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The “F” word we should all use.

Trust me, you will agree.   As this is a word that is too often used with caution.  It is a word avoided by fear of stigma and bias.   It is language that is too often misused and misinterpreted.   But we should be much more flamboyant in usage of this hefty “F” word.  

Because not using it implies a societal negligence to the needy.  

Because avoiding it raves denial of inequality and rights to freedom.  Because the word refers to the over 440,000 kids nationally and for us in Kansas a record number of over 7500 children!  

Of course, even that number doesn’t take into the account of the ripple effect this word has on families, communities, schools, churches, etc.  I can testify personally and professionally to the truth that this word both impacts us and is impacted by us in ways we may not even know.

Foster care. There. I said it. The “F” word that we all should use…more.

The Bible references the calling of people to help the orphans and/or widows of the world over 40 specific times. In even terms, that is almost in every book of the Bible specifically not including all the times we are called to help those different from us or disadvantaged. James 1: 27 says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Do we make the F word of foster care as much of a priority in our lives as He directs us to?

Do we give compassion to others in need as we desire for ourselves?

Do we sustain the depth of the holiday and adoption months past the required dates of November?

Thanksgiving and National Adoption months are over but the lives and needs of those associated with the foster care system are not. As the Christmas season and the new year are around the corner we are not to Forget but Forgive, not to share Fault but rather Favor, not to bid Farewell but rather Foster kids in need.

Here are some starter ways to normalize, socialize and bring value to the “F” word of foster care this season:

  1. Research the foster care system in your state and county.

  2. Identify the need(s) for kids and families in your area of which you can help.

  3. Provide for a need(s) that you identify for the holiday.

  4. Support a foster family through food, gifts or financial support for the holiday.

  5. Donate to a foster care agency/organization.

  6. Provide a foster child(ren) with two basic gifts and a fun one!

  7. Explore the option to become a foster home or emergency home for kids in need.

  8. Call foster kids just “kids” when you refer to them.

  9. Talk about Foster care as a temporary option not a failing fault-connotations matter.

  10. Remember you don’t have to do everything to do something.

Be proud of using the much needed “F” word this holiday-I am!

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