True mother-love never fails to point her child to the Author of love. Susan L. Lenzkes

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A Little Think

The Gift of a Mother's Love

This May, we celebrate Mother's Day and also observe National Foster Care Month. For many of the 513,000 American youth in foster care, it might well be a foster or adoptive parent, a grandmother, an aunt, an older sister, or another female relative whom they wish to thank and honor for raising them to be all they can be. With more than 12 million alumni of foster care in this country, there are countless stories of inspirational women who have come forward to be a "Mom" to a child in need.

Tammy always knew she wanted to be a foster mother. "I felt from a very young age that I was called to be a foster mom. I believe that my gift is the ability to nurture and love children" And no group of children are in more need of care then foster kids.

Four years ago, Tammy and her husband made the decision to become foster parents. They began the process by contacting Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois who helped them through the licensing process. "We were referred to LCFS by another foster mother in our community. The staff has always been there to offer me encouragement and listen to my concerns."

Currently, Tammy is a foster mother to four children ranging in age from 6 months to 10 years old; on top of her four biological children. She believes that the most important aspect of being a foster mom is giving a child a safe place to live and helping them to realize their full potential. "These kids have so many gifts, but they need someone to take the time to recognize them and push them to succeed."

Being a foster mother is not an easy calling. Most children are in foster care because their own families are in crisis and unable to provide for their essential well-being. Like all young people, youth in foster care deserve and benefit from enduring, positive relationships with caring adults. The rewards of being a foster parent are in knowing you helped keep a child safe, taught a child to believe in themselves, or just showed them that someone cared about them.

"Being a foster mom is the most amazing thing I have ever done."

Over the past two years, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, with the support of the Lerner Family Foundation, and most recently a gift from the Christopher Family Foundation, has significantly increased its capacity to recruit foster parents. As a direct result of the initiative, they have raised awareness, initiated prospective home referrals, licensed and developed homes, and ultimately placed more children with families. In fact, over the past two fiscal years LCFS has licensed an additional 46 foster homes!

Still, much more help is needed. If nothing changes in the United States by the year 2020,:

  • Nearly 14 million confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect will be reported,

  • 22,500 children will die of abuse or neglect, most before their fifth birthday,

  • More than 9,000,000 children will experience the foster care system,

  • More than 300,000 children will age out of our foster care system, in poor health and ill-prepared for success in higher education, technical college, or the workforce, and

  • 99,000 former foster youth, who aged out of the system, can expect to experience homelessness.


  • Now is the time to get involved. Please join LCFS in addressing the needs of these children. You can help our nation's most vulnerable children realize their full potential by:

  • Becoming a foster parent, for more information, see www.lcfs.org or call 800-363-LCFS,

  • Learning the facts about foster care at www.fostercaremonth.org,

  • Making a financial contribution to support the personal enrichment or education of a young person in foster care,

  • Wearing a Blue Ribbon during May in support of National Foster Care Month or

  • Supporting LCFS activities such as, the Christmas Drive, Back to School Drive, Wish List needs, etc.

  • Praying for God's blessings on the work, through our Lord Jesus Christ.


  • LCFS is striving to provide safe and loving homes to as many foster children as possible, but your support is needed. Help us honor women like Tammy who answer the call to care for our most vulnerable youth or consider whether you might be able to make room in your home for one of the thousands of children who are still waiting to receive the powerful gift of a mother's love.

    To inquire about other ways you might be able to support foster mothers and the children they care for, contact Phillip L. Jimenez, LCFS Director of Development at phil_jimenez@lcfs.org or 708-488-5555.


    Let's Remember Mama for a Change
    By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
    There are a growing number of family movies, but many of them mostly feature the dad, such as CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, FATHER OF THE BRIDE, COLLEGE ROAD TRIP, and in too many of them, the mother is dead or missing, such as THE GAME PLAN and FINDING NEMO. In a significant number of cases, the mother is the villain, such as AMERICAN BEAUTY and SOUTH PARK. This is great for dads but it does not help children develop a positive image of mothers.

    Two reasons for the missing mom or even the mean mom can be found in some of the lingering marketing rules of the entertainment industry. First, the entertainment industry believes that little girls will go to movies that little boys like, but little boys won't go to little girl movies. Walt Disney Company seemingly ran into that problem with the delightful entertaining movie ENCHANTED. The second rule of thumb is the expected scenario in life is the "bad dad", so movies want to do the unexpected, which would be the "bad mom". This rule is similar to "man bites dog" in the press, where you don't want the common story about the dog biting the man but the uncommon story of the man biting the dog.

    Whatever the reason, it would be nice to see more I REMEMBER MAMA movies. One way to do that is for the vast Christian audience to support the good, whether it features girls or boys, mothers or fathers, if it coincides with a biblical worldview.

    MOVIEGUIDE(R)

    Wally Bronner Joins his Christ of CHRISTmas!
    By Phyllis Wallace
    April 7, I flew to Michigan to celebrate Wally Bronner's life here and hereafter at his memorial service. I hope you have or will visit Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth. Wally started at age 15 making signs in his parent's basement. This business grew to a building the size of five football fields, FULL of everything Christmas and more. He was Mr. Christmas to millions around the world as he traveled the globe to find decorations for the world's biggest birthday party!

    1300 attended the memorial service at historic St. Lorenz. Be inspired by the homily by going here. One of the best I've heard.

    Pondering the faith and the work of this genius of celebration, Wally Bronner, I headed from the church to Zehnder's for a lovely luncheon for friends and family. The pastor's words brought added closure on the death of my dear father a year ago. I missed him a lot that day because his enthusiasm was contagious like Wally's! The remarkable Dorothy Zehnder, of the Bavarian Inn, offered me a seat with her family, for a delightful visit. Her daughter Roxie lives 3 hours away and has driven over the same day each week just to hang out with her mom, ever since her dad died. Roxie and I chatted briefly about great dads and how we miss them. I needed that woman to woman chat!

    Dorothy and "Tiny" Zehnder were Woman to Woman guests some years back to tell about serving famous chicken dinners [and Ger

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