Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mutual Care

Over the last 8 years or so I have developed opinions. Opinions about adoption. About girls, young girls, who have babies at a very young age. I have swung from one side of the pendulum to the other and am currently in the middle. I do not believe that all teen girls under the age of 18 should give their children up for adoption. Don't get me wrong, when that does happen, miracles are in the making. I also do not believe that every girl under the age of 18 should be given every opportunity possible to keep her child especially when she doesn't have any interest, desire, or drive to do so!
I have a heart for kids that need loving, permanant families. That fact has shown up in numerous ways in my life in the last 9 years. I've adopted one. I've fostered 25. I've been the babysitter for children of some of the 25. I've opened my home to some of the 25 seven years later. But I do not have it all figured out. My heart wants to adopt them all. Them and their kid and their next kid and their next. I also want them to grow up and figure it out and be able to keep that kid. I don't want to take kids away from people who want desperately to keep them.

However, I have been pondering adoption. I want to adopt a baby girl. From the system. Josh doesn't. He loves having foster kids and helping them in such an amazing tangible way but in no way does he want to have a baby at this point in our life that is his (and my) responsibility. So I have been mourning the idea of a baby girl. Maybe it goes back to almost 5 years ago when I mourned the loss of baby Sophie for many months. (We'll save that for another post!)

It's 11:30 one night and God throws this idea my way. It's called Mutual Care. We've done it before. Not terribly successfully mind you. It is hard and it is a big commitment and there are a lot of factors that make it that way. But I see it now. It's the answer I have been searching for. To help mother's keep their babies is such a huge gift. An amazing, hard, practical gift. The easier answer might be to adopt them. The harder answer is to help their mamas keep them. Please know that I am not inferring in any way that adoption is easy, ever. If you feel called to adopt by all means help the 150 millon children already orphaned have a loving family. But here is another piece to the orphan crisis. There are many.

Mutual Care is when a teen girl who is pregnant or has a new baby is placed with you so that you can help her in every way - to keep her child. She is at risk for neglecting, abusing and losing her child. It involves caring for a vulnerable young girl and caring for a tiny vulnerable baby. But most of all it involves teaching which involves compassion and caring and structure and a lot of prayer. Teaching a young immature, vulnerable, scared girl to bond, attach, schedule, diaper, and care for her helpless precious flesh and blood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Part of the challenge is doing what is right by the mama and the baby and it doesn't always turn out how you or I think it should. That is what is so hard about doing foster care I think.

It's hard. And it's rewarding. I think it's what God might have in store for us instead of adoption. It's good. There is such a need. My answer to adoption? ~ Mutual Care

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Questions about adoption? Fostercare? Mutual care? Leave a comment!


  1. Oh Anne-Marie you are such an amazing person. I just love what you've done with your life. You are truly a blessing for God and all those wonderful children that come to know you in the most unfortunate of times in their lives. I'm so glad to say I know you. God bless you and your family. Also, how do I get to read this blog of yours whenever you post something new? I love this sort of stuff.

  2. Thanks Debbie. Every time I post something it shows up on Facebook now. So you'll always know when there is something new. It's usually 2-3 times a week. I'm just figuring out this blogging thing. I enjoy it. I love my life. I love that I get to stay in touch with what you are doing also. I think God has a lot in store for you too..

  3. Anne-Marie, God has given you such a tender, sensitive spirit! Your willingness to go this hard, rough road with young girls is truly God's gift to them and their children. Even the idea is God-inspired! What a tribute you are to His lovingkindness!

  4. Thank you Diana. It might not happen till later in the summer but it's the road we think we'll take. God has been pretty clear to us in all these years of foster parenting. Thanks for your encouragement and friendship.

  5. I think God has led you to the place you need to be. What a wonderful gift for all of you...a new sister and baby to love all the time. And, for me personally, (selfishly??), a new grand and great all the time! We love what you do...Mom