Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Book Review! "What's a Foster Family?"

A few months ago, my brother and his family embarked on the journey of fostering.   It has been an incredible experience to watch them walk this joyful, difficult, sometimes heartbreaking path.  It has blessed all of us immensely.  Every child God has brought to them is instantly loved to pieces by our entire family. So far, three precious babies have filled their arms and our hearts and it has put a face on the children of foster care in a way that hit home more deeply than any other encounter I have ever had with these special children.
These little ones are some of God's most vulnerable, dear to His heart.  

The families who welcome foster children into their lives are truly angels on earth, willing to attach and love hard all the while knowing that goodbye will likely come all to soon.  My brother and sister-in-law have walked the path of letting go with such grace, determining to trust God and keep loving even when it hurts. Their three daughters joyfully embrace their foster brothers and sisters and it is because of them that I volunteered to review this book.

I was privileged to receive an advance copy to review and I'm so glad to have the opportunity to help spread the word about it!

foster care, Anne Garboczi Evans, Helen Cochrane, babies, adoption, parenting, book, review

"What's a Foster Family?" by Anne Garboczi Evans (Illustrated by Helen Cochrane) is a sweet book written for the author's son as they prepared to become foster parents for the first time.  It is brightly and simply illustrated and the book's plain, clear language would make it very suitable to be read to a preschooler.  It chronicles the journey of a little boy named Alex whose family decides to become foster parents.  Though the words are few, they are powerful, clearly portraying the uncertainty, jealousy, fear, compassion, love, and grief that children experience when a new child is suddenly brought into their family.  

I wish it had been around when my brother began their journey because I would have most definitely bought it for my nieces!  So often our kids, no matter how much we tell them what to expect, feel blindsided by the difficulties adoption and foster care can bring.  A book like this, that can be read over and over, will be valuable to help solidify the truth in their little minds that, yes, this is going to be hard.  Yes, you may not like the new kids but you just might grow to love them.  And yes, you will probably be sad when they leave...and that is ok.  For, in the words of my amazing sister-in-law...

"If we don't get 'too attached' then we have not done our job."


Now go buy this book!  Here are the links...

If you live in the U.S.-click here.

If you live in the U.K.-click here.

And if you need another reason to foster or encourage those who are, just read the following facts about Foster Care worldwide:

Fast Facts about Foster Care in the United States: There are 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S. Over 100,000 of these children are eligible for adoption, but each year over 20,000 will age out without ever being adopted. Thirty-one percent of the children in foster care were under the age of 3 when they first entered care. The average stay in foster care until a child re-unifies with family or is adopted is twenty-two months.

Fast Facts about Foster Care in the U.K.: Almost 70,000 children are in care. Twenty-three percent of the children are 4 and under. If a looked-after child is not able to return home, the average time he/she is in care until being adopted is 18 months. Five thousand children a year are adopted from care. But 6,000 children a year age out of the system without ever reunifying or being adopted.

Fast Facts about Foster Care in Canada: About 80,000 children are in care in Canada.Thirty-thousand of these children are in need of an adoptive home. While there aren't great national statistics on the children in foster care, experts estimate that several thousand Canadian foster children age out every year without ever reunifying or being adopted.

Fast Facts about Foster Care in Australia: There are about 40,000 children in foster care in Australia. About 3,000 foster children age out every year without ever reunifying or being adopted.

If the CHURCH does not take care of these sweet souls, who will?  If you are not called to foster, then find out how you can support and encourage those who are!

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