I still get emotional thinking about this fact: each year, prisons predict the increase of their population in part on the number of kids released from foster care that year. This is because kids who “age out” of the system at eighteen, and for whom adoption never happened, are often left to fend for themselves.
With that kind of introduction to adulthood, it is no wonder that prisons can count on it making a noticeable difference.
According to W.R. Cummings, in 2019:
- By age 17, over half of youth in foster care have experienced an arrest, conviction, or overnight stay in a correctional facility.
- 90% of youth with 5+ foster placements will enter the justice system at some point in their life.
- Female foster youth are ten times more likely than their non-foster peers to commit a crime, while males are four percent more likely.
All is not lost. There are those who are answering God’s call on their life to help.
Kile Bateman, Pastor and Director of Phased In, a transitional living program for emancipated foster youth, recently talked to me about the realities of foster care and what God is doing to bring hope.
He explained that in Texas alone, there are 30,000 children in the foster care system.
407,000 children are in foster care across the country.
The recent decision on Roe V. Wade means that number will only increase. But these children are not just a number.
They are kids hoping to find a loving, permanent, and safe home.
Do you feel a stirring in you that you could help?
Are you the kind of person that could help bring security and unconditional love to a child who needs it?
If you’ve thought about it before, taken a few steps but then stopped, or can’t help but be moved when you think about it, then there’s a good chance you are being called to adopt.
As Kile says, “Adoption is a divine calling.”
You discover a void being filled that was put there by God when you live in your calling.
Living in God’s calling often transforms the lives of others.
In James 1:27 , Jesus’ brother James said, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
The time of distress for orphans is now. Is God calling you?
It’s scary, but it’s worth it.
Kile recently reminded me that, “Fear has kept so many kids from being rescued.”
In our house we have a saying, “Howards do hard things.”
When things are hard, they can be scary. So we have another saying, “Do it scared.”
Are you scared, but know that God’s calling you?
Then do it scared.