Saturday, July 09, 2011

Why "Adults" Need Parents

When I speak I often tell people about my passion to get kids adopted before they age out of the system. Nearly 20,000 "adults" age out of foster care at the age of anywhere from 18-21 depending on the state and they are discharged to take care of themselves. And kids that age can't.

I confess that Bart and I were like most naive prospective adoptive parents when we stared this journey. We envisioned being needed after 18 to do things like fill out financial aid papers and send money for college expenses. It's not quite turning out that way.

Yesterday I posted about why Jimmy and Rand have needed me this week. Today the stories are of Mike and John.

Mike is back in jail. We hadn't heard much from him since Easter -- except for a text with an excuse as to why he didn't make it to Jimmy's party and another one as to why he didn't have Father's Day Dinner with the kids. I did get a brief text on Mother's Day. But he got arrested a week ago and now he is in jail. Today he got a job at a lumber company through the jail's work release program so now he is needing a hammer and a holster for that job. Could we please go get him one?

I just got off the phone from that call when Courtney called. She and john had just gotten into a car accident 30 minutes before John's interview. Can we please come get him and take him to his interview. I sent Rand to do that for them.

And John's been wearing disposable contacts -- using someone else's prescription -- for over a year, so I set up an eye exam for him today and we're getting him contacts for his birthday.

No, I didn't envision kids in and out of jail who needed something while in mess of their own fix.... but I do know that having someone to call in those moments -- when there's nobody left to call -- is what it's all about.

Some might not agree that we should go out and spend $50 on a kid who has stolen so much from us, lied to us, and complains about us to us and to everyone who will listen all the time.

But as long as we're safe -- and as long as they aren't hurting anyone... I guess extending a little bit of grace now and then isn't a bad thing.

It's now Saturday afternoon and I just found that I hadn't posted this... we have been to a parade this morning and now I'm getting ready to orchestrate a simple meal before we go to Saturday night church and watch a movie...

Am reeling in the aftermath of a close friend's dead. He was only 26 and I've known him since he was three -- his parents and his aunt and uncle are some of my closest friends... I'm so far away.... not much I can do but pray. so I am....

2 comments:

LT said...

i wish everyone would read this. i really do. its about "kids" having a connection and knowing that you are their for them, no matter what. that they can count on someone and trust that someone will accept them, love them, and help them... whether its getting a hammer or giving them a hug.
thank you for writing this.

Sincerely Mama said...

Awesome post. I can relate to your words here. People who haven't "been there" don't understand. As a result, we're about down to no friends left at all. Oh, well. The kids are worth everything we have to give in order to show them they have value. It's harder than it looks, isn't it?