Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Open Your Family

Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us. James 1:27 (NLT)

Our children deserve the best. Unfortunately, too often we associate the best with material accumulations rather than with the opportunity to mature in safe, loving, violence and substance free two parent home. Statistically, African American children are less likely than Asians, Hispanics, and Whites to grow up in the home of their biological parents.

Reality in today’s society is that our families are fragmented by myriad socioeconomic challenges arising from systemic racism. Additionally, there are crisis and dilemmas created by the irresponsibility of individuals. Both of these scenarios affect the children presently and in time to come.

The result of broken families is our communities destabilize and erode further with each generation. The community base is the family and when that base crumbles, the complex concerns reach into each segment of the community. Children without a two-parent family home are served best in a stable and loving environment where they can develop the confidence needed to gain social and academic competence.

Historically, African Americans have embraced and nurtured those in need of family support, especially children. Family was not always defined by bloodlines. Children were admonished, encouraged, hugged, and supported by block parents, church parents, neighborhood aunties, barbershop pops, et al. Today we seem to have decreased in our extended kinship care.
Today, our children languish in foster care at disproportionate rates. We do not adopt at the same rate as Asians, Hispanics, and Whites and our children are hard to place because they are not the most sought after children. When other races do adopt our children, there is a concern that the children will lose a connection with African American culture, history, and the community.

As an adoptive parent and a former foster parent, I can definitively state that there is not a need for one to be wealthy to adopt. In addition to adopting, my husband and I have biological children and opened our hearts and home to various family members over the past twenty-five years. The outcome has been beautiful memories, great experiences, and children who are now compassionate adults.

I highly recommend extending yourself and family to save our community. You may not be able to save the world…start with a child.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great excerpt!!! First Free Will Member coming up.