My daughter made this for me today.
Love is the point, it says.
Ok, technically Love! is! the! point! She shares my affinity for excess punctuation.
Love is the point.
In the United States, there are around 400,000 kids and teenagers in foster care. On any given day, about 100,000 of them are legally free for adoption.
This is not ok.
While adoption is not the answer to all of the issues plaguing the foster care system, there is no question that it is part of the solution.
Psychology tells us that if we put the numbers out there, your mind might pause for a second. 100,000 is a lot, after all.
But if we put a picture and a story out there, your heart will pause a little longer. Maybe just long enough to pick up the phone.
All they need is love, so many well-meaning folks lament when they see these pictures and hear these stories.
All they need is love.
This is not true.
You see, there is no “good” way to come into foster care. There is no “good” way to have your case plan changed to adoption.
If you choose to parent one or more of these incredible kiddos, love will not be enough.
You may need to become an expert on brain development, nutrition, mental illness, the IEP process or the workings of the juvenile justice system.
You may read more books, listen to more lectures, attend more conferences and pick the brains of more professionals than you can possibly imagine.
You may earn an honorary degree in letters and numbers—ADHD, ODD, OCD, RAD, NAMI, BIP, IEP, 504.
It will be hard. Maybe harder than anything else you’ve ever done.
But you will look into your child’s eyes and you will see a fighter.
And you will fight with every last ounce of courage and passion and strength that you possess (and sometimes a little more).
Because even though love will not be enough,
Love is the point.
If you’re like me and want to see all the numbers, you can find them here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/afcars
If you’re considering foster care adoption, take the next step. Go to an informational meeting. Make a call. Send an e-mail inquiry. Ready? Go!