A prayer for my children

Less that half of former foster youth are employed at 23, and only 3 percent have finished college (compared to 28% of the general population with a BA or higher).

The teen birth rate for girls who’ve been in foster care is more than double the rate of their peers outside the foster care system.

Foster care alumni are 7x more likely to become drug addicted and twice as likely to experience alcoholism. 

The rate of bulimia is seven times higher.

The rate of PTSD among former foster youth is five times that of the general population and, at 21.5%, exceeds the rates for American war veterans.

[stats taken from the Casey National Alumni Survey]

* * *

There is one simple prayer I pray every night, every time I kiss their heads, and on every drive to work.

Please, oh please, let them be 3 less.

Let them pour themselves into their education and be passionate about success.

Let them always feel whole despite their losses.

I pray that they allow themselves to dream never-ending dreams.  Dreams big enough to make up for their peers, brothers and sisters, who are unable to do the same.

Let them know hope and inspiration and determination to their very core.

Let them be strong but may there always be a softness in their strength. 

I pray that I can keep up.  That I am always striving along with them.  That I am deserving and have the skills to support their immense potential. 

Let them know that they deserved to be cherished.  By every teenage fling, employer, friend, and spouse. 

Let them never settle for anything less.

I pray that they may one day have children, but only if it’s their choice to do so. And if it is their choice, I pray that they have children who bring them as much joy as mine do me.

But most of all, I pray with all my heart and with many tears that they may be 3 less.

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9 Responses to “A prayer for my children”

  1. Joining you in that beautiful prayer. As a foster mom to several young adults who have aged out of the sysytem, I can sadly verify those statistics.

  2. Brought a tear to my eye. I pray you will inspire more people to do what you are doing.

  3. The effort you put into raising them every single day is what gives them a shot at beating those stark statistics.

    I’ve worked with a lot of parents who experienced foster care as children, and witnessed both the scars and the resilience. Having loving supportive adults in their lives, regardless of the struggles of their biological parents, makes an enormous difference.

    You and your little ones deserve for you to have all your prayers answered.

  4. Those stats scare me daily. I join you in your prayer and hope all of our children overcome the first, rough years of their lives.

  5. Amen. Beautiful. I’m so stealing this. Love.

  6. What sad statistics and what a lovely prayer!

  7. Know that as a former foster kid with a great job and a college education- it can be done. It will be done if you continue to love and guide them the way you are. When I asked my social worker about college – scholarships and such he had no idea how to help me. He had NEVER sent any of his foster kids to college. Considering he was an older man with 25 years under his belt I was saddened. My parents never made me to fell like I couldn’t do it. Your kiddos will know the value of success and education from your example and love. Beautiful prayer!

  8. This is a really special post. Your conscientious awareness of these statistics will provide your children a layer of insulation against them, and the fact that you pair that insight with the gentle, nurturing of whispering it over their sleeping heads each night will only protect them further. Thanks for sharing this.

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