On average, 12 kids enter foster care in Arkansas every day, and there are not enough open foster homes to welcome them.
600 children are available for immediate adoption, because their parents have lost all rights.
Over 250 teenagers will age out of the foster system never finding a family and being ill-prepared for adulthood.
Looking at the numbers is one thing. Feeling them is another. Feeling that 12 children are losing families and security and falling into the unknown EVERY DAY in my state is heart-rending. Knowing that 600 - SIX HUNDRED - children are languishing in limbo waiting for a family to take them in. And knowing that so many of them will not find a family and will age out of the system, not knowing real, permanent love or being set up for success in their lives.
I remember when I learned about people being homeless when I was a kid. And I couldn't wrap my mind around it, because I knew that no matter what happened to me, I would always have a place to go and people to take me in. Even if I made all the mistakes and had horrific luck, people would be there to help me pick up the pieces. But when you are in the foster care system and then when you age out, there are not people there to help. You have no network. You are alone in the world.
The idea that my children get to experience a family and love and security when so many others don't feels unbelievably unfair. The heaviness can settle in, and I want to be able to do so much more than we are able to do.
So, this year, like the last three years, we will be walking in the Walk for the Waiting. There are so many things we can't do, but we can do this. We can support organizations that are in this fight. We can talk about it to raise awareness of the issue. We can walk.
And so can you! If you want to register for the Walk yourself - click here!
If you can't make the Walk but want to sponsor our family walking (which we would love!) - click here!
Please know that we are so grateful for any support for this, because our family is passionate about this issue. We are invested, and it matters, and we appreciate anyone who joins us in any way to be a part of it. Hope to see you April 30 at War Memorial Stadium!