(Article From Derek, One of our Foster Parents Licensed through A Door of Hope)
What do you see?
A school shooter. A drug addict. A criminal. A gang banger.
A loving father. A youth soccer coach. A fireman. A missionary.
When you look at this picture, which future do you see?
For his protection, this is not an actual picture of my 10-week old foster baby, Eli, but the resemblance is the same. Right now, he is none of those things – just a beautiful little package of potential.
He was a “crack baby” born to a mother headed to jail – certainly a rough start and one that would seem to point him to the first list of potential futures above.
But I look at that picture and all I see is the second list – I imagine that’s what you (and most others) see, too. And do you know what the primary factor will be in determining which list he ends up on? It’s not his IQ or his athleticism or his charisma that will determine “his list”.
No, the absolutely proven key factor in determining the path of this – and any foster child – will be the type of environment in which he spends his youth. Children need nurturing. Children need love. Children need to be mentored and modeled onto the path that yields the fruits of a hard-working provider, loving spouse and father and serving member of their community.
I don’t know how long I will be able to do that for Eli – such is “the life of unknowns” for a foster parent – but I do know that for 10 weeks and counting, that baby boy has been and will continue to be bathed in nurturing love and prayer…
…and such is the need for so many others like him. There are many other pictures of beautiful packages of potential. And they need someone to stand in the gap for however long and influence the path to the second list above.
When you look at that picture, what future do you see? Will you picture yourself coming alongside and filling the nurture gap that so greatly influences a child’s future?