The idea of Joy Meadows didn't come about because we need one more good cause we can all get behind. It didn't come about because it would be a fun adventure. It didn't come about because we have extra time or resources. It came about because there is a world that most of us don't experience on a day to day basis and if we don't give it light, this world of foster care and these sweet children who are in it will never be given the value and support they deserve and need. There are over 7,000 children in foster care in the State of Kansas. While the number of children coming into state custody is increasing, the number of foster homes closing due to burnout is also increasing. The "system" cannot solve this problem on its own. It takes all of us to come along side these children, foster families, case workers, therapists, foster agencies, and state offices to demonstrate to these children that they have value and we stand with them. We must do better. There is a better way. However, it requires all of us to open our eyes and see the reality of this foster care world and realize that every single person can play some part in the solution! We cannot avert our eyes any longer because it is too hard emotionally to enter this world voluntarily and see the pain and trauma that these children have to endure involuntarily. We are all part of giving healing and joy to these children. What will you do? Will you donate? Will you volunteer? Will you pray? Will you become a foster parent? Will you support a foster family?
Here is a Facebook post from this summer that outlines the experience of a foster parent and the frustration of not having enough beds to offer children, or resources, or time. It's a glimpse into the reality about foster care in Kansas.