1. 59 newborns are diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) every day.
This can result in infants that have body shakes, seizures, twitching, fussiness, poor feeding/sucking, slow weight gain, trouble sleeping, and more. As NAS occurs as a result of drug withdrawal upon birth, we need to be prepared to support infants who have experienced drug exposure and their birth mothers.
“Children and families are worth it.”
2. It makes a difference when you know someone’s story.
You can hear statistics all day about parents that have to place their children into foster care; however, that isn’t the whole picture. When you get down in the trenches and hear people’s stories, your eyes are opened with compassion for them. You see moms who have been struggling with addiction their entire lives and families that are broken. As Heather reminds us, these aren’t bad people, they are broken people who love their babies.
“These aren’t scary, horrible people. These are moms that love their babies and are good moms.”
3. Cultivate a heart for reunification.
We’ve said this a few times on the podcast before, but it is worth repeating: the intended goal of foster care is not adoption primarily. As foster parents, respite care providers, caseworkers, or any other part of the foster care community, we need to be cheering for reunification. God has put us in such a position to be able to be the literal hands and feet of Jesus. We get to be vehicles to be part of bringing about His redemption for these families’ stories. That isn’t to say that it won’t come with grief or a sense of loss; it does! But when we see a broken family being made whole, we can celebrate in spite of our sadness that what was broken is now redeemed.
“Reunification or family preservation is just a small snippet of heaven on earth.”