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Iowa – A Hope & A Future
By on April 17th, 2011

OJC staff are each given an assignment to research and present on foster care in their hometown. Bethany Hackmann is from Iowa and this is from her presentation….

These are some of the beautiful faces of kids in Iowa.  When I read their stories, I cry.  I cry because they have had such a difficult childhood.  But, I believe they can have bright futures.  They can have love, affection, health, and Jesus in their lives. They can have parents too if the church will respond with a “yes” in our hearts.

Iowa has over 11, 300 children who live in the foster care system. These children are considered wards of the state.  Over 1,400 children are ready to be adopted right now.

If just 1 family out of 4 churches in Iowa would say yes to adoption all of the adoptable children would have a forever home.

Psalm 68.5-6… reassures us that The Father sees the need. He sees the loneliness of each child and the heartache.

“A father to the fatherless

is God in his holy dwelling

God sets the lonely in families.”

As soon as a child is orphaned or removed from the home due to neglect and/or abuse, they are put into the foster care system. Some are placed in children’s homes that once belonged to the church, but are now run by the state. Some get bounced from home to home until they are adopted or returned back to the biological parent(s).

Of the 1,432 children waiting for adoption in Iowa, many will never get adopted. Those who don’t get adopted, will “Age Out” of the system, facing life on their own.

Studies show that children who age out often continue a cycle that was started by their parents. By age 24…
only 6% will have a 2 or 4 yr degree, 
25% will end up homeless
75% pregnant and unmarried
60% will be convicted of a crime.

Here are some of the ones waiting on http://www.iakids.org/.

There is a lot of ways you can help… assist a family, donate to OJC, do respite care, or be a big sister/brother.   Focus on the Family has great resources.

Fostering or adopting may seem a bit overwhelming, but I challenge you to pray and listen for the Lord’s guidance. He has such a specific plan for you, just as He has one for each of these kids.

Post by Bethany Hackmann

OJC Restore Staff

 

 

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April 17th, 2011
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