May is National Foster Care Month. Many people I know say time and time again that they could never become a foster parent or adopt through foster care. Someone seems to have spread the rumor that foster children are damaged goods. Yes, children from foster care have had previous hurts, but that does not make them incapable of receiving love.
In fact, I'm a firm believer that a loving family can turn a child around. If you don't believe me, let me share some before and after pictures of my son.
Take a look at these pictures of Mac when we brought him home. Notice the "expression" on his face - or lack thereof:
|This was the day we brought him home.|
|This was a typical look for weeks...no smiles, no sparkle in the eyes.|
|Even here his smile is guarded and his eyes are blank.|
We had to teach Mac to cry and laugh when he came home at 10 months old. He had very little expression. He was just blank. At first we just thought he was a studious little guy, but we later figured out he had no expressions.
Until much later:
|Silly boy - notice how his eyes carry the expression here.|
|Even here in a little pout you can see how he's just waiting to laugh (which he did).|
I don't know what Mac's life would have been like without us. Thankfully we'll never know. But I can't imagine if he had never developed a personality. He is so lively. He makes each day an adventure. What if he had never built up that personality at all?
You can make this difference in a child. Even if they're only with you a short time, you could be what teaches that child to smile. You could be what helps that child blossom in what is otherwise a bleak world.
Have you thought about foster care lately?