Foster Kids Need Fathers: Where Have All The Godly Men Gone?

It’s kind of obvious, isn’t it?  I mean, does it really need saying that foster kids need fathers?  The fact that these kids are in the foster system means that something is broken.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t care.

This past week I got into one of my fix-it rampages.  Steph and I got some frustrating news about one of our foster kids.  It put Steph in tears, and put me on my cell phone dialing the numbers of lawyers, CASA workers (Court Appointed Special Advocates), CPS staff and plenty of others.

As I began to work through potential solutions with the leader of CASA, she said something that stunned me.  I was asking her why our foster daughter hadn’t gotten a CASA volunteer assigned to her case yet.  The leader responded:

We have 70 cases in this city alone with no volunteers to take them.  Since each case could represent a few kids, there are well over 100 kids with no special advocates for them.”

When she said that, I responded with, “So I guess the Church isn’t doing its job, is it?”  Not knowing what I meant by the comment, she mildly agreed.

God calls His Church to take care of the poor, the widows, and the fatherless, among other things.  That is a call to His Church, meaning the entire body of believers that walks this earth.

Some people can foster or adopt.  Others can be CASA workers, who look out for those kids while they are in foster care.  Some can babysit for foster families occasionally.

What has He called you to, and how are you responding?

On behalf of my foster kids and plenty of others out there, please, let me give a brief commercial to the Godly men reading this post.  I address this to the men, as I’ve heard all too many stories of women wanting to foster, but their husbands just aren’t on board.

  • Men, you’d be amazed at how kids that have been beat down, discouraged and neglected respond to your smile.
  • Men, many of these kids are afraid to wrestle with you.  They don’t know that it can be a fun memory with their dads.  To them, it is a precursor to something much worse.
  • Men, your biological sons are watching you.  You are teaching them now how to respond to these little ones in the future.
  • Men, thank God that when you were lost, He came running to find you.  Be glad He did.  Now display your gratitude.
  • Men, these kids need to see Jesus, not just hear about him each year at Thanksgiving when they get a free turkey.
  • Men, adding another child to your family is an adjustment, but you get used to it quickly.
  • Men, even in the midst of their fear and anxiousness when they first get to your house, I’ve had foster kids try to sing with me the first night I put them to bed and sang over them.
  • Men, getting perfect attendance at church will never be fulfilling.
  • Men, when will you ever be ready?

Feel free to read some of my posts about how you can decide if you should foster, or if you could really say goodbye to a child, or simply how fostering has changed my family.

What else would anyone else add that isn’t in my list above?

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  1. Megan Bates May 10, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    Kevin, your words are so powerful and so true. We are praying alongside you that the Lord would raise up godly men to do this most important job!

    • Kevin East May 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      Thank you, Megan. I’ll need to share the stories of women like you who say being a vibrant, young single girl does not disqualify you from being a foster or adoptive parent. I love it.

  2. Ryan Parsons May 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Kevin, Right On! Thanks for the post. I have been a foster parent for 3 years and now work for a children’s home. Your thoughts will be helpful as I encourage more families to step up to help.

    • Kevin East May 15, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      Thanks, Ryan. And thanks for what you do….

  3. Chris May 15, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Kevin, as a foster dad for over 8 years, I want to echo your words. I have to admit at first I was one that “wasn’t ready”. I then realized how God had blessed us and how we should share His blessings with children that were in serious need. Little did I know, they blessed me way more than I could ever bless them.

    • Kevin East May 15, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      So true, Chris.

      Funny, isn’t it. It seems like it is mainly the men that are dragging their feet into something like this. I was the same way.

      Surely there is something diagnosable about that….

  4. Al & Rose Karluk May 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Kevin, I can’t agree with you more. This is something that has been on the heart of my husband and myself. We were foster parents for over 25 years and have adopted 8 children. My husband and I have one birth child and he wanted, as well as we did, some more children in our home. I had to have a hysterectomy when our son was five. My husband and I became Christians shortly after the surgery and were baptized together later that year. I must say that we did not do everything right. Being new Christians and growing in the Lord as we added to our family was an interesting adventure. All of our adopted children came to us when they were under 10. So we had a lot of work on our hands to reverse the effects that the first 5 years had on their lives. They and we are still dealing with those issues. All that to say the Lord Jesus has been with us all the way. Through the valleys and on the mountain tops. Our Father has been faithful to us through it all and the Spirit taught us and lead us all the way. But now, we have lost our home to the flood from hurricane Irene. To top that one, I was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. We have lived a full life. Only one thing is left to be done. That is encouraging families in the Church to take on this mission field. We send so many overseas and all over our world, but these abandoned, hurt and abused little ones are right in our cities. Crying out for someone to recuse them, to give them a home, a life.
    I asked our pastor if I could present this need to our church three times, but he never got back to me. The more glamorous, attention getting issues seemed to take precedence. How sad. We fostered over 90 children in our lives and it is still something on our hearts. When the Lord deposits something in you, it is difficult to abandon it. But it is time for us to pass the mantal on to others. My husband figured out that in the county where we used to live, if one family from every evangelical church, opened their home to a foster child, all the children in DSS would be in Christian homes. What a glorious thought!!!! What an unclaimed mission field !!!!! Please keep the heart for this going.
    If I can be of any help, please let us know.
    Al & Rose Karluk
    If you want anymore than our names, post here

    • Kevin East May 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      Wow, what an incredible story. Thank you for sharing that.

      There is definitely a movement happening with christians in America today. More and more are looking to live out their faith by fostering or adopting.

      As I’m sure you would attest, fostering or adopting can be very tough on the family. However, once you are in it, it just seems right. Steph and I were just talking yesterday that we didn’t know what our family would feel like without these other kids in our home.

      Thanks for all you’ve done for those 90 kids that have come through your home. You are such an inspiration for many like myself who have only been at it a few years.