back yard

My heart is heavy today.. and has been since I asked for the numbers for Tennessee a few weeks ago...

Shelby- 1185
Smoky Mountain-987
Mid-Cumberland- 910
Northeast- 748
Upper Cumberland- 720
South Central- 552
Southwest- 355
Northwest- 271
TOTAL: 8302

You see behind these numbers are names, faces, children who are currently in Tennessee state custody as of 3/9/12.  These children are the ones are Father talks about in Isaiah 1:17-

"Learn to do right; seek justice.
   Defend the oppressed.

Take up the cause of the fatherless;
   plead the case of the widow"

 We MUST take up their cause. We must stand in the gap on their behalf. Many have  preconceived notions of the U.S. foster care system. I am just beginning to learn about it but here are some truths I learned in the Parents As Tender Healers (PATH) class..
  •  90+% of children are in custody due to abuse or neglect secondary to alcohol and drug abuse, NOT because they have gotten in trouble.
  • Every time a child changes homes, they lose an average of 6 months developmentally
  • The number one goal of the state is reunification with the birth family (this was hard for me at first and the reason I said "I could never foster". Just for clarification for our families if they read this... We are not fostering at this time :). The Lord has been specific in getting our girls home from Ghana and pouring into them but he has called me to be a VOICE for these voiceless children and advocate for them. The Lord gently told me one day... "Kristin, my faithful servants in Ghana are fostering and standing in the gap for your children until they come home. You may be called to do this for someone else, no matter the cost to you.".... ok... Jesus... ok :) 
  • If a child does become adoptable, the adoption is free through the state.                                                                                                                                                                                                        So... please PRAY and be sensitive to the yielding of the Lord in this area of your life. Defending the fatherless is going to look SO different for all of us. If you are in another state, I encourage you to google the "Department of Children Services" in your area and see where your gifts may be used. You may click the links below to learn more about specific needs:
NORTHEAST::  Carter; Greene; Hancock; Hawkins; Johnson; Sullivan; Unicoi; and Washington County
SMOKY MOUNTAIN:  Blount; Claiborne; Cocke; Grainger; Hamblen; Jefferson; and Sevier County
EAST:  Anderson; Campbell; Loudon; Monroe; Morgan; Roane; Scott; and Union County
TN Valley:  Bledsoe; Bradley; Franklin; Grundy; Hamilton; McMinn; Marion; Meigs; Polk; Rhea; and Sequatchie County
 SOUTH CENTRAL:  Bedford; Coffee; Giles; Hickman; Lawrence; Lewis; Lincoln; Marshall; Maury; Moore; Perry; and Wayne County
MID-CUMBERLAND:  Cheatham; Dickson; Houston; Humphreys; Montgomery; Robertson; Rutherford; Stewart; Sumner; Trousdale; Williamson; and Wilson County
UPPER CUMBERLAND:  Cannon; Clay; Cumberland; DeKalb; Fentress; Jackson; Macon; Overton; Pickett; Putnam; Smith; Van Buren; Warren; and White County
SOUTHWEST:  Chester; Decatur; Fayette; Hardeman; Hardin; Haywood; Henderson; Lauderdale; McNairy; Madison; and Tipton County
NORTHWEST:  Benton; Carroll; Crockett; Dyer; Gibson; Henry; Lake; Obion; and Weakley County


Popular Posts