Adoption means you grew in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy. –Author unknown
To be “mother” to someone who needs me means more now than ever. On February 18, 2010, my mother passed away and I realized how much I’d lost. As I review memories one thing rings true, she loved me.
Two days after Mom died, my best friend Jan died. Not long after their death, I began to think more intensely about children who are orphaned, need to be adopted, or need foster care. Although I have no children of my own, that hasn’t stopped me from helping as many as possible. During more than twelve years as a professor and school teacher, I taught all grades and subjects to regular and special-ed students, which included severely disabled, blind, deaf, autistic, down syndrome, cocaine babies, and juvenile delinquents, all the while coaching swimming and track. I miss those days. Being diagosed with cryoglobulinemia, a rare blood disease, changed everything.
Today, I continue reaching out with hope and encouragement through our books, speaking events, singing, and leading an amazing team of international volunteers through our nonprofit, Second Chance with Saving Grace. SCwSG helps hurting people and animals while offering a safe place for people to share their gifts and talents. I’ve babysat since I was eleven and earned a Ph.D. in human services and counseling psychology while growing through difficult times that included chronic illness, divorce, and almost having my legs amputated. These experiences continue to motivate me to try to help as many people as possible and to have a significant and lasting relationship with children.
I spoke to Paul about my consistent desire to provide a safe place for broken children to heal through foster care and adoption in November of 2010. Paul gave a rather long and convincing list about why this wasn’t a good idea. Most of the reasons were based on fear: fear that I wasn’t healthy enough; fear of the financial burden; and most significantly, fear of the lifestyle changes required to be a parent. I wasn’t deterred and did what I always do when confronted with the unknown: I prayed.
One day Paul came home and said, “OK, go for it! I can see it will be more harmful for you not to try than any of my reasons why we shouldn’t.” He’d talked to friends, and it was obvious that God had worked on his heart. He was now excited to share his love of the outdoors with hurting kids.
We found out there wasn’t a foster home available in our county or in neighboring counties, so we began our certification process immediately. Since April 2012 we’ve been officially offering a safe place for broken hearts to heal. It has been time-intensive, costly, and emotion-filled. Our faith is keeping us strong, courageous, and able to work through the ups and downs that family life brings. Our home is bursting with healthy family memories, working through consequences and overcoming challenges while offering hope, joy, and love.
One day when I’m gone, my children, those I foster for a while or those we give forever homes to, will know THEIR mom loved them, and they will be sure to pass that transforming love on.
There are five children who may be placed with us very soon. So we are saving for a minivan so we can bring the children home. Life is a roller coaster and we are riding it with arms stretched high!
Diane Dike is an award-winning speaker, singer, author, certified foster/adoption mom, radio show host and humanitarian-known for her inspirational, optimistic, and joyful spirit! She is regularly featured in a wide variety of print, radio and TV syndications around the world. Learn more about her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.