Monday, April 23, 2018

Parenting Pointers: Understanding and Supporting Foster Families and Adoption

He was only a toddler at the time, but Robert E. Grant remembers the day when a local family court split up his family. Grant’s single mother saw two of her children sent to Dallas County and another moved to Hurst, Texas. Her youngest, Robert, was bounced among foster homes until finally landing in Richland Hills, Texas.
Forty years later, he was reunited with his family. He shares his story in “Touched by the Finger of God.”
He shared his story to provide guidance and comfort to those who have seen their family separated or fractured. Additionally, he looks to inspire others to reconnect with their families and trust in their faith through uncertain times.
I had a chance to interview Robert E. Grant to learn more.

What are some of the more common reasons a child might be put up for adoption? The most prevailing reason children are put up for adoption is finances.  Sometimes the main supporter in the family may lose a job which can be a devastating blow to the core of the family.  If the family consists of more than one child the loss of a job results in deeper hardship on the daily budget.  If the hardship continues for any length of time then depression seeps in followed by anger. At this point the marital or family relationships begin to dwindle. Most often leading to  splitting up the family.  If other relatives are not available to take in one or more of the children then adoption or foster care is the only remaining option.  
  Many parents intend to go back and reclaim their child or children but sometimes it isn't that easy. They have to find their way through a barrage of requirements such as proof of financial stability or even mental and phsyical tests. 

Another reason why children are put up for adoption may be due to divorce or violence in the home or even the use of vices such as alcohol or drugs.  

I am very certain the illegal activites and immoral acts my bio Dad was engaging led to the break up of our family of six. When my parents broke up Mom could not support herself and the four of us small kids.  Her waitressing job just simply did not pay enough.  When the resulting affects set in and the struggling reached its max, then the unintentional  neglect was reported to CPS. The family was split up and all of the children went to different foster care or state agencies.

I firmly believe the lack of Christian values within our family played a major part of the whole family's demise. Without strong faith and committment to following the bible and its teaching on daily behavior, and how to have financial security, parents begin in a negative cycle of living that will continue to spiral out of control downward till nothing goes right in the lives of the family members.

Families are the center of our society and without this good strong foundation the whole nation is affected.

Why can it take so long for foster children to find a foster family?
Foster families are not always in abundance but finding the right one for the child is a tedious and serious matter. Sometimes the child may have special needs or requires additional care not normal to most. The mental and physical state of the child has to be analyzed in order to find the right foster family. The child may have come from an abusive environment and will need a foster parent(s) that have been trained in handling children that have scars from abuse or neglect. Too it is very important that a child is not going into another negative or potentially harmful environment.

Two of my siblings were adopted by very abusive parents. It has affected their lives a great deal. Many heartaches and much suffering has had a bearing on their lives. I on the other hand was very fortunate to have had a God fearing family that loved me and gave me what I needed to lead a blessed life. 

If the child needs special medical care or has a physical need such as being wheelchair bound this may require a foster family willing to give up additional time to those special needs. As an example when I was sent to foster care I was only around one or two years of age. No one knew I had a speech problem until it became evident as I began to talk.  

My older brother developed Polio and his adoptive family did not treat his symptoms resulting in the near loss of his legs. 

If children have been adopted, how can they search for biological families?  
There are some great resources to help find bio parents. My wife and I relied heavily on church records, court documents, mediators and family.  Suprisingly, a simple DNA test will give a great starting point. These can give the researcher an idea as to where the blood family gets its roots.  There are many organizations that special in locating bio parents.  

How can parents support the adoption process or foster children even if they can't take an extra child into their own family?
Parents can support the adoption process or foster children programs by being supportive of these kind of programs and organizations. The need is great not only financially but also with volunteering.  If you know someone interested in fostering or adopting  please ask them to contact their local agencies. Remember, Jesus was adopted by Joseph. Adoption or foster care is a far better alternative than abortion or neglect. Somewhere out there in this cruel world is another family that is suffering from all kinds of turmoil, hunger, fear, abuse and the list goes on. If not us, who can they turn to in order to have a more stable and productive family?

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