20 March 2017

small things

My sister-in-law sent me a package of baby girl clothes.  She saw the picture of the "needs" at the Foster Care boutique where I volunteer and offered to ship some things.  I told her that I know clothes can be expensive, but she was happy to cram as many into a box as she could.

Small little things, but with so much meaning. A mom of a baby girl, saw the need and thought of her own baby girl and how much she loves her.  And knew she wanted to help this foster momma that is loving on a baby girl that is just a bit younger than her own.

The words foster care still hold so many nuanced complications.  The process isn't simple, the problems are many, the solutions are complex.  But being a part of it, can be as simple as seeing a need, looking around your home, and passing on some small things.

Many of us are not able to be foster parents right now, for a variety of reasons -- I totally get that, I have my own reasons too.  But there is no reason that we can't ALL play a small part in supporting those that are currently foster parents.  Their job is so critical and so taxing.  They are called to love with all their hearts, for as long as they are asked, and then to say good-bye in as positive a way as they can when their time is up.  And many of them do this over and over again for the sake of children that are caught in hard places.

At the very, very least if you are a believer you can pray for these children and these foster parents.  Look up your state's "waiting children" and find a child or sibling group to pray for.  This weekend I saw a write-up about a sibling set of 5 that was waiting for a forever family.  The article was shared multiple times. I don't know what it is about this particular group that caused them to be shared over and over -- sadly they are not a unique case.  There are many, many sibling groups available for adoption today -- likely in every single state.

Another very simple way to be involved is by supporting foster families with basic needs.  Donations to Buttons + Butterflies are very much appreciated and relieve foster parents in many ways.  Obviously the fact that everything is free is a big benefit.  Its also nice because the boutique is a quiet little place for children.  We have fitting rooms so kids can make sure items fit them well.  Foster parents don't have to deal with a bunch of other distractions like they may encounter at retail stores.

Its also helpful to pass along items that babies outgrow; cribs, pack-n-plays, highchairs, carseats, strollers.  All of these items can be expensive to purchase on short notice {and oftentimes that is what foster parents have to do.}  If you are in a position where you can donate these items, instead of selling them, I encourage you to do so.  As our boys grew, there were times that we absolutely needed to sell the baby gear to buy toddler gear, and times when we were able to give away items.  If you can give, give.  If you cannot right now, I am sure you'll have an opportunity at some point in time.

If you want to be even more involved you can contact your local DHR and ask about volunteering or being a respite care provider.  Every state has different procedures and qualifications for supporting foster families in this way.  I am not gonna lie, it might be a lot of hassle at the front end.  But I tell you what, if you feel a pull in your heart to help in this way --- it will be worth all the hassle!  You will get to care for kiddos that desperately need adults to show them love and you will give a break to those foster parents that might just need a date night or a weekend away.

I will probably always be passionate about foster care. I will probably always encourage EVERYONE to be involved in one way or another.  This is not something that only a few special people can participate in.  Our communities will be stronger when we all play a part.  Small things matter -- in more ways than we know.

Here is an Amazon Wish List of the items that are currently needed at Buttons + Butterflies Clothing Boutique which serves Russell County foster families.  Click here:


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