Caregivers’ work deserves gratitude

Published 7:21 pm Friday, June 27, 2014

We need more people like Selma resident Doris Jackson in this world.

After interviewing Jackson about the 14 years she served as a foster mother at the Alabama Department of Human Resources in Dallas County, I have grown more appreciate of those who commit to parenting foster children.

On any given day, approximately 397, 000 children nationwide are in out-of home care, according to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System.

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If it were not for the foster care system, those same children would be without life’s essentials.

While I appreciate those systems providing food, shelter and clothing, I admire the emotional support and life lessons foster parents share with the young people the most. We all deserve to have someone guide us through life and comfort us when life gets tough.

Without hesitation, Jackson made the decision to be that someone to countless people when she already had the responsibility of being that someone to her five birth children.

It warmed by heart to watch her foster children Ty’ Sherra Curtis, 9, and Jeremiah Lake, 1, frolic in her yard Wednesday without a care in the world. Because I knew that without people like Jackson, they could easily be facing much more stressful circumstances.

It is easy to forget how important a parent’s role in a child life can be when you’re so familiar with their presence, but we must realize just how much of an impact they make. Only then, can we began to appreciate foster parents more for the sacrifices they have made when the simply did not have to do so.

Foster parents have helped their fellow man in more ways than one.

They are raising people who can grow to contribute great things to this world. Foster parents’ love and care has helped to mend several wounded hearts that could lead countless people to turn to a life of crime.

Although it is not always the case, I commend those willing to take provide for children’s for parents who were not willing to do so. They are great to take on the responsibility when others would not.

And not only do these people work hard to give to these children, but they often also do so as if they birthed the children themselves.

Several foster parents I have interviewed, including Jackson, mentioned how hard it is to let those they foster go when they are released from the system.

Jackson said she even had to even pray to learn how to love them, provide and let them go, which shows just how strong of a bond foster parents can develop with the youth in the system.

I think we as a nation should work harder to show those in the foster care system just how much we appreciate all they do to improve people’s lives.