America Keeps Families Together

It’s impossible to ignore the sad reality.  When adults are accused of illegal behavior,  the government policy is to separate children from their family until the situation is resolved.  This heartbreaking practice is happening in our country right now.

But it’s not just happening by the border.  It’s not just happening to immigrants.  This happening right now in YOUR community. Confused?

Children are torn from their family and placed with strangers or in group homes all over our nation..  They need people who believe kids should be with their family.  They need a nurturing, caring home while they wait.  They need adults who recognize the emotional distress they are experiencing.  These are kids in foster care who desperately need a safe place to land during the one of the hardest times of their life.

Don’t get me wrong.  We should be outraged by what’s happening in the south.  As I think about what’s happening and try to separate fact from fiction, it makes me sick to my stomach.  It’s wrong on so many levels.  We should speak out when children are mistreated.  We shouldn’t forget to treat one another with dignity and respect.  We should collaborate with a government that struggles so desperately to provide basic needs and safety.

But it’s important to remember that OUR government can only operate if citizens participate.  Participation requires more than a post on social media.  Without citizen participation, there is no moral compass.

It’s misguided to assume complaining about the problem creates solutions.  It may feel good to get something off your chest, but it does nothing to solve the crisis.

Thoughtful action solves problems.  Love, much like faith, requires action.  Write letters.  Raise funds. Seek solutions to systemic problems.   You may not be able to help the refugee children.  But you can do something.

If it breaks your heart to see the government  rip families apart,  I dare you to be a foster parent.

As television and internet rage about pain and suffering  along the border,  be one of those who are quietly caring for heartbroken children who are suffering.   You have the power to help reunify families.  Get involved in foster care.

“Foster care is the planned, time-limited placement of a minor with a licensed foster family, when the needed care cannot be provided in the child’s own family or by appropriate relatives.”

Foster parents do the hard work of caring for kids in crisis. Their experience is not all that different than what we see happening with immigrant kids on the border.  It’s not for everyone, but it might be right for you.

Why make the sacrifice?  Why go through all the red tape and heartbreak?  Because this is who we are as a nation.   America keeps families together!  By the border and in our backyard.  Click here to take action.

sun over the cyclone fence
Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

 

 

 

play makers

“I’m a play  maker,” he replied with a grin when I asked him what position he played. Around his neck was a medal. He showed it off to anyone who would listen. His enthusiasm was contagious. I couldn’t tell if it was the sport or the excitement of winning, but there was passion in his eyes as he talked about the other teams.

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Sure, he was a play maker. His football team had won their last game and he had the joy of playing multiple positions. But the foster dad and mom who took the time to sign him up, buy the equipment and deal with post-practice stench, they were play makers too.

Giving kids in crisis something positive to look forward to and a sense of belonging, now that’s a game changer.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take any athletic prowess to be this kind of play maker. No pads, mouth guards or cleats necessary. No speed drills or weight lifting.

A foster parent is a teacher, mentor, parent and advocate. They are game changers and play makers. Why not become a play maker today? No wind sprints, I promise.

Unless, you’re Tony Dungy. Then you do both.

Nurture the Garden

It wasn’t a planned trip. But as we left Lizardman Fest, I saw a sign for Pearl Fryar Topiary Gardens and couldn’t resist driving down the lane and exploring.

The ornamental bushes and trees greeted us on our left. A kind gentleman noticed the quizzical expression on my face. He gently directed me. He pointed out where to park and encouraged me to walk around and enjoy. I found a spot and meandered through the carefully tended bushes and trees. It was mesmerizing. Was I daydreaming or dream walking? It was hard to say.

“I wasn’t important for me to create a garden. I wanted to create a feeling. That when you walked through, you felt differently than you did when you started, ” Pearl Fryar said.

Needless to say the artist achieved his objective. I felt happy, peaceful and delighted. We snapped pictures, stretched our legs and piled in the van for the drive home.

Back at the house I did and little research and fell in love with Pearl Fryar. That nice man who helped me? It was Mr. Fryar! He wasn’t a master gardener or a professional horticulturist. He was an engineer and a self-taught topiary artist. He transformed his yard into a declaration of peace, love and goodwill. He was faced with discrimination in his community. His response? Create something of beauty and joy. To top it off, many of the stunning plants on display were rescued from compost piles.

Mr. Fryar had the ability to look at plants others had given up on and see potential. He knew with time and care they too could flourish. He rescued the plants and gave them a future through consistent care day after day, season after season, year after year. There had to have been days when he wondered if all his hard work would pay off. He had no guarantee the effort would give him the desired outcome. But Pearl Fryar dared to dream big dreams.

Thank you, Pearl. You remind me to tend dreams and nurture the garden of the soul. You’re growing more than plants. And I’ve added watching the documentary A Man Named Pearl to my summer bucket list.20180609_123333