Do you ever look at a child and think to yourself, "Wow, no one, especially not an innocent child, should have to live like that?" If the answer is yes, then what are you doing about it? Simply having pity on a child is not going to better their future circumstances.
In 2015, the number of children living foster or substitute care in Texas was a frightening 31,197. But with a shortage of good foster homes, many of these kids are having to sleep in the Child Protective Services buildings.
Let's take a look into what these kids are feeling...
First of all, being removed from the only home you've ever known causes major issues that kids don't always talk about. For example, we might blame ourselves for everything that has happened, thinking we deserved everything bad and that everything is our fault.
All of this causes guilt, frustration and anger – anger toward ourselves, our parents, but mostly to the people trying to save our lives. This can also cause uncertainty. We doubt and question the love that anyone has for us. We feel unneeded and unwanted.
Now that you're feeling what we feel, picture this: You don't know what's going to happen to you. You're unsure of what your future may hold. You already feel like no one really wants you, like no one really loves you. And then you are faced with heartbreaking news that there isn't a home for you to stay in. You have to spend the night in a building that's foreign to everything you've ever known.
Silently, your earlier thoughts are confirmed. If no one is even willing to take you into their home, what would lead you to believe anyone has a desire to have you in their family.
Every child deserves to know the love of a forever family. Unfortunate events have led us to places we didn't get to choose, and despite what we believe, is not at all our fault. When was the last time you've been through something so tragic? All of these children are under the age of 17. Seventeen is way too young to experience this type of loss and abandonment.
We need help. We need YOUR help. So next time you look at a child and think, "Wow, no one should have to live like that, especially not an innocent child," think about what you're doing. Think about what you are NOT doing. The shortage of good foster homes is heartbreaking, and we desperately need good families to step up and take some initiative in saving these kids lives.
Foster parents have a major impact on children's lives. You could be the difference a child needs to find peace and happiness. As a kid who spent seven years of her life in foster care, this is a cry for help. Please help these kids. They need you more than you know. Everyone is born with the chance to change someone's life. Don't waste yours.
Caylin Palmer is a high school student in East Diana, Texas, and was adopted by Michael and Candy Palmer through Buckner in 2011.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Texas foster care system has been in headlines all over the state. There has been a shortage of foster families and an increase in the number of children removed, which means children are having to spend the night in CPS offices on makeshift beds while they wait for a safe place to go. Buckner is a leading foster care and adoption agency in Texas and as Christians, we feel compelled to respond by bringing awareness to the issues, dispelling stigmas and giving tangible ways for you to help a hurting child who needs a warm bed and loving family. See full coverage of the crisis here.