Stand tall for foster care children

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Next week, the month of May comes to a rapid close and, with it, the advent

of summer; however, before pining a tidy bow on the month of May, I remind

you that May is National Foster Care Month. 


As an adoption professional, I tip my hat to Florida's foster parents, who

day-in and day-out are the lifeline for many of our State's precious

children when these children otherwise are not able safely to live in their

own homes.  Many of these foster moms and dads nurture these kids as best

they can, but ultimately bid them adieu when the child is reunified back

into the home from which the child was removed or even placed elsewhere with

a family member or non-relative caregiver.  


On the other hand, some foster parents become through adoption what we in

the adoptions community affectionately refer to as the child's "forever

family."  Frankly, for a host of reasons, these foster child adoption

finalization hearings are amongst the most poignant.  Many times, the child

to be adopted is older, he or she, regrettably, has been through some level

of trauma and also has felt first-hand the fear and uncertainty attendant

with being removed from one's home.  The child's foster and now forever

family, in turn, represents a safety net, as well as a fresh start, for the

child. For all involved, the adoption finalization hearing is the

culmination of so much love, sweat, and tears, played out over months, if

not years, and now, happily, wrapped into a series of moments of joy.


Will you aspire to a greater good?  Are you motivated to make a difference

in the life of a child?  Do you get that you stand wonderfully to be

enriched and ennobled by welcoming a child into your home, weaving that

child into the fabric of your family, and maybe even being this child's

"forever family", the fabric woven into a tapestry?  Is the cacophony that

is daily life as a mom and/or dad in your orbit?


If yes, then we have beautiful foster care kids here in the Sunshine State

that need your love, guidance, humor, tenderness.  And, as a Florida foster

parent, not only are you paid a monthly stipend by the State of Florida, but

without raising a finger, you also automatically are made a member of both

your local and statewide network comprised of other similarly situated

foster families. 


The state entity in Florida is FSFAPA, Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent



Be a foster parent.  Be that rock solid role model every kid would want to

be like and emulate, be that grown up from whom an impressionable foster

child can learn, and to whom that uncertain, finding-my-way-in-the-world

foster child can turn. Open your arms and the sanctuary that is your home to

these precious kids, envelop them.


After all, out there in the big bad world, with its tweets, and its texts,

and its insensitive, mile-a-minute pace, you may be one person, BUT to one

person, you just well may be the world!!  Think about it!!  


Respectfully submitted,


Jeanne T. Tate