The Gift of Foster Care
For many countries around the world, May is the month to celebrate mothers. Here in the U.S., May 10th is our official Mother’s Day. If you haven’t mailed your mom a card yet, here’s your friendly hint to run out and do so!
May is a special time for LWB as well as we highlight our foster care program in China. We believe so strongly that every orphaned child deserves to grow up in family care.
No matter how fancy, modern, or clean an orphanage is, there is no getting around the fact that it’s still an orphanage. It’s pretty simple, actually…kids need loving families, and we at LWB are so blessed to have some of the most amazing foster moms in the world caring for the children in our programs.
Visiting with these wonderful women is always one of my favorite things to do when I’m in China. Many of these generous ladies have already raised their one child, and now as “empty nesters” have so much time and love to give.
Some of you might remember the story of Granny Wei, who answered our ad for foster parents by pedaling her tricycle over three miles to the orphanage. When the orphanage director said he felt she might be a bit too old to care for a baby, she pedaled back home that night and sewed a complete layette set, and then pedaled back asking once more to be allowed to share her life with a baby in need. She was the most loving foster mom in the world, although we actually had to tell her that baby Fei didn’t really need to eat a bottle every hour on the hour, when he developed not a double, but triple chin that first month!
I also smile when I think of Xiang’s foster mom and the store-bought coat I had brought him for the upcoming winter. She tried her very best to be polite, but finally she couldn’t help herself and had to go get the padded coat and pants she had been making by hand all summer for him. It felt 100 times warmer than the coat I had just handed her, and I started laughing when she told me quite bluntly, “Mine’s better.” I completely agreed! She loved that little boy so much, and it showed in each of the thousands of tiny embroidered stitches in the quilted coat she had made just for him. A literal cloak of love, which is what every child on earth deserves to be wrapped in.
Over the last decade that we have done foster care in China, I have seen this program impact children in the most profound ways.
I have seen children who were shut down from being abandoned gradually open up and learn to trust again, and babies who were failure-to-thrive in institutional care clearly bloom once placed with their very own mom.
I have without doubt seen foster care save lives, especially for children with medical needs who require one-on-one care.
And emotionally of course, the effects can be far-reaching. A child who doesn’t get to experience feeling safe, loved, and protected can honestly struggle lifelong with future relationships and attachment, so I admit that I do celebrate each and every time we are able to move another child into family care.
During the month of May, we will be featuring some of the children who still need sponsors for foster care, and I hope you will consider becoming part of their team. For just $1.35 a day, you can be matched with a child and receive regular photos and updates on their progress.
You can visit our foster care sponsorship page today to see some of the children listed. During the month of May, we look forward to sharing some of the kids’ stories with you who still need a few wonderful people to believe in them.
As you celebrate your own mom this month, please consider allowing an orphaned child to have that same gift as well.
I promise you that through the gift of foster care, you can change a child’s life in the most extraordinary ways.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer