COLORADO SPRINGS – Right now, there are more than 6,700 children in foster care in Colorado. About 290 children and teens in the state are still waiting for a family.
But the “Wait No More” event at New Life Church in Colorado Springs encouraged families to wait no more when it comes to opening their home to a child who doesn’t have one.
“That feeling of aloneness and you know, just ‘does anybody care for me?’ is what beats in their heart every day. and for a famliy to come along and say ‘we love you and you are part of our family now,” said Jim Daly, the CEO and President of the organization Focus on the Family, who put the event together.
Whether families opt for foster care, adoption, or simply assisting families who are involved in either, the event matches them up with an organization to get the process started.
Mike and Leessa Worley first attended the event 10 years ago.
They started out as foster parents. They already had five children of their own and figured at their age, that’s as far as they could go.
But after fostering three children: Angel, Kendall and most recently, Caleb, now six-years-old, they knew they were meant to be a family forever.
“We fell in love,” said Mike.
Despite experiencing a tumultuous childhood, these children now have the support system they need to succeed.
“We wanted to bring them into a healthy home and just love them, care for them, give them lots of fun memories,” added Leesa.
But of course, adoption doesn’t come without its challenges.
Daly points out abuse can sometimes have long-lasting effects and families have to be prepared to work through it.
“It’s not easy, these kids come with some emotional stuff and you need to really love them and they’ll test that love in so many ways,” he explained.
“But in the end, what I’ve heard most of the time is the great reward of doing foster adoption.”
The great reward for the Worley’s is being able to call these children their own – and knowing they’ll get through anything as long as they stick together.
“It’s hard, it’s challenging every day,” Mike said.
“But we believe love conquers all and a commitment that good or bad or ugly, whatever, we’re going to walk with them in the midst of life.”
Daly says about 35 to 45 percent of attendees end up showing interest in becoming a foster or adoptive family.
If you’d like to find out how you can help, you can email Focus on the Family here or also call 1-800-A-FAMILY (1-800-232-6459) for more information, as well.