is easy for me to look at everything with pure joy!

One of my biggest struggles at seeing that joy would be with our foster kids, but God continually amazes me still. Our first foster son came to our home November 14, 2011. He is such a sweet boy and I knew that is where I needed to be, but something was missing. God showed me his birth mom and I mean REALLY showed me her. She confided in me and I encouraged her, gave hugs, cards, gifts, etc to let her know she is loved. From that moment, we knew we were not only here for the children, but for the families also going through this. Some look at her and other birth parents as a nuisance to our community, but they are anything but that! Birth parents are amazing and want to love, they just may not know how.

We still have our "Zak" and are in the process of adopting our sweet boy. He (and his birth mom) set a fire in my heart and forever changed my family's life. We are projecting another month until he is officially a Shoemaker! My biggest prayer is that my life exudes a glimpse of Christ! That He continues to show me the clear concept of my priorities, my responsibilities and my relationships! That He continues to bring me closer to Him.

We can't take on the whole world at once. We must start with ourselves, then others, and finally the community and the world. God has an important part for us to play in the unfolding of the divine agenda. We all have an essential role to play. We are called to be the leaven in the dough, the salt of the earth, the light in darkness (Matthew 13:33, 5:13-16). As foster parents, we are given that opportunity everyday in the life of an orphan.

Keep your focus on Christ. Christ is our model, we want to walk in His path. In order to love and serve Christ, we must know Him. Christ is indeed our priority when we offer Him devoted hearts, determined wills, humble strength, and generous lives. Praying He is your priority!!


-----
Kisha Shoemaker 
Kisha has a heart for God and she prays it is evident in her life. She is married to her best friend, Dan, and is mom to four children. Three biological and one adopted through the foster system. She homeschools her children and loves every second of it. Dan and Kisha became foster parents in 2011 as God opened their eyes to this need. They plan on adopting as many children as God has planned for them. Kisha's passion doesn't end with the children. She enjoys sharing the gospel with birth parents as often as she can and making disciples out of all who come through her home.

Find LOCAL Current Needs/Upcoming Events in Quad Cities, IL

Friday, August 9, 2013

Forgotten Fridays: Under Attack

I have been stewing over this post for quite some time.  This entry might be depressing, but its the hard core truth.  Foster care agencies are under attack.  The past two years, I have been really encouraged by the amount of Christian families stepping up to care for orphans .  It has also been amazing to witness the Christian community making a difference in the foster care system.  God IS doing big things in the foster care system, but we are so under attack right now it makes me sick to my stomach. Right now, I feel like satan is winning, but deep down I know he isn’t.

I have had many people call me recently, just confused.  “Jenna, I kept hearing that there was such a need for foster parents.  We have been licensed for __ months/years, and we haven’t had a call for a placement.”  I want to be encouraging and portray the absolute necessity to keep waiting for the sake of the kids, but there is also the cold reality that agencies are under attack.  Satan sure well knows that Christian families are stepping up, and he absolutely DOES NOT want to see kids placed in those homes.  Beyond that, I see satan feeding these families pure lies.  Lies that there really is no need to be foster parents, lies that there are enough other families out there to care for the orphans, lies that being a foster parent is too hard, etc, etc.   Satan is deceitful, but God is bigger.  I believe it.


I get so angry at satan, but I should know that when God’s people move, satan knows.  Satan tries to stop what God has going on, but he can’t.  It takes the Body of Christ to persevere through.  It takes encouraging one another, praying with one another and supporting one another.  I encourage each of you, no matter what your role is in the foster care community, to be on your knees praying for these agencies.  We need it. Most importantly, these precious kids need it.

---
Jenna Rieker
Jenna graduated from Bradley University in December 2010 with a Bachelor in Social Work. Jenna has been working at a local social service agency as a child welfare specialist since she graduated. Jenna feels God's calling to continue her education in the field and work towards her Masters in Social Work, in hopes to learn how to better serve the forgotten in the community. To read more on Jenna's experiences working in foster care, you can follow her blog at walkinglifewithchrist.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Advocate Wednesday: "Kisses from Katie"

I love the summer time. I love it when my kids are out of school and we have no schedule in particular to keep track of. Endless days of swimming, biking, and hiking. Reading and laying out in the sun. Being together, enjoying life. It’s a precious togetherness that we share as a family during the summer that is not quite the same any other time of the year.

