Kathy Harrison is the mother of six children. Three of those six children were adopted through her state's foster care system. Harrison has fostered nearly one hundred children over the past several years. This is a gripping book, told with such honesty and heart. Although my heart aches to read it, I recommend it, and find myself pondering excerpts such as the ones I'll share with you here.

Dan was a deeply troubled seven-year old boy who had been in their home for two years. When it came time to move him from their home into another foster home, Harrison writes,

I told Dan on a Friday. I didn't ask if he wanted to go; there was no point. The choice was not his to make. Dan, being Dan, did not argue or question. It is the nature of foster care that one is moved, like an old sofa with a difficult-to-match pattern, from place to place, hoping that in another corner you won't look quite so shabby, quite so out of place.

Another time. It is midnight, and Harrison waits for a caseworker to bring a ten-month-old baby boy to her home. She writes,

What can I say about waiting for a baby? It is a bit like being in labor. Excitement laced with worry, that sense of not being prepared. The questions are one part of fostering that has never changed for me. What in heaven's name have I gotten myself into? What if I can't do it? Suppose the baby screams all night or gets sick? Suppose I do the wrong thing and make things worse? What if I love him and lose him or, worse, what if I don't? [Italics mine]

And later, as she pulled the blanket away from this baby's face, she recollects, "David's face was discolored from his upper lip to the side of his button nose. Several small, unusual bruises dotted one side of his neck. His left eye was swollen nearly shut. I could picture what happened. Someone held David on the back of his neck and slapped him hard across his tiny face." And the results of his X rays the following day? Five broken ribs, and his arm had healed fractures. Ten months old, this precious baby boy.

One of the facets of our training in March was to visit an interim care center for babies who were drug-affected. If a baby is delivered at a hospital and tests positive for drugs, CPS is called and the baby is taken from the mother and can be brought to a center like the one we visited. We sat in a room with a dozen other prospective adoptive couples and heard stories and facts that would shake even the most stoic. The soft-spoken, pregnant woman speaking to us was one of the facilitators of the center. She told us that when she'd begun working there, ten years before, the babies coming in were primarily withdrawing from one of two possible drugs. Now, though? It is not uncommon to have a newborn baby come in who has the effects of nine different drugs in his/her system. Can you imagine? We watched a video of the babies from the center. I will never forget; the images I saw in that short video have lingered in my mind ever since. Tiny, helpless, distressed babies; their bodies seizing and contorting as they responded to the various drugs in their system. Deafening cries; cries like I have never heard from a baby before. Just as disturbing, there were babies who had no muscle tone, who laid quietly and unresponsive to any contact. Babies who simply would not eat.

These are things I would almost rather not think about. This isn't a comfortable topic, and these are not pretty stories. But they are happening in our nation. Can you imagine how much God's heart aches at what He witnesses in the lives of these children? He is clear on the matter. We don't have to look far to find out what He thinks.

My intent tonight was just to share some excerpts from the book I was reading. And yet as I sit here with the cursor blinking at the end of this post I wonder how I am going to wrap this up. There is no neat wrap-up for such a topic.

I read the other day that of the one-third of Americans who consider adopting, only 2 percent of them actually adopt. That statistic surprised me. Only 2 percent? How is that so?

Honestly, I wish I could convince every couple who loves Jesus to adopt. Might He be calling you? Or maybe you know of a couple in your church who is adopting and you could come alongside them with encouragement and support. Maybe your family could have a garage sale and raise money to go towards their adoption?

It is my humble prayer that God would raise up more families who would take in the orphans. There are so many.


  1. Oh, Stacy! I'm crying as I read your post. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for opening our eyes to the situation. Just thinking about these hurting little babies breaks my heart. On the other end of the spectrum, I'm watching one of my best friends right now go through such heartache over 2 of her little ones, who are so damaged by all that their birth mother did to them. Hard, hard stuff. What a comfort to know that He is so compassionate toward orphans.

  2. This sounds like a book I would like to read. We are considering being foster parents and/or adopting someday too. I think one of the reasons many people don't adopt is the cost is so high?!

    Reading this post reminded me of the books by Dave Pelzer, the first one is called "The Lost Boy." Have you read those? They were hard to read too.

  3. I agree with Joni that many people are put off from pursuing adoption by the costs. Thanks for sharing about this book. I'm going to direct my sister to this post as well.
    Bless you!

  4. It's true that it is easier to avoid pain in others lives. But it is also sin to do this (sin is always easier!). Like the good samaritan, we need to look over, cross the street, bend down and get our hands/lives dirty and help.
    Thankyou for sharing your heart and passion here. I am praying for you --for God to lead and equip you in your mission. And I am praying for me, that he would show me what work He has for me.
    Love you friend,

  5. From an adoptee ... a huge hug to you for this post. This really touched my heart. Thank you for introducing us to that book as well.


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