Foster Parents Help Save Child Through Kindness on Facebook

cribIf your child needed a new organ, you would donate one, wouldn't you? I think most parents wouldn't hesitate. But what about a child you don't even know? Sometimes it seems we're awash in a sea of sad stories of foster parenting gone wrong, but I was thrilled to read this morning about a foster family who was able to provide a child with a miracle.

Sharon and Craig King of Las Vegas, Nevada took in a baby girl soon after she was born -- without a left thumb and left ear canal. The Kings gave her a secure and loving home, and when the baby girl (now 19 months) became critically ill, the Kings pleaded with their Facebook network for a liver donor. Surprisingly, it was the Kings' missionary work that ultimately brought them to the perfect donor.

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Sharon and Craig would have gladly donated a segment of their liver if they could have, but the baby needed a perfect match. Once she got that liver segment, it would grow to the right size and become a fully-functioning liver. Thousands of people responded but they couldn't find the right match. The Kings were almost ready to give up when the perfect donor finally stepped forward.

Brittney Quirk saw their Facebook page -- she's a former missionary who remembered the Kings from their work with Catholic youth groups. The surgery went well and both Brittney and the toddler are recovering, and now Brittney is a regular visitor. So thanks to a network of caring people, a child's life was saved.

It's just another reminder that, for better or worse, we rarely parent alone. Whether we're caring for our own biological children or for children who are with us for only a few, short years, one of the best gifts parents can give a child is a whole community of people who can provide support and help. It's not easy for busy parents to build these kinds of networks, especially those of us living far away from family. But this story has inspired me to see how planting seeds of good will among friends and neighbors can come back to you when your family really needs help.

If your toddler needed help, would you be able to find the right help in your community?

 

Image via miguelb/Flickr

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