The Unknown Children Affected by COVID-19
We are all doing our best to navigate the new normal. While I know there are moments that feel hard, I beg you to speak gratitude into those moments. Chances are, if you’re like me, you have what you need to make it through.
When I look at my foster children, my heart is overwhelmed. I can’t help but think of the other kids who are still in situations like the one they came from. So many families are already living on the brink, not just financially, but emotionally. Suddenly one parent has been laid off because their place of employment has been shut down due to the virus. Then maybe the other parent too. Mom, dad, and kids are confined in close quarters with minimal resources. They didn’t have the funds to race out to the grocery store or Hobby Lobby to stock up on food and activities like we did. Tensions are high. Kids are begging for another snack that just isn’t there. Mom and dad can’t help but fight. One parent starts abusing a substance to help cope with the stress. One fight goes a little too far, and then another. The kids are hiding in their rooms to avoid screaming and broken glass. Older siblings (who can barely put on their own clothes) are burdened with the responsibility of protecting younger siblings from rage and abuse. They’re also going hungry so they can share what little they have with their brothers and sisters.
This is the reality in a home not that far from yours. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Unfortunately, just like during the summer months, kids aren’t in school and surrounded by trusted adults who can help them. They are all alone.
What can we do?
- Pray – Pray for the safety of children in your community and beyond. Pray that God would use you in some capacity to help, even if you never know it.
- Be a Good Neighbor – I know we’re all confined to our homes, but still be aware of what’s happening around you. Open your front door. Be the neighbor who brings by extra food or lets the neighborhood kids play safely distanced in your yard. Be a safe place, even if you are unaware of any neglect or abuse happening around you. You might just be the neighbor a neglected child comes to for a bit of sunshine in their day.
- Barter – As more and more people lose their sources of income, be willing to barter for goods and services. People are just doing the best they can to provide for their families. Help however you can. This can alleviate so much stress for those who aren’t making ends meet, but are too proud to ask for help (even if you’re willing to give it).
- Consider Foster Care. All of those foster classes you have to take? Move over Netflix! What better time to take them than now?! Yes, they can be done virtually! Either during or after this bizarre season (probably both), there will be an influx of children who are placed into foster care. There are already not enough foster homes for all of them. There definitely aren’t enough QUALITY foster homes.
Is it easy? Absolutely not. Is it worth it? Every single time.
Russell and I were utterly unqualified when we felt the call to be foster parents. Truthfully, we still are. We came with a lot of extra love in our hearts and a little extra room in our home. That’s it. God has given us every other bit of strength, patience, and perseverance that we have needed to make it through. I promise you, if He can equip us to walk this journey, He can do the same for you.
We know foster care isn’t for everyone, but if you feel that small tug on your heart, I beg you to just say yes to the next right thing in front of you. God will continue to open doors, or He will shut them. If you don’t know where to start, please reach out. I will help you as best I can.
Continue to pray for all of those affected by these continual changes in our world. Each day looks different. Pray that God would use you to alleviate the burden in someone else’s life. Keep your eyes open and spread love.
Blessings to all,