I love Mondays. Really. It's the idea of a fresh start - and a clean slate. Something new and the hope of doing life even better this week than last.
This Monday is extra special for me. This new week kicks off off a new series at KPLC-TV where my passion for television collides with my passion for an issue that burns in my heart: orphan care.
Television reporting can be emotionally draining. I know watching the news can be, too! But there is so much happening OFF SCRIPT that we are not always at liberty to share with viewers.
Stories of abused children. Stories of neglected children. Stories of babies thrown aside like they are garbage. Stories of toddlers wandering around local streets alone.
Where is the mommy? Where is the daddy?
We can report these stories when we get the go-ahead from law enforcement, but that is just not always in the best interest of investigators.
So, those of us who took the concerned call into the newsroom from a neighbor, aunt, passerby or heartbroken teacher are left burdened. What will become of this child? Does he or she feel loved?
Many of these children will end up in temporary state custody - foster care. The Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services is currently serving 4,437 foster children. Foster parenting is critically important to these children as they transition from whatever home they knew into a new "normal," with the hopes of being reunited with a biological parent.
Sometimes that doesn't happen, though. Maybe the dad walked out on the family. The mom might be struggling to overcome drug addiction. There isn't enough food to go around. The home isn't safe. The reasons could go on and on - but for whatever reason, there are 350 children in Louisiana's foster care system today ready to be adopted. That means the biological parents' rights have been terminated...and no one else in the child's life is pursuing a placement. Heart. Breaking.
The more I learned about the need for adoptive parents, the more the Lord began to work on my heart. My husband and I have always talked about the desire to have biological children and adopt - but we weren't sure when or how that would happen.
We still aren't quite sure...but are actively enrolled in the adoption certification process for a potential future placement. There are lots of unknowns - and that's scary. But can you imagine a scarier unknown than what these orphaned children face every day: will I ever have a family of my own?
KPLC-TV has aired several segments featuring children in need of forever families over the past 20 years. We don't know how many of these children had their dreams come true and how many continued to bounce around between foster homes and eventually cycle out at age 18.
What we do know is that we can do better. We can offer more resources, more information on how to pursue adoption or foster care, more profiles of successful adoption stories and most importantly: more profiles of children in need.
That is what you will see the first Tuesday of every month on The New Family Tree.
I love the highlighted green "i" in the word "family." It says "I" could be the person to make a life-changing difference in a child's life.
You might not be called to open up your home for an orphan, but there are so many other ways you can help! Support a family that has made that huge step, pray for them, pray for prospective parents, pray for the orphans, encourage your children to be accepting of foster/adoptive children...and this just skims the surface.
My favorite song is Matthew West's song by that same title, "Do Something."
Here's a snippet:
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something
The New Family Tree: debuts Tuesday, May 6 at 10:00 P.M.
and will re-air with a live interview Wednesday, May 7 at 6:40 A.M.