It was hard not to be moved. I was interviewing Kriss Akabusi a Gold medal winning British athlete, a TV personality, successful business man and now he was explaining to me how he was taken into care as a little child and how he longed to be adopted. He looks me straight in the eye and says:
“I think I would have made someone a good son.”
But Kriss like so many children in the UK was left in care. People came to size him up and check him out but all decided that he wasn’t for them – that he was unadoptable. Now decades later Kriss still talks about having “abandonment issues.” Its heart breaking to think of children being sized up to see if they measure up to some kind of benchmark of acceptability. Akabusi explains that he would have been a handful – he was as he puts it: “a little bit lively.” These children that need Dad’s will come with challenges and difficulties but so does every single one of us.
This Father’s day, as Christians reflect on the fatherhood of God and across the nation we celebrate the role of father’s in our lives I am asking that we also consider the thousands of fatherless children in the care system. 4600 children await adoption – they would long to know the love of forever fathers. Thousands more children come into care needing a foster family – they need dads that could love them while they are in transition- not knowing where they will end up. This father’s day would you consider stepping forward for adoption or fostering?
As I listened to Kriss talk movingly about a father figure in his life who saw something in him and encouraged him to become all that he could be I was challenged to look for more opportunities to invest in the children in my life. It was in the military that Kriss found a father figure, not normally a place where you might expect to find compassionate, sensitive, nurturing relationships but as Kriss tells his story I was challenged to look around in all the circumstances that I am in and try and find ways to bring the best out of the people I come across. Kriss has a challenge to all men – to consider whether we could become adopted fathers or foster dads. Sadly in my experience it is the men that are normally the hardest to convince – I have met so many women who have said to me I am up for this but its my husband that has to be convinced. Men we need to step up for these children waiting for homes, as Kriss says “we could be the love they have never known.”
[If you would like to help children find the Dads they need:
1. Get hold of a copy of www.homeforgood.org.uk
3. Show one (or both) of these video on Father’s day at your church.