It’s all about that village
I read this article about Arizona dropping a foster-care grant. Honestly, I know nothing about politics and in reality the government isn’t going to fix this problem. Programs are great, but its the people that make them work. But this quote from the article really struck me,
“More than 30,000 U.S. teens each year reach adulthood and leave state custody without a permanent home, including about 700 in Arizona. Research shows that kids who age out of foster care are more likely than their peers to be unemployed, homeless or convicted of a crime or become teen parents, and they are less likely to graduate from high school or attend college.”
The other day one of my children went to Starbucks with a friend. While in the coffee shop she saw a woman who took care of her before she was adopted. The woman was ecstatic to see her. Having worked with teens I can imagine why.
She was probably excited to see a healthy, well dressed, young woman. Just your average teen, stopping in for a coffee. No baby on her hip or in her belly. No older man hanging on her. Clothes that fit, hair that gets washed, and a smile on her face.
It’s not often we get to see foster teens blossom into womanhood with grace.
It’s also a two-way street. The teens need to want it. They need to reject the lifestyle they are accustom too and accept that they deserve more. That they can have more than what they’ve known.
This takes more than just loving, adoptive parents. This takes a community. It takes a village.
It takes the woman in the coffee shop who watched over my daughter before I knew she existed. It takes my co-workers at the group home who invested in my daughter before she became mine. It takes the owners of that group home who made that home possible. It takes the mentor who poured into her life and helped her to want more. It takes the family who welcomed our daughters without objection and took them as their own. It takes the church that prayed and loved them through the whole process. It takes all of us.
And when we all invest, we all get to see the product. A healthy, beautiful teen, blossoming into womanhood with grace.