After a rough night of practice, you will excuse me while I vent…
You see, I run a truancy program for high school boys and, to keep them engaged with school, I’ve turned them into a basketball team. I work with young men who are struggling to stay in school raise money for uniforms, form study tables to get their grades up, and I will offer support for better school attendance.
During our practices and class time, we work on goal setting, decision making, and communication skills – even working to increase their employability skills. They are a very talented group of young men.
All this to say, that they are the most un-coachable band of misfits that I’ve ever been around. They continuously argue with each other, hate to be redirected, and don’t respond well to constructive criticism.
I have ten boys on my team and NONE OF THEM WILL GO HOME TO A DAD. Because of that, I extend them grace and pray for strength.
Every practice, I am reminded that I am so much more than a coach to them and I need to remember that.
After every practice, I break the huddle – 1.2.3.Saints.4.5.6.Family! I do this because the lack of a father figure is so visible that this small statement is the best that I can do that can give them a sense of belonging.
As a foster dad, I am blessed with an opportunity to fill a void. Most of the boys that have come into my home have never had a dad play a consistent or positive role in their lives. Some have never even met their father… ever.
I see the challenges that they face, but I also see the potential that they possess. I know that it may seem challenging to think about raising a child that has not had a father in their lives; however, the consistency of a strong and steady hand, which can help that challenging boy become a young man is one of the most rewarding things about being a foster dad.
So, foster dads we have one of the most important jobs in the world.