A new year is upon us. So many people see a new year as a new chapter to be written in their lives. They often speak of making a difference in their lives. I wonder how many people have considered making a difference in someone else's life. There are many, many ways to do this, but I'm going to focus on one in particular. Every single week of my life, I run into someone who tells me they've always wanted to adopt from foster care. I don't know anyone though who has actually done it afterwards. I've pondered a lot the reasons for this when there are so many children in foster care waiting for families. I think it's fear. It's makes sense--it's a scary journey. You wonder What if a social worker doesn't think I'd make a good parent? What if the child doesn't like me? What if a child we bring into our home hurts another of our children? What if he/she has RAD? What if the trauma they've experienced has ruined them? These are all questions I struggled with before we adopted our son. I felt sure though that it was what we were called to do, so I had to step out in faith. Along the way I found some great resources to help answer a lot of my questions. The best one was this: Resources for Parents Adopting from Foster Care --there you will find statistics like the following: FOSTER CARE STATISTICS * Currently, there are approximately 425,000 children in foster care in the United States. It's estimated that 115,000 are eligible for adoption. *In 2009, about 57,466 children were adopted from foster care. *69% of parents who adopt from foster care are married couples, 31% are single-parent families. *Median age of child in foster care: 8.1 years. *Race/ethnicity of children in foster care: 38% Caucasian, 30% African-American, 22% Hispanic, 10% other. *The average child in foster care goes through three different placements and stays in the system for about 30 months. *Each year, about 26,000 children age out of foster care. As well as a myriad of personal stories from those who have adopted children from foster care. Check it out. If your thighs don't shrink in 2011, it's not that big of a deal in the great scheme of things; consider making a change this coming year that will truly make a difference in someone's life.
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