FOSTER What?  

Have you taken a look at the cereal aisle lately? I was at “the big store” the other day and turned the corner. There they were - all the choices, hundreds of them – a whole, long aisle with six shelves full of nothing but cereals. I don’t know about you, but that many choices confuses me and makes me not want to choose at all and just get my jalapeno peppers.

You know I think people are looking for, what they are really looking for and want to choose? Meaning. Yes, meaning. When it comes down to it, this is why we do everything we do.  But, there are things we get to choose and things we don’t get to choose.

I can’t change some things about myself. I’m a tall, white, bald male in my 50’s. I can’t change any of that. What I can choose, though, is what I do and who I am as that person. I get to decide whether I live with my arms wide open or my arms locked around my chest.

Gateway’s foster care program serves children who didn’t get to choose a lot - the things that really count - about their lives. There are more than 5,000 children in Alabama alone in some kind of foster care. Many of them come to us because something happened in their families and so they have no place to live, at least for a while. Many have been ignored, abused, neglected – or all of this and more.

That’s where we come in. That’s where you can come in.  Please just read this next line if none of the others. You may be looking for even more meaning in your life, and if you are, fostering a child can give you that meaning. Write me at if you can think of a greater gift to the world than a child who feels safe and loved and learns to trust people. And, what else? A child who can go out into the yard and play and can’t wait to come back into the house.

Find out about us, and let us find out about you. We’ve walked this road, this path with hundreds of people – just like you. We understand what the walk is like and that it can’t be rushed. You may just want to find out whether it’s a path you want to walk or not. Call me at 510-2762. I’d be happy to talk with you anytime.



Jim Belk, Foster Parent Recruiter

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1401 20th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35205
Gateway Family Resource Center
Fax: 205-510-2621