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Between 20 million and 40 million people world wide are victims of human trafficking a modern form of slavery that involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain labor or sex.

As Covid continues to grip the nation, and world, human trafficking and child predators are changing their methods in order to lure more victims. The Coronavirus, or Covid 19, is not only resulting in an increase in child abuse and neglect, there are also fears that the pandemic will also result in a future increase in child pornography and child sex trafficking.

“We are seeing a big uptick in the amount of predators online, you know, talking to children,” according to the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Ariana, Fajardo-Orshan. “Parents are preoccupied, getting their work done, and kids are being left off to kind of fend for themselves and this is a predator’s dream to have these kids home on the computer all day.” …


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“As Covid continues to place challenge upon challenge to the foster care system, the system needs to be improved”

The Coronavirus continues to upend foster care and child welfare, leaving foster care agencies and foster parents across the nation trying to find not only answers, but resources and support.

Agencies recognize the difficulties that foster families are facing, and are working hard in finding solutions to help both the foster families and the children placed in the homes. Yet, the challenges persist. Indeed, many foster parents remain concerned, and confused, looking for answers and receiving little guidance. As Covid continues to place challenge upon challenge to the foster care system, the system needs to be improved, for all involved; the children and youth placed in the system, foster parents caring for the children, agencies and case workers, and the biological parents of the children, as well. …


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My favorite time of the year is upon us. Christmas, and the holiday season. Our family just put up our Christmas tree; our biggest yet. A 13 foot tree, filled with lights and home made ornaments. Like every year, the children in our home put up most of the ornaments and lights, while my wife and I helped the little ones. It was a magical day to start off a joyous time of year. There was much laughter, music, and excitement. Yet, for two little girls in our home, it was a time of confusion, and even some anxiety. …


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“My home is one that has been filled with more love than I could ever have imagined.”

​It seems that as I grow older, I become more and more appreciative and more grateful for all the blessings in my life. I imagine that is simply a progression of age, and simply shows that I am getting older.

Indeed, as I do grow older, I have begun to appreciate my fifteen years plus of being a parent to children from so many different backgrounds; children in foster care. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you why I am grateful, in no particular order mind you, for being a foster parent.

1) I am thankful for the love in my home. When a child is placed into my home, they become family the very first day. To be sure, each placement is different, and there are those placements that are more difficult than others. Yet, my home is one that has been filled with more love than I could ever have imagined. And now, I have a “grandchild”originating from foster care, as I am now a grandfather to a child who used to live with us. How blessed am I! …


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“Foster children who age out of the system face an array of problems and challenges.”

Being placed in a foster home is bad enough for a child in foster care. Sadly, for far too many children in foster care, leaving the foster care system is even more traumatic. As a youth in care reaches the age of 18, in most states, the child “ages out” of the foster system, and begins the transition into “the real world.” Each year, between 20,000 to 25,000 foster children age out of the system and attempt to begin life on their own. …


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Each child is unique, each child is special, and each child is deserving of such love. My love for them is equally the same, and equally as strong.

My family has grown by three children, bringing our total to six children, both biological and adoptive. All three of the youngest came to us through adoption from foster care. One of the joys I have found is that with all six of my children, I see no difference in skin color and no difference between biological and adoptive. My love for them is equally the same, and equally as strong.

I certainly did not set out and plan on adopting these three children from foster care. Indeed, over the 15 years I have been a foster parent, I have had over four dozen children come through my home, and only three were adopted. In truth, my wife and I tried to adopt four other children from foster care, but sadly, it did not come to pass, leaving all grief stricken and upset. …


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The act of adopting a child allows us to be God’s hands and feet for those children who have no family to call their own.

I did not wish to adopt my three children, my three daughters from foster

care.

Does that sound harsh?

You see, my first child died at birth from a disease called Anencephaly. Years later, my wife and I were blessed with three healthy children. I felt that if I adopted these three children, I would be taking them from others who biologically could not have children. So, adoption was not part of my plan.

Yet, it was part of God’s plan for me, for these children, and for my family.

And for that, I am very blessed, very rich indeed.

When we adopt a child, we are modeling God’s example, as He has adopted us into His family, so should we do the same with others. The act of adopting a child allows us to be God’s hands and feet for those children who have no family to call their own. We also allow God to work through us to use our story of adoption to affect and touch the lives of others. After all, when we adopt a child from foster care, our friends, our family members, our church, and others are watching what we do. This act of changing our family for ever may inspire others to do the same. Indeed, I pray that my own children, both biological and adopted, both inspired and called to help others in need when they grow older. Surely, God sheds a tear every time a child is harmed, every time a child is abandoned, and every time a child is orphaned. When we adopt a child that has been abused, that has been abandoned, and that needs a family, we are adopting not only for ourselves and for the child, but we are also adopting for Him. …


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Though many in society may not recognize it, adoption is all around us, and is a normal part of how thousands of families come together. Indeed, six out of every ten Americans are touched by adoption in some fashion. Along with this, roughly 7 million Americans have been adopted. Each year, roughly 135,000 children are adopted in the United States. Yet, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding adoption. Here are ten truths about adoption.

  1. Adoption is Also a Loss For a Child.

The adoption of a child is indeed a joyous and happy one. Yet, the internal process for all involved can be a challenging one, especially for the child. He may have a difficult time accepting the fact that he will never return to live with his biological parents or birth family members again. It is necessary for adoptive parents to allow the child time to grieve the loss of connection with his birth family. He may very well need time to experience the stages of grief before he fully transfers attachment from his birth family to his new family. …


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The message of love and forgiveness for children in foster care is also being practiced by people of faith.

The shortage of foster homes across the nation can in part be attributed to the increase of children being placed into care. On any given day in America, there are roughly 450,00 children in the nation’s foster care system. In some parts of the nation, there has been a sudden and large increase of children placed into care due much in part of an increase in parental drug usage and substance abuse, with Heroin use being the chief drug increasing among parents. Other substance abuse among parents include meth, cocaine and prescription medication abuse.

To be sure, this is America’s next great mission field. Perhaps there is a church or faith-based organization in your area that is looking for a way to minister to others. Maybe your own church or faith-based group is seeking ways to reach out to those in need. This mission field is in our nation, in our states, in our cities, and in our own neighborhoods. There are a number of ways churches and faith-based organizations can help both children in foster care, as well as those foster parents who care for them. …


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“What if so many in society are wrong about foster parents?”

The news isn’t always good about foster parents.

Perhaps you read in the news about the foster parent who abused their foster child. You might have even read in the news about the infant who died in foster care.

Let’s be honest. There is a bad apple in every barrel in life. Those bad apples are found all over, and in every corner of society. We both know that those bad apples spoil an entire barrel.

That applies to some foster parents.

As a foster parent, this type of news breaks my heart, in so many ways. As a foster parent of over 60 children, this type of news brings tears to my eyes, and heartache to my soul. …

About

Dr. John DeGarmo

Leading foster care expert and international empowerment speaker

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