When I think of family, I think of my childhood and what it looked like. I personally spent many afternoons coming home from school and playing with the neighborhood kids. I also remember waiting with excitement to tell my parents how my day went.
This past week at Kingdom Families we had a meeting at a center for street children and we also had the privilege of meeting a foster family. In comparison there were many differences.
At the center we learned about their facility and how their main goal is to reunify street children with their families. It was great to see a center believe that the best environment for a child is family. The meeting consisted of many social workers and the social coordinator. The center for street children has street workers that help children off the streets, and the child has to agree to come to the center. So it is the child’s choice. Once they are at the center social workers work with the child to be reunified with their family. Each case is different, because each family situation is different. Some are more difficult than others. With easier cases the social worker has time to connect with the family’s neighbors/community in order to communicate about the situation. In doing that, it allows for greater perspective on why the child left in the first place, and encourages the local community to support the family. It was encouraging to see a center want the best for children by reunifying them into families. After the meeting we had a tour of the center. As I walked through the halls and the dormitories, I couldn’t help but realize the place was in fact an institution. Frankly, it isn’t a place for a child to grow up.
This past week we also had the privilege of meeting a family who fostered children. We got to sit down and hear their story, and what it has been like. What I saw was community. I saw children from across the street come over and play. I heard laughter and saw so many smiles within community. It was something that I didn’t see at the center. As I continued to listen carefully to what the father had to say about his family, as it was translated into English, truth be told whether we had a translator or not I don’t think it would have mattered. Foster care and adoption, no matter where you are in the world, or what language you speak it’s the kind of love that needs no translation.
Every child deserves to wait with excitement to tell their parents how their day went because home isn’t just a place it is in fact family, and every child has a right to a family.