Renewal: Cambodia Foster Care
Spring is here in many parts of the world, and in this season, it’s common to think about new life, new beginnings, and renewing ourselves. I saw a quote for springtime by Bernie Siegel that says, “If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can’t help but learn.”
I sat and meditated on the word ‘renew’ and all that means to me, and I couldn’t help but think about LWB and the children in our foster care programs. Each one of them is being renewed or starting over again. The reasons they need a new start all vary, but the commonality is that they all now have a chance to grow and learn from their adversity. I am so glad we can play a part in their transformations by providing them safety, nutrition, education, and love.
We would like to share a few updates on children from our two foster care programs in Cambodia: our program for orphaned children and our Safe Haven Foster Care program for those who have been trafficked and/or severely abused.
Orphaned Child Foster Care
Baby Archie came into our care when he was abandoned at just a few days old.
Now a strong and healthy five-month-old, he is building a deep bond with his foster father. Whenever his foster dad leaves, Archie cries and wants to go with him. He loves when his foster dad lifts him in the air and laughs each and every time.
Ivy entered foster care after her parents passed away. She is loving her new role as “big sister” to Archie as they are in the same foster family. Ivy dotes on her baby brother and entertains him by pretending to be animals and making animal sounds.
Sampson continues to thrive in his foster home after coming into our care after the tragic death of his mom.
We’ve learned that Sampson has a real sweet tooth. Whenever he goes to the market with his foster mom, he asks her to buy him all kinds of treats. She’s careful not to give him too much since she wants him to be healthy. Looks like Sampson talked his foster mom into a treat in the picture below…
…but he also eats lots of healthy meals, too!
Safe Haven Foster Care
Four-year-old Alkira was recently placed into LWB foster care. We are working with this beautiful little girl so she can feel secure enough to trust again.
Her foster family had a special surprise this spring when they welcomed kittens in their home. Alkira has loved every moment of looking after them.
Victor was the first child in our Safe Haven program, and he recently expressed interest in learning how to use a computer. He is now registered for a computer basics class and is learning how to type on the keyboard. Victor also loves to explore, and our hope is that his time in nature will help him to renew his spirits.
Adele has worked so hard on catching up with her schoolwork since coming into our program. We are so proud of this wonderful young lady. Last month she received very high scores on her exams and was put on the outstanding student list!
Our team in Cambodia works with the anti-human trafficking authorities as well as the juvenile protection office, and we are always looking for extended family of the kids in our care for reunification when safe and appropriate. It is always best when kids can have permanency within a safe family, and LWB is invested in reunification when in the best interest of the child.
After a search by police and social affairs, Carmen graduated from our Safe Haven program after her maternal relatives were located. Her aunt and uncle, who are childless, asked to parent her. They have enrolled Carmen in school and have the financial means to care for her. Multiple people provided character references on their behalf. While we will miss Carmen being part of our program, we are so happy for her that she has a chance to be in a permanent loving home, with committed relatives. We are grateful that we could fill the gap for her this last year she was in our care.
This photo embodies the happiness that we hope Carmen will carry throughout her entire life. Carmen…we wish you so much love as you start this next stage of your life journey.
As spring continues to bloom and bring with it new life, we hope you think of LWB’s foster care program and how these kids are “blooming” too. They are growing, changing, and transforming into the new life waiting for them. We are very honored to be witness to this process and thankful to all the donors who believe in the ability to renew.
~Amanda Spangler, Cambodia Foster Care Manager