I met him first in a picture. His face was almost expressionless, the tear-stained cheeks giving the only hint of what he was feeling. As I read through his description, I became aware that life had not been kind to him. He was over two but not yet walking, and he couldn’t stand without support. Speech that is normal at this age was nonexistent for him. His rocking behavior indicated challenges with attaching to a primary caregiver. I was hopeful that foster care could turn this around, but I must admit I was afraid we might be too late.I was so happy when he was placed into a wonderful foster home at the beginning of the year. He had a couple of bouts with respiratory illnesses and high fever, but each time he bounced back. I found myself worrying about him and reading his report first each month as I received them from our China Manager. I cannot pinpoint exactly when it happened, but he had worked his way into my heart and I often thought about him and hoped he was being loved. In February, I was happy to read he was beginning to walk with the foster parent’s help, and was able to play outside with the neighbor children. Even the rocking behavior was occurring less and less often. When I visited in March, I recognized his sweet little face immediately, though he was much tinier in person than I had imagined. He willingly took my hand and we walked all around the courtyard, practicing going up and down steps and a ramp. The progress he had made was indeed amazing, but I couldn’t help but wish for a smile from that somber little face.Well, in April I received the best news ever! The picture in his report shows Brody walking down the road, maybe even trotting, with a hint of a smile on his face!I think back to that very first picture and I realize foster care has saved Brody’s life. While maybe not in the way we usually think, by taking him from a weakened condition to being fully recovered in a physical way, but in a vital way nonetheless. His foster family has taught him that he matters, that he is important, and that they care about him. Brody has learned they are willing to work with him and encourage him to be all that he can be for as long as he is able to share his life with them. Brody now has hope and a future, and what could be more life-giving than that!
To learn more about our Foster Care program, please visit: http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/foster.cfm
Associate Foster Care Director