When I was 9 years old, I was put in foster care. In many ways, it was only another obstacle in a life full of hard knocks.
My parents divorced when I was 5, after Dad threatened to kill Mom with a hammer. My mom soon remarried a harsh man named Hank who loved Mom, but didn’t like us kids. Hank abandoned us after Mom died of cancer. His departure was what landed me in foster care.
Sadly, my story isn’t unique for kids who are in “the system.” The details might be different, but the bottom line is the same: all of us who went into foster care experienced some sort of trauma. Some children have suffered abuse. Others have experienced the death of a caretaker. Many have moms or dads whose drug or alcohol addictions made them unfit parents.
Right now, there are an estimated 415,000 children in the U.S. foster care system. The challenges these kids face are so daunting many of us as Christians feel overwhelmed at their plight. Our hearts go out to these children and we’re filled with compassion for them – but what can we do?
We can start by praying. During May, National Foster Care Month, we’re asking you to join us in concentrated prayer for these boys and girls in need of families and homes.
Focus on the Family is working with Show Hope and Hope for the Orphans to hold a National Foster Care Prayer Vigil. It’s our way to encourage and equip Christians in crying out to God on behalf of these modern day orphans who have lost so much.
We’ve created a guide to help you as you spend time in prayer. From the children’s birth families, their foster families and social workers, many people touch these kids’ lives and need our intercession, as of course do the children themselves.
I can only imagine how the prayers of Christians helped protect me during my time in foster care as a young boy. Perhaps I won’t meet those who prayed until I reach heaven – but I’m thankful they took the time to plead on behalf of orphans like me.
Please visit http://icareaboutorphans.org/fostercareprayervigil/ to learn more about the National Foster Care Vigil, register your prayer vigil and download the prayer guide.