I’ve written about heroes before. They are among us. Often in disguise. They could live right down your street, and you may never know it. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s no age-limit.
So how would you know if you’ve ever met one? Well, if you’ve ever shaken the hand of a foster or adoptive parent, you’ve met a hero. And don’t get me wrong – all heroes have kryptonite of some kind, none of them are perfect. And no one should go into foster or adoptive care with hero-aspirations.
But the thing about heroes is this: most of the time the hero doesn’t even realize they are one until they’re needed most.
Heroes are most needed when the going gets tough, and there’s a hero in all of us, whether we know it or not. And the thing with adoptive and foster care parents is just this: they go into it knowing that the going will get tough – it’s an inevitable part of redemption – but what they may not know is what kind of hero they will find inside.
One of my best friends is this kind of hero. She brought her baby boy home from Africa a few years ago. He is beautiful and lovely. He is vibrant and curious and full of life. He is also wounded. He carries some emotional scars from his first year of life that is not uncommon within the world of an adoptee. Most of his first year of life is in shadow – they know pieces, but they may never know the full story, except that he was in need of a mom and a dad. And my friends stood up and volunteered for the job. But that isn’t what made them heroes.
What makes my friend a hero is the days and hours and minutes that she holds her son’s hand when he screams in terror at some unknown enemy in his young memory. What makes my friend a hero is when she knows she’s not enough, and prays to the One who is. What makes my friend a hero is when she wants to run away, but she stays. What makes my friend a hero is when she is brave enough to say “I need help.”
So when a hero like that calls, it’s amazing to be able to say “Help exists – let’s rally. Together.”
I got to tell her about Finally Home Foundation, an organization that exists to “equip communities to rally around the heroes who are foster and adoptive families.” Starting next month, I’ll be serving as the Southern California Regional Director for this great organization.
Equipping. Rallying. In community.
I mean, seriously, could there be a better job description?
To learn more or get involved, please visit www.finallyhomefoundation.net or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org