I am not sure what happened to this summer but the “endless” days have come and gone so quickly I am not even sure how we got to be in August. Wasn’t it just May? So many things I had planned on doing have gone undone. So many things not even started. We got lots of those family togetherness times but it just looked different than usual for one reason or the other and seemed to occur at a much faster pace. I feel myself constantly wanting to pull on the reigns in order to slow everything down. Wishing for more time to smell the roses. I must be getting older.

Usually on my summer to do list are several books that have been waiting all winter for a good read but this summer I only got to one, which I have yet to finish, and this one is, in fact, one I came on quite by accident.  It was a best seller from a few years ago and I don’t know how it didn’t get on my list before, but I have to tell you this one is so good. So inspiring. So convicting yet so encouraging.

If you haven’t already read it, Kisses from Katie, is by Katie Davis who is in her early twenties and in the process of adopting thirteen girls from Uganda. She is also the founder and director of Amazima a ministry that reaches hundreds of other children in Uganda. I wanted to share an excerpt with you because I find it so inspiring.

“I am watching God work and as I “delight myself in the Lord” by doing what He asks of me and by saying yes to the needs He places in front of me, He is changing the desires of my heart and aligning them with the desires of His.

It sounds beautiful, adventurous, even romantic in ways, right? It is beautiful. And the crazy thing is it is so simple. Don’t misunderstand; it is not easy. But it is simple in that each and every one of us is ultimately created to do the same thing. It will not look the same. It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your back yard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread his light. This is the dream, and it is possible. Some days it is excruciatingly difficult, but the blessings far outweigh the hardships.”

This is exactly what I want my life to look like. What I strive for. What inspires me to be a better person. To be more like Christ. 

For you who work in foster care, you are already doing this: Thank you for serving. Thank you for loving. Thank you for seeing those that so often go unseen. You know first hand that serving and loving and seeing can at once be simple, but at the same time is never easy. Thank you for pushing through the difficulties anyway. You are changing the world.

Father, help my desires to align with your will. Help me to not be too busy to see someone around me who needs you and your love. To push beyond the difficulties in order to get to the blessing. Help me to not get in the way of your light shining through my life.

---

Hanna
Arthur and Hanna Rasco live in the high country of North Carolina with their four children. Emma, Elise, Jonathan and Joshua fill their days with laughter and adventure. Their youngest son Joshua was added to their clan through the gift of adoption. Through Joshua's adoption, God place a burden on the Rasco's heart that more children would come to find their forever families. Hanna is excited to be a voice for the forgotten and wants to work to bring joy and purpose to the high country foster care community.

Find LOCAL Current Needs/Upcoming Events in High Country, NC 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Make a Difference Monday: Thank You for First Response

Thank you. Not just for responding so quickly, putting my name throughout the proper channel to get exactly what I asked for, but for helping me get what I have been stressing over since I first got my apartment. There just isn't many people who would help me and I had no other favors to call in, no friends moving, estranged family throwing away any odd and ends, I just gave up and said once I could find a job I would get what I needed but Mrs. Liz told me to be specific and she'd see what she could do. My couch is so comfortable and it looks awesome in my "matchbox" apartment. As for my bed, my friends would personally thank you. I'm no longer the grumpy bear from lack of sleep. I could go on and on but out of respect for your day, I'll stop with this. You guys have shown me that there are still good organizations who care about us forgotten children, now adults just trying to make it. Thanks again!
-Tiera C.


As the Body of Christ, lets continue to share Jesus to the one who feels forgotten

Contact your local Forgotten Advocate to serve with First Response in your foster care community! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Forgotten Fridays: Everyone Has a Story: "You just have no idea."

Today I want to retell a story about our foster kiddos daddy, "B."

A few weeks, maybe less after bringing the boys into our home, I got a call from their mom.  "I'm pregnant again and I want to know if you would take the baby if we're not back on our feet yet."

Whoa.  That was a big shocker, let me tell you.

But our relationship grew and changed because of this.  She asked me if I would start going to Dr.'s appointments with her and eventually, she asked if I would be at the hospital when she gave birth! While at the first Dr.'s appointment with her and their daddy, he and I started talking in the waiting room.

Knowing he had been dealing with a lot of pain in his feet, I asked him, "How are your feet, B?"

He went on to tell me that though he had been experiencing a lot of pain, he just had to deal with it.  He couldn't spend his time focusing on the pain.  He just needed to do what he had to do for his kids.

I looked at him and just shook my head and said, 'That is hard.  It is so hard."

He looked back at me with defeat all over his face and said, "Ma'am, everything in my life is hard.  You just have no idea."

I couldn't say much more.  He was right.  I had no idea.  I have no idea.  I grew up in a loving Christian family who supported me and cared for me.  I know he didn't have that.

