When you use the word "foster care" pictures of abuse typically dance in your head. But I have a good story to round out the bad image.
Michelle Kemper Brownlow: I was shaking with nerves and there were tears. And then the attorney said, "Please tell the judge why you want to adopt Izaiah." How could I explain to the judge how the baby that came into our lives almost two years ago immediately fit into our family like the last piece of a puzzle? In a few short sentences, how could I sum up how the size of my heart has grown over the past two years to make room for one more set of first steps, one more first word and millions more hugs and kisses?
On April 25, 2006 our third child came into our lives as a scared, very tiny, strawberry blond 9-month-old; a child that would nervously visit his birth parents at the courthouse weekly; a child who we were told would go back home soon. Because God works miracles, on April 9, 2008, 20 of his biggest fans filed into a courtroom and witnessed Izaiah's adoption day.
The only time you see anything about foster care is when some derelict that somehow weaseled their way through the system does something horrific and makes the evening news. That's not typical of the foster care story.
Did you know:
- There is significant training to prepare you for bringing a child into your home?
- That most foster families wait only a few days before having a child placed in their arms?
- That while a foster child will receive free services (medical, physical therapy, speech therapy, psychological counseling) while in your care?
- That, if adopted, you will receive a stipend check monthly to help financially support that child until he is 18?
- That, if adopted, the state allow him to continue to receive free government insurance until he is 21?
- There are over 500,000 children in foster care in the U.S. today?
- If you have ever considered adoption, I hope you will start by looking into foster care.
- There is no need to spend tens of thousands of dollars and wait years to hold your baby.
- The baby that fits YOUR family like a puzzle may be just around the corner, literally.
*states vary in compensation. These facts are based on PA laws.
|Michelle Kemper Brownlow is a freelance parenting writer, artist and popular mommy blogger who holds nothing back at My Semblance of Sanity. Michelle's unique but gentle parenting insight paired with her quirky sense of humor works to her benefit as she writes and illustrates children's picture books.|