Once a month, a woman comes to my house and watches my toilet flush. She also stands on a chair and presses all the test buttons on my smoke alarms to make sure they work. Among other things, she also runs my shower, with her hand under the water to make sure it gets hot.

Now, at this point, you’re either wondering why I have such weird friends or you’re familiar with a foster care home evaluation.

Yes, my husband Matt and I are licensed Pennsylvania foster parents, and have been for over 8 years. We were blessed to make one of them a permanent part of our family when our daughter’s adoption was finalized last July.

November is National Adoption Month. I’d like you to imagine with me a little girl who has been neglected in every memory she has. She’s spent more nights than she can count cowering under her bed, at least when she had a bed and wasn’t homeless. There’s a revolving door of adults who only stay nice for the first few weeks, and she’s learned that the only thing she can do is shut down and endure their abuses until she wakes the next day to face it again.

Now what I need you to know is this vulnerable girl is now 22 – and she’s the mother of a toddler who just came into foster care. So often, we imagine today’s children without putting their lives in the context of the years and generations before. This is not an excuse, but I hope it changes your perspective – and helps you imagine the way a family tree could be changed forever if you step up to interrupt a cycle of generationally broken lives with the light of the gospel and a stable, safe childhood environment. 

Of course, God does not call foster and adoptive parents to be the saviors of vulnerable children ourselves. We are, like all parents, servants who have the opportunity to provide a place where a child can meet Jesus Christ, the Savior we all need. 

While your charitable giving budget may already support foster care and adoption, I encourage you to look for ways to get involved personally. First, pray for this monumental need, lifting up the vulnerable children and the families that serve them. Secondly, support foster and adoptive families practically as we walk this journey. Matt and I have seen time and again the face of Jesus shining at us through the steadfast care of faithful friends and family members. 

Thirdly, please prayerfully investigate becoming a foster parent. You can call your county’s Children & Youth agency or go through a private foster care agency as we have. You might be thinking, “School just started and the holidays are coming, Kelley, now is not a good time for me.” But I promise you, now is NOT a good time for a lot of children in need. 

Hear my cry, on behalf of these children, please get registered as a foster parent. You can do long-term placements as we have, or become a respite family for just a few days at a time. 

In a normal year, there are 400,000 kids in foster care – that’s 1 in every 184 children living in the United States. 

But the question we face is not, “What can our nation do to help hundreds of thousands of children?”

The question is, “What does Jesus call me to do to change one child’s life?”

Kelley Rose Waller and her husband are Pennsylvania foster parents. She is the author of two novels, The Senator’s Youngest Daughter and Going Back Cold. Kelley is Vice President of a marketing firm. Her goal is to live, work, and write to glorify the name of Jesus Christ. www.kelleyrosewaller.com

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