He is a hurting man and because of that, he has made many poor decisions.  Lord, please heal his heart.

I wrote the first part of this post earlier tonight but I had to come back now (11:30pm on Wed.) and change the ending because I feel so compelled to pray for you all.  I know that B isn't the only one who is hurting or has been hurt.  We all face pain and struggle.  It may have occurred in your childhood.  It may be something you're dealing with now.  Hurtful words.  Hurtful actions.  We are all broken.  It is where we go with our brokenness that makes all the difference.

Please know that tonight I will be praying for you, my dear bloggie friends as I go to bed.  Some of you have trusted me enough to tell me your stories.  I am always honored and humbled when I receive an email from you or a comment.  Some of you read quietly and that is okay too...though I love getting to know you!  I love you all dearly!

I hope you know that your story is beautiful.  You are beautiful.  You are His chosen one.  He has a purpose for your life.  Please, trust Him enough to give Him everything.  He will take you places you never could have imagined.  We are broken vessels - but the amazing thing is, He wants to use us.  He wants to pour His love into us so that His light spills out onto the world around us.

Everyone has a story.  Live yours all out.


---

Jami Kaeb is a dreamer and a coffee lover!  She is married to Clint and the mother of six – soon to be seven through a Ugandan adoption.  It was through a difficult season of waiting, that Clint and Jami's eyes were opened to the foster care community. They became foster parents to three siblings who they eventually adopted and in April of 2011, Jami founded The Forgotten Initiative.  Jami views life as a great adventure with Jesus and desires simply to know Him more and share His love with those who feel forgotten.

Follow Jami's personal blog at www.lifewithapersonalgod.org

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Advocate Wednesday: On a Thursday!

Advocate Wednesday Thursday

I am guessing the first thing you noticed is the glaring realization I am a day behind in writing this blog entry. Just that mere fact describes my week. So, let me sum it up for you…. 6 children in the home (4 of which are 3 years old or younger); approximately 20 or more wet/stinky diapers a day; endless amounts of sippy cups; sticky floors from all the spilled milk and juice; not-stop question asking with no satisfying answers; some hitting and biting from time to time; and a never-ending messy house.  And, all that is just in the few hours we are home before venturing out for all of our other many responsibilities.

Yes, this is the job of a foster parent. It is the job of a homeschooling mom with a mixture of her own children and those in need in the community. It is a job allowing for very little sleep and new gray hairs each day. It is a job that comes with newborns without baby showers and maternity leaves. It is a job that requires more hours than any “paying” job and doesn’t have any vacation hours. This is my job. And, it is the best job I have ever had!

My husband and I became foster parents two years ago for the soul purpose of taking in two children who we knew from church and were in need of a home when their father could no longer be their parent. After having them in our family for a year and a half, we became burdened by a passion for this ministry and a passion for the foster care community.

We learned about The Forgotten Initiative several months ago and immediately knew this is where God wanted us serving. Yes, we have many other responsibilities. My husband is a pastor; we are very involved in our homeschooling co-op; I teach a few classes at our YMCA; and we have been given the blessing of raising 4 of our own biological children. However, there are children out there that need us. They need us to bring them into our home and make them part of our family. They need us to love them as our own. They need us to alter all of those other responsibilities to take on a bigger one. They need us to be advocates for them in our town and among our churches. They need us to be foster parents and to be advocates for The Forgotten Initiative. And, this is one need I know I can meet.

So, yes, I am a day behind in writing this blog entry. However, there are six sleeping children in my home who have gone to bed being loved. I barely had time for a shower today, but there is a church meeting tonight to start working with TFI on a diaper drive that will bless many babies.  There are piles of laundry on my dining room table with hampers lined up still waiting to be washed, but I was able to watch a little boy who has never been in church sing every word to the songs at Vacation Bible School.


People ask me all the time why I do this. I often hear, “you must be really strong and patient,” or “I could never do it.” Well, guess what…. I can’t do it either. I can never do it all, but I can do my part, and I am blessed to be able!

---
Allan and Christy have 4 children in addition to being foster parents for Colquitt County, Georgia. Allan serves as the pastor of Kingwood Baptist Church in Moultrie, and Christy is a stay-at-home mom homeschooling their children. Becoming foster parents to be able to take in two children from their church, Allan and Christy soon realized the great need to minister to families and workers involved in the foster care community. After becoming aware of The Forgotten Initiative through other friends involved in foster care, they knew God was working in their hearts to become involved in this ministry.