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8.08.2015

Compassion

I am constantly using social media. Because... my friends really care about what I ate for breakfast, or what verse stuck out to me during my devotional that day, right?!?! WRONG! My abuse of social media is a whole other topic in-and-of-itself. Due to my lack of self-control regarding social media, I have seen many varying articles about the grotesque abuse and maltreatment of animals from around the world. I assume these stories pop up on my newsfeed, because I have befriended people who are compassionate about animals, because I am compassionate about animals, too. 

I am alarmed when I read stories of dogs overcoming abuse. I am concerned when endangered species continue to be hunted to the point of extinction. I feel guilty about deforestation and that I would choose what I believe to be deserved comforts over the safety and care of vast amounts of plants and animals. I am worried that (as much as I totally despise them) bee's are dying in scary amounts, and many die due to the chemicals used on our food sources.  

There are so many other stories about animal cruelty that make my heart heavy. I know that there are many people who choose to live their life differently, because of what they are compassionate about. I know that for many, that means that they will do anything and everything to spread awareness, donate to, and care for environmental organizations all over the world. I applaud that! I don't think that is wrong and I love that people care about these things! BUT...

I am confused about what people are so compassionate about. I think that is because, for me, personally, most of my compassion is for other humans. AND, in the spirit of being honest, I have no clue as to why EVERYONE is NOT more upset about the grotesque abuse and maltreatment of people! I just don't understand how hundred's of people rallied to save horses, and well over one hundred thousand people signed a petition to extradite a hunter, but only one person on my news feed posted a story about the truly mind-blowing amount of children who are abused, neglected, and completely broken in the foster care system
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About 17,000 children are currently in Arizona's foster care system! I don't understand why we are talking about the death of a lion in South Africa more than we are talking about the plight of hurting people in our own community, humans-CHILDREN-that are suffering right here in Arizona! I really don't understand how this isn't concerning every person I know! Is it because it is a harder problem to solve? Is it because it is too sad to talk about? Is it because we feel that animals are more vulnerable than people? Is it because we feel like there are too many people to blame for the issues regarding children in foster care? Do we feel like the government or some other form of leadership is going to take care of the issue for us? Do we feel unqualified to handle the abuse of humans, but better qualified to handle the abuse of animals? Do we think caring for another human is too big of a commitment, as opposed to caring for an animal? Is it because the cruelty humans have caused to other humans, and the subsequent struggle in caring for someone in that situation, has too much of an impact on our life or the lives of our loved ones?

I was a foster mom. I am an adoptive parent. BUT... there is so much more I could be doing, yet I am not doing it. I have lots of reasons (excuses), but I think it all comes down to the fact that I don't want to be uncomfortable. I don't want to stretch my money a little further so I can support another person. I don't want sacrifice my time, the time that will be needed to care for someone who has been physically and emotionally abused. I don't want to give up a little more of my space in my home, because it feels small enough already. I don't want to stay up all night with a crying child who is afraid to go to sleep. I don't want to have to take another child to a bunch of appointments each week. I don't want to do Shared-Parenting to try and help biological families stay connected to these children. I don't want to work so hard to love and care for someone, and then not have that love reciprocated. I don't want to love and care for someone for so long and so much that I will have to grieve their loss when they are no longer with me. I can grasp how you feel about all of this, because I experience all those same feelings, too!
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I read an article the other day, and this particular paragraph really stood out to me (and prompted this entire post). Please read the entire article, it is good!

"Creating attachment and teaching a child to trust is a difficult process. When we succeed, we rejoice. And when that child has to leave us, we grieve. These are not choices we make because they are easiest or make the most sense. They are the choices we make because we we want to do what’s right. We know these children didn’t choose this road, but we can choose to make it easier for them, even if that means life is harder for us."

So I challenge you, I challenge myself, to do what is right even if it means life will become harder. Consider becoming a foster parent. Consider donating your time and money to these children in need. And please be praying for Arizona's foster care crisis, the Department of Child Services, Arizona's foster families, and the children in the foster care system.  

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